DREAMS OF GAIA GUIDEBOOKS

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DREAMS OF GAIA GUIDEBOOKSTAROTCONTENTSIntroduction 9THE MAJOR ARCANA0. Choice 22I. The Child 26II. The Maiden 30III. The Youth 34IV. The Mother. 38V. The Father. 44VI. The Crone 50VII. The Sage 55VIII. Death/Rebirth 62IX. Knowledge 68X. Wisdom 71XI. Healing 75XII. Love 81XIII. Union 85XIV. Self. 90XV. Abundance 95XVI. Destiny. 101XVII. Journey. 107XVIII. Thought 112XIX. Emotions 119XX. Desire 126XXL Perception 133XXIL Intuition 141XXIII. Integrity. 146XXIV. Faith 1524THE MINOR ARCANAEARTHI. Ace of Earth 158II. Two of Earth 160III. Three of Earth 162IV. Four of Earth 164V. Five of Earth 166VI. Six of Earth 168VII. Seven of Earth 170VIII. Eight of Earth 172IX. Nine of Earth 174X. Ten of Earth 176XI. Eleven of Earth: Heaven/Earth 178XII. Twelve of Earth: The Seneschal 180XIII. Queen of Earth 182XIV. King of Earth 184AIRI. Ace of Air. 188II. Two of Air. 190III. Three of Air. 193IV. Four of Air. 196V. Five of Air. 199VI. Six of Air. 202VII. Seven of Air. 2045VIII. Eight of Air. 207IX. Nine of Air. 212X. Ten of Air. 216XI. Eleven of Air: Body/Mind 219XII. Twelve of Air: The Scribe 223XIII. Queen of Air. 226XIV. King of Air. 229FIREI. Ace of Fire 234II. Two of Fire 236III. Three of Fire 238IV. Four of Fire 240V. Five of Fire 242VI. Six of Fire 245VII. Seven of Fire 247VIII. Eight of Fire 249IX. Nine of Fire 251X. Ten of Fire 253XI. Eleven of Fire: Masculine/Feminine...256XII. Twelve of Fire: The Hero 259XIII. Queen of Fire 263XIV. King of Fire 2656WATERI. Ace of Water. 268II. Two of Water. 270III. Three of Water. 272IV. Four of Water. 274V. Five of Water. 277VI. Six of Water. 279VII. Seven of Water. 281VIII. Eight ofWater. 283IX. Nine ofWater 285X. Ten ofWater. 289XI. Eleven ofWater: Emotion/Intellect...291XII. Twelve ofWater: The Counsellor. 294XIII. Queen ofWater. 296XIV. King ofWater. 2984 * *A Few Words from the Author. 301Acknowledgements 303Also Available 3037INTRODUCTIONDreams of Gaia Tarot is for those who desire unity within themselves, their relationships, and with heaven and earth. It is for those who wish to explore, and develop a keener understanding of self,’ as well as those who seek to commune with the spirit realms and the Divine.The philosophy of the cards is simple - to seek, to feel, to grow, and to heal.Seek - Reveal the answers to the questions within. Learn who you were, who you are, and who you wish to become. The tarot will help you communicate with the Divine, and your inner self, know your conscious mind, and explore the unconscious forces - the hard-wired beliefs and patterns that influence your behaviour and choices. Knowledge is power. Self-knowledge and awareness are the keys to empowerment.Feel - Delve into the watery realms of emotion, and begin to understand why you feel and react as you do. The tarot will help you shine a light on your emotions. It will allow you to explore their depths, and embrace the beautiful and powerful awareness that your responses and reactions are a natural part of who you are, but also within your power to control and change.Grow - You are in a constant, cyclic state of growth and change. Growth and evolution are both inevitable and unavoidable, yet so many fear and resist change, despite the fact that life itself is both a transformative and a transmutative process. The tarot will help you to recognise and respond when a time of growth and change approaches, and to face it with increased confidence. You are here to live and experience life - to fear less and meet your fullest potential.Heal - There are experiences in your past that can do harm in your present9- because you have bound them to you by holding on to the emotions and beliefs they have fostered. These bonds are the foundation of all that limits and restricts you in the present, and prevents you from moving forward with confidence and trust. Awareness will help you heal and let go.Dreams of Gaia Tarot will help you to rediscover your ancient and eternal connection with Gaia and the Great Spirit. Regular use of the deck will bring insight and understanding.This life is your journey of undoing, being, and becoming. Choose your path with the knowledge that all that manifests in your present is born of choices made in the past, and all that manifests in your future is born of choices made in the present. In this way, you will create a present, and future, in harmony with your dreams and heart’s desire.ON TO THE TAROTGetting StartedThere are two tasks you should perform before you attempt a reading.The first task is to transfer your energy to the deck. This is done by handling the cards, sleeping with them, or carrying them around on your person. Play with them. Familiarise yourself with the artwork. Shuffle them. Order them. Consecrate them. Make them yours.The second task is to read the guidebook. Dreams of Gaia Tarot is not a traditional tarot. It does not adhere to a path created by existing tarots, but instead, creates a path of its own. The unique nature of the deck requires that you take time to learn the meanings of each card. Once you have become familiar with them, you will be able to rely less on the book and more on your intuition.Your Inner VoiceThe voice you hear inside your head - your inner voice - is, in essence, the conscious element of your mind or ego communicating with you. Get to know it. Listen to your inner dialogue; how that voice speaks to you10and what it says can often reveal the unconscious thoughts and emotions that influence your life. Is the voice positive and happy? Or is it critical and judgemental? Does your inner chatter focus more on the tasks you need to perform, or things you would rather be doing? Does your inner voice speak only now and again, or is your mind full of incessant chatter? Listening - being mindful of your inner voice - will give you more insight and awareness of your mental and emotional state.Performing Regular ReadingsIn order to familiarise yourself with the cards, and become more confident with them, try to perform regular readings. The readings do not have to be complex or complicated. A simple one to three card reading once a week is fine.Sit with the cards, handle them, pick a random card and meditate on the artwork and the meaning, and write down your thoughts.Readings do not need to be formal, but can be employed as the focus of a simple form of meditation. You can choose one card or several, but always take the time to listen to the cards, and to your inner voice. As you become more confident in your understanding and connection to the cards, and more conscious of your inner voice, the cards will reveal more.How to Ask a QuestionFirst and foremost, you must understand that when using the tarot to determine answers to a question, you will not receive a yes or no answer. Depending on the type of reading you perform, you will receive a complex, multi-layered, many-faceted response that may at times seem cryptic and confusing, especially if your question is unclear.Your question should be precise and focussed. Keep it simple and to the point, without framing an answer to your question within the question. Do not ask a question in a way that makes it clear that you already have an answer in mind. To do so, means that you are coming to the tarot with a mind that is not receptive to alternatives. While, again, you will not be given a definitive answer, the cards are here to advise you, guide you, and reveal to you a range of options and solutions - if your mind is open to them.Frame your questions in a positive manner. Avoid asking why you haveIIfailed or why something went wrong. Ask, instead, what you can do in order to achieve the outcome you most desire.Keep it personal. Be sure to keep yourself as the subject within your question. For example, if you have been caught up in a conflict with a friend or co-worker, do not ask why they are upset with you; instead, ask what you can do to resolve the difficulty.Write your question down. A question that is written will always be more clear and precise than one voiced within the mind.As you become more familiar with the cards, and how each card relates to you and your situation, you can also perform an open-ended reading with no specific question in mind. This type of reading can be particularly helpful for those who are entering a period of change or transition and seek guidance.Think of the reading as you would a conversation. When we talk to our friends, we usually begin with small talk before moving on to deeper, more personal issues. Do the same with the tarot. Draw your cards and allow them to take you on a journey. Your conversation with the cards may help you see your situation from another perspective, and present you with ideas and opportunities that you had not previously considered.The tarot is a wise friend who does not tell you what to do, but, instead, reveals options and perspectives you may have never considered. Look to the cards for possibilities, for choices, not absolutes.Devote Time to the ReadingAllow the cards to speak. Do not rush your reading. Take the time to sit, visualise, and go within each card. Listen to what they say and how they make you feel. Pay attention to the thoughts that come to mind, and take notes that you can refer to later.After the Question Has Been AskedAllow the information offered to be absorbed. If you have asked a specific question, do not be tempted to do another reading in the same day. Allow 24 to 48 hours for the information to process and for further questions to formulate.12Keeping a Tarot JournalKeeping a tarot journal is so helpful - essential, really - especially for beginners, as it allows you to establish a recorded history of your readings. Within that history, patterns will emerge. You will be able to see if the same situations, problems, or opportunities have a habit of repeating themselves, and how you respond and react to them. The journal will show you if one or more cards appear in your readings time and time again, and can bring your attention to any issues you may be avoiding or not seeing.Write everything down. Your journal should contain your initial questions, as well as details about each reading and your thoughts and feelings.The Tarot as a MirrorThe tarot is a mirror, both of life and the individual.Just as it is in life, so it is in the tarot; no single moment or experience is free of influence from internal or external sources. We are energetic beings. All that is matter is energy, and the energy of one can, and does, influence the energy of another. Everything within your environment is influenced by you, just as everything within your environment can influence you in subtle or profound ways.The tarot is influenced by your energy and the energy around you, and will show you a reflection of your life, just as a mirror will show you a reflection of self. But, just as we sometimes look in the mirror and see only what we want to see, the tarot will sometimes only show what it feels we are willing to accept. Remember, the eyes see only what the mind is willing to conceive.For the tarot to be of greatest help, we must be willing to both look deeper, and to acknowledge what we may not wish to see. There will be times when a card or an entire spread will offer options we do not like, or reveal ideas, perspectives, and truths we want to reject. It is important to remain open-minded, and to trust that we are being shown because it is time and we are strong enough to accept the truths the tarot reveals. To get the best out of a reading we must let go of our own projections, preconceived ideas, expectations, and fears, and trust in the information offered.We are not always going to get pretty, sugar-coated, glossy readings that13are full of positive cards and affirming messages. But we will be offered an impartial and objective point of view that will benefit us the most if we look closely at what is offered with the same impartiality and honesty.THE DECK STRUCTUREDreams of Gaia Tarot is made up of a 25-card major arcana, and a 56-card minor arcana comprising four elemental suits of 14 cards.The major arcana does not use the archetypes generally used by other current and traditional tarots; however, it still embraces many common archetypes. For example, the Empress and Emperor have been replaced by the Mother and Father, while the High Priestess and the Hierophant have been replaced by the Crone and the Sage. The Devil makes way for the Desire card, which explores and discusses the effect of primal wants and desires on our ability to weigh our choices and act upon them.The Major ArcanaThe major arcana is broken up into four groups - The Choice Card, Stages of Life, Reasons for Being, and Influences.'rhe Choice CardThe Choice Card is the single most important card in the deck, for the very premise of Dreams of Gaia Tarot is that everything comes back to choice. All that we are, and all that we become, is governed by the choices that we and those around us make, and how they, in turn, create and influence our reality.The remaining 24 cards are broken up into three groups of eight cards. They are as follows:Stages of LifeThere are eight Stages of Life based on principle archetypes and events - the Child, Maiden, Youth, Mother, Father, Crone, Sage, and Death/Rebirth.14Regardless of gender or age, we all possess these archetypal qualities, and we are all bound by the cyclic nature of beginning and end, creation and destruction. These cards represent moments and events that shape our lives, and innate facets of our nature that have an influence on our environment, our relationships, and how we perceive the world around us in general.Reason for BeingThere are eight Reasons for Being - Knowledge, Wisdom, Healing, Love, Union, Self, Abundance, and Destiny. We are here to seek, to feel, to grow, and to heal. Our primary reason for being is to experience life, both the good and the bad, but we are also here to learn and gain knowledge, to grow wise, to experience love in all its forms, and to find healing and unity. We are here to find our true self, to create abundance, and to fulfil our personal and chosen destiny.InfluencesWhile it is true that the events we are experiencing now, and our reasons for being can and do influence our ability to see opportunities and make choices, there are another eight key elements that play a defining role in influencing us for better or worse. These are Journey (our life experiences to this moment), Thought, Emotions, Desire, Perception (the way we perceive our reality), Intuition, Integrity, and Faith.Keywords, Key Phrases, and Card MeaningsThe illustrations provide a vital role in exploring the symbolism of the tarot; however, it is important to pay attention to the ‘keywords’ and ‘key phrases’ on each of the cards, as they constitute an initial starting point for your reading. They are so named because they are the ‘keys’ to discovering the answers you seek, offering the clearest, most concise idea of each card’s message and core attributes. By focussing on them, and the questions they raise, you will strengthen your intuition and self-awareness.Take the time to understand each card’s essence, but do not become dependent upon the full description for answers. The card meanings themselves are not literal, nor are they set in stone. They are the personal interpretation of the author at the time of the cards’ creation. Only you can15flesh out their meaning to you by giving them greater personal relevance, and interpret their pertinence in your life.The Minor ArcanaThe minor arcana of Dreams of Gaia Tarot is elemental in nature. There are four suits - Earth, Air, Fire, and Water with fourteen cards in each. They are numbered from Ace through to 10, with one ‘alignment’ or ‘balancing’ card, and three court cards. The traditional King and Queen remain, but within each suit there is a figure that stands beside the throne. For Earth, it is the Seneschal - the keeper of the keys to the kingdom. The Scribe - keeper of knowledge, information, law and tradition stands beside the King and Queen of Air. The Hero - champion, warrior, and protector - stands at the side of the King and Queen of Fire, while the emotionally wise and empathetic Counsellor gives guidance to the King and Queen of Water.The role of each suit is very specific. Hie Earth cards address the subject of home, family, and career. The Air cards are associated with the mind - thoughts, beliefs, ideas, imagination, and reality. The Fire cards are action cards, and address the physical acts of being and doing. The Water cards are the realm of the emotions, and address the subjects of feelings, reactions, and behaviour.CARD SPREADSThe Guide SpreadThis simple, one-card reading can be performed on a daily or nightly basis. The card you draw can serve as your guide for as long as you have need of it.16The Union SpreadOnce you have settled yourself and shuffled the cards, draw one card and place it on the table or ground before you. Now draw a second card and place it to the right of the first. Finally, draw a third card and place it below the first two.The first card, the card on the left, is the Focus card, and represents a facet of yourself that needs to be addressed. Reflect on the message of the card. It may be relating to avoidance around the resolution of a specific matter, or may simply be serving to highlight that your attention is focussed on an issue that this card relates to, for good or ill.The card on the right is the Soul card, and represents a facet of yourself that is one of your strengths. You may still need to address a situation or circumstance that this facet influences (especially if the card appears reversed), but it is an aspect that you are capable of addressing, and the Soul card will bring you knowledge that will help you on your journey.The final card is the ‘Let Two Become One’ card, and will present you with a course of action that may allow you to marry the information offered by the Focus and Soul cards and achieve wholeness and balance.17The Dreamer’s SpreadThe purpose of the Dreamer’s Spread is to delve into the mind, and shine a light upon the dreams and hopes of you, the Dreamer.Before you begin, take several deep, slow, and calming breaths, while holding the cards in your hands. Once you have stilled yourself, shuffle the cards and place them as outlined below.I. The Dreamer - This card represents you, the Dreamer, and is a reflectionof what resides in your present vibration.II. The Unconscious Mind - What dwells within your unconscious mind?Is it in harmony with your present vibration?III. Past - Your past has shaped you. What from your past is influencing your choices in the present?18IV. Immediate Future - This is the energy of your environment that affects and influences your immediate future.V. Long-Term Future - This is the energy of your environment and self thataffects and influences your long-term future, your goals and dreams.VI. The Conscious Mind - What dwells within your conscious mind and is driving thoughts, feelings, and overall perception? Is it in harmony with your overall energy and unconscious mind?VII. Repression - A potential blockage: this is an energy or influence that you are avoiding, or is in need of strengthening, in order to help make your dreams a reality. Whether the card falls upright, or reversed, this card symbolises something that needs addressing as it has too much, or too little, influence over you.VIII. Guide - A potential guide or energy, this will strengthen you, and work with any blockages.IX. Expression - This is the key to unlocking a potential direction for your creative flow.The Dreaming Tree Spread19The Dreaming Tree Spread is a complex reading that allows the reader to have an in-depth conversation with self and the Divine. Before you read, make sure you are comfortable and relaxed. Take several deep and cleansing breaths while holding the cards, before shuffling and placing them before you as discussed below.I. The Trunk - Represents you, the SeekerII. The First Branch - The current mood or energy in your environment atthe time of the readingIII. The Second Branch - A possible strength or weakness that may impact upon the presentIV. The Third Branch - The presentV. The Fourth Branch - The first of three choices or possible courses ofaction for the present or futureVI. The First Leaf - The second of three choices or possible courses of action for the present or futureVII. The Second Leaf - The third of three choices or possible courses of action for the present or futureVIII. The Fifth Branch - The next few weeks aheadIX. The First Root - Someone or something from the present that may have influenceX. The Second Root - Someone or something from the past that may haveinfluenceXL The Third Root - Your subconscious feelings and thoughtsXII. The Third Leaf - The next few months20THE MAJOR ARCANA0. CHOICEKeywords: Choice, Options, Opportunity, Free Will, Self-Determination, Mindfulness, Manifestation, Cause and Effect, Reward, Consequence, ProcrastinationKey Phrases:- Choice creates reality- Belief is a choice- Inaction is a choice- The choice is yours- Determine your direction- The past has influence- Choice offers reward or consequence- Weigh your options- Choose wisely- Stop procrastinating- Be responsible for your choices- Awareness empowersMeaning: All that you are, all that you have learned and experienced, is born of choice - the choices you have made, the choices others have made on your behalf, or choices they have made for themselves that have impacted on or influenced your life. You may believe that you have no choice, but that in itself is a choice. You may also exercise your right to allow’ others to decide for you - this too is a choice.You may believe that you have too many options, and allow this to confuse and cloud your ability to choose - this is yet another choice. You are free to choose, or to allow others to choose for you. You can choose blindly, or with care. You can choose to act, or procrastinate. You can make your choices wisely, with knowledge and awareness, or make them in ignorance. Whether you choose to believe it or not, you are blessed with free will - the power to act and choose independently, and determine your future.You are a product of your choices and the choices of others. All that surrounds you within your environment is the result of your choices and22the choices of others. All comes back to Choice.The Past: When you were a child, dependent upon your parents and family for food, shelter, love, and protection, your choices were limited and often made on your behalf. As you grew older, your power to choose and play an active role in your experiences increased. Those choices - made for you and by you - helped shape you, and played a foundational role in creating the person you are in the present.All that you have experienced because of those choices has shaped your beliefs, how you perceive the world around you, and how you experience it.We cannot un-make our choices. We cannot reverse time and relive the same moment over again. It is the past, and the past cannot be changed. We can, however, choose to make different choices in the present because we have chosen to learn from our past choices, and the consequences born of those choices.Be mindful of your past - how you were raised and the environment that you were born into - as it will play a foundational role in influencing your ability to see and make new choices. Ask yourself, am I a slave to my upbringing? Have I been conditioned to believe and behave in a particular manner?Does this conditioning enable and empower, or limit and restrict? Are you holding on tight to hurts and bad memories that bind you to a past moment? Is this preventing you from moving forward and making choices that will result in more positive and affirming experiences?When the Choice card appears in a past position, you are being asked to question how your past may be influencing your ability to choose, in an empowered manner, in the present.The Present: In this moment, exists an opportunity to create or transform your future. You stand at the crossroads. The past is behind you, and the future lies ahead. Now is the time to take control of your life and determine the direction you wish to take. Be both mindful of, and responsible for, the choices you make in the present. Take note of how your relationships, beliefs, and emotional state are influencing you.Do you see opportunities and options available to you in abundance, or23are your opportunities few, and your options limited? Are you a glass half¬full, or a glass half-empty kind of person?Use this moment to take stock. Ask yourself if the decision you have before you is being overly influenced by your relationship with another. Are you choosing in order to make someone else happy, or to make yourself happy? Is your choice fraught with risk? Have you given thought to the potential consequences or rewards of this particular course of action?Remember, the choice is yours, whether that choice involves taking a risk, allowing someone else to choose for you, or giving another’s happiness and wellbeing more importance than your own. It is even your choice to do nothing at all.When the Choice card appears in the present, you are being asked to make your decisions with the awareness that your choices define you, and have real power. Your choices create your present and future reality, and, for good or for ill, will have an impact not only on you, but also on those around you.The Future: For every action there is an equal reaction. For every choice you make, and then act upon - or do not act upon - there will be a direct or indirect reward or consequence. The Choice card, in the future position, asks that you practice mindfulness even when making spontaneous decisions.What will your choice bring into your life? Have you considered the potential consequences, or only the potential rewards? Have you taken the time to weigh your options, and take into account the potential impacts of your decision, and the reality that a choice cannot be un-made? Your choices have the power to open and close doors, build bridges and burn them.Could your decisions have potential consequences that you have not considered? Could your choice bring about the ending of friendship or marriage, the loss of your job, or worse, when a different choice could bring abundance and delight? Regardless of the choice before you, take time to consider the future ramifications of your decisions and actions, and choose in a way that brings change of your own design and making.The direction you take now will lead you to your future. See and weigh up your options. Determine your direction. Look to the potential24consequences and rewards, and consider the impact your choices may have. Decide whether those choices are worth the cost, and whether they will bring forth a future that is in harmony with your intentions and desires.Potential Blockage: Are you spending all of your time looking for options and opportunities because you do not like the options that have already been presented to you?Sometimes our searching fails to uncover a choice that brings us happiness or an outcome that we desire, so we continue to look, hoping that something better will come along. In this way, we may be only delaying the inevitable.The reversed Choice card symbolises a need to accept that, sometimes, the only choice available is the one we do not want to make. Sometimes we have to choose the next best option, or the path of least reward. Sometimes, the path of least reward will lead us to unexpected treasure.Sometimes we are limited to a choice that will bring us happiness, albeit fleeting, and one that will not... a choice between immediate gratification and self-sacrifice. Make your choice with the awareness that instant gratification might not prove to be the most rewarding option.Do not allow a fear of being unhappy or disliked, or having to work hard or go without, prevent you from making a choice that will bring greater rewards and benefits in the future.Consider that your procrastination, or your inaction, may result in someone else making a choice for you, and creating a future that is even less to your liking.25I. THE CHILDKeywords: New Beginnings, Innocence, Magic, Divine Love, Trust, Hope, Forgiveness, Awareness, Potential, Anticipation, DependencyKey Phrases:- A new beginning- See your potential- Heal emotional and psychological wounds- Time to play and laugh- Acknowledge your successes- Delight in the moment- Believe in magic- Laughter heals- Turn dreams into reality- Forgive the past- Reconnect with innocent pleasures- Put doubt asideMeaning: The Child stands confident, taking innocent joy and delight in her connection with the world in which she dwells. She is untouched by fear, and full of hope and trust. Despite any hardship, struggle, and harm she has faced, she continues to see only beauty through eyes bright with wonder. She sees the good in all. She is both magic and magical - an innocent soul who believes in happily ever after.The Past: In many ways, the Child illustrated in the card’s artwork is representative of a time in childhood to which many of us wish we could return. She represents a time when we laughed with ease, wore our hearts on our sleeves, and were willing to take life and the people we met on face value. She conjures up a world where we could trust others, and were free from cynicism and scepticism. The child in us is pure of heart, light of step, and free from the inner voice that criticises and condemns.26How about you? Have you become afraid to dream and to follow your dreams? Have you become afraid to make a commitment because you believe you will only be disappointed? Do you move through life with a fear that others will not like you, or will reject and abandon you? Have you become old in spirit before your time? When the Child appears in a position that represents the past, she is asking you to consider these questions, and that you acknowledge and heal the emotional and psychological hurts that prevent you from taking delight in life.All too often, we hold on to the painful memories and moments, instead of remembering those that were full of love, laughter, and delight. We focus on the moments when we felt the most alone and afraid, instead of those when we were surrounded by love and happiness. We see every failure and forget to acknowledge our successes. We see only what we have not achieved, instead of what we have accomplished.Yes, life has offered you moments of pain, hardship, and suffering, moments that failed to meet expectations. It may have broken your heart, stolen both innocence and joy, or silenced your laughter. Has that pain and disappointment silenced the child within you? Or, worse still, has it given rise to a wounded ego that has made you harder than is necessary?Do not let past disappointments and persona] failures lessen your ability to trust in yourself and others. Do not allow them to make you cynical and sceptical, or hard and unyielding.Do you now believe that laughter and play are a waste of precious time that should be invested in more serious pursuits? They are not. To play and to laugh is to live in the moment. The result transports and transforms us, and can literally change our state of mind, and lift our spirits.Laughter and play bring healing.The Child who speaks of your past is asking that you forgive those moments. It is time to take delight once more - to share, to smile, to laugh over the good memories, and to reconnect with those innocent pleasures that gave you such joy.The Present: Joy, and the ability to dream, are the gifts the Child bestows upon you. It is time to dream and imagine, and to believe that anything is possible if you are willing to try. Forgive and forget all past failures and27disappointments. Turn mistakes into positive lessons instead of reasons to give up. Be hopeful. The Child, in the present, represents positivity and potential - a new beginning - one that will bring happiness and joy to your life, especially if you are willing to embrace an open mind and heart, and put ideas into action.When was the last time you paid attention to your daydreams - moments when you allowed your imagination to wander away from the mundane? So often, it is in those moments that our minds show us the truth about what we would really like to be doing with our time.Does something prevent you from making your dreams a reality? If so, are the reasons legitimate, or founded in doubt and a fear that you will not succeed or do not deserve to succeed? Do you dream of a holiday in a distant land? Do you dream of changing careers, and doing something that you love? Or does your daydreaming reveal a simple desire to reconnect with nature?Whatever your dream, now is the time for you to act. Put doubts and scepticism aside, and delight in doing something that you love. Give yourself permission to do what you need to do in order to make those dreams come true.The Future: Look forward and see the wonders of life through the eyes of the Child. Allow yourself to feel anticipation and excitement over making plans for the future. Yes, our goals are important, as we all need something to aspire to - but sometimes we need to take a break from serious plans, and just have fun. The Child in the future reminds you to schedule in some time to play. Arrange to meet up with friends or family, and do nothing more than take delight in each others company. Don’t let excuses get in the way of your celebrating life!It can be just as important to make time for yourself. Stop and relax, pet your cat, or take your dog for a walk. Do something you have wanted to do for a long time, but have put off time and time again because something else seemed more important. You were not born to spend your entire adult life working hard in order to pay the bills. Make a habit of scheduling in time to let your inner child be the voice that guides you. Be playful. Have fun.28Potential Blockage: Was your childhood so sheltered, happy, and carefree, that adulthood fails to meet your expectations? If so, it may be time to learn that life is meant to be full of highs and lows, delights and disappointments, successes and failures, and that you are in part, or entirely, responsible for all that you experience. Parents and friends cannot shelter and protect you from life’s disappointments or responsibilities. Nor can you depend on others to always be there to help you accomplish your goals.Instead, be a little more independent and take responsibility for your choices and actions - or lack of them. Be willing to try for yourself, rather than playing the role of the 'forever child,’ and allowing others make choices and act for you because you are unwilling or afraid to choose.On the other side of the coin, if your childhood was painful, and your relationship with your past was, or is, rife with conflict or discord, the Child may appear in the blockage position in order to tell you that it is time to put aside blame and forgive. Do so for no other reason than to set yourself free from the pain and fear that binds you to a moment that cannot be unlived.2911. THE MAIDENKeywords: Fertility, Independence, Self-Esteem, Confidence, Self-Expression, Self-Exploration, Self-Interest, Sexuality, Creativity, Selfishness, Co¬Dependence, TimidityKey Phrases:- Follow your dreams- Discover your passions- Focus on self-discovery- Address self-imposed limits and restrictions- Increased independence- Seek your own answers- Release feelings of fear and abandonment- Craving attention- Needing rescue- Express goals and desires- Be true to self- Acting with empathyMeaning: The Maiden walks an unfamiliar path, but does so with confidence and grace. She has been taught by those around her that it is not selfish or conceited to follow her dreams and actively work to manifest her goals and desires. She does so without needing permission from anyone.Much like her male counterpart, the Youth, the modern Maiden is not afraid to ask questions, challenge the answers, and be the adventurous explorer, but while the Youth explores new horizons, the Maiden explores herself. The Maiden is equally interested in first discovering and then nurturing her interests, and increasing her self-knowledge, and exploring her waking sexuality.She forms relationships with healthy boundaries, and expresses her sexuality with innocent pride and confidence. When she chooses to take a lover for the first time, it will be done without shame or fear of judgement. If she chooses to remain alone, it is not because she believes herself to be30undesirable, but because she does not believe that she needs a lover in order to be happy or fulfilled.The Maiden card is one of youthful confidence, empowerment, and increasing independence. She is fertile, but uses that fertile nature to create, express, and explore. She is on a journey of self-discovery, focussed on learning more about who she is and what makes her happy, and she knows that her explorations in the present will give rise to a future self who knows what she wants from life and is not afraid to make it happen.In the past, the Maiden was expected to do as she was told and be true to the expectations of family and society. In the present, the Maiden chooses to begin the journey toward self-awareness and empowerment.The Past: The Maiden, when appearing in the past position, has a transitional meaning and is a combination of the Child and Maiden. How the Maiden perceives the world, and herself, is influenced and shaped by the experiences of the Child that she was, and her transition from childhood to early womanhood. She is at her most vulnerable during this transition, for it is between childhood and adulthood that the seeds of self-esteem take firm root, grow, and blossom.If the Child has been treated in a harsh manner, or has been neglected, the Maiden may feel lost and alone, unsure and uncertain, with no real sense of belonging and security. If she has faced ridicule and scorn, she may become timid and meek, afraid to speak or act independently, lest her actions give rise to anger in those around her. She may be overly dependent on others for guidance, validation, acceptance, and protection - and yet, paradoxically, simultaneously be afraid to trust those very same people. She may also feel compelled to use her body and blossoming sexuality to draw forth the love, affection, and attention she craves.Just as the bud of a flower can be harmed by frost, or fail to thrive in unfavourable conditions, the Maiden can also be harmed by neglect, or by harsh words, ridicule, and mockery. The damage can be even greater if those words and deeds issue from someone she trusts and loves. Feelings of betrayal and abandonment can leave permanent psychological scars that influence her future choices.If the Child, who grows to become the Maiden, has been wounded,31seeds of doubt and insecurity, low self-esteem and self-worth may take root. Over time, those seeds grow and give rise to a self-limiting and restricting mindset, and patterns of behaviour develop that can have a destructive influence from inception until death.Conversely, the Child who is nurtured and loved may grow to be the confident and sure-footed Maiden; her sense of self is positive and affirming, and so she moves out into the world with a carefree step, more inclined to seek out and follow her own path, instead of being directed or shepherded by another.Do you hesitate to speak your truth for fear you will be laughed at? Do you find yourself in constant need of approval? Are you unable to trust both in yourself and others? Are you dreaming of rescue - that someone will suddenly appear and change your circumstances?It is the innocent, yet self-aware and confident Maiden, who walks the path before her without fear. When she appears in your reading, she, like the Child, asks that you release those feelings that limit and restrict - especially those born of the unkind words and actions of others. Stand tall. Devote time to the experiences in life that bring you deep personal pleasure and satisfaction. Do so knowing that your path, and those activities to which you devote your time and interest, are not for others to determine, question, or judge. Do not allow a fear of being rejected prevent you from knowing and being true to self.The Present: The Maiden - young, beautiful, and pure - represents the arrival of spring, a time of transition and change. She is symbolic of a moment that is bright with new promise. It is a fertile moment, one that may bring both abundance and independence. Now is the time to embrace growth with excitement and anticipation.However, just as late frost can lay waste to new growth, ridicule and unkind words from others can give rise to doubts and questions that can, in turn, result in self-sabotaging behaviour. Be strong and firm. If there is need, take steps to protect and nurture all that is new and vulnerable in you from those who seek to limit and restrict your growth. It is time to put your interests first, to walk your own path, and to sow the ideas that have been germinating within. Express yourself. Let that which has lain dormant32awaken and come to life.The Future: The Maiden, as illustrated in this deck, is the epitome of self¬exploration, and the independence and empowerment that is born of self- awareness. To know who you are is to know what you wish to do with your life. To know who you are is to know what will fulfil you and, in turn, bring abundance to your life.Do you know what you want from life? Do you know your goals and desires? If not, it is time to look within and reflect. Do you know how to express those goals and desires and what steps you need to take in order to manifest them? If not, it is time to find your voice and speak.Seek the answers. Do not wait for others to offer them to you or impose them upon you. Be proactive. Ask. Take the first steps toward becoming the person you want to be, and do so knowing that the only obstacles in your path are those you have created or allowed to prevent you from moving forward.The Child was the seed, and the Maiden is the young plant about to bloom. How she blooms is up to you.Potential Blockage: The reversed Maiden asks you to look at your dreams and aspirations. Are you acting from a place of genuine love and desire to improve yourself? Or are you resisting because you want things to go your way without a care for others? When we choose to follow our own path, it is not always possible to avoid hurting or saying ‘no’ to those we care for; however, we can say ‘no’ with mindfulness, empathy, and understanding.Be firm, but kind. Be clear when expressing your desires and goals. Take into account the needs and feelings of others, and avoid behaviour that makes you appear childish or selfish. This behaviour will not help others to understand your decisions or respect your choice to walk your own path.33ill. THE YOUTHKeywords: Adventure, New Horizons, Excitement, Independence, Freedom, Rebellion, Impulsiveness, Loyalty, CompromiseKey Phrases:- Quest for adventure- Live in the moment- Action without thought- Defying tradition and conformity- Greater risk, greater reward- Assert your independence- Embrace individuality- A new direction- Freedom from fear and doubts- A time of conflict or turmoil- Communication and compromise- Address desiresMeaning: Sweet-faced and beguiling, the Youth has left the security of home and hearth without a backward glance. He is alone, but confident in the knowledge that a loving and supportive family will be there if he has need of them.On a quest for adventure and discovery, he seeks the excitement of the new and unknown in distant lands. Following whispers and rumour, he takes risks with little thought or care. His choice is to live in the moment. The past is left behind, while thoughts of the future rest only as far as his next journey. Every adventure gives him a greater knowledge of the world and his place in it.Believing himself both immortal and infallible, he often acts spontaneously, using his charm and enthusiasm to win him favour and release him from strife. He rebels against sage advice to use restraint or caution. As far as the Youth is concerned, the greater the risk, the more rewarding the outcome.34The only loyalty he shows is to those companions who journey with him. Those who are loyal to the quest will have his loyalty in return, while those who seek to curb and restrict him will be met with resistance. Those who share his passions and interests are ‘right,’ while those who do not are ‘wrong.’ There are no shades of grey. The Youth sees all in black and white.The Youth also seeks the freedom to find his own answers. Tradition be damned; life is too short to follow in another’s footsteps, and do things their way. The Youth will do things his way without thought for the consequences. His concern is for today. Tomorrow can take care of itself.The Past: When he appears in the past position, the Youth has a transitional meaning and is a combination of the Child and Youth. The Child of old, once happy to share common loves with parents and siblings, finds his interest taken by the new and different. Suddenly, the old loves and passions seem tired and dull, as the desire for the new and exciting burns within him, bringing conflict and disruption to a once harmonious home.The Child who becomes the Youth begins to disconnect from his family and assert his independence and individuality.The Youth may be seen as ungrateful, rebellious, and troublesome by parents or friends who seek to maintain control, and who long for the return of the Child. They do not understand that these changes are a natural and necessary process for a youth to move toward maturity.The ensuing conflict inspires a desire within the Youth to escape, to be free of those who do not understand him and who seek to prevent him from exploring the world outside of the confines of his home.When the Youth appears in the past, he represents a time of conflict and turmoil born of a disconnection within a relationship, a state of mind, or a belief system. The old is giving way to the new.You have a choice - resist change and live with the consequences, or let go and welcome it in. There will still be consequences, but there will also be rewards.The Present: Are you bored with the routine of your life? Do you stare out the window, dreaming of something different - of change and a new direction?35Do you express this need for change only to be met with platitudes - told that if you focus on loving and appreciating what you already have that you will be happy? Or are you reminded of what you might lose if you make a radical change to your life, choose to defy convention, or rebel against tradition? When you voice your need to do something more with your life, do people around you suddenly question their own importance, as if they should be held in higher regard than your own dreams and ambitions?Understand that we are ever evolving and transforming beings. Sometimes we develop new interests because they are meant to steer us in a new direction, to change and transform our lives in every way so that we may grow to reach our fullest potential.Sometimes, these interests create an awareness that we are meant to leave the life we have and explore unexplored realms of possibility and opportunity. The new interests reveal that those who have grown together are now meant to grow apart.If the Youth appears in the present, he represents a necessity to address a desire for change within your life, and asks that you have the courage and determination to make your choice without allowing others to discourage you or steer you in a direction of their choosing. If you do not put your own interests first, the potential for greater unhappiness and conflict will increase. You have dreamed for long enough; now is the time to act, even if it means leaving behind all that is safe and familiar.The Future: The Youth that comes to you in a Future position has more of a passive message and meaning. Here, he speaks of the influence of emotional energy, unconscious thoughts and beliefs, and how they work to manifest the future.The Youth, because he chooses to live in the moment, gives less thought to consequences and future outcomes, and because he lives life free from the burdens of fear and doubt, his choices often give rise to a future that is both productive and creative.How many times have you talked yourself out of doing what you know will make you happy for fear of what might go wrong? How many times have you shied away from a spontaneous moment or impulse that could have manifested in joy and laughter, because you were afraid of the way36others would react?A ‘live in the moment’ approach to life can often result in a happier future, especially if the choices and actions of the present are motivated by pure intentions, positive thoughts, and love.For all his seeming lack of awareness, the Youth moves through life with a lighter step because he does not worry about tomorrow. This does not mean that he lacks depth or is ignorant. He is passionate and willing to commit to a cause that interests him, and he does so without fear. In the same way, he refuses to expend energy or attention on that which holds no interest for him or what might, or might not, eventuate.It could be said that this is the true essence of freedom.Potential Blockage: Unwilling to abide by rules that maintain order and harmony, the Youth rebels against those in positions of authority, and anyone who demands that he moderate his behaviour when it causes hurt to those around him. Regardless of whether his actions are justified or not, the reversed Youth may be lacking in empathy and unwilling to consider the feelings of others, especially when there is a chance for him to pursue his own interests.The reversed Youth refuses to give in, and may be unaware or unwilling to see that he is guilty of selfishness. When censured, he might respond with emotional outbursts, aggression, and impulsive behaviour, and choose to run away.When the Youth appears reversed in your reading, ask yourself if you are running away from a situation that could be resolved with communication and compromise? Are you being overly rigid and narrow-minded, refusing to see your actions from another’s perspective? Running away from conflict does not bring resolution. Neither does being selfish, impulsive, or inflexible.Instead, be open and empathetic. It is not a question of giving up the things that interest you, but one of moderation and temperance. Do not pursue your freedom to such an extreme that you prevent others from having the same freedom.37IV. THE MOTHERKeywords: Unconditional Love, Intimacy, Nurturing, Compassion, Abundance, Growth, Fruitfulness, Acceptance, Fear, Control, OutcomesKey Phrases:- Love without conditions - We are all different- Encourage gifts and talent - Nurture ideas and goals- Emotional intimacy and affection - Voice thoughts and feelings- Be supportive - Forgive past failures- Embrace abundance - Release control of others- Let go of expectations - Emotional manipulationMeaning: Her womb is the void in which new life forms, safe, nurtured, and protected by her body. She is the earthly universe in which a cosmic soul takes on physical form. There is no more sacred or intimate bond than that of mother and child.She is the Mother - nurturer, protector, and creator. She is the very essence of non-sexual intimacy, patience, compassion, unconditional love, and forgiveness - willing to place the needs of her child before her own. Nor is that love reserved only for a child born of her womb, for the highest ideal of the Mother is a woman who extends her unconditional love to all who dwell in the world around her, without question of whether or not that love is deserved. The Mother gives without hesitation or reservation.She is both teacher and guide, encouraging her children to reveal and nurture their talents. In this way, she gifts them with healthy levels of self¬belief, self-esteem, and confidence.The Mother is also symbolic of a fertile and abundant mind - a mind38where ideas take root. The Mother is willing to nurture those ideas and provide what is necessary in order for them to grow and blossom.The Past: The Mother, when she appears in the past position, will take you back to childhood. In the past position, her message will be influenced by the relationship that you had with your own parents, and how it has shaped your perception of self and the world around you. While the Mother is often depicted as a very gender specific archetype, both Mother and Father play a defining role in how strong this aspect of self is within the individual.An intimate close relationship with one’s mother and father often gives rise to an ease and familiarity with intimacy as an adult. Just as important is the relationship between mother and father within the family dynamic. Were they caring and affectionate with each other? Were they supportive of each other? Did they nurture and protect each other? How did they treat each other when they were angry or upset? Did they communicate, or did they withdraw love and affection until one gave into the others demands?If you look closely at their relationship, you will often find a parallel between their relationship and your own, and the expectations that you have of those relationships. Loving, supportive, and nurturing parents will raise a child who is comfortable with displays of affection, and who finds it easy to show care for others. A gentle smile, a kind word, and physical affection are offered without thought or awkwardness. The child of a good relationship finds it much easier to share thoughts and feelings and to give those feelings expression.Conversely, a child raised by parents who were distant and neglectful, or absent, may have difficulty with displays of intimacy or affection. They may find them very uncomfortable, and the idea of revealing their innermost thoughts and feelings is something they simply cannot face because it makes them vulnerable to further rejection.How do you see your parents? This is not a question about whether or not they were good or bad parents, nor is it about assigning blame. It is a hard question, because it requires both honesty and acceptance of a past you cannot change. Your relationship with your parents has played a defining role in shaping you. The presence or absence of a supportive, nurturing, and unconditionally loving figure in your life as a child, and even as an adult,39can have great influence on how you respond and react in a situation when support, nurturing, intimacy, or loving is required.How easy is it for you to show others that you care? Is this an area of weakness that needs to be addressed? Too often we equate intimacy with sexual relationships, but intimacy is so much more than a physical union. To be intimate is to share love, thoughts, affection, and support. It is about giving time and attention to those you love.The ability to love others without condition comes so naturally to some, while for others it is almost impossible. It may even be so impossible that they come to believe unconditional love doesn’t exist, and, as a result, that all love offered to them, and by them, will be conditional. These feelings generally take root in childhood. The child has been shown that love is only given if certain conditions are met, and that if those conditions are not met, then love will be withdrawn.In other cases, a child may have had a very loving and affectionate mother, but a father who lacked a strong Mother aspect. If the father has not shown affection and encouragement - or actively rebuffed and rejected displays of care - then the child may grow to find such displays a source of discomfort and confusion. As adults, they are challenged by the necessity to offer intimacy within a relationship, and this can lead to confrontation and conflict. It is not that they do not care, but that they have never learned how to be intimate with others.Somewhat paradoxically, this same scenario, or one in which the mother was neglectful or absent, can give rise to a child who craves that unconditional love and intimate connection, and will look for it in every relationship they form, only to feel rejected and abandoned when it does not manifest.The Mother is unconditionally loving. This means being understanding, and accepting that people have been raised in different ways, and, therefore, see life through different eyes. Their experiences will make them respond and react in different ways. Be willing to see those differences and accept them.Be the change you wish to see in others. Do not demand or expect that others change, or punish them for not meeting your expectations. Instead, exemplify the attributes and behaviours that you admire most and inspire40others to do the same.When the Mother appears in the past position, ask yourself, do you follow a pattern of withholding love if others fail to meet your expectations? Do you find it very easy to give and display affection, but find your feelings are hurt when others withdraw from you?How strong is your own Mother aspect? Did care, support, and the nurturing of talents, ideas, and goals feature in your family environment? Did your parents offer encouragement and foster a desire to dream and create? Did they take the time to learn what interested you and develop those interests? Or were your ideas and talents ignored?Do you now ignore your own natural talents? Do you refuse to see the worth or value of implementing and nurturing a good idea?The Mother in a past position represents an opportunity to look back at your relationships within your childhood home and determine how they affect your thoughts, feelings, behaviour, and consequently, your choices. Do they influence you in a positive and beneficial way? Or do they give rise to weightier, heavier feelings and thoughts? It is your choice, as an adult, to decide how you allow these relationships to impact your life and behaviour. You have within you the potential to be more - to grow in any direction you choose. Embrace that potential.The Present: The Mother, when she appears in the present position, symbolises potential and abundance. Now is the time to allow ideas to germinate, take root, and grow. Cultivate them, nurture them, and be excited and passionate as you take your ideas from conception to manifestation. Love them and yourself enough to act and follow through, and do it without expectation or condition. Do it without trying to control the outcome.When you do something just because you love what you are doing, there are no failures or disappointments. Instead, there are opportunities to learn and grow.The Future: The Mother sits in waiting, and within her womb new life grows. She is full of love, excitement and anticipation. The Mother, like the majority of mothers, does not care about the colour of her child’s hair or eyes, or whether she will bear a boy or a girl; the only thing of true41importance is that her child is healthy.However, despite all the care taken, all the love felt and shown, and despite all her best efforts, the Mother remains unsure of the outcome. It is an unvoiced and often unacknowledged fear that will not be banished until her baby is born. In the same way, you may invest love and care in a concept or idea, but you will not know the outcome - whether you are going to succeed or fail - until it comes about.It is natural for there to be an element of fear when you invest heart and soul into achieving a goal or completing a project, but do not allow that fear to overshadow all else. Fear is a weed that grows unchecked in many gardens, but, remember, the future is influenced by your past and present state of mind, and the more you allow your fears to grow, the more they will influence the outcome. Voice them and you will be able to see if your fears have substance.When the Mother appears in the future position, she symbolises a need to let go of your fears and to accept the outcome that manifests. If you have done everything you can in order to create a positive outcome, then it is now time to trust that the outcome will be the one you need ... for good or ill.Understand that sometimes the result you desire most is not meant to be, and the one that manifests does so through no fault of your own. The Mother symbolises a need for you to love yourself unconditionally, by both accepting and forgiving failure, and using it as an opportunity to learn, and to become stronger and more compassionate.Potential Blockage: The reversed Mother can signal the presence of an aspect of self - our own self or that of another - that is devouring and cruel and uses psychological or emotional manipulation to instil guilt in her child for not meeting her expectations. When her disappointment is used as a weapon, and a means to control and bind her children to her, the natural process of individualisation may be kept from occurring.Receiving this reversed card asks you to ask if you have fallen into a pattern of using emotional manipulation to control others. Is your hurt or disappointment genuine? Or do you act in a deliberate manner to instil guilt and remorse in order to manipulate people into meeting your expectations42of them?Another aspect of the reversed Mother is evidenced by those who are willing to give their all and everything to others. These people seem consumed by a need to be needed, and feel that it is their place and purpose in life to fix every wrong, and make everyone happy. They get involved because, if they do not, the situation will not be resolved, and leaving a situation unresolved is not something they can tolerate. These people may be perpetually cooking, cleaning, and mothering others, instead of allowing those they mother to learn to be responsible for themselves.Have you involved yourself in a situation that is really none of your concern because you want people around you to be happy? Do you have you a tendency to offer unasked-for advice? Do you often act as peacemaker or intermediary without being asked? Do you live your life constantly doing for others what they are capable of doing? Do you live through others? Do you give up your time to do for them what you should be doing for yourself?The reversed Mother suggests that these things, while done with love, are still aspects of a controlling mother because they can prevent others from standing on their own two feet, resolving their own conflicts, and becoming independent. Moreover, they are tasks performed to the detriment of nurturing self. Often, the very advice given to others is not adhered to by the person giving it, because they are perpetually in service to others, and neglect themselves.If the Mother appears reversed, she symbolises a situation that you need to step away from, or a relationship where you are exerting undue control or influence. Let go of your need to control or to be needed, and ask yourself why you are compelled to behave in this manner. Sit back, put your feet up, and relax. Allow those around you to sort out their own dramas and pick up their own dirty laundry for a change, or they will never learn how, and will always expect it to be done for them.43V. THE FATHERKeywords: Fatherhood, Leadership, Authority, Protection, Responsibility, Guidance, Support, Compassion, ControlKey Phrases:- The centre of power within the family unit- A time for decisive action- A source of strength not fear- What did your father teach you?- Step up and take charge- Guide, instruct, and inspire confidence• Be interested and supportive, not critical- The buck stops with you- Fulfil your obligations- Allow others their autonomy- Share all tasks and responsibilities- Step out of the Stone AgeMeaning: The Father in his ideal form is a strong, confident man, who, while not believing that the world revolves around him, is very much the centre of power within the family unit. He represents the family’s core strength and unity. He is stillness within the storm, someone who is active in his role of provider, protector, teacher, and leader.The Father is a decisive man of action. He teaches not only by instruction, but by example. He is a man of integrity and honesty, someone who keeps his promises, and takes responsibility for his actions.He is the provider, not just of financial security and sustenance, but also of order and discipline. He sets the rules within the family home, and they are not just rules that he sets for others, but rules he follows himself. Those rules are constants that provide safety and peace within the home, while still allowing all within that space to flourish.44He is supportive and encouraging, and also unafraid of play and laughter. He inspires curiosity and creativity in others with his positive influence and interest.He is, above all else, interested and affectionate. He wants to know his children, and shows that he cares. He takes a proactive role in knowing his children’s likes and dislikes, loves and fears, and does all that he can to have his children leave the family home as confident, happy adults.The Past: The Father, when he appears in the past position, will take you back to childhood. In the past position, his message will be influenced by the relationship that you had with your own parents, and how it has shaped your perception of self and the world around you. While the Father is often depicted as a very gender-specific archetype, both Father and Mother play a defining role in how strong this aspect of self is within the individual.Was your father an approachable man who was actively present and interested in your life? Did he express an interest in the lives of his wife and children? Or was he a distant provider who went off to work, and came home to a clean and ordered house, where a hot dinner was waiting and children were seen and not heard?Was your father a loving man who hugged you close, carried you on his shoulders, and bandaged your knee when you fell down? Did he build sandcastles with toy dozers, and share a cup of tea with Teddy? Or was he the stern, distant man who interacted little, offered praise only for accomplishments, and meted out punishment when you disobeyed or broke his rules?How did your father interact with your mother? Did he treat her with respect? Was he supportive and loving, treating her as an equal and as a partner, or was he the head of the household whom all obeyed? In turn, how did your mother respond to his treatment of her?Was your father a source of support and strength or a source of fear?The child of a strong, peaceful, caring father who treats all with respect and fairness, will grow to become an adult who treats those around them with the same fairness, respect, and care.Just as with the Mother card, the Father in the past position asks you to look at your relationship with your parents, as it plays a defining role45in shaping you. If your father was absent from your life, your mother may have served as both mother figure and father figure. There may have been no strong male role model at all, and this will in turn influence your relationships with both men and women.The attitude and behaviour of the father within the family home - the manner in which he speaks about his work, treats his spouse, and expresses his political and religious views - is the child’s first real idea of life outside the safety of the home. The father who comes home angry, complaining about a job that he hates, a boss that he despises, who speaks of God in one breath and condemnation and punishment in another, is going to foster fear of the world outside the family home.Was your father fair and just in disciplining you, or was every mistake or perceived transgression punished? The Mothers love is unconditional, but the Father’s love is earned via accomplishment and achievement. Did you find yourself dreading ‘report card’ time because you knew that a good report would bring a pat on the head and a bad report would bring punishment? The archetypal Father often sees love and respect as one and the same, and if his children do not live up to his standards or meet his expectations, his disappointment is obvious. If he cannot respect, he cannot love.More so, if the father’s unhappiness with life outside of the home extends toward his family, and in turn influence his treatment of his family, his offspring may enter the world with a chip on the shoulder’ attitude. They are afraid of their father, resentful of his domineering behaviour, but unable to express it. Instead, they enter the world with a grievance that is ignored and repressed, and then expressed in their attitudes and behaviour towards others, especially those in a position of authority. They are more inclined to hold grudges and blame others because their father has taught them that others are the source of unhappiness.Conversely, a father who is proactive in his life, who enjoys his work, treats his spouse with care and respect, and generally expresses thoughts and opinions of life outside of the home in a positive manner, will in turn, inspire his children to be curious and interested in the world at large. If he encourages them to speak and to be heard, they will express their thoughts and feelings with confidence. The father who encourages his children to46think for themselves, and to formulate their own opinions, is as wise as he is good.The Father, when he appears in a past position, represents an opportunity to look back at your relationship with your own father and determine how it affects your thoughts, feelings, behaviour, and, consequently, your choices. Does it influence you in a positive and beneficial way, or does it lead to weightier, heavier feelings and thoughts? It is your choice, as an adult, to decide how you allow this relationship to impact your life and behaviour.The Present: When the Father appears in the present position, it symbolises a need to step up, take charge, and lead the way. If you are the head of the household, there are certain responsibilities that come with the position. If your position is one that involves children, it is your responsibility to set a good and positive example. Guide them, instruct them, and inspire confidence within them.This is not the time to burden those in your care or charge with your troubles or children in your care with adult issues. Now is one of those times when you have to carry your burdens alone or share them with someone who is in a real position to help you.If your choice is to delegate, you’ll do best by playing an active role in overseeing progress and making sure everything runs smoothly. The Father card says that you are the teacher and guide, and those in your charge have less experience and understanding. Therefore, understand that if you do choose to delegate, and something goes awry, you are ultimately responsible for the outcome. The buck stops with you.If there are details or information that you need to provide in order to fulfil an obligation or responsibility to others, now is the time to get everything in order.The Future: When the Father appears in the future position, he has a message that relates to control and imposing order.Discipline and structure have their place and purpose. Through the use of both, things get done in a timely manner. However, at times, we may try to control people and circumstances that are beyond our governance. The Father card in this position asks us to differentiate between what is within47our control and that which is not.For instance, you have control over your body. What you do with it, what you eat, whether you choose to exercise, how much or little you sleep or play, these are things you decide.You are also responsible for, and able to control, how you respond and react to a situation. If children are involved, this is an area where control over your emotions and reactions is necessary. How you express your thoughts and feelings in the presence of children can have a great impact on their developing minds and egos. As the adult, be mindful that you are being watched and learned from. Be sure that you are setting an example that you, yourself, would be happy to have emulated.You have control over how you spend your time and with whom you spend your time. You have control over the work you do, the number of hours that you work, and for whom you work. You might tell yourself that you do not, but you do.What you do not have control over is anything that is external to you. You do not have control over other peoples thoughts, feelings, actions, or reactions. So it is important not to attempt to exert control over others. Avoid the impulse to dominate or bully or behave in a dictatorial manner. Allow others their autonomy, and encourage independence. Remember, you are there to support and guide.The Father in the future position cautions against kingship or dicta¬torship. Your role is that of teacher. A teacher will need to use discipline at times, but their role is not one of control and domination. Teach and encourage those in your care, whether they be child or adult, to be curious, questioning, confident, loving, and compassionate. For this to be accomplished, you must accept that they will also offer different opinions, embrace beliefs of their own, and ultimately, follow their own path.Potential Blockage: When the Father appears in the reversed position, it suggests attitudes toward gender roles may need an update. The time when the father was sole lord and master of his domain is long past. Today, that rule is shared. No longer are there set roles for the father and mother within the household. A committed union between two loving people is a partnership in which all responsibilities and duties are shared, and not in a48gender-specific manner.It is just as much the man’s role to keep the house in a clean and ordered state as it is a womans. If you are a man receiving this card reversed, and the dishes need doing or the ironing is piling up, do not look to your partner to do it. Do it yourself! If you are a woman receiving this card reversed, remember, if the tap washers need changing, do not look to your partner to do it. Do it yourself!If you are a parent with children, make sure to teach your daughters how to mow the lawn, change a tap washer, and fix the car. Teach your sons how to cook, wash their clothes, and clean the house. Avoid assigning children their chores according to gender. A womans place is no longer in the kitchen cooking the meal, or dusting and polishing the furniture, and if you believe it is, then it is an outdated notion of which you should rid yourself.The Father reversed represents gender bias and inequality that is founded in outdated, old-fashioned thinking. You are not lord and master; you share rule. You share the responsibility for performing all tasks and duties, not just the ones you enjoy. It is time to put gender bias aside; if you have had a habit of assigning duties and responsibilities on a gender basis, it is time to desist.49Vi. THE CRONEKeywords: Feminine Power, Fearlessness, Authenticity, Individuality, Independence, New Purpose, Freedom, Shadow SelfKey Phrases:- The woman who understands her true nature- Be aware of your choices- Be unafraid to walk your path alone- A life of your own design- Untapped power and potential- A fertile and productive future- A childless state- Be unbowed and unapologetic- Respect and cherish your elders- A direct and forthright approach is needed- Do what’s necessary not what’s expected• It is time to be fierce and fight backMeaning: The Crone symbolises a proud and mature woman, an ageing woman who is no longer influenced by a need to reproduce or parental responsibilities. She may be approaching, or have reached, a stage in her life where her menstrual cycles have slowed or ceased, but she is no longer true to the Crone archetype of old that is often depicted by Western society. The nature of the Crone has evolved with the times. She is the wise woman who is like nature - wild, still, passionate, volatile, calm, peaceful, adaptable and flowing, creative and powerful. She is everything she chooses to be. She is a woman who is aware of her choices, and may well have transitioned from Maiden to Crone without feeling any need or desire to be a Mother.The Crone is unafraid of being alone or of walking her path alone. After centuries of being made an outcast and no longer being seen as having a functional role within society because her childbearing days are over,50the Crone has learned to look after her own needs. She has, by necessity, become a strong and independent individual, who has found new purpose. Her life is full, has meaning and direction, and it is a life of her own design.Tlie Crone is comfortable in her own skin and free of artifice and pretence. She is mature, honest, aware, and wise. She is both understanding and compassionate, but speaks and acts with a directness that some may find intimidating. The Crone can be quick to hug and offer support, but she can also be blunt, and is unafraid to deliver a ‘tough love’ message if she feels it is needed. At times, this can give her the appearance of cruelty and ruthlessness, but while the Crone is not a hard woman, she can be tough and unwilling to embrace other peoples illusions. This is why some will always be quick to vilify the Crone. She can be depicted as a cruel, hard, wicked, and selfish hag, and the very fact that she is both unrepentant and unwilling to be what society expects her to be may make her a target for those who are slaves to society’s dictates, as well as those who impose society’s dictates.But the Crone is also very gentle and kind. She is loving, supportive, and nurturing. Every face she wears is her true face, but the face she wears will be the one that she feels is needed at the time. She is who she needs to be, when she needs to be.This is why the Crone is often portrayed as a woman who is past her prime, wrinkled, and ugly. If she is made to believe that she is useless, she can be controlled. If the Crone becomes aware of her potential and power, she is a force to be reckoned with.The Crone symbolises the emergence of a mature woman who sees herself as being in her prime, with many fertile, productive, and creative years ahead of her. She is a woman who embraces her true power and potential.The Past: The Crone of the past conjures up images of haggard old women with grey hair and wrinkled skin. These images are often used to inspire fear, and at the very least portray an older woman as being without purpose, who is bitter because she is no longer young and pretty. Rarely in modern Western culture and society is the crone celebrated and revered. Instead, she is called ‘hag’ because she is no longer fertile, and so men no longer desire her. Western culture is inherently patriarchal, and, therefore, if the51male population has no need for women who are beyond child-bearing age, society has no purpose or place for them.Another stereotype that is commonly embraced is that of the kindly old woman who dotes on her family and grandchildren. She’s sweet and rosy- cheeked and always there to offer a hug and love. She is the babysitter who is always on call. She spends all of her time in the kitchen, cooking cakes and biscuits, and smells like gingerbread. She is the essence of love and familial servitude.So the Crone is either feared or loved. In the role of hag, she inspires revulsion. In the role of grandmother, she inspires love and comfort. But ask yourself if the grandmother is acting from a place of love or fear. The loving grandmother may also act from a need to feel, and to be seen, as being of use, lest she too be forgotten and cast out.The Crone is someone who faces rejection on a daily basis simply because she is an older woman. She is feared, or she is taught to be afraid. Why? Because to be a woman is to create, and once a woman no longer focuses her energy on creating life, and nurturing life, she has all that inner power, strength, and energy to focus upon her passions.She has all that untapped power and potential, and if she comes to understand just how much power she has, the Crone is unstoppable. Her energy and focus is no longer divided. Given will and good reason, just think what all the Crones of this world could accomplish if they put their minds, hearts, and hands to creating.The Crones fertility does not cease once she stops menstruating. It increases. She is even more fertile in her Crone years because her flow has ceased, leaving vital energy for other works.We are offered stereotypes and taught to believe that women beyond a certain age are of lesser value. We reject them. We cast them out, because if we honour them, and respect them, our present patriarchal society would be no more.When the Crone appears in the past position, it represents the need to reject stereotypes and pigeon-holing people based on their age or appearance. Ageism is a form of oppression that, regardless of gender, is a mark of great disrespect. No persons worth should be measured by their youth and appearance instead of their maturity and experience.52The Present: 'The Crone in the present position represents a woman or man of any age whose focus has shifted beyond the role of parenthood. The Crone might be a woman whose menstrual cycles have ceased; but the Crone might also be a woman or a man who could reproduce if they chose to, but who has, instead, made a conscious and deliberate choice not to have or bear children, and instead focus on a career or personal interests. It is time for outdated perception to change; the Crone is not just a woman of a particular age, but a woman or a man of a particular state of mind and being, who has a high level of awareness and maturity, who may feel no inclination to have or raise children.Women and men now have more choice available to them; neither gender has to have a partner or children in order to feel fulfilled or complete. The time has long passed since it was necessary for humanity to reproduce in order to preserve or increase the numbers within a tribe. Our tribes have gone far beyond this. In fact, some would say that it is a wiser person who chooses not to reproduce, because they think of the planet and its dwindling resources and not of themselves.Crone by choice, or Crone by gender or nature, the Crone is a person who is not influenced by reproductive urges or the issues younger women and men in our society face. They see beyond body image, gender, sexuality, age, tribe, and family and societal expectations. The Crone symbolises a wise and mature person who chooses to be free and independent. They create a life and make their choices based upon their needs and desires, not the needs and desires of their family, partner, children or society. They are also unbowed and unapologetic. Whether they choose to be partnered with another, single, or childless, or a grandparent who says ‘no’ to babysitting duties because they have something else they would prefer to be doing, they do not believe that their choices are selfish. Crone-types are just as capable of selflessness as any other, but they do often have different priorities to those who have or want children.When the Crone appears in the present, she represents freedom of choice and freedom to be. You only have one life to live, so it is important to live it, and that means putting your priorities first. You do not have to embrace traditions and beliefs that are archaic and restrictive. You do not have to do as you are told or what is expected of you. You do not have to allow others53to determine your future or decide whether you have a purpose. Do not allow your age, your appearance, your gender, or your sexuality to become something that others use to define, restrict, or limit you.You are who you choose to be.The Future: When the Crone appears in the future position, it symbolises the approach and effect of this state of being on your life in the future. Whether it be a stage of life that you move toward or need to embody, or the influence someone who is Crone in nature will have in your life, the Crone is coming. Whichever it may be, welcome her with open arms, rather than trying to ignore or resist her. Else, you might find yourself being whacked upside the head with loving efficiency.She represents the need to take a direct and forthright approach, especially when it comes to making future plans. Be brave and determined. Do what is necessary, not what is expected.Potential Blockage: When the Crone appears in the reversed position, she symbolises a need to get in touch with your shadow self. It is time to draw on the strength of your shadow and get angry - not a rash and reactive anger, but a cold, defiant, and determined anger. Someone may need to be told to take a long walk off a short pier - because if you do not tell them, they are going to continue to expect you to be meek and compliant. They may want you to feel unimportant. They may want you to believe you have no purpose. They may want you to question and doubt yourself. They may want you to do as you are told. They may want you to stay in the nice, brown, boring box they believe to be your perfect fit. Regardless of their reasons, they want you to remain in a doubtful and uncertain state of mind because it gives them more power to control you and disempower you.So it is now time for you to say ‘no.’ It is time for you to prove them wrong by doing everything they tell you that you cannot, or should not, or are unable to do.It is time to be fierce. It is time to fight back. Do not be afraid. Do not give up. The Crone reversed symbolises a need to go to war if necessary to prove your worth, not to them, but to yourself.54VII. THE SAGEKeywords: Sharing, Communication, Knowledge, Information, Culture, Tradition, Advice, ManipulationKey Phrases:- Be the storyteller- Communicate your thoughts and feelings- Know your audience- Devote time to research and investigation- Learn the traditions and customs of others- Know your ancestors and heritage- Sage advice both given and received- There is no good time to give unsolicited advice- Question your ‘traditional’ reactions and responses- Do not speak so much that you forget to listen- Be wary of the smooth talker- Do not embellish the truthMeaning: The Sage in his glory is an enthralling character. He is the sagacious older man, one who is entertaining, expressive, knowledgeable, informative and just a little mystical and wizard-like. He is a perceptive man, a storyteller at heart, who can read and move his audience with skill and ease.He’s also just a little bit of a magician and a master communicator, and when the Sage card appears in your reading, it represents the sharing of knowledge and communication.Philosophy, mythology, religion, culture, politics, history, science... there’s not much that the Sage does not love to learn about. He loves55knowledge. He loves to understand the how and why of everything, and will develop his knowledge to the highest level he can achieve. Knowledge is his one true passion, and at this stage of his life, sharing his knowledge - being the storyteller - is something that brings him great joy.He is, in essence, the voice of society and civilisation, but with an unassuming flair for the dramatic. However, as unassuming as he can be, he is a philosopher and orator who enjoys being the centre of attention. He could be the perfect professor whose students lean in, listening intently to every word. He could also be the charismatic politician who charms his constituents and wins by a landslide. If the Sage has a message that he feels is important, he will find a way and means to deliver it to his target audience, and that audience will hang on every word.He has a particular affinity for young people, and you will often find him surrounded at gatherings, talking, debating, and sharing his wisdom and knowledge. He takes delight in the young and will often place himself in the role of mentor to students.The Sage is also a very deep thinker, who sometimes feels a need to withdraw from the world so that he can devote time to research and investigation. He does not learn for learning’s sake, but because he has a driving need to understand the universe, natural world, and humanity. His knowledge brings him clarity and enables him to be discerning.The Past: When the Sage appears in the past position, he represents tradition, history, culture, and modern life. There are many old traditions, rituals, and customs that can create a sense of connection between the past and our ancestors, and the present. Are you aware of customs that have been handed down from one generation to the next that reinforce that connection? If so, honour them. Share them. Embrace them. Enjoy the fellowship they offer.All too often in the present, we are afraid to embrace our cultural heritage. It can marginalise and isolate. It is easier to blend in, especially if you are a stranger in a strange land. It is easier to become a part of the community if you learn the language and culture. This is a wonderful and very respectful thing to do, too, but it should not be done at the expense of your own traditions, culture, and history. It is important to honour your cultural heritage and be proud of it. For all that some rituals and traditions56need to fade, because they are founded in a desire to control and subjugate, there are others that are beautiful, celebrate life and beauty, and in turn, bring great peace and connection.Know the language of your elders. Know their history and culture. It is where you come from.It is just as important to celebrate the culture of the people within your country and community. Knowing about their culture, if it is different to your own, creates understanding, and this, in turn, also fosters connection. Taking the time to know and understand another persons traditions, language, and way of life is a mark of respect, and one that will often inspire respect in return. It is a way of building bridges that bring different cultures together.The Sage in the past represents the wisdom that comes from knowing and respecting past traditions and culture. In a world that is growing smaller, and one that has many countries with a populace of mixed origin, it is important to know your roots and to understand the diverse traditions of those who share your world. Too often, we fear what is different, and all too often we forget that while we are of many different cultures, and from many different lands, we are all of one race. We are all human.Vie Present: When the Sage appears in the present position, it represents sage advice both given and received, and the importance of knowing when to offer it, and knowing when to heed it.We all embrace tradition in our lives. Our habits can, and often do, take on the form of traditional behaviour. Tradition gives us constancy and foundation, but it can also build walls that we lock ourselves behind.Have you ever found yourself doing something - eating a particular food, using a particular turn of phrase or mannerism, or repeating a pattern of behaviour - because you have always done it, and you do it because it was something that your parents do, and they in turn do it because their parents did it?These are traditions that are so ingrained that we are not aware of them on a conscious level.There are times when these traditions can be of benefit, as they serve to unite and bring families closer. They are a reflection of who we are, our57upbringing, our likes, our dislikes, and so on. There also are times when these traditions can impede our growth, our learning, and evolution, because we have taken on the prejudices and bad habits of our family line.Do you always have to have the last word in any discussion, whether it be a happy natter or a heated debate? Is this behaviour you learned from your parents, and they from theirs? Do you expect your partner or child to perform certain tasks and duties because you were expected to do them as a child, or your parents each expected the other to fulfil them?Have you repeated the same experience so many times that you now have a traditional reaction and response?If so, ask yourself, is it a tradition that you want others to learn and emulate? Or do you set an example to others of the type of person they do not want to be, or be involved with, because your traditional reactions and behaviour bring unhappiness into your life and space?When we have been in someone’s life for a period of time, we begin to see the little personal traditions those around us embrace. There are times when we are inspired to offer sage advice and to share what we have learned. But the act of sharing your knowledge in the form of advice, whether it be accurate or flawed, has the potential to do both great good and great harm, and sometimes in equal measure. What if the person in question is not yet ready to embrace the awareness being offered? What if the awareness offered only serves to make them embrace even more harmful behaviour? How do you know if the time is right to offer sage advice that shines a light on traditional behaviour that is not serving?The simple truth is that there is no good time. You can only offer the advice with the awareness that doing so may have consequences that you do not desire or anticipate. When you offer advice to another that highlights behaviour that you believe does them harm and needs to change, you must do so knowing that if the person is not ready for the knowledge you could also be ending your relationship with them.When it comes to receiving the sage advice, the Sage card in the present symbolises a need to listen with a modicum of detachment. Sometimes the Sage is unskilled and clumsy, and other times they are a little too cutting and precise. Either way, you are being asked to avoid overreacting, and not to interpret loving advice and insight as a personal attack.58Sometimes, others see things that we fail to see, and because they love us, and want us to be happy, they will offer their observations and highlight behaviours that we have embraced our entire lives because they are learned family behaviours. When the behaviour is that deeply ingrained, it may feel like an attack on our very being when somebody suggests that our behaviour may be doing us harm.'The Sage asks that you at least be open to the advice and consider whether the person offering it might be correct. If the advice is offered by someone who loves you, why would their motives be suspect?Allow their words to be the catalyst that makes you wiser and more self-aware, and inspires a change that benefits you. Try not to let anger or hurt close your mind and heart. It is wise advice that is offered; however, as always, it is your choice whether you heed it or not.The Sage in the present asks that you, at the very least, be open to the awareness that you may be embracing traditional and cultural beliefs and behaviour, passed down from one generation to the next, that do not serve you well in the present.The Future: Knowledge, in all its forms, aids the decision-making process; it makes our choices clearer.Do you have faith in the ability of humanity to continue to grow and learn? If we look back at the past, we can see that we have grown as a race. Outdated and false beliefs have been cast aside, as human understanding increases, and our knowledge grows.However, we must also accept that much of what we know now will be deemed inaccurate or false in the future. That is the way of knowledge; it evolves and changes as we do. Much of what we have now in the present was once believed to be improbable or impossible in the past. All of our technological advancements were once the stuff of fantasy and imagination.We, as a race, continue to grow and evolve because people challenge, question, and defy those who have told them that their actions are foolish or flawed. They have studied, researched, investigated, debunked, and invented, and, in doing so, have moved us to the knowledge we have at this point in time.In two hundred years, will people look back and shake their heads over59our barbarism and ignorance, or will they see the history that we create in a positive light? We, in the present, have so much to be proud of, but we have just as much that we should be ashamed of.What stories will the Sages of the future tell of us? Will they tell a tale that will make others weep over the traditions and cultures that have been lost to political correctness, globalisation, and multiculturalism? Will they scorn us because we have created a damaged and polluted world that is made hostile to human growth and development? Will they look back with pride, or will the Sages of the future be silenced because, we of the present, sowed the seeds of our destruction?The Sages of every generation speak of humanity’s history and how it shapes our present and future. In the future, will they continue to rejoice in our ability to learn and evolve and adapt? Or will they be too busy rebelling against the limits and restrictions we have imposed upon ourselves in the present in order to create a normal, compliant constancy, where chaos is no longer the natural state? Will the future be a place where everyone is the same, and those who are not are made the same by pharmacological means - a place where thought and knowledge and the information shared are controlled even more so than they are now?When the Sage appears in the future position, he represents the importance of learning and cherishing the knowledge of your family line and the history of your people. If you do not understand, ask. If you do not know, learn. If you do know, share. Celebrate the role of the Sage and offer your knowledge, tell your stories for no other reason except that knowing where we come from, and what we have endured, improves us and enables us to live a mindful, aware life that creates a better future for all.He also represents living in a manner that you know will make your grandchildren, and their grandchildren, look back with pride.Potential Blockage: There is, however, a flipside to the Sage. He can be just a little absentminded, and also appear to be self-absorbed. He loves to speak so much that sometimes he fails to listen. Is this you? As well intentioned as you might be in sharing your knowledge, could there be a chance that you are not listening to something that you really need to hear?The Sage reversed is also symbolic of a smooth talker with the gift of the60gab. He can, at times, say what he knows people want to hear, as opposed to what needs to be said. He represents someone who is a bit of a Pied Piper. Watch out for this person in your life, because they can be quite manipulative, and you could find yourself wandering off your own path and following theirs, instead.In the reverse position, the Sage is also somebody who hates being wrong. He prides himself on offering accurate information, so if he has been misled, and then makes the mistake of offering inaccurate information, the Sage can become quite defensive. He will resent being questioned, challenged, or criticised. Instead of apologising, he may become argumentative, and do everything to convince others that he is correct, because he is too proud to admit that he could be wrong, or that an offered alternate point of view could also be correct.He can also be a little haughty and arrogant if people question his knowledge or offer a differing opinion. He takes such pride in being correct, that when an alternate perspective or contradictory theory is offered, he can become querulous and bombastic. For a very open-minded and questioning person, there are times when the Sage can be exceptionally close-minded and dogmatic. He likes to be right - sometimes for all the wrong reasons.When the Sage appears reversed, he cautions against arrogance and prideful behaviour in the face of criticism. You do not always have to be right, nor do you have to win every argument. Sometimes, it is far easier, and reflects better upon you, to admit to that your facts or perspective might be a little skewed. Do not fall into the trap of embellishing and twisting information so that you can be seen in a positive light. Two wrongs do not make a right.61VIII. DEATH/REBIRTHKeywords: Endings, Beginnings, Cycles, Transformation, Transmutation, Change, GrowthKey Phrases:- Let go of the past- The future is unknowable- Change is unavoidable- There is no going back- Allow yourself to mourn- Death/Rebirth is a gradual process- Shed your skin- The dark night of the soul- Allow innocence to be reborn- Focus on the short-term future- A change in beliefs, attitude or behaviourMeaning: The Death/Rebirth card symbolises cycles and change. Death/ Rebirth is the death of the old and the birthing of the new. It is time to let go of the past and turn to face a new and unknown future with the awareness that there is no going back. It is time to begin again, sometimes with nothing but memories, and at other times with everything external unchanged, but with your mind so altered that everything seems different, strange, and unfamiliar. It is a time to pass from one stage or state of being to another - and to be transformed so completely that the person undergoing the change no longer recognises themselves. They are the caterpillar that has become a butterfly. An irreversible process of transmutation is complete. The person they were is forever gone, and they have been reborn. Life as they know it has changed.Change can inspire many little painless deaths and sometimes great deaths born of intense loss that must be mourned before we can face the future with excitement and anticipation once more. The loss of a spouse or62family member, the end of a long-term relationship or career, retirement, and illness are just a few experiences that can bring about a death and rebirth process.Ours is a perpetual journey of undoing, being, and becoming.The death preceding rebirth can be quick and sudden, or slow and painful. In the process of dying, everything in life revolves around the death ... the pain, the suffering, the anguish, the loss, the guilt, the anger, and the fear. The pain can be so real it is debilitating. Ute fear can be so paralysing that it halts all growth and has one withdrawing from life itself. We can cycle around, analysing, questioning, preventing our wounds from healing, refusing to accept that life has changed, and there is nothing that can be done to restore it to what it was. That stage of life is over. There are only two choices - remain in limbo, or accept reality, surrender to death, and be reborn.The rebirth process can also be problematic. It is not an instant process. Sometimes, before we can soar, we must also learn how to fly all over again. Yes, our outlook can be positive, but the future is still unknown. Our beliefs have changed. Our perception and understanding of the world around us have changed. Our roles and purpose have changed. Our lives, and state of mind, and being are not as they were. We know what we are capable of, but first we must learn and adapt to the changes that led to the little death in the first place.The Death/Rebirth card is all about renewal, regeneration, and new beginnings. Like the seasons, we are bound by a cycle of life, death, and rebirth. Like the planet we dwell upon, we experience seasons and stages - spring, summer, autumn, and winter.Spring is a time of new growth, summer a time of fruition, autumn a time of letting go and dying, and winter a time of dormancy and regeneration. Autumn and winter can inspire feelings of loss and fear. We fear death and change because we do not know what comes after; but the truth is that we do know - but we are so accustomed to life as it now, that the idea of anything different creates resistance. There is, however, no halting change, and just as we know and trust that spring will follow winter, we can know and trust that after death we will be reborn.Death is just a gateway to a new reality, a new stage of your life journey,63while rebirth is symbolic of an evolving and expanding consciousness.The Past: Change comes upon us. We grow. Our lives change. Our bodies change. Our minds change. Our beliefs change. Our goals change. We transform. Unfortunately, we often fight change with every breath and fibre of our being, holding on to the past in a fearful manner that restricts our growth, and fills our life with suffering instead of ease. We become hoarders who refuse to throw away anything because one day we might use it, even though it is broken.When the Death/Rebirth card appears in the past, it is urging us, like a snake, to shed our skin, to let go of past experiences, outdated beliefs, bad habits, unrealistic expectations, and false perceptions - because we have grown and changed, and our past beliefs no longer represent us accurately. Just like the snake with its eye scales turned milky white, the things we hold onto can blind us to the truth, and prevent us from seeing those changes clearly. Rather than accept the results of change, we may instead choose to deny the changes because they bring confusion and fear, and have us feeling vulnerable and defensive. Snakes, when they prepare to shed their skin, are inclined to strike defensively because they feel vulnerable and unsafe. Are you doing the same?Stop resisting. Allow the old skin that confines and restricts to crack and peel away. Shed the old and see how much you have grown and how truly beautiful you have become.The Present: When the Death/Rebirth card appears in the present, it represents a moment of dawning awareness - an epiphany - when you realise you want a different life to the one you are living, your beliefs have changed in a radical way, or you do not really like the person you are or are on a path to becoming. It is a sudden change of mind that transforms who you are in a very short span of time - sometimes instantly.Have you ever experienced a moment when you have seen yourself reflected in the words and actions of another person and find yourself suddenly wanting to be a better person? It is not a judgement of the other person, but a simple awareness that you are not presenting yourself in a manner that is in alignment with your core values. It is a light-switch64moment, when you change from one state of being to another in a heartbeat. It is time for a new beginning - a change in beliefs, attitude, or behaviour. Letting go in these moments is the easy part, but to those around you, the changes that have gone on within you are not obvious until they are acted upon. Sometimes that involves making real changes in your life - changing your lifestyle and behaviour, your career, your relationships; sometimes you even have to change the way you speak because your new state of mind and beliefs are in conflict with the manner in which you express yourself and communicate with others. Maybe you use words that suggest a lack, or restrictive or limiting beliefs, and you are so used to using them that embracing positive terms feels alien and awkward to begin with. Keep going. Continue to be mindful of your negative dialogue and change it accordingly.Remember also to be kind to yourself. A sudden change of mind needs time to filter through and manifest in your behaviour, especially if the change is one that also ends long-term patterns of behaviour. The Death/ Rebirth card signifies that awareness is key. For the time being, actions will speak so much louder than words. Do not tell everyone that you have changed. Instead, be the change.The Future: The future can be terrifying for someone who has faced a sudden loss or change in their life. Changes of an extreme and final nature can destroy future goals, hopes, and plans in an instant. All at once, everything you dreamed of accomplishing suddenly seems impossible. Sometimes a sudden loss or change in the present brings with it the realisation that your goals are no longer realistic. A loss in the present can destroy your future. Everything you have, and everything you have strived for, is no longer.When the Death/Rebirth card appears in the future position, it is asking you to stop and breathe. Now is not the time to worry about the long-term future. You need to focus on a future that is more immediate - the coming days and weeks ahead. Do not allow your fear of a now-changed future to trick you into believing that your goals are unattainable. They could still be realised, but you might have to change your plans. You might rethink. You might have to wait a little longer.Give yourself time to adjust to the changes around you before you make65any long-term decisions. Do not panic. Focus, for now, on the short-term future. The rest will become clearer once your emotional and mental state has settled, and it will not settle if you are worrying about a possible future that you might not even want when you have stopped grieving and have been reborn.Potential Blockage: When life changes suddenly, we can be forced by circumstances to stop and take a reality check. When the Death/Rebirth card appears reversed, it is time to take a long, hard look at your life, and understand that it is time to let go. You can no longer live in a state of limbo. It is time to consider what is important, and what is not. It is time to end the dying process and be reborn.Sometimes, when the change is unwelcome or unexpected, the last thing you want to do is let go. It is so very hard. All you want to do is scream, fight, and do everything in your power to prevent your world from crumbling around you. All you want is to restore normality. All you want is the life that you had.But that life is gone.You might want to lay blame, deny responsibility, and believe that you can continue on as you were, just by doing what you’ve always done. You try to hold on to what was as if it were a life preserver, but you do not want to see that the life preserver is actually a cement block that will drag you down into the murky depths if you do not let go. You fight and struggle, and continue to hold on to the illusion, telling yourself that you cannot let go because to do so will bring the end you do not want or welcome. The future is unknown and terrifying. Everything has changed.It is the dark night of the soul, and that night can span days, weeks, months, even years, but it must eventually come to an end.The process of dying and being reborn leaves you feeling exposed and vulnerable. It can make you reactive and defensive. You do not want to be hurt, but you are, and so you may go on the offensive to make yourself appear stronger and more competent in the midst of the storm. You have discovered the impermanent, fragile nature of life, and you are afraid. You might find yourself questioning everything, filled with doubts, uncertain of who you are, your purpose and reason for being. You may even question66your very worth.It is okay to feel as you do, but the Death/Rebirth card reversed comes to let you know that it is time to let go of your attachment to what was, what you hoped for, and what will no longer be - that it is time to accept what is and start living again.The Death/Rebirth card in the reversed position asks that you let go and allow innocence to be reborn.IX. KNOWLEDGEKeywords: Knowledge, Skills, Understanding, Training, Education, and Practical ExperienceKey Phrases:- We exist to learn, as we learn to exist- Knowledge is power- Has your past education served you?- Do not limit your potential for learning- A time of new study and learning- An opportunity to learn about people and the world- Surround yourself with books and information- Does bias and unfounded prejudice close you to new knowledge?- Improve upon the knowledge that you have- Where is your knowledge taking you?- Does what you are learning now serve a practical purpose?- Create a better future by continuing your studiesMeaning: The Knowledge card represents the first of eight primary reasons for being - the acquisition of knowledge. We, in our physical forms, exist to learn, as we learn to exist. Knowledge is power, and without it, we are powerless. It is knowledge that enables you to earn a living. It is knowledge that enables you to cook your meals. It is knowledge that enables you to treat a wound so that you can prevent infection. It is knowledge that enables you to move through your day, and live your life. Without knowledge, and the ability to acquire it, humanity would not be the evolved species that it is.The Past: The Knowledge card, when it addresses the past, is referring to our past education and its influence on our present. What you know has68guided every choice you have made. It has shaped your journey, and created your present.When you look at your past education, do you see that it has served you well? Or is your knowledge outdated and limiting your progress because it is no longer accurate? Times change, information and facts change as new information comes to light and more research and study is done. Do you find yourself in a position where your knowledge and what you believe you know are no longer factual? Be sure not to limit your potential by holding on to knowledge that no longer serves you in the present.As you ask yourself these questions, be sure to consider not only those areas of knowledge you have acquired through study and learning, but also the knowledge you have acquired via your personal interactions with others. What lessons have your experiences with others offered you? Retain the knowledge that helps you move forward, and release the knowledge that restricts and limits you and holds you back.The Present: When the Knowledge card appears in your present, it symbolises a time of new study and learning. You are being invited to increase your knowledge or skill set. It is time to enrol in a new course; to take on a new role at work, in order to advance your skills; or to take a talent that you have, and apply it to a skill that allows you to draw on that talent.There may also be an opportunity to learn more about people, and the world around you. Seek out the elders who can teach you about nature and humanity, and humanity’s place and purpose in nature, as well as more traditional means of educationSurround yourself with books and information. Even if a source is unfamiliar or outlandish to you, it may still serve the purpose of offering you information that you did not possess - information that, in turn, both teaches you and benefits you in some way.Now is the time to build upon the knowledge that you already have. Go back to school; go out into the world and ask questions. Do not take anything for granted. Research, investigate, and study all that inspires your curiosity and all that does not. You might discover that an unfounded bias or prejudice has closed your mind to knowledge that can ultimately set you free. It is time to crack that mind, and the books, open.69The Future: The Knowledge card in a future position asks that you look to where your knowledge is taking you. Is what you are learning in the present something that you will use in your future? Will it take you toward a future that empowers? Or are you studying to become something that you do not really want to be? If you want to be an artist, learn how to paint, and research career options in the field. If you want to be a lawyer, study law. Do not study law if you really want to be an artist. Do not study art if you really want to be a lawyer.Look at your strengths and weaknesses honestly. Look at your goals and objectives and determine if they are your goals and objectives. Look at what inspires you and stirs your passions. What is it that you really want to learn and do? Research practical applications that will put both strengths and weaknesses to good use, and that will harness your desires, passion, and interest. Do not do what others expect you to do. Set the tone of your future by studying a course or career path that will bring you enjoyment instead of drudgery.Yes, we must all be realistic at times. We all have financial responsibilities that must be met. However, even if you must take on employment in a role that you do not really enjoy because others expect it, or it is necessary, do not allow it to become a cage. Create a better future by continuing your education. Free yourself through learning and increasing your skill set.Potential Blockage: The Knowledge card reversed represents learning gone awry. It is knowledge that is imposed, that is not factual or accurate. This is knowledge that indoctrinates; it is knowledge that does not empower, but instead subjugates and imprisons.This knowledge is founded in religion, culture, and traditions that no longer have a place in our modern world.Are you impeding your own development by blindly following what you’ve been told to believe?Look to what you have been taught by others and question it. There are traditions that honour, and traditions that dishonour. There is knowledge that impedes and restricts, and knowledge that sets you free and empowers. The Knowledge card reversed represents the necessity of learning the difference and having the courage to defy tradition and relegate old paradigms to the past.70X. WISDOMKeywords: Knowledge, Understanding, Awareness, Self-Knowledge, Illumination, Introspection, Withdrawal, Insight, Common SenseKey Phrases:- You are here to become wise- Knowledge does not make you wise- Wisdom is learning from ones mistakes- Apply knowledge, logic, and common sense- Learn from more than just books- Seek out your elders- Time to break a cycle- Wisdom is understanding- Wisdom is loving the whole- Know and love your shadow- You have unlimited potential- The road ahead leads to many destinationsMeaning: The second of the eight primary reasons for being is to acquire wisdom. While a person can have great knowledge, if they have no understanding, that knowledge will not make them wise. An individual may possess a great capability to retain facts and information, but lack the ability to truly process what they’ve learned. Some say wisdom cannot be learned from a book. It is something that is learned through experience. True wisdom is born of understanding our experiences.Wisdom stems from learning from ones successes and mistakes, one’s trials and adventures, one’s gains and losses. Wisdom is born of awareness and discernment that allows you to judge the best course of action. In most situations, wisdom is the application of knowledge, logic, and common sense.Wisdom is the synthesis of external information acquired via personal71experiences and learning. It comes from using logic, emotion, and intuition to analyse and understand, to discern the truth, to grow in awareness, and then use that knowledge to find our place and purpose within the universe, and to live a good and productive life.The Past: When the Wisdom card appears in the past position, it suggests that it is time to learn from more than just books. Seek out the elder wise ones, and skilled masters in your family or community. If they are willing, allow them to mentor you. Observe. Watch them work. Ask them about their lives, their beliefs. Listen to what they impart. Do not discredit or devalue their knowledge. They have lived a lifetime of experiences. They have made countless mistakes. They have fallen down and have struggled to get back up. They have feared and loved. They have lost. They have survived. With every experience, they have learned.Your elders have been looking at their options, and making decisions for longer than you have been alive. They have become adept at choosing the right path for themselves, and what they can impart may just help you learn to do the same.When the Wisdom card appears in the past position in your reading, it may also signify a need to look back and learn from past mistakes. You might be reliving the same experience over and over again because you have not yet learned the lesson being offered. It is time to break the cycle.The Present: When the Wisdom card appears in the present position, it is reminding you to look beyond your personal scope, beyond your current opinions. You may have been conditioned to believe in dichotomies; you may have been conditioned to define, label, and judge. You may have been conditioned to think, behave, and be a certain way, but a wise person looks within and sees beyond their conditioning, beyond their opinions, to the truth.To do so, they have peeled away the layers of familial and societal indoctrination, fears that have no foundation, insecurity, and doubt, and have revealed a person who understands, loves, and accepts the pure and whole nature of the psyche that remains. The wise person does not question whether they are good or bad, but accepts that they are human, and that72humans are multifaceted beings who cannot be, nor should be, defined or quantified in a limiting manner.A wise person realises that a good person who does good deeds is still capable of bad acts, and that a bad person who does bad deeds is capable of doing good. It is wise to understand that the very acts you condemn or revere might result in consequences that are vastly different to those you expected: good intentions and good deeds may give rise to catastrophe, while bad intentions and bad deeds may give rise to change that brings nothing but good.A wise person knows that even if they were to possess all of the combined knowledge of man, that what they know would be equal to a single star in an ever-expanding universe full of an infinite number of stars.A wise person knows not to define or limit, because humanity is full of limitless possibilities. We are constantly evolving and therefore unknowable. We are a part of the Great Mystery, and limited only by our own narrow perception and understanding of what was, what is, and what might be.When the Wisdom card appears in your present, it says there is a beautiful wisdom in accepting that you do not have all of the answers, and that your opinion and beliefs - what you believe to be truths - are sometimes unimportant in the grand scheme of things. There are things you might know, and things you need to know, but there are also things that are not for you to know, and speculation will gain you nothing but lost time. The Wisdom card in the present represents a beautiful paradox, a need to accept that you are both wise, and ignorant. Your wisdom is your truth, but it is only your truth. Your truth is not absolute.The Future: A wise person looks at their choices and actions in the present, and understands their influence, and impact upon the future. They understand that every choice they make and act upon will have consequences, and so they think before they act - so that when they act, they are more confident about what the future may bring.When the Wisdom card appears in a future position, it asks that you be wise and take a moment, or several, to consider the consequences of your thoughts and actions. Be mindful. Be very sure that what you desire is in alignment with who you are. Take this moment as an opportunity to73withdraw. Look within, and shine a light upon your true desires, goals, and objectives. Contemplate all the possible futures that may come to be, not just the one you want. Embrace a larger, broader perspective. Look at the bigger picture.See your truth.A wise person will look to the past and how it has unfolded and then look to the future to see how it may too unfold and the potential possibilities. They do so because the path ahead does not just lead to one destination but many, and, with this in mind, they can prepare for any eventuality.Potential Blockage: We all have a side to our nature that is not pretty or kind, depending on one’s perspective and point of view. We are all guilty of judging others, of being critical, of being selfish, and putting our own needs before the needs of others. We all possess the ability to be unkind, intolerant, and close-minded. We have all had moments when we have been both dogmatic and bombastic.The Wisdom card, in reverse, asks you to accept these moments, and understand their necessity, or the loving necessity of the shadowy aspects of your nature. Otherwise, you will only see part of the lesson being offered. You will see minor details instead of the whole, and the whole truth is that if you stand in the light, you will cast a shadow. Without this recognition, you will find the journey toward wisdom a long and arduous one.Therefore, look to this reversal as presenting you with the opportunity to look within and question what you fear, hate, or condemn in others - and deny or condemn within yourself. The darker aspects of your nature can often be your greatest teachers, and while the truths revealed may sometimes be harsh and uncomfortable, they bring with them the power to heal and empower. Use this time to get to know those aspects of your nature that you may pretend not to have noticed and see them in the light. Know them. Learn from them. See them change and become beautiful as your perspective shifts. They are all a part of the divine and human being that is you.74XI. HEALINGKeywords: Healing, Release, Purification, Forgiveness, Transformation, InfectionKey Phrases:- To be human is to be wounded- A time to connect body, mind, spirit, and soul- Let go of definitions and labels- Nurture passions and seek pleasure- Authenticity, honesty, and laughter- Find the source of dis-ease and distress- You need to forgive- Do what’s necessary to increase wellbeing- Do not dwell on the unchangeable past- Shift your attention- Do not allow your pain to hurt others- Seek treatment. Do not be afraidMeaning: The Healing card illustrates our third reason for being; however, it covers healing on several levels, and does not necessarily suggest or imply that you are wounded or in need of healing - at least not on a conscious level. A happy, safe, and peaceful life does not always accord us with perfect health and wellbeing. Every person is vulnerable to dis-ease, whether it manifests in physical, mental, or emotional stress, or as a feeling of emptiness and longing that is born of spiritual wounds.Humans are a part of hierarchical race. We have a social order, with the elite and wealthy at the top, and the uneducated and poor at the bottom. We are a species that is driven to win, with each of us striving to do better, to be better than the generation that came before. Those at the top want to stay there, and those at the bottom want to reach the top. We are goal-oriented,75and believe that success moves us forward, and failure sets us back. We are on a perpetual quest to improve, whether it be our social standing, quality of life, or a simple desire to be a better person. We must be better. We must do better.But what is ‘better’? In our quest for betterment are we making ourselves ill?In the simplest terms, we often see success and failure in the same light as we do life and death. To succeed is to live. To fail is to die - or worse still, to descend into poverty, mediocrity, and obscurity.We become fixated on being the best, succeeding at all we do, and yet we may still fail to thrive. We may find we are not happy. We may find we are not healthy. Sometimes we find that even when we do accomplish our goals, and are rewarded with wealth and prosperity, we are not satisfied, and crave more. Are we enduring and doing only what needs to be done in order to survive? Are we so fixated on acquiring possessions that we have forgotten that happiness and wellbeing begin within us? Are we truly living?There is often so much going on around us in our day-to-day lives that we disconnect from our body, our thoughts, and emotions - to such an extreme that when somebody asks, ‘How are you?’ we automatically say, ‘I am well,’ regardless of our true feelings or whether we are physically well or not. To do this is an act of self-preservation, and hides our vulnerability, our weariness, our dissatisfaction, and our dis-ease - from others. We may be afraid of being honest, because to do so could reveal our weaknesses in a world where we must always be strong in order to survive and succeed. The sad truth is that we may not only be doing it in order to hide our true state from others, but to hide it from ourselves.The Healing card symbolises a need to reconnect and listen to what your body, mind, and feelings are telling you - to work with them instead of against them. Whether it be as simple as addressing a physical ailment, or addressing that empty ache that comes from denying ourselves enjoyment and connection, this card signals that it is time to rip off the layers of illusion, the protective armour, and the masks, and look at what lies beneath.Are you fulfilled? Do you love your life? Are you happy, or do you need everything that you strive for in order to be happy? Are you living a fulfilling life that you love, or are you simply enduring, and dying a little more each76and every day?The Healing card brings with it questions like these. It also asks you to look at your life and determine whether your path heals you, or harms you. If it is the latter, the Healing card reminds you that it is in your power to change direction.The Past: We all, from time to time, find it difficult to let go of the past, especially when a moment leaves us without resolution. Unresolved issues and painful experiences, our memories of them, and the feelings they inspire, can become a source of infection that poisons our ability to be joyful in the present.When the Healing card appears in the past, it signifies a need to forgive. If another has wronged you, and their actions have brought you pain, the time has come to forgive them. And if you have hurt someone, and have no means to undo what you have done, it is equally necessary that you forgive yourself. Simply put, now is the time to choose to forgive, and then shift your focus.Of course, forgiveness is not always easy. There will be times when your mind will slip back to the past and explore the moment like a tongue explores an aching tooth, but every time you find yourself looking back, do something that pulls you back to the present. Do not dwell. Distract yourself. Remind yourself that if nothing can be done to resolve or change the situation, then the only course of action is to forgive and forget, and move on. The more you shift your focus away from the moment to live in the present, the less pain the past will inspire. When there is less pain, it becomes easier to forget.Forgive and then forget by focussing on the here and now, instead of an unchangeable past. There is a time when wounds need to be looked at and addressed in order to heal, and a time when wounds need to be left alone. The Healing card in the past position tells you that this is one of the latter times. Leave it be. Let time and a gentle heart bring you peace.The Present: It is time to have a health check? You might not have visited with your chosen health practitioner for a while, and it might be time to do so, just to make sure that everything is as it should be. Address any unresolved77health issue in the present so that it does not develop into something more problematic in the future. If you are in pain, and you do not know why, seek help. If you have unexplained symptoms and reactions, now is the time to discover why. Act now so that your future is long and bright.You might also just need to take a moment to look within and determine whether there are any unresolved thoughts or feelings that need to be addressed in order to maintain your emotional and mental wellbeing.The Healing card in the present symbolises pain and suffering in the now, and the importance of addressing it in the now. If you are experiencing any form of pain, do not ignore it. If you are feeling burdened by weighted emotion, whether fear, guilt, remorse, jealousy or regret, do not ignore it. Do not shrug aside the moments and feelings that cause you pain with a false air of detachment or a belief that what you are feeling is base in nature and unworthy of your time or attention. Your feelings are very worthy, and there are times when your attention is necessary.When the Healing card appears in the present, it symbolises the need to be honest and expressive, instead of choosing a path of repression and denial. It is time to listen, determine, and acknowledge the source of your discomfort or distress, and then do what is necessary in order to heal. It also represents the need to take aggressive measures in matters that are repeatedly causing you distress. It is time to de-stress.It is important not to ignore the little things or leave anything unaddressed or unexpressed. It is especially important not to deny hurt or anger, if you are feeling it. If something or someone has caused you upset, be honest and say so. It is often the little splinters and barbs that lead to infection, infection that would not have the opportunity to develop if we had taken the time to treat the wound immediately. We ignore the small slights and discourtesies without realising that, over time, our failure to acknowledge and address them has allowed them to grow into major resentments that can bring disruption to our lives and relationships.Instead of reacting, we overreact. Instead of taking five minutes to clear the air along the way, we simmer in silence until we can remain silent no longer and react in a manner that destroys. Worse still, those little things create stress, and feed stress, and stress can and does make us ill. Unaddressed and unacknowledged, pain, fear, and anger can become a78source of dis-ease and suffering.Act with compassion, but also without guilt and remorse, to remove toxic elements from your life. Do so with the awareness that there are times when the only way to move forward, to heal completely, is to act in a manner that you know may bring you discomfort. The appearance of the Healing card suggests, however, that if you do not act now, there may be far greater consequences. If what seems like being ‘cruel to be kind’ is the only option available that will bring you healing, then the Healing card in the present advises you to do so. You might need to end a relationship. You might need to get off your backside, move, and lose weight in order to prevent dis-ease. You might need to learn how to relax and be still, to play and to laugh. Regardless, this is one of those moments when you do what needs to be /one, even if it means enduring suffering more in the short term.Finally, you may also be presented with the opportunity to rise above and transcend the moment - but in order to do so, you will still need to first acknowledge, and then forgive the moment and your reaction to it. You do not need to pretend you have no feelings about the situation. You are not stone. You are not impervious. So allow yourself to feel and then to react. How you respond after that is your choice, but if there is a funny side, try to seize it and laugh until your sides hurt. Life is too short, and laughter is always the best medicine.The Future: When the Healing card appears in the future position, it is indicative of a need to look at the way you react and respond to others so that future relationships remain sound, and difficult situations that need not arise do not arise.There are times when illness, physical impairment, emotional anguish, and loss cause us pain that cannot be switched off. It is pain that can only be endured, and, if possible, repressed and ignored. This is the kind of pain that is always present and impacts on all aspects of our lives. It is pain that erodes our ability to be patient and kind; it makes us hard and unyielding. It is pain that not only causes us distress, but can cause us to inflict pain on others unintentionally.If you find yourself in a position where another’s words inspire an angry reaction that is disproportionate to the situation, ask yourself why. Why are79you so angry? Why does this situation create emotions so intense that you want to yell? Is your reaction natural, a justified response to the situation? Or are you overreacting because you are in pain?Situations that are left unaddressed and untreated can fester like any physical wound, and, in turn, impact upon future relationships by making us more reactive and hypersensitive. Whether we are in emotional, psychological, or physical pain, we do well to be mindful of how corrosive and destructive our pain can be. It must also be said, that while we are responsible for how we choose to react, sometimes healing is better accomplished when we make a conscious and loving choice not to surround ourselves with people or situations that are akin to having sandpaper rubbed over sunburn. If you know another persons behaviour or a particular envii€nment will irritate you in your present vulnerable state, then it might serve you best to avoid them in the future if you can.Potential Blockage: When the Healing card appears in the reversed position, it may signify a resistance to getting help and healing that could be born of fear. If you are experiencing an unresolved dis-ease, ask yourself if you are trying to treat it as a ‘mind over matter’ situation, when your inner wisdom tells you it needs more than that.If that is the case, do not be afraid. More often than not, we imagine the situation to be so much worse than it is. Reality is often very different. Do not prevent an opportunity for healing because you are afraid, or hold on to a stubborn belief that you can handle it, or heal yourself if you just think positively.Positivity and prayer can work miracles, but not when they are being used as wound dressing over an untreated or infected wound.You do not have to endure alone. Reach out and ask for help. Do not let your fears prevent you from finding the treatment and help you need.80XI1. LOVEKeywords: Love, Infatuation, Love for Self, Confidence, Love for Life, Expansion/ Key Phrases:- Experience love in all its forms- Love is multifaceted- Your love will shape you or break you- A past love re-enters your life- A love that deserves a second chance- Is it love or infatuation?- How do you feel about yourself?- Honour your body as a temple- Stop making comparisons- Make time to love and nurture yourself- Love and enjoy your uniqueness- Do what makes your heart sing- Open your heart to new lovesMeaning: The fourth reason for being is to experience love in all of its forms - from co-dependent and need-based love, to big, unconditional Universal Love - and to understand that love comes in many different forms and guises. There is the innocent, trusting love that a child has for a parent, and the unconditional love a parent has for a child. There is the love one has for self, and the love one has for others. There is the love we feel when we do the things we love, and the love we feel when others appreciate what we do. There is our love for family, love for community, love for nature, love for the gods we choose to worship - whether those gods be born of science or religion, or the humans we choose to idolise. There is sexual love, platonic love, playful, affectionate love, selfless love, crazy love, and more.We are here to learn that love is as multifaceted as we are, and that love is neither intrinsically good nor bad. Love is a cosmic force that will shape us or break us, depending on how we choose to experience it, and just as we81have a choice in what we experience, we have a choice in how we perceive and experience love.The Past: When the Love card appears in the past position, it is addressing a past love that still has influence upon your present. A past love is about to re-enter your life, and you will need to explore your feelings. Are you holding on to a love that has served its purpose? Or is this one of those loves that deserves a second chance because it ended for all the wrong reasons? Are you coming to a place of realisation that you could have made mistake and walked away too soon?Just be sure that nostalgia does not have you in its grip. Relationships end for good reason, and sometimes when we look back to the past, we remember only those things that made the relationship feel sacred and passionate, instead of remembering the reasons it ended. If the relationship is to be rekindled, be sure the foundations are solid, and not built on quicksand.Remember, also, that the Love card is not just about a past relationship with another person. Sometimes, more importantly, the past love is an interest or idea that we have walked away from because we were afraid to take a chance. If you are finding yourself drawn to such an idea once more, decide whether you are willing to commit to that interest in the same way that you would commit to a person. Are you willing to invest time and passion in nurturing your relationship - or will you soon lose interest in the same way, or for the same reasons you walked away the first time?Decide whether it is truly a love, or just an infatuation. Is it worth an emotional, mental, or physical investment, or are you just wasting your time? The last thing you want is to prevent a new love from finding a place in your heart because you are holding on to a past love that no longer serves.The Present: When the Love card appears in the present position, it speaks of the important role self-love plays in our day-to-day lives. How you feel about yourself in the present will shape your relationships with both yourself and others. It can either motivate or prevent you from following your dreams and nurturing your passions. It will influence all that you endeavour.82The presence of the Love card in this position asks, how do you feel about yourself? When you look in the mirror do you like the person staring back at you? Or do your eyes slide away as quickly as possible? What are the words that whisper in your mind as your eyes meet - if they meet at all? If you cannot look yourself in the eyes and like what you see, do you then seek what you cannot give to yourself from others? Do you try to hide your own lack of love for self by being loving and nurturing to others? If so, why do you feel unworthy, when you are the most worthy person of them all? Have you allowed society and the media to instil a belief that you are ugly, simply because your appearance does not fit with their unnatural, and often manipulated, idea of what beauty is? The Love card asks that you see that you are a divine and beautiful being, a living artwork that tells a unique and amazing story.To love yourself is not narcissism or an act of conceit. It is love, and with this love comes the confidence to push aside unreasonable fears and doubts, and the ability to silence the negative self-talk that tells you that you must not, cannot, should not, simply because you are afraid or believe yourself unworthy.To work with this energy of self-love, take a moment to write a list of all that you like about yourself, all that is working for you. Take pride in what’s working for you. Nurture and expand. Make time to do the things that you enjoy and that make you feel good about yourself.Honour your body as the temple it is. It does not matter what size or shape you are, whether you are overweight, muscular, or somewhere in between. Give your body whole and natural foods. Make time every day to move. Breathe. Focus your breathing: expand your lungs, filling them with life-giving oxygen.Remember, we are all unique, so there is never a need to compare yourself to others, or to measure your worth by your perception of others. We are all different. We are not meant to be the same. While the media presents an ideal of what is beautiful, more often than not, that ideal is not reality. It is manipulated and false. But you are real. Love that you are real. Enjoy that you are real.When the Love card appears in the present, you are being asked to make the time to love yourself every day. Be kind to yourself. Be good to yourself.83Know that you are divine and that you are not only worthy of love, but are loved.The Future: When the Love card appears in the future position, it represents new love, a growing love, or infatuation that is to come. The future position is all about opportunity and potential. In this case, it alerts you to a new possibility for love so that you can prepare yourself to meet that potential with open heart, mind, and arms.The Love card here also may refer to a time of expansion, of doing new things, going new places, meeting new people, and learning new lessons. It could be one thing, it could be many, but all are embraced with a new love for life itself. Along with this, may also be a time of endings, of pain no longer felt, of sorrows passed, of mourning ended.It is a moment of deep, abiding love and appreciation that will see you blossom and grow, and it is a future that can arrive in a heartbeat. It is that day when you wake up and greet the world with a smile, knowing that life has begun.Potential Blockage: One of the most difficult things to do is remove a person from your heart. To let go of love when it no longer serves us is sometimes easier said than done, but there comes a time when it is necessary to release the dreams and fantasies about what was, and accept the reality of what is. If a relationship is over, yet you still hold on to what is not meant to be, you risk closing yourself to new relationships. The right one may be there in front of you, but you cannot see it because your heart and head are full of thoughts of the wrong one.When the Love card appears reversed, it may be suggesting that it is time to say goodbye.However, it may also be time to say goodbye to the negative speak that goes on in your mind. If this is the message for you, say goodbye to that voice. Tell it to hush. Tell it that you are breaking up with it, and that you are no longer listening. While there might be times when that voice is your conscience guiding you, if the Love card appears reversed, it signifies that, in this circumstance, it is a petty little voice that needs to be ignored because it is merely fear preventing you from doing what you know will make you happy.84XIII. UNIONKeywords: Wholeness, Marriage, Unity, Connection, Integration, Harmony, Alignment, PeaceKey Phrases:- Unity and wholeness- Harmony arises when we are in alignment- You have unlimited potential- A path that marries science and spirituality- Duality creates separation- The marriage of body, mind, and soul- All is connected- Complete self-acceptance- Do not dominate or be submissive- At the centre is the void- You are a temple. Worship within- Fear and need - cornerstones of dependencyMeaning: The Union card symbolises unity and wholeness. It represents our relationship with our self and our relationship with the world around us. It represents the harmony that arises when we are in alignment within, and with both the seen and unseen worlds around us. To achieve this centred state is our fifth reason for being.Who am I? What is my purpose? Why am I here? Self-inquiry puts our feet upon the path to wholeness. It is part of our life quest, and only in asking questions and seeking answers do we become whole. It is a journey that manifests in self-discovery.We come into the world innocent and pure. While in the womb, our soul is still as one with the Source of All - the Void - the Cosmic Womb from which all came to be and all will return. Our soul remembers that connection. The soul remembers its unlimited potential. It remembers that85it is whole and divine. This knowledge, and all that we experienced before taking our first breath in this life, resides within our unconscious mind, where it could motivate and guide us, if it were not for the fact that from birth we experience a life that is conflicting in every way.As we grow to adulthood, we are taught to define, limit, repress, suppress, and deny. While we can be surrounded by people who support us and tell us that we are capable of anything we set our minds to achieving, we may still limit and restrict our potential by embracing labels and definitions.Furthermore, we are born into a race that divides and separates into ‘tribes.’ The tribes maintain that they want peace, but thrive and profit more from conflict and war. Two of the largest tribes are science and religion. Many of the people of each tribe hold those of the other in contempt. You’ve heard the arguments. Science is founded in fact and reality. Religion, and its more open and expansive form, Spirituality, are founded in myth and make believe. One is based on logic, analysis, and reason. The other is based on faith, emotion, and imagination. However, if you scratch the surface and look a little closer, both are founded in theory. Both require trust and conviction. Both are loved and defended with the same level of conviction. Both could coexist in harmony.To many of those who follow a scientific path, a belief in God is a sign of mental illness and dysfunction. To many of those who follow a religious path, non-believers follow a path that leads to damnation and eternal suffering. Who is right and who is wrong? The answer is that both tribes are but aspects of a greater whole. Only in embracing both science and spirituality do we find the answers to the larger questions. Spirituality and science are not mutually exclusive. Spirituality founded in science, and science that embraces spirituality and the Divine, offer far greater opportunities to explore and understand the universe and all that dwells within than either standing on its own. Each can, and does, enhance and expand our perception of the other.The Union card represents the bringing together of many aspects of our world that we have been taught to separate from the whole. All is connected - as above, so below. The universe in which we dwell is multifaceted and whole. The earth upon which we dwell is multifaceted and whole. All that dwells beside us upon this blue-green earth is multifaceted and whole. We,86humanity, are multifaceted and whole and we have a symbiotic relationship with that whole. As the dominant species on the planet, the very health of the whole planet is dependent on our own health and unity as a species, and so we must reconnect and integrate and become one with all once more.The Union card symbolises the marriage of body, mind, and soul, and the recognition and acceptance of our own divinity and connection. We are physical beings who are meant to live a life that includes and embraces both the physical and the spiritual. We are unique and individual beings, but also part of a greater whole.We are told that love is all, and that at the centre, when all is in harmony and alignment, there is only love. But while love is important, at the centre there is only the peace and stillness of the Void. It is in unifying all, and experiencing the peace that is born in that moment, that we remember what it was like to first dwell in the Void and to dwell in the Womb. In that place of pure stillness and silence, all is created.The Past: When the Union card appears in the past position, it symbolises an opportunity to free yourself from a belief in duality, and embrace the whole. Duality offers contrast, yes, but there comes a time when understanding that black or white, right or wrong, good or harm, is all just a matter of perspective. The Union card in the past says that now it is time to step back and look at the whole from an objective point of view, or seek out someone who can help if you cannot be objective.Duality often separates what should never have been divided. While everything has its opposite, those opposites are not always diametrically opposed, and from a different perspective, they can sometimes even appear to be identical in nature. Both may be used to productive and beneficial effect.Free yourself from old beliefs that only serve to separate and divide. There is no right or wrong path. Both paths will take you forward. Neither is good or bad; they are simply two different paths.The Present: The Union card in the present represents divine union, the marriage of male and female aspects within the self. Both the masculine and feminine principle resides within all that is, and all that will be. They are87aspects of the whole, equal in purpose and function. You, yourself, are both masculine and feminine, regardless of physical gender or sexual preference, and for unification and creation to be achieved, each must be present and honoured equally.Now, it is time to open and embrace the feminine within you without fear, to receive and accept the true and beautiful nature of your physical self, and to allow it to be, without shame, judgement, or condemnation. It is time for complete self-acceptance of how you think, feel, believe, perceive, and appear.Now, it is time to open and embrace the masculine within you without fear, to be strong and powerful without a desire to compete, control or dominate. Remember, however, that while the Divine Masculine may not seek to dominate, it is not submissive. Use logic and reason, but not to the exclusion of emotions and intuition.Embrace the Divine Feminine by honouring your emotions and allowing them to flow without repression or denial. Accept your thoughts and beliefs as being a reflection of your truth and reality.Love your physical form without condition. Treat it as a temple and worshiflwithin.Step into the flow and use your intuition with trust and confidence, and marry it with logic and reason. Be sensitive. Be vulnerable. Be strong. Be compassionate. Be kind. Be active. Be creative.Be all. Be whole.The Future: When the Union card appears in the future position, it symbolises stepping into the Void within and using this time ahead to create. It is a very affirming but simple meaning. Centre yourself. Allow peace to flow through you and fill your senses. What you do with this powerful moment is your choice, but make the time to use it.Potential Blockage: When the Union card appears reversed, it represents fear and need, two things that can destroy harmony and peace within all aspects of our lives, especially our relationships with others.If you are lonely, and seeking a partner to assuage that loneliness, you are likely to found your relationship upon need and fear. You may build it upon88an unstable foundation that has the potential to develop into dependency. Relationships built upon need, as opposed to those where two who are whole come together as equals, are all too often destined to fail.Ask yourself... do you want a relationship right now that is the meeting of two minds and hearts as equals, that is free of doubt and insecurities that erode and weaken the bonds of love? If so, would it be better to first have a loving relationship with yourself and address the doubts and fears so they are no longer the driving force or motivation for seeking a relationship?The Union card reversed suggests you stop looking for wholeness within your relationships and, instead, find it within yourself. Give to yourself all that you would give or wish to receive from another. Be your own best friend. Be your own lover. Be happy and at peace in your own company, and you will never be lonely again, whether you are with someone or not.89XIV SELFKeywords: I Am, Identity, Self-Realisation, Self¬Manifestation, Centre, Peace, AcceptanceKey Phrases:- Establish a unique and individual identity- Be free of definitions and labels- You have unlimited potential- How has your past shaped you?- Identity is fluid and changing- Who you are is for you to determine- Are you trying to fit with the wrong crowd?- Know who you are- Who do you wish to become?- A path of loving expansion- Let go of a herd mentality- Think for yourselfMeaning: The Self card is the sixth of the reasons for being. It signifies the importance of establishing a unique and individual identity that is free of definitions and labels and embraces unlimited potential.There are elements within every society that do all they can to quash the independent, the creative, and the authentic, because they profit, in one way or another, from doing so. Independent thinkers, creative types, those who defy tradition and convention - and who perceive what is ethical and moral and what is legal as being two different beasts - are people that threaten the status quo. As a result, we are indoctrinated. We are told how to think, told what is normal, told what is beautiful and acceptable, what is right, and what is wrong. Those who disagree, or seek to be independent, or who just do not fit with society’s definition of normal and beautiful, are often met with fear, anger, contempt, ridicule - and even banishment and imprisonment. Independent thinkers can be considered radicals, creative types seen as90eccentric or crazy, and those who defy tradition and convention as rebels and freaks. All risk condemnation in one way or another.Yet, time and time again, we are told that we should embrace our differences, be creative, and strive to be authentic.We are controlled via the media, religious organisations, and educational institutions, and taught how to behave, how to think, what to believe and feel. We are told what is normal and what is not, and that we must strive to be normal. Normal is acceptable.But what is normal?It takes courage to defy family, tradition, and societal expectation. Establishing a healthy, authentic self-identity is one of the most challenging tasks you will face in this lifetime, because it requires a willingness to break free of labels and definitions that we, not just others, place upon ourselves. It takes courage to say ‘no’ to those who expect, and sometimes demand, that you say ‘yes.’The Self card represents stepping free of the labels others have bestowed upon us, and redefining ourselves in a manner that is not restrictive or limiting. It means having the courage to follow’ your own path, instead of the path laid down by others.Who were you? Who are you? Who do you wish to become? The Self card poses these questions. Yet, you must first know who you are, and how you were shaped by your past, to be able to answer them.To discover and know your true self is to undertake a journey of undoing, being, and becoming - to find your centre place, where you are fulfilled, at peace, and accepting of all that you were, are, and will become.The Past: Ask yourself, who was I? Am I still the same person I was then, or have I grown and changed? Am I holding on to an outdated idea of who I am that needs to be changed?You are not the same person you were ten years ago. You are not the same person you were five years ago. Sometimes, change occurs so swiftly that you can be a very different person from one day to the next. Every experience changes you - sometimes in small ways, and sometimes in monumental ways, and we do not walk through life without experiencing change. Sometimes the change occurs within the mind, when your thoughts91and perception are altered. At other times, the changes are physical and noticeable to all.You change from one day to the next, even if that change is only that you are one day older. You cannot remain untouched and unchanged if you are alive and living your life. Time and motion bring change.So what marks has your past made upon you mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually? Do you believe your past experiences have shaped you for better or worse? Do you look back with pride? Or do you look back with regret? Learn from those regrets, and then let them go. They serve no purpose except to weigh you down if you hold on to them.Do you wish for a different life? Or would you not change a single moment because you like who you are and know that one different choice or experience might have given rise to a totally different person?When the Self card appears in the past position, it says that while your past has shaped you, it does not have to define you, and it should never be allowed to limit you. Who you are is for you to determine. Not your family. Not your friends. Not society. You.The Present: When the Self card appears in the present position, it addresses the person you are in the present, and asks you about the person you show to the world. Who is the person you want people to see when you first meet? How do you project yourself, and what aspects of yourself do you wish to reveal first? Do you present the same face to all who meet you? Or do you wear a mask when you are out in public and only let the real you shine forth once people have earned your trust? Do you reveal your true identity, or, instead, do you present a construct that puzzles and confuses those around you because what they see is not what they get.Are you a chameleon, who shape-changes to fit with everyone? Or do you reveal your true thoughts and self without worry about others’ opinions of you, preferring to be genuinely liked by a few, instead of shape-changing in order to be liked by many who might not like you if you were to reveal those true thoughts and self?We all have layers. We all wear masks. We all have a public and a private face. We have a self we share with strangers, a self we share with those we like, love, and trust, and a self that only we know and only a few will ever92see. Yet, as we grow in confidence and acceptance, the more alike in nature those layers become.And if you are trying to fit in with the wrong crowd, you will most likely find that it is like wearing shoes that are a size too small or too big. While those shoes will, in a limited way, protect your feet and help you to move forward, over time they will pinch or rub, creating bunions and blisters. Wouldn’t it be so much easier to find a pair of shoes that fit?Therefore, ask yourself, instead, who am I? Do I know this person? Is this person who 1 really want to be? Are there aspects of myself that I hide because I am afraid others will reject me?Are there things that I would love to do and speak of, but dare not because those around me have an expectation that I follow their lead and do as they do?Do I like me?Am I allowing others to define who I am?When the Self card appears in the present, it signifies the need to take a moment to get to know yourself. Determine whether the identity you present is fact or fiction. Are the characteristics that define your identity true to who you really are in body, mind, and spirit? Or are they imposed upon you by others?Now is not a moment to judge or doubt, but an opportunity to assess and affirm. If your answer to the question, 'Do I like me?’ is ‘yes,’ then that is all that matters. If the answer is not so affirming, it is an opportunity to peel away some of the layers you might be hiding behind, to allow your natural self to shine, and to do it because your first love is for self.The Future: When the Self card appears in the future position, it flows directly on from the questions raised in the present. The two work hand in hand; one creates and manifests in the next.Ask yourself, who do I wish to become? Will the choices and decisions I make in the present change me for better or worse in the future? Am I on a path of loving expansion? Or am I on a slippery descent into turmoil?Our identity, and how we perceive ourselves, is ever changing and evolving. We are our own masterwork. Let the love you have for yourself guide your brushstrokes. Create a masterpiece.93Potential Blockage: The Self card reversed represents a need for you to look within and ask if you are embracing other people’s beliefs and behaviour in order to belong. Going along with a ‘herd mentality’ can make you predictable, and lead others to have certain expectations of you, especially if you are predisposed to follow their lead, or do as they do, without question.Humans have always formed tribes and communities. We are social animals that seek out others in order to feel protected and understood, but while we are, and always will be, part of a collective, we are also unique and individual beings, who have evolved to a point where we have the freedom to be different - if we have the courage and desire to do so. In fact, we have the freedoms that we do, because generations before ours have defied convention and tradition, broken laws, and fought for their right to be free- thinking individuals.That fight is ongoing, as people continue to evolve, and each tribe demands to have the same rights and privileges as their neighbouring tribe.Monkey see, monkey do. It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but there are many who do not see imitation as flattery in any form. Rather, they see it as the act of someone who seeks to curry favour or approval, or of someone who is unable or afraid to think for themselves.So think for yourself. Stand on your own two feet. Be innovative and original, instead of doing what everyone else is doing. It does not serve you to believe what others tell you to believe, nor to do as others do - unless you truly do believe as they do, and share the same values. If you want to belong, do not try to make yourself fit by being the same as others, when you know that you are different. Be who you are. Respect who you are. Then you will draw to you those who are similar, who will respect you, and whom you will also respect - because, like you, other free-thinking, independent people are busy walking their own path.94XV ABUNDANCEKeywords: Abundance, Consciousness, Giving, Receiving, Energy, Love, AppreciationKey Phrases:- Abundance is a state of plenty- Abundance is a feeling- Abundance surrounds you- Have faith and conviction- Complete trust is required- Your 'rainy day’ is today- Determine your goals and reasons, and set intentions- A state of contentment not influenced by external factors- Relax and enjoy yourself- Generosity ripples outwards- The more you give, the more you receive- Appreciate and be gratefulMeaning: What is abundance? Abundance is defined as a state of plenty. When the Abundance card appears, it signifies a feeling of abundance, of appreciation, that opens you to the abundance that surrounds you. In turn, this feeling gives rise to an abundance consciousness. A person with an abundance consciousness is one who is always hopeful, seeks a fair and equal exchange of energy, and sees potential and opportunity in all experiences.To create and open ourselves to abundance and embrace an abundance consciousness is our seventh reason for being, and, potentially, one of the more challenging purposes, because it requires absolute faith and conviction. It requires complete trust.Abundance consciousness is a state of contentment and fulfilment that is not influenced by external factors. Regardless of whether the experience95was good or bad, one with an abundance consciousness sees the whole experience and learns from the whole experience.Abundance embodies a way of living that does not change, regardless of whether you have more or less in your life. Abundance cannot be earned, given, bestowed, or taken away; it is contentment born of fulfilment and appreciation. Abundance means to see and appreciate the wealth that surrounds us - not just the material wealth, but the abundance of energy, love, nature, spirituality, food, enjoyment, and time. Abundance is a perpetual state of evolution, expansion, and growth that is mirrored in all that surrounds us. If you do not see these things, you may be restricting the flow of abundance. Perhaps you have blockages in place - beliefs that have you seeing a lack or scarcity, and embracing an idea that everything is limited or will run out.Abundance is about giving and receiving in equal measure, rather than controlling, taking, possessing, or hoarding. Being generous, and appreciative, and grateful will help you to experience abundance. Being loving, and giving love will help you receive love. Being respectful will help bring respect to you. Giving with the right intentions for the right reasons, sharing what you have without fear, rather than dwelling on what you do not have, these will help bring wealth to you. Remember, however, abundance about giving simply because you can and want to, not because you want something in exchange.The Past: Abundance is in infinite supply. However, when the Abundance card appears in the past position, it signifies a need to address past issues that may prevent you from embracing an abundance mindset. Ask yourself if you were you taught to be frugal, to hoard, and to save for a rainy day. If so, do you still do so in the present, even though there is no real necessity? While saving for a purpose is one thing, saving for no purpose is another - and might reveal an issue from the past that is blocking abundance.The easiest way to prevent the flow of abundance is to believe that it will run out. Therefore, be generous. Be giving. Be open to receiving. Have faith that there is always more when you have need. The key to increasing abundance is to be focussed and active. Trust. Inaction, and worry over what the future may or may not bring, will only restrict the flow. Your ‘rainy96day’ is today. Go and enjoy yourself.These are not the only beliefs that hamper the flow of abundance. Maybe you were taught to believe that money is evil and that to desire financial wealth - security - is base and unenlightened?While an obsessive desire to increase wealth will block the flow of abundance, it does so because it is driven by a subconscious belief that there is a scarcity or lack. However, it must be said that money is not evil. Nor is money good. It is money, and, in our present day reality, money is necessary for survival. Money does make the world go around, and, without it, options and opportunities are limited. Contrary to popular opinion, money can buy you happiness.How?Money opens you to new, and more, experiences. It can pay for further education, which increases your career potential. Money grants you freedom to explore the world, to follow your dreams, partake in your favourite past times and hobbies. Money creates financial security, which, in turn, allows you to spend more time with your family and friends. Having financial security also allows you to be more generous and to support local businesses, which can then, in turn, support other businesses.To desire financial wealth does not make you a bad person. It does not make you greedy. Although having possessions will not bring you fulfilment, having the financial freedom to experience life on your terms almost certainly will.Whatever the beliefs you carry about money and abundance, when the Abundance card appears in the past, it is time to do an abundance health check. Give up limiting self-talk and beliefs: ‘I cannot.’ ‘I should not.’ ‘I must not.’ Paradoxically, there is also a need to let go of controlling, fear-based dialogue that says, ‘I must.’Let go of past beliefs that will result in sabotage and lack. Give yourself permission to be abundant.The Present: When the Abundance card appears in the present position, it symbolises a need to embrace an abundance consciousness. Try to let go and relax. Just allow things to flow. Focus on enjoying what you are doing, and being in the moment, rather than grasping, speculating, or expecting.97Ask yourself what it is that you want, and why you want it. Is there a possibility that you want or desire something just because another person has it, because it will increase your social status, or that it will make others like or respect you more?If this is what you desire, and it makes you happy, then that is your choice - but take this opportunity to try doing everything for love, and you might discover that you fulfil those desires, and more. When you embrace an abundance consciousness, you will find that you have love in plentiful supply. Focus on doing the things that you love, and doing things for love, just because you love. Even if a sacrifice is required for you to get what you want, if you do it for love, you will not see it as a sacrifice. Of course, everything we desire has a price. The physical price might be money, or time, or action in the form of constant effort and commitment - but if the energetic currency is always love, the results will be abundance. So love the experience. Love the journey.Hie Abundance card in the present suggests we put love first, by making time for what we love; taking joy in our love; sharing our love; and giving what we wish to receive.If you want love, be loving, and do the things that you love to do. Love your life. It will always come back to you. When you love, you get love back. When you give something your undivided attention and interest, and do so only because you enjoy it, then you will get back all that love you have invested, in return.To apply this to business, be generous in spirit and nature to your customers and clients, and supportive of other small businesses. Give them a reason to want to come back, and they will. Give them a reason to respect and support you, and they will. Also, try not to be competitive. Just because another person has a similar business in the same street or patch of cyberspace does not mean that they are going to steal your sales or customers. Instead of worrying about rivals, focus on offering the best service or quality product you can provide.Be abundant with your body, as well. Rather than indulging in unhealthy habits, nurture your body and give it everything that it needs. Feed your body an abundance of healthy natural foods. Diets... give them up. Move. Eat well. Savour what you eat. Make it a sensory experience and enjoy it.98And nurture your mind, as well, by avoiding the media, which too often feeds us images of hopelessness or lack that create a grasping mentality of want that has you working harder and harder for less.As for time, that, too, is plentiful. It never runs out, except when you restrict and limit it. So stop counting your minutes; stop rushing. Instead, take the time to relax, and breathe in the beauty of life that surrounds you. Tip your face toward the sunlight. Dance in the rain. Jump in puddles. Laugh at the wind.Failure, disappointment, loss: let go and embrace a positive mindset. See an opportunity to learn and grow in every experience, even those that have caused you pain. There is good in every situation, if you are willing to see it.Most importantly, let go of worry and have faith. That bill will get paid. The money you need for school or business will manifest. But you also have to be willing to make things happen instead of waiting for it to happen.The Future: When the Abundance card appears in a future position, it signifies the rippling outward effects of generosity.Remember to share what you have, even if you only have a little. Be generous and giving, even if the only things you have to give are your care and attention. Give of yourself to others. For instance, you can show your interest in another. If you have a little bit of a windfall, share it with others. Do not hoard it or save it for a rainy day. Use it. Pass a little along to someone else. Seek out a small business or artisan and make their lives more abundant by sharing your own abundance. Give to a charity. If you buy a new coat, and have no need for a second, give your old one to someone who might be in need of a little extra warmth.Get into a habit of giving to others, especially when you no longer have need for what you have. Make a habit of cleaning out your cupboards, and give away what you do not use or need.Offer someone in need a helping hand, when you see them struggling, rather than walking on by. Sometimes, something as simple as a kind gesture can change the day for another.If something wonderful happens to you, pay it forward - and you create abundance in the lives of others as well as your own. This generosity ripples out in a magical way, creating future abundance. The more you give, the99more you receive.Potential Blockage: When the Abundance card appears reversed, it signifies a lack of gratitude and appreciation for what you already have in your life or for what others do for you.To turn this around, practice being grateful. Gratitude is one of the keystones of abundance, so look around at your life and see and appreciate what you already have and be grateful for it. If you are unable to do this, then how will having more make a difference to your life? If you can only see what you do not have now, this same lack - an emptiness that nothing fulfils - will only manifest again in the future. Keep in mind that you cannot change a lack mindset by buying more possessions. Material possessions will not give you the lasting happiness that comes from within. The happiness you feel will be impermanent. It will fade.If someone offers you a gift, do not measure their care for you by the money spent on the gift. Be grateful. If someone buys from your business, do not complain when they spend only a little, after you have given them a great deal of your time. Be grateful. Perhaps what they spent with you was all that they had and therefore a very generous act.If you have food, clothes, a roof over your head, and money to pay your bills, then you are rich beyond the wildest dreams and hopes of many. In fact, you already have more than literally billions of others.It is time to appreciate all that comes to you, even if it is not as much as you hoped for or need. It is a beginning, a good start. Appreciate and be grateful. Even a little something extra is more than you had, and so much more than many others have. Give thanks for the bounty in your life every day.100XVI. DESTINYKeywords: Personal Destiny, Universal Destiny, Seeking Answers, Purpose, QuestKey Phrases:■ Your destiny is to become whole and connected- Your destiny is to lead a life with meaning and purpose- Step inside and explore heart and mind- Discover your gifts and talents- A sense of purpose and confidence- Ancestral healing may be required- Break the chain- Remember your dreams- What are your strengths and weaknesses?- Sometimes the most important destiny remains hidden- Your destiny may influence generations to come- Overcome the trials and obstaclesMeaning: The Destiny card represents the eighth reason for being - to embrace your destiny. Your destiny is twofold. You have a universal destiny and a personal destiny. Your universal destiny is to become whole and connected, to find your centre, to overcome all that destroys your peace, to face your fears, let go of hurts, and love yourself and your life with unreserved delight.You also have a personal destiny, and that destiny involves seeking and following your bliss. Your destiny is to find and lead a life that has meaning and purpose. But your destiny is not going to be found out there in the world; you must step inside and explore your heart and mind. Your destiny is not predetermined. It is a choice you will make based on your inherent gifts and talents. To meet your destiny, you must first discover and recognise101what those gifts and talents are, and then work to use them for the benefit of self and others.To know you have a destiny, or multiple destinies, can give a sense of purpose and confidence. It can bring you joy, peace, and fulfilment. However, your journey toward meeting your destiny can be full of obstacles and trials. Like the quests of old, this is your quest, but instead of seeking an intangible ‘holy grail,’ you move towards something tangible and real.There are activities and interests that inspire your passion and love, that make you feel complete, and imbue you with a sense of rightness. It is these things that you are destined to do. It could be gardening. It could be painting. It could be fixing broken things and repurposing them. It could be healing. It could be protection. It could be anything, but the key to recognising it is how it makes you feel, and what you are willing to do in order to make it a key part of your life.You are never too old or too young to seek your divine purpose.lhe Past: When the Destiny card appears in the past position, it signifies a need to go back to the beginning and to delve into the past. Sometimes, we can find ourselves unable to determine what our destiny is in the present, because there is a past issue that has been handed down from one generation to the next that needs to be addressed, first. Anxiety, depression, addiction ...to these there may be not only a genetic component, but a spiritual one too.For example, you might have no reason to feel anxious, and yet you do, and it is an anxiety that is with you all the time. You may have been raised in a happy, safe household, and yet you are constantly on edge. A voice raised in anger has you flinching and wanting to hide. You jump at shadows, and always question and look for hidden meaning in others’ words. Your fight- and-flight response is always at the ready.One of your parents may also feel the same level of anxiety, and if it is something that is discussed, a little investigation might reveal a familial history of anxiety that has no foundation. It may be a fear memory that has been passed down from one generation to the next - a memory that has taken root in the unconscious mind, buried deep where it influences your conscious mind and body.102There may also be a history of physical abuse, neglect, addiction, or restriction that has been passed down from one generation to the next. For instance, a parent that was a victim grows to become an abuser, oppressor, or addict, who then imposes the same cruelty or neglect upon their child, who, in turn, grows and does the same.When the Destiny card appears in the past position, it suggests that your universal or personal destiny is tied to your past, or your family line in some way. There may be an ancestral or generational restriction or pattern that needs to be broken. It may be your destiny to break it so that it ends with you.Maybe your destiny is to be a better parent than your own parents were. Maybe your destiny is to break a history of cultural abuse, restriction, or oppression that has been passed down from one generation to the next. Maybe your destiny is to end that cycle so that your children, if you choose to have them, can grow up happy, and confident, and have an easier, love- filled life, that is free of inherited or imposed fears that will serve as obstacles when their quest to find their destiny begins.It must also be said that, when the Destiny card appears in the past position, it may simply mean that the key to discovering your gifts and talents lies in your childhood memories. Look back and remember the dreams you had as a child. Who did you want to be when you grew up? What did you want to do with your life? As adults, we often tell ourselves that our childhood dreams are unrealistic or unattainable, but we are the only ones preventing those dreams from manifesting. You dreamed of being Superman, so you tell yourself that your dream was silly and impossible. You have no super powers. You cannot fly. But stop and think for a moment. What is it that Superman does? He protects people. He fights evil. In simple terms, you can do the same. You can protect and serve, and, in attaining your destiny, you can fly, too.The Present: When the Destiny card appears in the present, it represents the quest for our destiny. In order to discover that destiny, we must determine what our gifts are. What are your gifts? What do you have a talent for? Maybe you feel that you do not have any unique abilities, gifts, or strengths, but why do they have to be unique? Why does it have to be a skill that only103you possess? There are many butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers, and there’s always room for more, especially for those who are passionate about what they do. It is not always about what you do, but how well you do it, and what it inspires within you and in others.Do not make the mistake of automatically looking for something big or uniquely creative because it places you in the public spotlight. The most important people often work behind the scenes away from any spotlight. The reality is that we usually look in all the wrong places because we are comparing ourselves to others.Another common mistake is to believe that our destiny is intertwined with our career path. Your destiny may have absolutely nothing to do with your choice of career. You may, in fact, have to walk a career path that is not one you love, but allows you to do what you love. Sometimes, the thing we love to do the most is not suitable as a career, and sometimes the act of turning it into a career can lessen the love we feel. Weigh your choices carefully, and consider the benefits and consequences of turning a passion into a career path.To find your gifts, ask yourself the following questions: What did you dream of doing or being as a child? What activities do you immerse yourself in so completely that they have you losing track of time? What activities in the present leave you with a sense of satisfaction and fulfilment?Sit down and write a list of your strengths and weaknesses. What are you good at? What stops you in your tracks?Ask others that you know and trust for their insight. Ask them, from their perspective, what they see as your weaknesses and strengths. What have they observed you doing well? There is a good chance they have been saying that you are really good at something for years. They may see something you cannot.What comes naturally to you? If there is something that you do with ease and natural ability, then this would be one of your gifts. Can you make plants grow without any effort? Do animals respond well to you? Does every meal you make bring a smile to the faces of those who share your table?What are your passions? What is something you are always talking about to the point where others wonder if you have a one-track mind? What is it about this interest that draws you? Remember, it might not be the interest104itself, but something related or connected.The secret is to look within, not to look at others. We support ourselves in our quest when we understand that sometimes our destinies might appear small and insignificant, but may be of crucial importance to the lives of those around us.Also understand that sometimes our destiny remains hidden, because it is not a destiny that changes your life, but instead changes the lives of others. You are here to fulfil a grand purpose, even if you never determine what it is. Everything happens for a reason.The Future: You can have multiple destinies. You may have found your destined vocation, but there might also be more to come. We are all connected, and the choices you make as you work to fulfil your destiny may influence others to do the same. It might also be your destiny to inspire others to seek their own. You might create other little destined moments that need to happen so somebody elses life can shift and evolve.Everything we are, and everything we do, ripples outwards and influences those around us. You might be here to make one seemingly obscure and random decision that brings about a change in the lives of your great, great grandchildren and inspires them to do something of importance to the entire human race.When the Destiny card appears in the future position, it signifies a need to remember that, although you have attained fulfilment in one area of your life, you may still have other things to accomplish. There is always something new to learn and experience that will add to your life - and sometimes the most important destiny to have is the one that does not reveal its influence until long after you have returned to the earth.Potential Blockage: When the Destiny card appears reversed, it cautions you against following a path of instant gratification and ease. Do not be fooled into believing that once you have determined your destiny making it manifest will be free of difficulties or problems. When is any quest easy? When does the hero or heroine of any story move from where they are to where they want to be without effort or sacrifice?Some of the obstacles you will face will be self-made and born of your105insecurities and doubts, while others will be placed in your path by those who might not understand or believe in your destiny. Sometimes, the people who try to steer you away from your search are the people who love you, people you do not want to hurt or disappoint. It takes great love and conviction to say ‘no’ to those who might have other plans for your future - but to have your destiny manifest, you may just find yourself in a position where it is necessary to do just that. If you do not, you may find yourself being thwarted again and again.When the Destiny card is reversed in your reading, it is helpful to remember that meeting your destiny does not necessarily simply happen, nor is it likely to happen overnight. Therefore, prepare yourself for the process by releasing expectations of instant gratification. Instead, prepare to pay your dues, fight your demons and monsters, and overcome obstacles that may well feel insurmountable. To do so, let go of those fears and doubts that might have you procrastinating and wanting to turn back or turn away.Finally, to make your destiny manifest, you might also need to learn more at this time. You have gifts and talents, but to turn them into something practical and tangible will take time, devotion, and dedication.106XVII. JOURNEYKeywords: Experience, Character, The Past, Cause and Effect, Consequence, Conditioning, Environment, External Influences, ProvidenceKey Phrases:■ You are created by your experiences- Your character is shaped by your past- How does your past influence you?- Are you reliving your past in the present?- Smile over the good and make peace with the bad- Choose quality experiences- Act with reason and purpose- Avoid involvement in unwanted conflict- Create happy memories- Learn from your journey- Don’t make your truths a prison- This day is yours to shapeMeaning: The Journey card represents the first of the eight influence cards. Your life journey, your past, is made up of choices, experiences, and moments, that have shaped and created the person you are in the present. You are the sum total of all that you have experienced, and your journey and the person it has manifested plays a foundational role in every choice and decision you make.Your journey has influenced your personality and character. You have been shaped by your successes and failures, triumphs and mistakes, heartbreaks and healing, the moments you have been alone and the moments you have shared with others. Your journey has shaped your likes and dislikes, your biases, your beliefs, and has governed all action.If you look back at your life, you will see that you have moved through from one moment and experience to the next. You have faced obstacles and107overcome them - and you have had moments that have brought you so low you did not believe that you could continue to live. You have had your heart broken, and believed it would never heal. But it did, and once it healed, you then travelled forward to the next moment forever changed. The choices you made from that point onwards were influenced by what the past taught you.You have also experienced times of intense joy and bliss, where the moment has been perfect. You have loved with every fibre of you being, and laughed until you cried. These moments have also had their influence, for they have made you lighter in spirit and moved you forward.The Journey card represents the life you have led, and will lead, and how it has shaped you, changed you, created you, and influenced every choice you have ever made and will make, and every experience you have ever had and will ever have.The Past: Our past was full of moments that have impacted on us in one manner or another. Each moment has influenced and shaped us in some way. There have been happy moments, and sad moments, thoughtful moments, and thoughtless moments. Moments that have blessed us with knowledge, and moments that have destroyed knowledge. There are moments we never want to forget, and moments we do not want to remember. Some of us have experienced a past that was full of tears, pain, fear, and confusion, while others have experienced a past that was full of love laughter, joy, and freedom. Most of us have experienced a past that was a mix of both.What we have experienced on our life journey has left a mark upon us mentally, emotionally, and sometimes physically. We have fallen down and cut ourselves, and while our wounds have healed, they have not done so without leaving a bruise or a scar. The bruises and scars have faded, but what they have taught us is never really forgotten. Memories of our past experiences and emotions are stored in our conscious mind or the archive that is our subconscious mind. What memories, born of which moments, are influencing you the most?How has your past shaped you? Has it created a person who sees the glass as half full, half empty, or a glass that can be refilled if one chooses to do so? Has your past created an optimist, a pessimist, or a realist? Are you108open-minded, or close-minded? Are you mindful and aware, or blissfully ignorant?When the Journey card appears in the past position, it is asking you to take a moment to see and acknowledge how your past may be influencing you. Has it influenced your life to your betterment? Or are you carrying the negative aspects of your past experiences around with you every step you take in the present? Take a moment to reflect, to smile over the good, and make peace with the bad.The Present: Our journey is there to learn from. We break patterns of behaviour and repeating cycles by seeing the truth of our past actions, and understanding that if something did not work for us on several occasions in our past, then maybe here in the present, a different path should be taken. We learn from the mistakes of our past and action that learning in the present.If we do not learn the lessons our past experiences have offered, we will repeat the experiences again, and again, until we learn, and in doing so, break the cycle.When the Journey card appears in the present, be honest with yourself; be willing to see the truths people often seek to deny. We may not always have a choice in what we experience and when we experience it - but we do have a choice in how we respond and react once the moment has passed. In the present, you are completely free to choose how you react and what lessons and truths you take away from your life journey. So ask yourself if you have you allowed your past to do more than shape you. Have you allowed your journey to define who you are in the present? Do you allow the past to exert undue influence over your choices in the here and now? Learn from your past mistakes, but don’t allow those lessons to teach you to be more afraid, overly cautious, judgemental or cynical. Our truths, the wisdom or knowledge we gain from each and every experience, is not meant to cage us. It is meant to set us free.Allow yourself to be free to live, love, and laugh fearlessly. See potential, opportunity, and possibilities as you set your feet on a path to a new destination, instead of returning to the old ones. Give yourself permission to enjoy the moments you are experiencing in the now, fully and completely.109The Future: When the Journey card appears in the future position, it signifies the important awareness that your future is yours to create. You can now choose a better quality experience that you know will add to your life, and walk away from those that detract. You may not always have a choice in the experiences and moments that others draw you into, but you can make those experiences as long or as short as you choose to. You choose how you respond and react to those moments.Make an investment in the quality of your future by choosing to avoid drama and conflict when you can. Create your future with deliberation, and focus on doing things for good reasons. There are times when ‘just because’ is the best reason you can have, but even then, you can choose to do something that makes you truly happy ‘just because’ rather than spend hours caught up in conflict ‘just because.’When you see this card in the future position, remember, the future is created in the present. Choose to fill the present with experiences that create happy memories.Potential Blockage: The Journey card reversed symbolises a fixation with the past that prevents one from living fully in the present. It matters not if you are holding on to a happy moment or a painful one. By holding on to those moments, you may potentially be hampering your ability to experience life fully and completely in the present. Are you constantly reliving your past successes to the detriment of doing well in the present because the days gone by were better, bigger, and brighter than the life you lead now? Or are you holding on to a painful past and suffering as you relive your hurts over and over again?What is it that you have learned from your journey? Has it made you a happier, healthier, wiser person? Or has it made you wary, cautious, cynical, or full of anxiety?We learn from our past experiences; in each moment we can uncover our personal truths, but sometimes the knowledge we take from them has taught us to be more afraid or overly cautious. The knowledge gained from those experiences is then implemented in the present to a sometimes detrimental degree.Have your past experiences made you afraid of living in the moment?110Do you feel that by letting go of the past, and by living in the now you might somehow be caught out again, or disappointed if your experiences in the now are not equal to those of your past? The Journey card reversed asks that you let go. By holding on, you actually risk having that ‘worst case scenario’ manifest because you invest so much time, thought, and emotion into their possibility.You are no longer the person you were in the past, for good or ill. You, your life, and your circumstances have changed. The past is gone. Let it be over and, instead, fill this day with possibility. Make this day a good day by shifting your attention and interest to what surrounds you in the present. If the present is not as full or as grand as you wish it to be, then make it so. Today is a day you can change for the better - and so is tomorrow.XVIII. THOUGHTKeywords: Thought, Reality, Power, Attention, Focus, Attraction, Positivity, Negativity, Universal LawKey Phrases:- Thought creates reality- Thought is the foundation of consciousness- Don’t rush your thinking. Be certain- Thought is energy- Energy flows where attention goes- Be mindful of the Universal Laws- Are conscious and unconscious mind in accord?- Be realistic, instead of optimistic or pessimistic- Good and bad go hand in hand- Change your mind. Change your life- Do not overthink or speculate- Question the critical-mind speakMeaning: Cogito ergo sum... I think, therefore I am.This simple statement, expressed by Rene Descartes, is a founding principle of Western philosophy. It means if one questions one’s existence, the very act of doubting and then questioning is proof that one does, indeed, exist.But what if you are a figment of your own imagination or the imagination of a god mind? What if you were something else dreaming of being human - or only existing because someone, or something, is dreaming of you? We may think we are human. We may think we are real, possessing a solid, physical form. We may think our world is what it is, but, at a quantum level, research suggests that the world around us does not exist unless we focus our attention upon it. It does not become real, and remains fluid and112changeable, until we give it substance, definition, and form.You think the table or chair in front of you is there. Your senses and mind give it substance and form, and so therefore it is, but at a quantum level, the table does not exist until you focus your mind and attention upon it.Thought creates reality.Thought is the second, and one of the most dominant, of the influence cards in the deck, for thought, like emotion, will determine the direction of your life. Your thoughts, the way you think, shape and create the world around you.What, and how, you think is as true a reflection of you as the face that looks back at you when you gaze in the mirror.However, from a scientific standpoint, thought still remains a mystery. Neuroscientists are learning the mechanics of thought, but why it occurs is not yet known and can only be guessed at. Regardless of the way it operates, though, thought is a complex process that involves both the conscious and unconscious mind, and is the result of our senses being stimulated by, and reacting to, the environment in which we dwell. It is the product of mental activity. It is the manipulation of information in a manner that enables us to conceptualise, reason, work through problems, and make decisions.Thought is at the very foundation of consciousness, and some would suggest that, without consciousness, we would not be human.The Past: The past is the birthplace of all the thoughts that dwell within our minds. Even something experienced here, in what you believe to be the present, has already occurred. Several studies have revealed that we make our decisions a few seconds before we think of them. It also takes several milliseconds for our minds to process what we are experiencing - so before our minds have made sense of the moment, the moment has already passed.The Thought card, when it appears in the past position, asks that you, or someone you trust, look to the past for answers. Doing so will bring clarity and confidence. It could be that something important has been forgotten, and so your thinking is flawed as a result. You are being cautioned not to rush into a decision right now, for what you think to be true and correct might not be. Think carefully and discuss the situation. A puzzle piece is missing,113and so now you need to look into your mind and memories to determine if you are remembering everything, and remembering it correctly.Take a moment to be a little more analytical than usual. Reflect, process, and remember so you can be confident that you are not making a choice or decision based on a flawed memory, where details have been forgotten or altered. Now is not the time to ‘think’ you might be correct. Be certain, instead.The Present: How we think - whether we think in a positive, confident, and compassionate manner, or whether we think in a negative, critical, and judgemental manner - will give rise to the same energy in our day-to-day lives. Our thoughts are energy in its simplest and purest form, just as all that is matter is also energy, so it does not take ‘belief’ in a particular concept or ideology for our thoughts to have influence on our day-to-day lives, as well as on the lives of those around us. When the Thought card appears in the present, it represents taking a whole-istic approach to your thoughts and accepting their power to shape your reality.Thought, emotion, belief, and perception all work hand-in-hand with each other. Each is separate from the other, but each also has the power to change one or all four. All four have been shown to govern our overall energy.We attract to us what we focus our thoughts and attention upon, but it is not a simple case of like attracting like. With energy, there’s always more to it. Regardless of whether we believe in the concept of Universal Law or not, these Laws will continue to work around us.In simple terms, there are seven Universal Laws. They are as follows:Mind - All is of the mind. All is energy. All that exists within your reality is born of what dwells within your mind, or the minds of others. We are all born of the Universal Mind.Correspondence - As above, so below. All that dwells within us dwells externally. What we feel and think within heart and mind we will see and experience in the world around us and see mirrored in others.Vibration - Nothing is still. All is energy, and all that is energy vibrates.114Everything we experience with our senses takes place on a vibrational level. Everything within the universe vibrates to a particular frequency. Like vibration will attract the same or similar vibration, while those of a different vibration will repel.Polarity - Everything has its opposite, and those opposites are identical in nature, but different by degree. These opposites are both part of the whole, and, without both, there is no whole.Rhythm - Everything ebbs and flows, waxes and wanes, transforms and transmutes. Everything has a season, and every season comes to an end, as it flows into the next.Cause and Effect - Nothing happens by chance. Everything happens for a reason, whether that reason be known or unknown. For every action there will be a reaction, whether it be your actions or the actions of others.Gender - Everything contains elements of both masculine and feminine.These Universal Laws influence our lives, and there is never just one Law at work in our experiences. They are all working together and weaving every moment in unison, as if our lives were part of some cosmic tapestry.Whether we can conceive of it or not, these Universal Laws are at the foundation of life and existence. With this in mind, it stands to reason that we should at least be mindful and aware so that we are the master weavers in control of our own loom and thread.Remember, it matters not how much you want to manifest a particular outcome on a conscious level if your unconscious mind thinks, feels, and believes something contradictory. If your unconscious mind is full of thoughts of failure, fear, or a belief that you do not deserve the outcome you desire, then your overall energy will be very different to what you think it is.Like an ocean, your surface may reflect a peaceful calm, while the depths below are murky and hide currents that can drag you down - and because the thoughts that are locked within the unconscious mind are more deeply rooted within your psyche, your vibration will mirror those unconscious thoughts, for good or ill.115So, you might ask, if an individual has no awareness of what dwells within their unconscious mind, unless it manifests in specific patterns of behaviour in the present, how can he or she have any power over those unconscious thoughts and the behaviour they give rise to?The answer is that, rather than focussing on what is seemingly not in your control, you instead, understand that you are a being of unlimited potential, and allow the seeds of a new way of thinking to take root.Unconscious thoughts, for example, can lose their power and ability to drive a negative mindset by the simple acceptance that good and bad go hand-in-hand. Therefore, instead of taking a dichotomous approach, based on the notion that we must not be negative and must be positive, flow through life with the awareness that there will always be positive rewards and negative consequences to every experience, and you must take responsibility for your role. Instead of being optimistic or pessimistic, be realistic. Embrace a way of thinking that embraces the whole, instead of either/or.There is a silver lining to every storm cloud. Remember to look for it. There is something good to be learned from every failure. Try to learn it. There is a ferryman to be paid for every success. Be prepared and willing to pay your dues.In these ways, we can take the bad with the good, and the good with the bad, and find a centre place where both are met with peaceful acceptance, instead of the expectation that a particular outcome is the only outcome that will take us to where we need or want to be. Then we can see that, just as there is nothing wrong with being positive and optimistic, there is nothing wrong with feeling negative and pessimistic at times. Our vibration is not meant to be static. It changes as we change. Ebb and flow, cause and effect: working toward any outcome will offer moments of both. What we experience from one day to the next, will offer us both.It is good to understand, too, that every time you set your heart and mind to a particular objective, you are likely to experience both moments of bliss and moments of terror, as your thoughts swing from one to the other - back and forth, forth and back. Be mindful and aware of your thoughts and their influence, and shape your mind into one that works in harmony with the Universal Laws, and you will begin to see your thoughts in action and116how they manifest in your reality.If you have ever changed your mind about something, you will know that doing so can change everything. Again, for good or ill, a change in thought can change your life in an instant.The Thought card in the present represents a time to really see and appreciate the power of the thoughts that dwell within you.The Future: The Thought card in the future position has a simple message. Sometimes the best way to achieve the future outcome that you desire is not to think about it, unless it is necessary. Less is sometimes more. Try not to ponder and speculate at this time. Rather than fill your mind with thoughts of‘what if’ and ‘maybe,’ just set your intentions, learn what you need to do in order to achieve the outcome you desire, and then allow yourself to stop thinking, and simply do what needs to be done. When what needs to be done has been done, step back and focus your thoughts on something else ... like having fun.The Thought card in the future says, ‘You do not need to think so much!’ Just let it be.Potential Blockage: Sometimes, we know why we think as we do; we have experienced a moment, or many moments, that are the foundation of the thoughts within our head, and we can work to lessen any negative impact they may have upon our lives. However, there are also times when we do not know why we have the thoughts that we do. They are just there. Are they the result of exposure to a media-driven society that runs on negative comparisons? Or is the voice in our head that of our parents, or other influential family members? Sometimes, we do not understand the unconscious thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that give rise to a harsh, critical, judgemental, or doubtful voice in our head, especially when we have led what we believe to be a happy life.The Thought card reversed symbolises the need to question negative and critical mind-speak when it arises. Ask yourself why you are thinking the thoughts that fill your mind and create the chatter. If the thoughts revolve around you, try asking yourself these questions: Are the thoughts valid? Do they have foundation? If so, it might be time to look inwards to determine117why you are having them.If they do not have foundation, however, the best thing you can do is to shift your attention. Do not allow them to become persistent thoughts that can, in turn, become words and beliefs that do not serve you. If the chatter in your mind is harsh and critical, or fearful and doubting, it will affect how you move through your life. It may even prevent you from achieving the outcomes you most desire.Whatever the cause, when a critical or condemning inner voice speaks, there is no real way to hide from it. All we can do is shine a light upon the thoughts behind the voice, do what we can to understand those thoughts, and then change or dispel them. Doing so will, in turn, silence that voice. If that does not help, then sometimes the only alternative is distraction. When your inner voice is critical or judgmental, do something that shifts your focus and give it something more productive and beneficial to chatter about.It is in this way that affirmations, joyful activity, and a positive social environment can be beneficial. The affirmations and activity serve to shift your attention to more positive thoughts, while the latter helps by not feeding the negative thoughts. It is quite challenging, however, to banish negative, critical mind-speak, while surrounded by friends and family who encourage or feed negativity. So, for your own wellbeing, look closely at your circle of friends, family, and work colleagues and notice how they express their own thoughts. Do they have a tendency to make harsh comparisons? Do they ridicule, judge, or condemn those who think in a different way?Even though we love the people we have in our lives, they are not always good for us. When we become aware of this, it may be that the only way to find our way back to a healthy, positive mind-speak is to limit our exposure to those who focus on the negative.When the Thought card appears reversed in your reading, listen to your mind-speak and understand how it reflects the truest nature of your thoughts. Ask yourself whether those thoughts are welcome, or if they need to change. Listen closely to what your inner voice says to you and about you - and know that the very thoughts behind the chatter have the power to shape your reality.118XIX. EMOTIONSKeywords: Emotions, Feelings, Emotional Honesty, Positive Emotions, Negative Emotions, Acknowledgment, Acceptance, ExpressionKey Phrases:- All emotions are necessary- How are your feelings influencing you?- Use your feelings to evaluate a situation- Heed the message behind the feeling- Are you a negative or positive person?- Do not prejudge the present based on the past- Practice acknowledging your feelings- Fill your day with laughter- Step back and detach emotionally- Positive emotions open you to learning- Repressing emotions creates dis¬ease- Address symptoms of emotional repressionMeaning: The Emotions card is the third of the eight influence cards and represents the influence that our feelings and emotions have upon our choices and decisions.The ‘positive’ feelings and emotions that have the most influence upon us are love, joy, gratitude, peace or serenity, hopefulness, inspiration, amusement, pride, awe, and curiosity. We also feel a range of ‘negative’ emotions, with the primary examples being fear, anger, disgust, jealousy, sadness, regret, loss, and hate.The key message of the Emotions card is that feelings and emotions are neither good nor bad. All are necessary, and each and every emotion we experience has both a positive and negative element to its nature. Positive119and negative exist in all that influences us, whether it be a single thought, belief, experience, or an emotion.When you hold a simple, unmarked magnet in your hand and look at it, can you tell a difference between the negative pole and the positive pole? No, you cannot. In the same way, negative emotions are indistinguishable to positive emotions. Negative is the polar opposite of positive, and like many polar extremes, these do not denote good or bad. They are simply the opposites of each other, and both poles are necessary for us to function in a whole and healthful manner.Without experiencing the weightier emotions we have come to associate with pain and discomfort, we can become so positive that we become complacent and ignore the danger signals and warning signs all around us. We may become so busy laughing and having fun that we walk right off a cliff because we are not paying attention and didn’t see or sense the oncoming danger. It is the emotional response we have after ‘the fall’ that has us learning and laughing it off or choosing to blame or condemn. Would you feel anger over your carelessness, blame someone else for not having put a large sign up warning of the danger, or would you laugh and take it as a reminder to be more cautious in the future? The emotions we feel give lightness or weight to our thoughts, beliefs, and perception.They give them power.We are told that positive emotions open up our focus, and inspire us to be curious, to learn, and retain information. Negative emotions focus and narrow our attention to ensure we deal with an issue. But feelings of joy can blind us to warning signs, just as anger or fear can blind us to opportunities and experiences that will bring us joy. They say love is blind, and it can make us blind to the many things we should address but are afraid to because to do so might place our relationship at risk.While we may experience anger when somebody crosses our boundaries, that emotion can serve us by providing the impetus we need to end a toxic relationship. In the same way, fear can serve to warn us of impending danger, which, in turn, can keep us safe from harm. When we feel regret, we are offered the opportunity to realign our values, and to set goals and act on them. When we experience jealousy, we can see it as an invitation to look within and address neglect within ourselves or a lack or imbalance within120our relationships. In these and many other ways, negative emotions can have a positive influence by helping us see what is amiss in our lives and, even, how it can be addressed.Emotions, both positive and negative, and the positive and negative aspects of each emotion itself, can have a great influence upon our decision ¬making process, depending on the emotional imprint that is made with each experience. The emotions we feel play a fundamental role in the retention of memories. Encounters that leave us lukewarm are likely to be forgotten, while those that stir up intense emotions will be remembered for much longer. If those emotions are repeated from one experience to the next, they can give rise to set emotional responses that impact on our present. They can also give rise to a belief that the repeated experience will generate the same emotional outcome.If you experience intense feelings related to a particular event - for example, the intense fear mingled with excitement that you would feel if you were to parachute out of a plane - it is unlikely that you will ever forget that feeling or the moment that inspired it. However, an activity as mundane as hanging out your washing on the clothes line is not likely to be associated with any feeling intense enough to be remembered in great detail in the future - unless you were abducted by aliens as you hung your undergarments out to dry.Our emotions help us evaluate our experiences. From there, we use those emotional evaluations to see and weigh our options, make our decisions, and guide our actions. Our emotions, in themselves, are neither good nor bad. It is how we manage them and allow them to influence our thoughts, beliefs, and perception that brings us low or has us shining bright.The Past: When the Emotions card appears in the past position, it represents the influence our past experiences have upon our feelings and emotional state in the present. How has your past shaped you emotionally? Without judging or condemning yourself, take a moment to look back in an honest manner and determine if you would consider yourself more of a happy, angry, guilty, or fearful person.When driven by negative emotions, like guilt, anger, and fear, people are more likely to behave in a self-sabotaging manner. The guilty person may121often worry that their success or desire to be happy will take from others, or make them appear selfish or greedy. While they want happiness, they often do not believe they deserve it. A more typically angry person can make rash decisions, often without thinking things through, or considering others; they may also tend to assign blame if things go wrong. Meanwhile, the fearful person might overthink things, hide behind doubt and uncertainty, or avoid making decisions - or even acting at all - if and when, possible.In contrast, those who are generally happy people are usually more open-minded. They tend to make their decisions in a calm, confident, and relaxed manner; they are more about the journey than the destination. They are happy to go with the flow, and trust that they will achieve an outcome to their liking, even if it is not the one they expected.Your experiences in the past, together with how you have responded to them emotionally, will often predispose you to feel and react a particular way when similar situations arise. Sometimes, our emotional biases will result in us prejudging a situation and deciding an outcome in advance. If this is the case, we may actually act in a manner that will give us the emotional outcome we expect.When the Emotions card appears in the past position, it symbolises the need to address emotional bias and your emotional mindset to determine if it is working for you, or against you.The Present: When the Emotions card appears in the present position, it represents a need to learn to recognise and understand your emotions. It symbolises the importance of working with, and managing, your feelings - not controlling them, but understanding them, accepting them, and allowing them to flow and shift naturally.What are your feelings telling you?If you are feeling at peace or fulfilled, ask yourself why you feel these positive emotions. Knowing and acknowledging the reasons will not only give rise to feelings of appreciation and gratitude, but understanding why you are feeling at peace will enable you to remain in a peaceful state for longer - or move toward a peaceful state in times of increased stress.If you are feeling inspired, why? What were you doing that suddenly had you feeling inspired? Again, this has a positive influence, especially if you122can learn to use the more negative emotions that you feel in a creative and productive manner.It is of great benefit to be mindful of your positive emotions, as this awareness will allow you to both acknowledge the moments that gave rise to good feelings, and provide the means to shift your focus away from those negative emotions that can only be lessened with time.On the other hand, it is of benefit to consider the reasons for feeling more negative emotions, as well. If you are feeling anger, ask yourself‘Why?’ What do you need to do in order to resolve or work through this anger? Is it proportional to the situation?If you are feeling afraid, why? What has triggered your anxiety? Is it always present in the background in the form of stress? If so, what can you do to reduce that stress? Are there aspects to your lifestyle, such as diet, sleep patterns, or work pressures, that are adding to your stress levels and, in turn, increasing your anxiety?Knowing and understanding the things that make you feel more at peace or happy will give you the means to divert your attention when there is need. And learning to recognise the situations that trigger your anger or fears, can help you can learn to avoid those situations or work through them with more ease when the situations are unavoidable.You may also find that it is beneficial to create a diversion for times when you experience emotions that you recognise as problematic and unhealthy.For instance, how do you cope with feeling difficult emotions if there is nothing you can do to change your circumstances? One strategy could be to shift your focus in the situation, and in doing so, shift the flow of emotion.How do you cope when you are so afraid or angry that all calm and reason has fled? You might find an outlet, such as deep breathing exercises, writing in a journal, or throwing paint at a canvas. Try going for a walk or a run. Lift weights. Punch a pillow. Call on a friend to talk things through. Dig in the earth. Grab a camera and go out and focus your attention elsewhere.The key is not to deny what you are feeling, or try to control it, but to refocus your attention on something else until the intensity of the original emotions have subsided, and you can begin to work through them. Once that little bit of calm has been restored, you can look at your feelings, look at the situation that triggered them, and then work to resolve them, with less123likelihood that you will do something you might later regret.Again, it is important to understand that what we feel is often a reaction to what we have experienced, and can be a message for us to respond to with action - but sometimes, especially if our past has made us more reactive and sensitive, we might overreact and create a situation where resolution is made so much harder, if not impossible. Conflicts are often a direct consequence of misunderstanding. Understanding - including understanding of our own emotions - brings clarity and an opportunity to heal and grow.Make a daily practice of taking a moment to recognise your emotions, and honour them by understanding the very useful information they provide.The Future: When the Emotions card appears in the future position, it brings a very simple message: Laugh! The future is created now, so if you want to create a future that is happy and joyful, fill your present days with laughter. You needn’t have a reason to laugh. You do not even need permission. Just look around yourself and laugh, even if it seems a little inappropriate. Why? Because laughter heals. Laughter inspires. Laughter creates positive emotions. Be joyous, and let your laughter ring out.Potential Blockage: When the Emotions card appears reversed, it symbolises the need to address the common symptoms of emotional repression in your life. Repressed emotions can have real and lasting impacts on the body, mind, and spirit. They can not only reduce the quality of your life and your relationships with others, but, potentially, even shorten your life.One of the most common signs of emotional repression is revealed in how you respond to the question, ‘How are you today?’Because we now esteem political correctness more than emotional honesty, most of us will smile and respond, ‘I am good. And you?’ even if we are emotionally broken and crying on the inside.Emotional outbursts and emotional honesty are frowned upon. Emotional honesty and sensitivity are seen as weaknesses, while emotional outbursts are a symptom of losing control. But controlling our emotions is not healthy, either. We experience our feelings for good reason, and when124we repress our emotions in order to control what we feel, we are choosing to disconnect from ourselves. As a result, we may embrace behaviours that can have serious consequences to our minds, our spirits, and our bodies.Unfortunately, our feelings do not change or go away just because we want them to. While we can pretend not to feel, denying an emotion does not mean we are not feeling it. It simply means that we are ignoring it - which can be detrimental. There may be times when emotions need to be put aside, but they should never be ignored or invalidated.Over-eating, drug and alcohol addiction, pretending or denying that an experience occurred, any type of compulsive behaviour - including compulsive exercising, eating disorders, cutting, hiding in the fictional realities of computer games or books or television shows, working to excess, avoiding deep and meaningful conversations, and hiding behind a mask of ‘peace, love, and light’ - all of these things are behaviours we may use to hide from our emotions.We can use these behaviours to hide from our emotions, but we cannot deny those emotions or control them. What we are feeling will find a way to be expressed, and if it does not do so through direct communication, it may manifest in our bodies and in our behaviour.Several signs that you may be repressing emotions include overreacting to minor issues, making external events and issues more important than personal subjects, intellectualising and scorning emotions, brushing aside obvious disrespect or discourtesy and saying that it does not matter, when it should and does, delayed emotional responses, depression, anxiety, and stress. Physical signs include tension, especially in the jaw and mouth, and in the stomach, throat, and shoulders.If the Emotions card appears reversed in your reading, it asks you for a little emotional honesty. Look within, and determine if you are allowing yourself to feel - or if you are trying to control or deny your feelings. If it is the latter, now is the time to choose the healthy path of acknowledging, accepting, and allowing your feelings to flow.125XX. DESIREKeywords: Desires, Wants, Dreams, Ambition, Goals, Price, Gestation, Manifestation, Consequences, SelfishnessKey Phrases:- What do you desire most?- How much do you want it?- Desire compels action- Make another attempt- Great expectations. Great disappointment- Ground your desires in reality- What you desire will have a price- Wishful thinking- Has your desire waned or changed?- Let your conscience be your guide- To desire something at the expense of another- Selfish desires mirror a lack withinMeaning: To desire - to wish or long for something. To lust or crave is to desire. In simple terms, desire means to want something. Desire is the fourth influence on choice, and when it appears in your reading it asks that you explore your desires and ask what it is that you want - and how much you want it.What are you willing to do in order to achieve your desires?Is desire the root of all suffering? Many religious texts state that desire is something that corrupts humanity and blinds us to our true purpose. However, desire is the state of mind that compels you to act and do whatever you feel is necessary in order to fulfil that desire, because you know that you will feel pleasure or be rewarded for fulfilling that desire.For example, you desire a glass of water. It is hot. You are thirsty. However, you are in the middle of the garden, covered in mud and sweat, and the floor in the house has just been freshly cleaned. How much do you126want that glass of water? What are you willing to do in order to have that glass of water?You can almost feel the coolness as it slides down your throat, washing away the parched dryness of your mouth. You know it is going to be so nice, but having that glass of water involves putting down your tools, halting your progress, cleaning yourself off, taking off those muddy shoes, going inside, getting a glass, filling that glass, drinking the water, and then putting your muddy shoes back on before coming back out, and getting back to work.So how’ much do you want that glass of water? How much do you desire it? Do you want it enough to stop and do what needs to be done in order to have it now - or are you more inclined to wait until the task in front of you is completed? Could waiting also have consequences?This is desire in action.Desire in action means believing that a particular outcome is good; it is worthy of our desire. It means valuing something as important, and therefore worthy of our time and effort.It is desire that drives us to set goals and then act on them. It is desire that inspires us to keep going, long after somebody else would have given up. Desire is what motivates you. Drives you. Compels you act, to take risks, and to make sacrifices with a smile.The Past: When the Desire card appears in the past position, it represents past desires and hopes that have motivated you and, in turn, moved you to where you are now. Have you accomplished your desires, i.e., your goals? Or have they fallen by the wayside because you changed your mind or have given them up?Is there something that you are still longing for, but are afraid to try for? Do you tell yourself time and time again that you cannot have it? If so, are your reasons valid? Or are they without basis and just excuses? Now is the time to address that desire, to re-evaluate and determine if it is something worth holding on to, or if it is time to let go and move on.Have you failed to achieve a particular desire in the past, and now hesitate to make another attempt? Perhaps the time was not right then. You had other desires that were greater. Now, however, the Desire card in the past position can represent giving something another chance, especially if127your desire has not waned over time. Just remember to determine first if it is something you desire enough to work for, or if it is something you simply like to daydream about.The Present: When the Desire card appears in the present, it suggests the time has come to ground your desires in the reality of the here and now. Ask yourself whether your current desires are realistic or unrealistic. Are your methods for putting your desires into action realistic or unrealistic? The Law of Abundance tells us that for all we receive, we must be willing to give in equal measure. So if we are expecting or desiring a particular outcome, but unwilling to act on that desire, that would be an unrealistic desire, because the Law of Abundance is not a one-way street. Therefore, an equal exchange of energy is required for us to manifest what we desire.For example, if you desire a new sofa, you will need money or another acceptable form of payment. You might know the store owner, and they might allow you to work for the new sofa, but they are unlikely to give it to you for free, unless the sofa is no longer of any value to them - and that likelihood will only manifest if the sofa is damaged in some way that makes it unsellable. If the sofa is damaged and unsellable, will you still want it? Maybe you know how to fix the sofa? Maybe shop-soiled or damaged suits your purposes and fulfils your expectations. If your expectations are few, and you are willing to spend your time hunting from one furniture store to another in order to grab a bargain in the way of shop-soiled or damaged furniture, then you will probably not be disappointed.But do not make the mistake of believing that your desire manifested for free. You are still making an exchange of energies by investing time, petrol costs, and energy in your search. Even the desire to obtain a free piece of furniture needs to be acted upon, and that action is its price.In almost every situation, if you want a brand new and undamaged sofa, you will need to have money to pay for it. You might have to work extra hours, or go without lunch and coffee from that little gourmet cafe down the street.Or you can have faith and believe that the money is going to manifest and go buy that sofa when, and if, it does. The money is there and will manifest, depending on what and how you choose to believe; such is the128way of abundance. However, even if you believe that a lottery win will give you the freedom to purchase that much desired new sofa, you still have make the effort to go to the store and buy that winning ticket, spend money on the purchase of the ticket, and likely buy a fair number of tickets on a consistent basis to increase your chances of winning, because abundance does not work to your timetable. It could be weeks, months, even years before you experience a win big enough to buy that sofa you so desire in the present.Is the desire for an easy win on the lottery an unrealistic desire? That is for you to decide, but by the time you win that extra cash, you could most likely have earned the money you need by working overtime for a couple of weeks or giving up that coffee and cafe lunch. The latter course of action is grounded in the reality of here and now.As for the reality of your desires, it can be wise to accept that some of our desires may not be worth taking action on because they may be wishful thinking and nothing more. While a forty-something housewife living in Australia might desire an intimate relationship with a married, thirty-something movie star, who lives on the opposite side of the world, her desires for that intimacy might not be grounded in reality. While she might well be able to meet the movie star one day and get a hug and a photo, beyond that, if she attempted to act on her desire, she might end up in jail.Also, even if your desire is realistic, it requires motivation, intention, and action to manifest. Otherwise, that desire is nothing more than a nice dream. You can want something more than anything else in the world, but you must also be willing to do what’s necessary to make it happen.The Desire card in the present has a very grounded and practical message ... first, determine whether your desires are realistic. If they are, and you really want them to manifest, then be willing to do what needs to be done. Or you can wait for circumstances to change, and maybe, if you are lucky, find yourself blessed with the opportunity to have your desire manifest with little or no effort from you. However, there will always be a price to be paid. If you are willing to pay it now with time and effort, you will be paying on your terms. If you wait or choose the easy path, you may end up being asked to pay a price that is not to your liking.129The Future: Most of us desire long life. We also desire a happy life, and yet so many of us choose half a life instead of a full one. Why can we sometimes be so afraid of acting on desires that we know would lead to happiness, and in turn create a life in which we are happy and fulfilled? We can be afraid that the more we desire something, the more disappointed we will be if what we desire fails to manifest. We may become fixated on a particular outcome, then, when it fails to meet our expectations, give up, asking, ‘Why bother if we are not going to get what we desire?’When the Desire card appears in the future position it encourages us to take a chance and to let go of expectation. It also comes to remind us that if we do nothing, it may lead to future regrets, and we will most likely be disappointed in ourselves for not trying.Ask yourself if you would you prefer to give in to that aching desire to better yourself, to explore the world around you, or to be creative, or spend life trudging from home to work and back again just to can pay the bills? If you risk disappointment because you try and fail, but you face feeling both regret and disappointment in the future, anyway, if you didn’t try, then why are you hesitating? You feel desire because you are curious, intrigued, and interested. Nurture those feelings by acting on your desires.You desire to do better, to be better, to have quality experiences, to be creative and productive, because it gives your life direction and meaning. Acting on your desires can take you forward on a path to fulfilment and happiness, especially if those desires motivate personal improvement and growth.Our desires tell us there has to be more. That life has to have meaning.It is beautiful and empowering to have desires that give rise to long¬term goals. It is, however, also important to enjoy the process of acting on those desires and allowing the process to teach us and improve us along the way. Mistakes are going to happen, so we should allow ourselves to learn from them, and see them as opportunities for growth, and increased understanding - we should not fall into a habit of judging our little successes or failures along the way, nor to expect perfection or immediate success. If we are always learning and improving, then we can be proud that we have always given our very best.With long-term goals, it is also necessary to allow the outcome to be130fluid and evolving, just as you are fluid and evolving. The process of taking action, toward most long-term goals, can change you, so it is important to allow the outcome to be in harmony with your evolving desires and evolving self. If you fix your outcome, you might discover that what you desire now is no longer as important to you in the future, or does not meet your changed needs.Potential Blockage: When the Desire card appears reversed, it asks us to look at our desires honestly and see if they are selfish desires that only serve to bring dishonour and hurt to ourselves or others - for instance, if we desire what others possess, or lust after something or someone at the expense of another, or want to possess more than that for which we have a genuine need, and allow these desires to dominate our life in a destructive manner. If we recognise these desires, it is time to ask ourselves if we are slaves to our desires. Will our servitude be our undoing?When we look clearly at the nature of unhealthy desires, we will see that is a reflection of our character and nature if we choose to act on desires that we know will cause harm and hurt to others.For instance, there is no justification for placing yourself between two people who are still involved in a relationship - it matters not what the other person has done. If one of them seeks to enter into a relationship with you prior to ending their relationship with their partner, you can show respect to yourself by not giving in to your desires until their relationship has well and truly ended. While your desire may be strong, ask yourself, ‘Do I really want to involve myself with a person who actively chooses to deceive and hurt their partner by entering into a relationship with another?’ In this situation, do not be swayed by your desires - or by tales of woe, of unhappiness, or neglect. Instead, desire better for yourself, and tell them to do the right thing by their partner. Tell them to speak to their partner of their unhappiness, not you, and to show both respect for you and their partner by being honest and transparent in their intentions.Another message from the Desire card reversed is to stop worrying about what others are doing with their lives, and focus on what you are not doing. Why would you desire failure or harm to another who is doing their best to improve their life, just because you do not like them or agree with131their lifestyle choices? This suggests a lack within yourself, born of your own fear to act on your desires. It is easy to judge, condemn, and wish failure or harm to others for doing the very things you are afraid to do yourself - but they are not responsible for your unhappiness. You are.And if you are you always wanting more, never satisfied with what you already have, always having to have the biggest, the best, the supersized, and the brand new, ask yourself why. Do you actually use the things that you buy? Do they serve a purpose? Or is it your true desire to be able to brag about your house, car, phone, or other status symbols? If what you desire is status, to be seen as better than those who have less, then you risk being perceived as self-important, arrogant, and greedy.In this case, you have mistaken material wealth for abundance. You have made yourself a slave to baser desires to possess and control. Now is the time to look deeper and ask yourself whether having and possessing makes you feel more in control. Does it make you feel good about yourself? Does it truly increase your feelings of self-worth and self-esteem? Ask yourself, also, who you are without the possessions. Would that person be happy? Would they like who they are? If the answer is 'no,’ then ask yourself why.Our selfish desires often mask a lack or deficit within - even more so if we give in to them. When the Desire card appears reversed, we have the opportunity to ask ourselves if we have given into our selfish desires, and, if so, consider the consequences of our actions. If you recognise yourself in this reflection, it might be time to let your conscience be your guide, instead of the lack within.132XXI. PERCEPTIONKeywords: Perception, Understanding, World View, Opinion of Self, Clarity, ObjectivityKey Phrases:- Perception shapes your world view- Understand what your senses tell you- Knowledge and understanding are limited- Changed perception cannot be unchanged- Is your perception clouded?- Take the high ground- Seek a new perspective- Challenge your perception- Who influences your perception?- Do you have all the facts?- Represent yourself honestly- Watch for false perceptionMeaning: Perception, the fifth of the influence cards, pertains to the organisation, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to understand what we sense and experience. When the Perception card appears in your reading, it symbolises an opportunity or need to look at how you analyse and interpret your experiences, and how your interpretation then influences your choices and ability to see and weigh options and opportunities.Our lives are built upon the foundations laid by our perception. How we perceive the world and those around us influences our ability to learn, our understanding of cause and effect, our ability to see and weigh our options, and to make decisions. There is no area of our life that is not influenced by our perception. Our lives can be empowered and fulfilled because how we perceive our reality gives us confidence. Or our lives can be destroyed in an133instant, if our idea of what is real is revealed to be a lie, and our perception is shattered.Our perception can be accurate and precise. It can also be false and founded in misinformation, illusion, or imagination. Our knowledge - the knowledge we possess that is born of education, study, and practical application - can increase our perceptiveness. However, our knowledge can be limited; it can be inaccurate and flawed. For example, our knowledge of other people is limited by the fact that we only know what they reveal to us, and then we process and analyse that information by making comparisons to ourselves. However, they are not us. They might be like us in some ways, but completely different in more ways. We do not know their innermost thoughts and feelings, so what we know of them is often based on little fact and a lot of assumption.Have you ever heard the story of the six blind men and the elephant? They each stand before the elephant. The first man stands at the elephants head, his hands upon the elephant’s trunk. Because of the way the elephants trunk is shaped and feels moving beneath his hands, he believes that the elephant itself is like a snake. The second man stands at the elephants tusk. Because of the way its tapered shape and pointed end feels beneath his hands, the second man believes that the elephant is like a spear. The third man stands at the elephants ear. Because of the way it is shaped and feels flat and waving from side to side, he believes that the elephant is like a fan. The fourth man stands at the elephant’s leg. Because of the thickness and strength of the elephant’s leg, he believes that the elephant is like a tree. The fifth man stands at the elephant’s side, and when he feels the mighty expanse, he believes that the elephant is like a wall. Finally, the sixth man stands at the elephant’s tail, and because of the way it feels, he believes that the elephant is like a rope.With six totally disparate opinions, based upon the information each blind man possessed, the men fall into conflict. Each believes he is right and the others are wrong. The blind men begin to war with each other, so fixated on their own beliefs that they are willing to inflict harm.Suddenly, a sighted man comes upon them, and shouts for them to cease. He asks them why they are fighting, and so each of the blind men tells him the tale. The sighted man looks at the elephant and then to the blind134men before him. He says, ‘But you are all right. The elephant’s trunk is like a snake. The elephants tusk is like a spear. The elephant’s ear is like a fan. The elephant’s leg is like a tree trunk, his side like a wall, and his tail like a rope. But you are also wrong, because each of the parts you have touched are all just parts of the whole elephant.’Each of the blind men then circles the elephant, touching the other parts. With the new information, the new and multiple perspectives offered, each is willing to concede that he has been both correct and incorrect at the same time. Their increased perception, born of multiple perspectives, has finally allowed them to ‘see’ the whole elephant... the big picture.Our perception can shift and alter and be enhanced in a heartbeat, once new information, born of a different perspective, is provided. Once it is altered, it cannot be restored to what it was. Having touched all of the parts of the elephant, the blind men could no longer hold fast to their original opinions.Even if what we believe to be truth is revealed to be an illusion, and what we once perceived to be an illusion is revealed to be truth, there is no reset button for our perception. Our perception of what is simply changes and alters as our awareness increases.Every change to our perception changes our reality, and every change to our reality influences the choices we make.The Past: Are there issues that are clouding your perception and preventing you from interpreting and understanding the moment with objectivity and clarity? If so, do your best to cut them away, and pierce the veil.When the Perception card appears in the past position, it represents a situation where we need to take the high ground and look at the big picture from an objective point of view, without the past influencing our interpretation of the facts. We must try not to get lost in the little details and allow past circumstances of a similar nature to influence our perception.Remember, the past is the past, and every situation is different, regardless of the similarities we might see. Circumstances change. People change. There are times when what we perceive may be prejudiced by past memories and feelings; if so, there is a need to step back and detach emotionally, and realise that, while our feelings are valid, they might also be135clouding our judgement and senses.Now is your opportunity to take a fresh approach, and challenge your perception.The Present: The Perception card in the present position invites you to alter your perception by changing your perspective.To do so, try this exercise. Sit for a moment in a familiar space. Find an object, and then focus your attention upon it. The more you focus, the more everything around the object will seem to blur and become less defined. Only the objects that sit nearby remain clear, but even they are still less defined than the object of your attention; those objects sit on the periphery of your awareness. They are either ‘noise,’ or just less important.As you look at the subject of your attention, you will notice small details. Make note of those details. Try to remember them all if you can. Now move to a different position in the room, and focus your attention on the same subject. Is what you see exactly the same as what you initially saw, or have the details changed? More than likely, the subject of your attention looks quite different from this new angle. It is also interesting to note how many details you remember from the initial perspective. How much of what you recall is accurate? Do you remember all of the details? Or only a few?This is just an example of how, when you change your perspective, everything changes - details, memories, people, past experiences, current situations. Once you regard the subject of your focus from a different perspective, your perception also changes. When you shift your perspective, you will see something new that offers more information or brings something that was hidden into the light. You might also discover that what you initially perceived and remember is not as accurate as you believed.In addition to inviting you to change your perspective, the Perception card in the present also signifies a need to determine whether you are creating your reality, or whether you are allowing others to shape it for you. Both can be problematic if you are not mindful and aware.The media, for example, distorts almost everything - what’s normal and what’s not, what’s beautiful and what’s not, new discoveries, political and current events, and even history. What’s offered by the media is done so from a limited perspective, and not everything you see is the truth. In136fact, much of it is complete fabrication designed to influence you to believe what they tell you. A little bit of truth is hidden within the lies so that we will focus upon that thread of truth, believe in that truth, and then, by association, believe everything else that is offered alongside.Yet, we can sometimes do the same with our own personal perception. We can take the limited knowledge that we possess, and extrapolate. We expand upon it. Sometimes, if there is a wealth of information to call upon, our perception is truthful, but at other times, it is an illusion.Reality is fact-based; our perception is our interpretation or understanding of the facts on both a sensory and intellectual level. We can perceive things differently, but it does not make reality any less factual. Facts stay the same, and are not altered or changed by our perception or opinion. It is not a fact if it evolves and changes over time - it is a theory, a hypothesis, an idea, or a concept. Reality is so much more than just what we perceive with our limited senses - and compared to other animals, humans do have rather limited sensory capabilities. Therefore, what we know about the world is incomplete, and always will be, because our senses do not allow us to perceive all that is - and because our senses cannot perceive it, our minds struggle to comprehend it.We cannot say with absolute certainty what is and what is not, unless we stick to the facts - the facts that cannot be disputed.Our perception tends to be shaped by a mix of fact and ‘stuff’ that our mind uses to fill in the gaps and give those facts depth, substance, and context in relation to us. A blend of fact and imagination is quite normal. Remember, our minds can be very selective. We tend to focus on a few details, and rely on memory and extrapolation to fill in the gaps. Our eyes do the same as our minds. It is a scientific fact that our eyes do not actually see all that we look upon. Instead, we only see a part of what surrounds us. Our minds fill in the holes. Our minds create our reality.Has your perception now been altered? Can you say that you know something to be the truth with absolute certainty? The Perception card in the present position is not about instilling doubts, but about increasing awareness. Knowledge is power. Wisdom comes from understanding, but it only brings power and wisdom if our understanding is accurate. Otherwise, our perception will be flawed.137Therefore, take the time to question everything. Double check and even triple check your facts so you can be certain that they are, indeed, facts.Shift your perspective and see a larger, clearer picture, and also be willing to embrace the awareness that what we perceive to be truth and reality might, with the benefit of an increased perspective, be revealed to be an illusion and what you thought to be an illusion or lie may actually be true.Finally, be open-minded when you feel challenged by another’s perception. It is truth for them, and just because you do not agree does not make their reality any less real or truthful than your own, especially if you are working from a personal viewpoint instead of a factual one.The Future: When the Perception card appears in the future position, it represents a very simple truth - an altered perception alters how you perceive your future. An altered perception changes everything, from your outlook on life, to your state of mind, to what you desire and your future goals.Perception is fluid, and whilst it cannot be reset, it can and does shift and alter all the time. The Perception card in the future position symbolises the need to take a moment to look at how a changed or altered perception may affect your long-term goals and desires. Perception is everything, and if your perception has changed your thoughts, feelings, and desires for the future may have changed also.That being said, it takes time for the effects of an altered perception to filter through and be processed and understood fully, especially if your present day to day life is in a state of flux or confusion. If you have recently experienced a moment that has altered your perception dramatically, then give yourself time to absorb everything. Let things settle before you set to making big changes to your life that may, in turn, change your future direction to one that, in a moment of future hindsight, you realise you didn’t really want.Potential Blockage: When the Perception card appears reversed, it asks that you check to make sure that your perception is not false. Have you ever had a moment when you believed you smelled onions cooking, only to discover138that there was no source for the aroma? That is a false perception. The same thing can occur when your mind is full of chatter that has you believing that another person does not like you, or is harbouring a particular opinion of you. Be careful that you are not imposing a false perception that others think or feel a particular way about you, when, in fact, the perception that you have is a self-perception.Do your best not to allow assumption to be the foundation of your perception when it comes to your interactions with others. If you have doubts or concerns about the nature of your relationships with the people around you, the best course of action is to ask. That way, there is no need to feed stress and worry with ‘what ifs and ‘maybes.’The saying ‘Never judge a book by its cover’ holds real wisdom, and yet we so often do judge and define things by what we see or read or experience, even when the knowledge offered is, in reality, only the cover. All too often, we never actually open the book. In fact, we may be unable to open the book because our minds are incapable of conceiving, let alone understanding, what lies within. We look at the cover, read the blurb on the back, and may believe we have all the answers, when we don’t.But we are the book. The person we present to the world is the cover, and sometimes the blurb. Friends and family will be offered the contents and a synopsis, but only you know the full story.If you want people to have a more accurate perception of who you are, then make it a point to share the story of you, honestly, without embellishment. Then, the cover and blurb will accurately represent who you are and make it clear that there is far more for those who are willing to take the time to read the book.In turn, understand that you cannot know the full stories of those around you, and sometimes the cover and the blurb are very different to the contents within, because the author of the story has fears, doubts, and troubles that they are afraid to reveal.Do what you can to open your mind and open that book - even if you only make it to the contents page, or the index, and see that there is so much more within than you can imagine.When Perception is reversed, release your belief that you know everything about a particular situation or circumstance, or what motivates139another’s actions. Even let go of the belief that just because something is deemed ‘fact’ makes it an absolute. Why? Because all you have to do is to look back at history to see the number of ‘facts’ that have changed over the centuries, as new knowledge came to light. Consider the idea that when we believe that we know something completely, and that what we believe is an absolute certainty, we may, in fact, know very little.Finally, remember that you are more than what others perceive you to be, and, in turn, those around you are more than what you perceive them to be. The Perception card reversed asks that you do not base your reality on false perceptions born of limited knowledge and understanding.XXII. INTUITIONKeywords: Intuition, Signs, Patterns, Synchronicity, Trust, Mystery, MagicKey Phrases:- Intuition is your sixth sense- The voice of your unconscious mind- Heed your intuitive feelings- Intuitive skill born of practice- Pick the option that feels right- Strengthen your intuition- Tap into your other senses- Make your best guess- Be both intuitive and rational- Watch and observe- Intuition? Or bad past experiences?- Seek a second opinionMeaning: There are many words and phrases used to describe the subject of the sixth influence card, Intuition - that ‘funny feeling,’ an ‘inkling,’ a ‘sneaking suspicion,’ a ‘hunch,’ a ‘knowing,’ a ‘feeling in one’s bones,’ a gut feeling,’ a ‘premonition,’ a ‘presentiment,’ and a ‘foreboding.’ It is inexplicable. You cannot pinpoint why you feel or believe as you do - you just know it in your gut, and every fibre of your being demands that you listen.What is intuition? Intuition is your sixth sense. Intuition is a knowing or gut feeling that you experience without fully understanding the logic, or reason behind the feeling. It might defy rational thought or explanation, but you want to trust it, nonetheless. Intuition is a bridge between conscious and unconscious minds, between instinct and reason. It is your unconscious mind communicating with you. It can come to you in a flash of insight or feeling, or you can have an intuitive experience within a dream or daydream. It is also something quite often experienced during creative endeavours. In141fact, most creative endeavours are better for being intuitive.Intuition is knowing that something needs to be done - not knowing why it needs to be done, but trusting and doing it anyway. Why? Because our intuition provides solutions.Have you ever walked into a room and instantly felt a certain vibe? Or met someone you are at ease with from the very first moment, and felt like you have known them forever? Have you ever had that feeling that something is not right, or too good to be true? Have you ever heard the phone ring, and known before answering who it was?This is your intuition - your sixth sense - at work, but how strong your intuitive abilities are is dependent upon how often you use them. Do you trust that gut feeling or knowing? Or do you push it aside as illogical and irrational? To have a strong intuitive ability and to use it has nothing to do with the paranormal or supernatural. Would it surprise you to know that there is a lot of legitimate research, including studies by the U.S. Navy, into how intuition works, and how it can be strengthened to help in situations where intuitive thinking may save lives? Some of the greatest scientific discoveries have been in moments of intuitive insight - Archimedes, Isaac Newton, and Frederick Kekule all followed their intuition. Albert Einstein believed that intuition was of great value, when it came to innovation and invention.It is very easy to dismiss the intuitive feelings and thoughts that come to us, but your sixth sense is no different from your other senses. It is there to be used, and incorporating it into your everyday life will only enhance it.The Past: The Intuition card, when it appears in the past position, asks you to take a moment to reflect upon the times when you did not heed your intuition and things did not go as you hoped. Hindsights a bitch. We've all had moments when we wished that we had trusted our gut feeling and said ‘no’ to an endeavour or project instead of saying ‘yes.’Do not make the same mistake twice. If your gut is telling you to go slow and be cautious, do exactly that. If something seems too good to be true, then it usually is.Conversely, think of the times when you have trusted your intuition and everything has felt right and manifested in the perfect way. If your gut is142telling you that everything feels right, then heed that feeling, too. Trust in the moments when everything felt and went right. Do not allow past bad experiences to make you wary. You have a chance at happiness and good times ahead if you are willing to open yourself and trust. Your unconscious mind knows that all is going to be fine. Do not let your conscious mind and insecurities talk you out of saying ‘yes.’The Present: It takes both courage and practice to heed your intuition. We are so often told to base our decisions on rational thought and logic, and to weigh each choice with care. Your decision-making process can, however, be enhanced by listening to your gut feelings. In fact, it is important to use both rational thought and reason, AND intuition and instinct.The Intuition card, when it appears in the present, signifies the importance of heeding your intuition. It is better to appear foolish in the short term than to make a mistake that could cost you far more in the long term.What do you do when you have half a dozen options before you, and all have equal pros and cons? In the end, the only option available is to go with an intuitive decision and pick the one the feels right for you.If a situation or a person has you feeling tense, has your stomach in knots, has you feeling agitated, uncomfortable, or pressured, then back away. Trust your gut. Conversely, if someone has you feeling at ease and imbued with a sense of rightness, embrace the moment. Heed your feelings.If you have a situation that needs resolving, a problem that needs solving, somebody close to your heart that needs help, then it is time to stop worrying. Calm yourself. Calm your mind. Extreme emotions, such as anger and fear, will only hamper your intuitive abilities. Find a quiet place. Go for a walk to clear your mind. The answer, the solution, will come via intuitive means when you stop worrying over the problem.The Future: It is time to learn how to strengthen your intuitive abilities in order to enhance your decisions, and guide your actions in the future. When the Intuition card appears in the future position, it signifies a need to observe, listen, and learn.Expand your mind and your experiences. The more you know, the more143experiences you have, the more sound your intuition will be. Although it may not seem glamorous, intuitive decisions are founded in knowledge and experience. The more practiced and knowledgeable you are, the less you have to think about a process. It becomes intuitive. For example, a skilled artisan has become so adept at their craft, after decades of doing the same thing, that they can make intuitive decisions regarding their work without any conscious thought or effort. To someone observing them, they would appear to just go with the flow, and, in many situations, they are doing exactly that. They are trusting their gut, heeding intuition. However, their intuitive decisions, while being made unconsciously, are based on their decades of experience and the knowledge they have accrued over the years.Experience and knowledge strengthen your intuitive abilities. So does tapping into your other senses and treating life as the sensory experience that it is. Touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight are taken for granted. However, if you were to take the time to listen more closely, to observe more, to feel and explore the sensations that touch inspires, and to taste not only your food, but life itself, how much more would you know and understand? The key to enhancing your intuitive ability could be through experiencing your other senses to a greater extent.One of the best and simplest ways to enhance your intuition is to do regular readings with an oracle or tarot, and allow your intuition, your subconscious, to give you the answers you are seeking.ft is also good to challenge yourself a little by making more intuitive decisions. Examine your decision-making process, and if you are one for making slow, weighted decisions, you could try taking a little less time. Push yourself to spend less time weighing your decisions and just make them, instead. Go with your gut. Defy logic. Be a little spontaneous, and just make a guess.To strengthen your intuition, you do need to observe more, learn more, experience more, but sometimes you also have to think less.Potential Blockage: When the Intuition card appears reversed, it cautions you to apply a little reasoning and rational thought to your situation. Is there a chance that your intuitive abilities are being hampered by emotional bias born of past experiences? Could similarities between a past issue and144your present situation be hampering your ability to intuit accurately?Do you have prejudices that could also be influencing you? What you believe could be blinding you to what is. Make sure you are not working with flawed or incomplete information. Make sure you are not following the same course of action you have in the past, especially if that course of action was one you regretted.If your knowledge is not sound or based in facts, you cannot be certain that your gut feeling is sound. Observe, look at the situation, and weigh up all the evidence at hand. It might also serve to reach out to a friend and ask their thoughts. It might help to get a second opinion.145XXIII. INTEGRITYKeywords: Integrity, Honesty, Honour, Character, Values, Morality, Sincerity, Consistency, Principles, FairnessKey Phrases:- Act with honesty and honour- Walk your talk- Everyone deserves a second chance- Oppose hypocrisy, dishonesty, cruelty, and injustice- Practice ethical and honest behaviour- Do not play favourites- Be the best person you can be- Do it for love not for profit- Keep your promises- Do not betray a trust- Avoid gossip and speaking ill of others- Do not cheat or take the easy way- Do not allow injustice or cruelty toward innocents- Behaviour and actions influence reputation- We all live in glass houses, so avoid judgingMeaning: The Integrity card is the seventh of the influence cards. It re¬presents making choices and acting with honesty and honour.Integrity has many forms. There is personal integrity, professional integrity, artistic integrity, and intellectual integrity.To have sound personal integrity is to have high moral, ethical, and personal standards, and to hold true to your core values regardless of circumstances. It is to stand in direct opposition of hypocrisy, dishonesty, cruelty, and injustice; to honour your personal truths. Your words and actions are in harmony, and do not contradict each other. In short, you walk your talk.To have sound personal integrity is to be of good character and nature. It146is to be authentic, and not hide behind any deception or illusion. What you see is what you get. Authenticity is the mainstay of a person with integrity.To have artistic integrity is to do what you love, because you love it. Yes, if you are blessed to be able to create for a living, you should do so, but the basis of creation should always be love, not money. A person with artistic integrity would not compromise themselves or their craft for money. They will always give their audience and clients their finest work, because, when they love what they do, they strive without conscious thought to have their current project or creation be their best. Their heart and passion is always their guiding influence.To have professional integrity is to practice ethical and honest behaviour in business. It is to accord fellow employees, employers, customers, and clients respect and honesty. It is to meet ones professional duties in a dedicated, and responsible manner, and always perform your duties to the best of your ability each and every time. It is to strive to offer a product or workmanship of the highest quality, and to be willing to grow, improve, and refine one’s self in order to become a master of your craft, or the top of your field of expertise.To have intellectual integrity is to live by the very same standards that you expect others to live by. It is to be consistent and treat all with equality. It is to be just and fair. It is to hold true to your core values in a manner that is consistent and expected. It is to give those around you the same treatment and not play favourites. There should be no arbitrary exceptions, including yourself.Those with integrity do their utmost to avoid hypocrisy, but also know and understand that some of the beliefs they subscribe to cannot always be honoured. They aspire, but they do not always succeed, and this does not make them less. It makes them human.Those with integrity are not perfect. Those with integrity are honourable, honest, and accepting of their imperfect state and do not strive for an impossible ideal, but instead endeavour to be the best person they can be in all areas of their lives.The Past: When the Integrity card appears in the past position, it signifies the importance of ones reputation, of making mistakes and learning from147them, and giving others a second chance - just as you would hope that others would give you a second chance. Integrity is something we all endeavour to have, but there are times in our past when we may have committed acts that can only be described as dishonourable or dishonest. We may have lied to avoid conflict, gossiped, or listened to rumours and Chinese whispers; we may have allowed ourselves to partake of moments of meanness or spiteful behaviour. We may have judged. We may have condemned. We may have misunderstood or reacted poorly.But not one of us who has grown from childhood to adulthood has done so without having done the wrong thing on more than one occasion. Those who would rather believe otherwise may lack the very thing they believe they have ... integrity. To have integrity is to be honest above all else - and to be honest above all else is to admit when you have been wrong, or have done wrong.There may have been times when we have cheated, or stolen from others, or have chosen to be deliberately hurtful. We may have acted in a manner that showed a lack of values or questionable judgement. We may have be caught or punished for these deeds, or we may simply have to live with our guilt and regret.When the Integrity card appears in the past position, it serves as a gentle reminder that you have made mistakes, and that you are deserving of forgiveness.You can also grant forgiveness. Everyone is deserving of a second chance. Everyone makes mistakes. Be compassionate and empathetic. However, it is also wise to remember that if someone does a wrong once, it is a mistake. If they do it more than once, it might show a pattern of behaviour that serves to reveal they may be of low integrity, and that it is time to distance yourself from them.The Present: When the Integrity card appears in the present, it symbolises the importance of acting with integrity in the here and now.Endeavour to keep your promises. It is not always easy, but if you make a promise, do what you can to fulfil it. If you know you cannot keep a promise, then do not make one. If you have broken, or must break, a promise, be honest and speak up sooner rather than later.148Do what you can to avoid betraying a person’s trust. When somebody gives you their trust, they are making themselves vulnerable.Avoid gossip, speaking ill of, and wishing ill upon others. Venting is one thing, but there is a fine line between expressing your disappointment or anger in another to a friend, and speaking to destroy their reputation. It is one thing to be honest, and another to be petty or to embellish the truth to make another be seen in a negative light and yourself in a positive one.Be honourable. Be courteous and respectful, even when you do not feel it is deserved.Be honest within your relationships, but always remember that truth has the power to hurt. Always choose to err on the side of compassion and kindness.There should be no room for secrets within your relationships, especially secrets that have the potential to cause great hurt.Do the right thing without expecting reward. Do not look for cheats and shortcuts. Do things the right way, even if the right way is the harder way.Do not allow others to harm, lay blame, or judgement upon someone you know is innocent. Never allow another to take responsibility for something you had a part in, or were responsible for.If you want respect, accord others with respect. If you want to be treated with kindness, show others kindness. If you want to be treated as an equal, then treat everyone as your equal. If you seek to follow your own path, to be and believe in your own way, then allow others to do the same. Do not expect of others what you do not expect of yourself. Do not judge and condemn others if you do not wish to be judged and condemned yourself.Be the best person you can be today.The Future: When the Integrity card appears in the future position, it represents reputation, and how a good or poor reputation can affect your future standing at home, work, and in the community.If your reputation is important to you, then it is well to remember that how you behave and act will influence your reputation. If you act without honour and dignity, it will affect your reputation, not only in the short term, but in the long term also. Yes, it is nice to believe that we are unaffected by the opinions of others, and if you have a healthy self-esteem then another’s149opinion of you might not have an emotional impact. However, it is not always practical or wise to hold oneself above the regard of others. On a social and professional level, a good reputation helps you move through life with ease. We all like to be seen in a positive light, socially and professionally. A poor reputation can have destructive consequences, especially if your behaviour causes those around you to seek another’s services or companionship.Do your best to act and behave in a manner that will serve you well both in the present and in the future. Remember that what you do in the present can come back to haunt you long after you have forgotten any unscrupulous or unwise behaviour. Technology has allowed social and business networks to become much larger than they once were. Word of mouth has been superseded by word of‘status update.’ As a result, the world is far smaller than it used to be, and a few minutes searching the Internet for virtual skeletons in the closet can make or break you if there are skeletons to be found.If you are dependent upon a good reputation, and most of us are, then it serves you well to act with integrity at all times.Potential Blockage: When the Integrity card appears reversed, it cautions against hypocrisy and contradictory behaviour.Have you at some point condemned others for their intolerant and judgemental behaviour, and done so without the awareness that you, yourself, are embracing the very behaviour for which you are condemning others?Have you declared yourself supportive of worthy causes, but then, in practice, acted in a manner that contradicts? For example, you are passionate about your desire to reduce deforestation, so you choose to become a vegetarian because the meat industry is one of the leading causes of global deforestation. However, you continue to support unsustainable agricultural practices, buy books, newspapers, and magazines, and use technology that is fuelled by mining. Yes, it is a worthy and noble act to choose to limit one’s impact upon the earth, but if you choose to condemn and judge others for their lifestyle choices, take a moment to make sure you are consistent in your beliefs and actions across all aspects of your life, lest those you condemn call you out on your hypocrisy.150When you criticise others for not doing as you do, while your actions are contradictory and inconsistent, your desire to act for moral or ethical reasons can appear sanctimonious and designed to make you appear morally superior.Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones, and we all live in glass houses. Every single one of us.XXIV. FAITHKeywords: Faith, Self-Belief, Confidence, Divine Connection, Trust, Serenity, SurrenderKey Phrases:- Faith is beautiful- Self-belief helps you to overcome- Self-belief and faith inspire confidence- Doubt breeds mistakes- Cruel words can do lasting harm- Do not give up because of past mistakes- Be kind and supportive- Set yourself believable goals- You matter. You are enough- You are not alone- Do not be unkind because others have been unkind to you- Take delight in complimentsMeaning: To have faith - the eighth of the influence cards - is a beautiful thing. It inspires a feeling of serenity that is unshakable. With faith comes a level of self-confidence that sees you capable of overcoming all that life throws at you. To have self-belief gives you confidence when facing new and challenging situations. When out in a social setting, you are comfortable to be yourself. Having self-belief allows you to enjoy life more because you are less troubled by insecurity.With faith in yourself and your abilities, you stand a greater chance of having a successful career, you are more confident in taking well-considered risks, you are healthier and happier because you are under less pressure, and emotional and mental stress. In turn, your relationships with others will be better, also.On the other hand, a lack of self-belief or faith can be seen in our moods,152the way we speak about ourselves, our body language, and actions. Without faith and belief in self, every decision can become an almost excruciating process.If you do not believe that you will succeed or do well, then, sadly, there is an increased chance that you will not. Doubt and a lack of faith breeds mistakes, procrastination, and self-sabotage. But know this, you are not unimportant. You are somebody. You are unique. You have gifts. You have strengths. You have talents. You are bright with potential, and if you believe in yourself you will shine.A little belief can go a long way. With faith and self-belief, you can accomplish great things ... even miracles.The Past: Your confidence, while growing up, was influenced by what those around you said to you or about you. If those around you were kind and supportive - not just in words but in actions also - you had every chance of growing to become a confident adult with healthy self-esteem and confidence. This confidence would have increased as you moved out into the world, because you left home with the best tools in hand to meet life with a smile.However, while we are told that we should strive to not be affected by other s negative perceptions or opinions of us - especially those unwarranted criticisms and barbs born of the insecurities and doubts of the person who offered the negative opinion - words can and do hurt. They can cause real and lasting pain. If the exposure to those who hurt us is prolonged or repeated, their unkind words and actions can cause deep and lasting psychological wounds that destroy self-belief, confidence, and faith - the ability to trust in self or others.Therefore, it is important to remember to be kind, above all else. Faith and self-belief are born of kindness. People are fragile; it is not only physical blows that can cause us harm. To ridicule and to instil doubt in another just because you, yourself, have doubts, can result in the life-long destruction of another persons self-belief and self-worth. Remember that the wrong words at the wrong time can do lasting harm. When we feel an impulse to ridicule, we can stop and ask ourselves if we truly can be at peace if we cause another person distress. Would we be okay with another person ridiculing153us - or worse still, our own child, and causing them to doubt themselves, not just for a short time, but for their entire lifetime?We must not make the mistake of believing that this is not possible. It is. The wrong words at the wrong time can do lasting harm. But, equally, the right words at the right time can heal and restore self-belief.One of the messages of the Faith card in a past position is to ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,’ rather than ‘Do unto others what others have done unto you in the past.’ Unless, of course, they have been kind and supportive. But if, in response to treatment you received in your past, you find yourself becoming hard and critical, or inclined to label others in an unkind manner, use this message to help you become aware of the potential harm you might do to others because of the lack of faith you have in yourself.Another message of the Faith card in the past position is to avoid focussing on your own past mistakes in a way that destroys your confidence in the present. Remember, you only truly fail when you stop trying. Change direction if you wish. Try something new, if that’s what you need and desire. But do not stop trying just because you’ve made mistakes in the past. So what if things did not eventuate as you had hoped? It happens to everyone, even those you see as successful. Have faith that everything happens for a reason, and that maybe, just maybe, you did not succeed in the past because something better waits for you now - if you are willing to have faith and keep trying.The Present: Belief in yourself does require a little effort and introspection. To increase self-belief, you need to know who you are and to consider why you lack confidence and self-belief in the first place. Are you uncertain and unsure of your path? Do you feel that all you do is not good enough?The Faith card in the present position asks you to have faith. Believe. You are good enough. In fact, you are not only good enough, but you are enough. We all are. Yes, we all can be more. We can all be better. But we are also enough. All that we strive to become is because we choose to be better, not because we are not good enough in the present.Faith in the present comes to tell you that you are not alone, and that your dreams and aspirations are a wonderful thing. Trust in them. All will154unfold as it is meant to. Trust in yourself. Those around you believe in you, so it is time for you to believe in yourself.Having a belief in a higher power or spiritual path can have great benefit. It is not about embracing religion, but embracing connection. Cultivate the belief that you are a part of something larger - because you are. We are all connected, and simple awareness and celebration of that connection can bring serenity.You are being watched over. You are worthy of happiness and abundance.Meet obstacles in your path with a smile and confidence. You are strong enough to overcome them and continue forward. Yes, life is likely to offer you moments of heartbreak and pain, but, if you have faith in yourself and the Divine, you will move through those moments with more ease. Having faith brings serenity, and the confidence to trust and go with the flow. When you have faith, the choice is made with ease and clarity. There is no need to fight, control, and struggle, because you trust in yourself to know that you are heading in the right direction.Have faith.The Future: The Faith card in the future position symbolises setting yourself simple goals and acting on them in order to increase your confidence and self-belief. Do something you have been promising to do for yourself. Something small. When it is done, smile, and be proud of yourself. Make a promise to do the same thing next week, and when you complete your task, be sure to acknowledge it and rejoice in the happiness that it brings you.Over time, as your confidence increases, make the goals more complex, but remember to make them personal. Honour your desires. Set personal goals that improve you in some way, so that your self-belief grows, not only through achieving your goal, but because of the goal itself.Potential Blockage: When the Faith card appears reversed, it symbolises a lack of belief in self and a resistance to kind words and thanks from others.Allow others to compliment you. All too often, we focus on the criticisms others offer and reject the kind words. We tell ourselves that people do not mean what they say when they offer praise; they are just being kind. Of course they are being kind. Kindness is a beautiful quality, and155if you are blessed to have people who compliment you, then take delight in those people and say ‘thank you,’ even if their words make you blush and feel awkward. Cherish the people who compliment you. They are not complimenting you just because they are kind; they are complimenting you because they believe and have faith in you. They believe that you deserve the compliment. They are supporting you and doing what they can do to help nurture those seeds of self-belief and confidence within you.It is not a sin to take delight in a compliment, especially if it has been earned. It is a sign that you are valued by others.156THE MINOR ARCANAEARTHI. ACE OF EARTHKeywords: New Beginnings, Goals, Motivation, Desire, Preparations, Opportunity, Education, Security, Potential Reward, Potential ConsequencesKey Phrases:- Practicality and pragmatism- Starting anew- New financial or career opportunity- Reward vs. consequence- Making preparations- Planning for the future- Material gain- A desire for securityMeaning: When the Ace of Earth appears in your reading, it represents a time of change and new beginnings on the career and home front. This change is driven by a desire for financial security and independence for yourself, or for those for whom you are responsible.It is time to make preparations and plans for the future so that you are not challenged or placed under stress by the changes that are coming. What do you want to do with your life? What career path will allow you to both meet your responsibilities and be fulfilled? Are you more interested in financial reward than seeking a vocation or career that will stimulate you and make you happy?It is time for you to think of the outcome you desire. Do you need to further your education and qualifications to create more financially rewarding opportunities?A new beginning founded in practicality and pragmatism - this is the energy of the Ace of Earth. It is time to be grounded in your approach and seek tangible outcomes that meet your desires. Determine your weaknesses and strengths, weigh your responsibilities, and then decide whether or not158they fit with your goals and objectives. Also, be sure to consider the impact your decision will have on those around you. Be certain of your motivation.If you desire a safe and secure environment that is free of financial stress, then now is the time to consider building solid foundations.Potential Blockage: In the reversed position, the Ace of Earth signifies that too much emphasis may have been placed on financial reward or career goals, to the detriment of other needs and responsibilities. What price are you willing to pay in order to meet your goals? Are you motivated by genuine need? By fear? Or by material desires? These are questions you need to ask yourself, now. How important is material gain? How fast do you wish to achieve financial security? And for what purpose?The Earth cards represent home, family, and career, and a harmonious marriage of the three. While your life may not include all three, be sure that your opportunity to have love and family will not be limited by a path that focuses only on your need for financial security.If you do have family - a spouse, children, or both - are you putting your desire for financial security before the emotional needs and responsibilities of a partner and parent? Will the plans you have made take you away from family and place undue pressures on your relationships with others? If the answer is ‘yes’ or ‘maybe,’ the reversed Ace of Earth suggests that it is time to rethink your goals, or weigh the potential rewards against the potential consequences.Do not act selfishly at this time, or the consequences may be greater than anticipated.159II. TWO OF EARTHKeywords: Equilibrium, Flexibility, Adaptability, Balance, Harmony, Compromise, Confidence, Procrastination, FreedomKey Phrases:- Balancing work and play- Balancing responsibility and personal needs- Be open to compromise- Be confident but grounded- Realistic goals and expectations- Take stock and prioritise- Forgive your limitations- Ask for helpMeaning: The Two of Earth card symbolises the importance of balancing work, home, family, and play, whilst remaining flexible and adaptable in meeting one’s commitments and responsibilities.You are filled with a sense of purpose. You have goals and dreams. Nurture them. Be willing to do what is needed in order to make them manifest, but do so with mindfulness and the awareness that all you do has an impact on those around you.Be confident. Trust in both yourself and your abilities. But also be flexible, adaptable, and open to compromise.Self-belief is the key to maintaining a healthy equilibrium. If you believe that you can achieve your goals and meet your responsibilities at the same time, then there is a good chance that you can. But ground your self-confidence in reality, realising that you are not superhuman or perfect. There is a limit to what you can do and achieve without burning the candle at both ends. Be aware and respectful of your physical, mental, and emotional needs.160Forgive your limitations; ask for help, and share your responsibilities if you need to - before you start to drop things because you are mentally, physically, and emotionally worn.Potential Blockage: Stress, anxiety, fatigue, failure to manifest desired outcomes, an inability to focus, neglect of self and others - all these are symptoms of being overburdened and overwhelmed.Too many responsibilities and goals can result in you feeling overwhelmed and weighed down. Distraction, procrastination, and the failure to meet commitments may create conflict with those around you.An unwillingness or inability to focus on what is truly important will manifest in less than desirable outcomes.When the Two of Earth appears reversed, it represents a need to take stock, and to prioritise. It is time to decide what it is that is truly important to you, and put all else aside. If you do not, you may lose the very things that matter the most to you.161III. THREE OF EARTHKeywords: Ambition, Sewing Seeds, Groundwork, Energy Investment, Sacrifice, Fertility, OutcomesKey Phrases:- Time to make preparations- Risking future goals and ambitions- Investment/sacrifice equals reward- A time of restriction or adversity- Increased opportunity- People notice commitment and dedication- Be sure of your motives- Maintain intimacy and connectionMeaning: The Three of Earth represents a time of preparation. It is time to sow the seeds born of thought, need, and desire in fertile soil, and do what is required in order to make those seeds grow. It is a time for you to do the necessary ground work. Remember, the outcome can only be equal to the investment you are willing to make in the here and now.The Three of Earth can also symbolise a time of sacrifice in the weeks and months ahead. There may be choices offered that appear as limitations or restrictions. While these choices might bring about feelings of reluctance, frustration, and annoyance, put them aside and focus on what the end result will bring.The future may also offer moments of adversity and hardship that make you want to give up. If you find your resolve challenged over the weeks and months ahead, know that all that you hope to achieve is dependent upon your willingness to make a commitment now, and then honour that commitment to the end. Do so knowing that it will be noticed and respected. It may even increase the opportunities that come your way.162Whether it be further education, new work responsibilities, saving for a new home, or building a business ... now is the time to look for realistic grounded options, and to then get in touch with those who have the knowledge and information you require in order to determine if your objectives can be achieved, and the best course of action for you to take.The Three of Earth asks, ‘What are you willing to do now in order to achieve the outcome you desire?’Potential Blockage: The reversed Three of Earth asks that you be sure of your motives, as they will play a defining role in the outcome that manifests. For instance, if your goal to be successful and powerful is based on a need to feel you are of higher standing than others, you will quite likely be knocked from your pedestal. If your desire is to possess and control, you may well be met with loss and chaos instead.Keep in mind that in all things, you will reap what you sow. If you want instant gratification, you may find you are met with disappointment. If you spend all of your time worrying and second-guessing yourself, you may find yourself making more mistakes.The Three of Earth reversed also cautions against becoming so focused on your goals that you forget to consider the emotional needs of those around you, and give the appearance of being insensitive and selfish.Do not create distance between yourself and those you love. Intimacy and connection are essential, especially if those you love are the reason you seek to better yourself and your future prospects.163IV. FOUR OF EARTHKeywords: Commitment, Stability, Reliability, Steady Progress, Endurance, Perseverance, StoicismKey Phrases:- Slow and steady progress- One step at a time- Fear and doubt slow forward momentum- Do not falter- Rest and recharge- A good outcome ahead- Do not make hasty decisions- Watch for careless errorsMeaning: When the Four of Earth appears in your reading, a happy and rewarding outcome is close at hand. Remember, however, that the key to completing large or long-term projects is in making slow and steady progress. The key is to put one brick on top of the other, to persevere and continue to build, even when you feel you want to give up. It is to remain stoic and positive in the face of hardship, knowing that experiencing frustration, fear, and doubt will only serve to weigh you down and slow your momentum.You have made real and tangible progress; do not falter now. You are close to achieving your goal or manifesting the outcome you desire most. The Four of Earth encourages not giving up, even if weariness dogs your every move.Take a moment to look back at how far you have come, and celebrate what you have achieved. Now look forward and see that you only have a few things left to accomplish. Take heart, take a moment to rest and recharge, and then continue forward with the same level of dedication.164Potential Blockage: Tedium and monotony often instil a desire to rush. Do not allow the desire to be free to move on to new ventures to result in careless errors, or prevent you from completing a task, or resolving an issue that you have before you. You might find yourself free of boredom and impatience only to feel the weightier burden of guilt and regret.Whether it be a matter that affects home and hearth, or one that affects your career, do not allow impatience and frustration to cloud your judgement and lead to hasty decisions.The shadow Four of Earth cautions you against embracing a belief that greener pastures are waiting if you choose to walk away. In this circumstance, they are not.V FIVE OF EARTHKeywords: Easy Options, Easy Money, Connivance, Deception, Unnecessary Risk, Addiction, BlameKey Phrases:- Avoid easy answers- Think twice about taking risks- Something is not as it seems- Be honest with yourself- You are accountable- Do you gamble with another’s future?- Consider the feelings of others- Look beyond selfish desires and blameMeaning: When the Five of Earth card appears, awareness is of key importance. Something is not right. Someone is not as they seem. Someone lies and deceives, and that someone could be you. Could it be that you are lying to yourself and those around you? It might not be a deliberate deception, but it is a deception nonetheless.The Five of Earth can also symbolise the devil inside, who encourages you to take the easy way out, to look for options that lead to instant gratification, instead of putting in the hard work that yields enduring success. Is his voice in your head and heart, inspiring you to risk everything for the chance of a quick buck or a momentary thrill? Think twice. If you choose to take a gamble now, you risk losing it all.This trickster is the beautiful con man,’ whose sweet words encourage you to believe your own lies and deceptions. He caters to your weaknesses and addictions, dealing out easy lies instead of hard truths. He tells you to blame others for all that is wrong - disappointments, heartache, past failures, and missed opportunities - instead of taking responsibility for166your own choices and actions.Wherever the deception lays at this time, there may be some basis for your doubts and questions. Your inner voice is telling you to look closer and see beyond selfish desires and blame so you can perceive the truth. Be honest with yourself, or heartache and disappointment may well follow.Potential Blockage: There is a wee devil within all of us, who whispers that we are acting for the greater good, or not at fault where others are concerned. Does that voice encourage you to you laugh aside the fears and concerns of loved ones? Or to respond with defensive anger? It is time to let your conscience guide you, instead of your selfish desires.Remember, your actions and choices have the power to do lasting hurt to others. Are you choosing to be blind, or to turn your back on those who love you, in order to cater to your own self-interests, bad habits, or addictions? Are you gambling with someone else’s future happiness as well as your own?It is easy to say that those you hurt are responsible for what they choose to feel and how they react, but embracing this belief, even if it is true, still shows a marked lack of empathy and understanding. Your words and deeds have influence and consequences. Do not deceive yourself into believing that you are above reproach or accountability.When the reversed Five of Earth appears, you are being cautioned against arrogance and pride. Understanding and consideration for others is needed at this time.167VI. Six OF EARTHKeywords: Family, Community, Providence, Protection, Dependability, Responsibility, Duty, Service, Self-Sacrifice, MartyrdomKey Phrases:- Responsibility and duty to family- Give love, care, and support- Lead by example- A time of sharing- Learn about nature- Important matters need attention- Protect the animals, forests, and oceans- Help for the right reasonsMeaning: The Six of Earth reminds us of our responsibility and duty to our family, especially the younger members; it asks us to be selfless and in service to those who are in need or dependent on us for love, care, and support.If you have children, it is your responsibility to provide them with a home that is safe and free from potential harm. It is your duty to provide for their physical and emotional needs. Love and shelter them. As a parent, it is your responsibility to set a good example, to be a role model to those around you.Educate them; teach them to be truthful, respectful, and to do unto others as they would have others do unto them.Teach them about life outside the home - of nature, of the world they dwell on, and their role as custodians and caretakers of this blue-green planet.Teach by word and deed. Lead by example.If you have no children, the Six of Earth comes to remind you that it is168your responsibility to both humanity and Gaia to become the best person you can be. Help where and when you can in your local community. Teach and share your knowledge whenever possible. Lead by example and be responsible for your words and deeds within the broader community. Look out into the world and understand that we share this planet and its resources, and each of us needs to do what we can to protect the animals, forest, and oceans.All of us have a duty of care to both family and the environment.While the Six of Earth represents responsibility and duty of care, overall, it can also signify that there is a matter that needs to be taken care of in the present. If this is the case, do not forget; do not delay.Potential Blockage: Hie reversed Six of Earth asks if you have a habit of volunteering your services, only to lament your situation to garner praise or sympathy. Do you perform a task somebody else is responsible for - without being asked - only to feel the need to tell everyone around you how difficult or inconvenient it was, and how much trouble you went to for no thanks?When this card appears reversed, it speaks of martyrdom and those who take a service role in order to help others, but play the victim while doing so. They choose to suffer for their cause and use it to garner sympathy from others.If this could describe you, then the shadow Six of Earth symbolises the need to remind yourself that you are not in service for personal gain or reward, but to give and provide support to others. Help others for the right reasons and not for selfish ones.169VII. SEVEN OF EARTHKeywords: Meditation, Grounding, Connection, Cycles, Change, Interaction, Purification, StressKey Phrases:- Get out into nature- Let Gaia heal you- Connection between self and the world- All is connected and has influence- Address the stress- Meditate and still your mind- Put down the tech toys- Time to physically interact and connectMeaning: The Seven of Earth symbolises a need to both nurture and maintain a connection between spirit, self, and the world around you. Ground, integrate, and connect.To feel and embrace this connection does not require any belief in the Divine, but a simple awareness that all is connected on an energetic level. At this time, look out into the world to see, feel, and understand the cycles of life and nature and how they affect and influence you.Over time, life and day-to-day demands may begin to wear away at us, making us irritable and reactive ... less adaptable and flexible ... more fearful of the changes going on within us, and around us. All of these things can make us feel alone and disconnected.The Seven of Earth symbolises the importance of connection and being part of the natural world, but also the need to address areas of potential stress in your life before they become a problem.It is time to meditate and still your mind. Make a habit of taking time to sit and meditate in nature, and allow all the stress to flow out of you170and into the earth. Breathe deeply and allow yourself to relax and become one with Gaia and Great Spirit. Reconnect. You do not have to believe. Just allow yourself to be still, at peace, and free of the impurities and worries that cloud your senses and good judgement.Potential Blockage: It is often easy to become focused on one aspect of our lives to the exclusion of all else. This can result in a real disconnect from the world and life that goes on around us.We are all part of the world, and yet most of us spend over 90% of our time indoors, secluded and closed off to both nature and real physical interaction.Are you missing out? Has your world become a very insular place consisting of home and office? Do you now do the majority of your socialising and human interaction via phone or computer? When was the last time you were out in the world connecting with others in a tangible manner - without looking at your latest piece of tech every five minutes?The reversed Seven of Earth signifies a need to step away from technology and reconnect with family and the community at large in a mindful and present manner.171VIII. EIGHT OF EARTHKeywords: Growth, Manifestation, Accomplishment, Success, Abundance, Wealth, AppreciationKey Phrases:- Success, wealth, and love- Do what you love, love what you do- Make plans for the future- A time of abundance ahead- Confidence in a future outcome- Do not rest on your laurels- Money does not buy happiness- Lose the lack mentalityMeaning: The Eight of Earth symbolises success, wealth, and love - the manifestations of a positive attitude, doing what you love, and loving what you do.This is a very optimistic card, one that suggests a time of abundance, fruitfulness, and a good harvest ahead - a peaceful happy home, career confidence, the respect of your peers. What more could you ask for? All the seeds born of past planting are growing well, and you can be confident that the outcome you need will manifest.This can also be a good time to think about taking that next big leap, rather than resting on your laurels. You have it within you to go further and reach greater heights, if you so desire - especially if you remain committed to doing everything to the best of your ability.The Eight of Earth signifies a time to look to, acknowledge, and celebrate your successes, and perhaps to start making new plans for the future, as well.172Potential Blockage: Do you find yourself looking at life through jaded, cynical eyes? Are you currently blind to the wealth and abundance you already have in your life?If so, the Eight of Earth cautions you against those negative thoughts and a failure to appreciate the wealth in your life. It asks you, if you do not see the value of - or appreciate - what you have in the present, how will things be different in the future? If you are only after financial reward or status, you may discover the truth in that old saying, ‘Money does not buy happiness.’While it is true that money can sometimes bring more freedom and security, embracing a ‘lack’ mentality will keep you focused on what you do not have, instead of what you do. Do you want to be rich, or do you want to be wealthy? Take a look around you. You might discover that you already possess priceless treasures that, if lost, can never be replaced.IX. NINE OF EARTHKeywords: Altruism, Generosity, Charity, Giving, Receiving, Selflessness, Benevolence, Humility, Self-LoveKey Phrases:- How important are your material possessions?- Support a worthy charitable cause- Give away all that is no longer needed- Give without bias or expectation- Heal self by helping others- Skeletons in the closet?- Charity begins with you- Address any health concernsMeaning: The Nine of Earth represents altruism, charity, and generosity.Have you suddenly found that your life is full of harmony? You are creative and happy, at this time. Abundance and true wealth surround you. Material possessions are less important than they once were, yet you want for nothing, and have no need or desire for more. Instead, you choose to serve a higher purpose and give to others who have less.To help others in need, or to support a worthy charitable cause, is the act of a generous and caring spirit, but who is worthy? Who is deserving? Do you give without bias or expectation? Do you give equally to all in need? Or is your generosity conditional? What is it that you seek to gain from the act of giving? These are also questions the Nine of Earth asks you to consider.An act of charity born from compassion can be transforming. To know that you have played a role in helping others can inspire a sense of deep satisfaction and wellbeing. It can be healing, not only for those who are helped, but for those who help. However, in some it can also give rise to a sense of entitlement and self-importance. It can inspire a belief that174acknowledgement and praise should be given.Altruism is the selfless act of giving. To give without expectation of reward. To give simply because you can, and choose to, and nothing more.The Nine of Earth signifies that it might be time to go through your cupboards and remove all that you no longer need and do not use. Give to local charitable organisations that work to help those in need within your community.And if you have any skeletons in those cupboards, it might also be wise to deal with them too.Potential Blockage: There is a lot of truth to the old adage that ‘Charity begins at home,’ yet so many people are willing to give to their families, or a complete stranger, a level of care and attention that they are unwilling to give to themselves.The Nine of Earth reversed asks, ‘Do you speak kindly of yourself, or are you constantly criticising what you perceive to be your flaws and weaknesses? Will you generously knit another person a sweater, while you stand there shivering because you have not taken the time to knit one for yourself? Do you have a habit of giving your time to everyone else and leaving none for yourself?’Remember, if you do not look after yourself and treat yourself with the same compassion and consideration that you afford others, this neglect may very well take a physical toll - and how will you be able to look after others if your health has failed you? If you are feeling under the weather, take the time to rest and heal. Address your health concerns, even the minor ones.The shadow Nine of Earth symbolises a need to be charitable and kind to yourself so that you can, in turn, be kind and charitable to others.175x. TEN OF EARTHKeywords: Synthesis, Harmony, Highest Ideals, Reward, Inner Peace, Authenticity, Grace, Look WithinKey Phrases:■ A time of reward- Everything is coming together- Move through life with surety- Understand your place and purpose- Do not be daunted by change- Strength gained from experience- Why do you feel a lack?- Dissatisfaction and discomfortMeaning: The Ten of Earth symbolises all aspects of life coming together as a whole. Career, home, family - all are in harmony. Years of dedicated service to family, career, and community have reaped the highest of rewards - the love, respect, and trust of family and peers. This love, respect, and trust are a reflection of what is felt within, and inspire a sense of wellbeing and connectedness that enables one to move through life with both grace and ease.The Ten of Earth is an affirming card. If it appears in your reading it signifies a time of reward. It also asks, ‘Have you have embraced the highest of ideals - to lead a fulfilling life spent doing something you love, to raise your children to become happy confident adults, and to know and understand your place and purpose?’At this time, be sure to remove all masks and show your true self to the world. Authenticity is a quality admired by many.Live your life undaunted by change, also, and know that you have been made stronger by your past experiences. Now, whatever the challenge might be, you will find your centre and move forward in a fearless manner.176Potential Blockage: You have every reason to be happy, and yet the reversed Ten of Earth symbolises an element of dissatisfaction or uneasiness.Everything has manifested as you had hoped, and still you feel that something is missing. The appearance of this card reversed symbolises a need to determine the source of your discomfort - and if there is no external cause or reason, it is time to look within.XL ELEVEN OF EARTH: HEAVEN/EARTHKeywords: Heaven/Earth - Above, Below, Nature, Humanity, Magic, Mundane, Material, ImmaterialKey Phrases:- Separation is an illusion - Symbiotic relationships- Centre and align - Harm the planet and you harm- Spiritual being in a physical body humanity- Spirit dwells in nature - The ordinary is magical and the- Experience life, and learn from magical is ordinary experienceMeaning: The Eleven of Earth is a balancing and realignment card. It suggests it is now time to keep yourself centred and in harmony with the world around you by banishing the illusion of separation.You are a spiritual being; a soul living in a physical body in order to experience and learn from life. You are here to learn from those experiences in order to grow and evolve. It is important to integrate and ground your belief in a higher power, or the intangible, here on the physical plane. Know that Spirit - the Divine - dwells in all things of earth, sky, and water. Honour Spirit here on earth. To be spiritual does not necessarily require that you pray, or follow a particular religious path. Spirituality is about connection. It is about taking a moment to watch a sunrise or sunset and to know at your centre that you are part of something larger than your own life. It is about believing in more than what your senses experience. It is about believing in the mysterious, inexplicable, and unknowable. It is about nurturing and honouring your personal relationship with the land beneath your feet and178the heavens above.Humanity and Nature have a symbiotic relationship. We are dependent upon the world in which we live for our very survival. When we harm the planet, we do harm to humanity. It is important to establish a balanced and harmonious relationship with nature by living a life that has less impact, one that places fewer demands on the environment. Instead of claiming space as your own, remember that you share it, and do what you can to coexist with the flora and fauna that were there before you. Integrate nature into your home environment.It is important to know and understand how to live in accordance with the seasons and cycles, and how each animal and plant serves an important role in maintaining the stability of the ecosystems in which they dwell. To destroy one can lead to the destruction of the whole.It is also important to see that magic exists in all and everything. For example, the mundane act of house-cleaning can shift and alter the energy within the house and transform the environment in which you dwell. This act has an influence beyond the space around you; it effects your emotional and mental state as well, as a cluttered and disorganised house or workspace can give rise to a cluttered and disorganised mind that is unable to focus.Mathematical patterns, the Fibonacci sequence for example, can be found hidden in the natural world within the shapes of shells, flowers, pinecones, and even the human womb. They are also visible in the way tree branches grow and the shape of a hurricane when viewed from above.It can be said that the ordinary is magical and that magic is quite ordinary. To work magic is a simple process of creating and focussing energy with intent, which means that everything you do with intent, from adding a string of numbers, to making a nice dinner for friends, is an act of making magic.When defining the material as the physical world in which we dwell, and the immaterial as the world we cannot see, the Eleven of Earth addresses the importance of seeing them as being a part of a singular whole.Potential Blockage: The Eleven of Earth reversed has a very simple and direct meaning. If it appears in your reading today, it, like its upright meaning, symbolises a potential imbalance that needs to be addressed.179XII. TWELVE OF EARTH: THE SENESCHALKeywords: Servant, Administrator, Mediator, Justice, Law, Organised, Trustworthy, LoyalKey Phrases:- Service to a higher purpose- Loyalty to authority- Speak for others- Is your power real or borrowed?- Follow the rules or directions given- Use personal power wisely- Question everything- Blind loyalty makes one blindMeaning: The Seneschal of Earth symbolises the service to king and country. The seneschal is a trusted servant who has access to, and control over, all within his lord’s domain. He, while being of noble blood himself, is in service to, and speaks for, the one above him.His duties are many. He is respected by some and feared by others, for he holds the keys to both the treasury and the dungeon. He is both judge and mediator within the halls and lands of the kingdom. He upholds the law and metes out justice in the name of his lord or lady. The seneschal also controls his masters wealth, giving payment to those who are owed, and collecting taxes from those who owe.The seneschal is powerful, but his power is borrowed, and dependent upon his willingness to follow the orders of those above him without question. If his loyalty falters or falls under suspicion, he could lose everything, even his life.The Seneschal of Earth represents a person in service, not to the many, but to one. His role is multifaceted, and every task is performed with care.180He is the master organiser, and possesses both intelligence and a quick mind.He is a person who sets aside leadership aspirations in order to be the trusted representative of the one who leads. His position places great responsibility on his shoulders, but he is committed and dedicated.The Seneschal symbolises a willingness, or necessity, to obey the rules or directions of those in charge, and to put aside personal beliefs and opinions.This card asks that you use your personal power wisely. If you have the ear and favour of those who are in a position of power, you, in turn, have the power to bring happiness or harm. What do you choose to do?Potential Blockage: Is your loyalty to another blinding you to their true nature and intentions? Is it creating tension in your relationships with others? Are you blindly following another’s lead and embracing what could be seen as a ‘pack mentality’?Ask yourself if you could do harm to another because the one you serve asks you to. Are you willing to sacrifice your own integrity and reputation in order to serve or follow a person who may not have your best interests at heart?The reversed Seneschal of Earth asks that you do not follow blindly. Question everything. Look to the reasons and motives behind your chosen leader’s actions, and ask yourself if you are serving them for the greater good - or for their own good.181Xlll. QUEEN OF EARTHKeywords: Earth Mother, Pragmatic, Real, Kind, Nurturing, Abundant, Fertile Mind, WiseKey Phrases:- Touch, connect, and create with your hands- Be supportive and nurturing- Seek out a motherly role model- A need for wise and honest counsel- Kindness is required- You are loved and supported- Mother, do not smother- Share the responsibilitiesMeaning: The Queen of Earth symbolises a real, authentic, earth mother personality. She is larger than life and possesses an abundant, generous, and grounded nature.She is realistic, but also sees magic everywhere. She is an earth mother who spends a great deal of time covered in soil, and it is not unknown for her to walk around oblivious to the leaves and twigs in her hair.She adores creating a warm and inviting home where all are welcome. Cooking, cleaning, gardening - these are the things she loves, and she enjoys them all the more because of her tactile and sensual nature. She is a woman who loves nothing more than using her hands to touch, connect, and create.The Queen of Earth is the epitome of kindness; she will offer support, and nurture your every endeavour, while also offering wise and honest counsel.She comes to ask if this is how you see yourself. Or have you been so focussed on business undertakings and career that you have created an imbalance in your life and disconnected from your true nature? Is it time182for you to enjoy the benefits of being a homebody for a while? Maybe a home-cooked meal, or weekend out in the garden is on the agenda, instead of meetings and reports.The Queen of Earth may also appear in your reading at times when you find yourself in need of a gentle reminder to be both nurturing and supportive of those around you. While you encourage and support others in their desire to better themselves, remember to do so without trying to change them.In her role as wise-woman, she may be asking that you seek out those who embody her energy. Perhaps there is a need for you to connect with a motherly role model at this time. Maybe all you need is a hug, but you may also be facing issues that her fertile mind and natural wisdom can help you with. A little motherly advice may unlock an answer and provide a solution.Potential Blockage: The reversed Queen of Earth will appear in your readings for two reasons. The first is to caution against making the home a hiding place, where you shut out those who care about you. Yes, we all need a sanctuary, but our periods of isolation should always be temporary. The Queen of Earth seeks to remind you that you are not meant to be alone; there are people who love you and support you. Let them in.The Queen of Earth, when she appears in a reversed position, may also be cautioning you against smothering those around you. There is a difference between mothering and overwhelming, or, worse, disempowering someone through too much care and attention. Take a step back and allow those around you to act for themselves. In fact, encourage them to act for themselves. You might enjoy what you do for others, but there comes a time when those around you must learn to look after themselves, or at least share in the household responsibilities.183XIV KING OF EARTHKeywords: Virile, Successful, Industrious, Devoted, Steadfast, Authoritative, Reliable, DedicatedKey Phrases:- Take pride in accomplishments- Pay it forward- Honour your process- Now is not the time to make changes- Life is meant to be enjoyed- Free yourself from control- Don’t be lazy- Abuse/misuse of powerMeaning: The King of Earth is a very satisfied man, and he has every reason to be; everything he touches turns to gold. His kingdom is secure and wealthy, and his people are happy and prosperous.While some may consider that his circumstances are born of luck, he is a natural leader, and his success is born of hard work and dedication. He is proud of his accomplishments, and is not afraid to acknowledge them, and, more importantly, to enjoy them. However, despite any appearance of excess, he is very grounded and realistic, and enjoys abundance because he is wise and careful.The King of Earth is not afraid to be open or candid, because he has no insecurities or emotional baggage to feed doubts and fears. He is only too willing to share in his success, and gives advice and guidance without hesitation when asked. He does not fear that doing so will give rise to a competitor or rival; he believes that everyone is entitled to the same opportunities.He is clear-minded and reliable, someone you can trust and depend on. He is also wise and intelligent, and these factors keep him at the forefront184of all that he does. On a business level, some may see him as boring and pedantic, but his methods are sound. He has found a process that works for him, and one that pays dividends. Why change what yields results? If his methods fail, then he is willing to change, but if the methods work, then change is not required, and is an unnecessary waste of time and energy. He is not one to try and fix that which is not broken.The King of Earth may appear in your reading to tell you that it is okay to rejoice in your successes. All too often, we are made to feel that taking pride in our success equates to being boastful. This can lead to feelings of guilt and a decision to stay silent.While you can choose your moments, and be respectful of other’s feelings, the King of Earth suggests that you have every right to celebrate your achievements and take pride in your accomplishments.If you have the resources and means to enjoy yourself, then do so. There is no need to ask for anyone’s permission or blessing. This is, after all, why you have worked so hard.The King of Earth may also symbolise a need to take a methodical approach that you know will work for you. At this time, do not deviate or take a chance on trying something new. Do not allow the opinions of others to sway you, either. Instead, trust in your usual process, especially if it has always worked for you in the past.Potential Blockage: The reversed King of Earth may represent someone who expects others to do for him what he is too lazy to do for himself. He can feel his is the lord of his domain, and believe all who dwell within are there to serve him. He may even be someone who tends towards chauvinism or misogynistic behaviour.The reversed King can be rigid and controlling, bullish and pedantic. He can also be jealous and unwilling to relinquish anything he sees as his property.He may represent someone who is vainglorious - a name-dropper - who believes themselves to be far more important than they are, and be willing to take another’s laurels for their own, by suggesting that their success is only due to his help or counsel.When the reversed King of Earth appears in your reading, he may185symbolise a need to free yourself from a controlling relationship, where you are not treated as an equal.He might also be telling you to let go and lighten up. It may even be time to laugh at yourself and to not believe your own hyperbole.Whether he represents you or another, the reversed King of Earth cautions against egocentric behaviour that restricts or limits others. If you are in a position of power or responsibility, remember always that it is not in your favour to abuse it.Allow those around you to shine when it is their time to be in the spotlight.186THE MINOR. AR.CANAAIR1. ACE OF AIRKeywords: New Ideas, Personal Truths, Paradigms, Originality, Individualisation, Motivation, Choices, BeliefKey Phrases:- A new personal ideology- Unlearn and let go- Fact and genuine knowledge- Honour personal truths- Know your mind- Reality is first conceived in the mind- Be excited and motivated- Are old beliefs sabotaging future goals?Meaning: The Ace of Air symbolises a new way of thinking. It suggests that it is now time to let go of old outdated beliefs and ideas that no longer serve, and make way for a new, and independently formed, personal ideology. It is time to unlearn and let go of ideas and opinions born of societal conditioning, inaccuracies, and false assumptions - and replace them with ideas born of self-awareness, fact, and genuine knowledge. It is also time to recognise both for what they are, and learn to differentiate between the two.Its appearance in your reading lets you know it is also time to honour personal truths that have foundation in your own experiences, instead of embracing the truths of others, and making them your own. To do otherwise is to wear an ill-fitting pair of shoes borrowed, or stolen, from another. While they may protect your feet, they will also pinch and rub, and, over time, can do more harm than good. It is time to realise that to travel well and to go the distance, you need a pair of shoes that fit well because they are made for you specifically.It is the same with personal ideology. Your life experiences will offer188lessons that impart both practical knowledge and wisdom. Objective analysis can provide insight and understanding that reveals how your life experiences, thoughts, and emotions influence all of your choices and the outcomes born of those choices. Your physical reality is first conceived within the mind.The Ace of Air is offering an opportunity to embrace new paradigms and patterns, and to replace those that limit and restrict you. Now, you can change your mind, and in doing so, change the way you make the choices that determine your direction and shape your reality. You can cut away all that clouds judgement and perception, and prevents you from knowing your true mind. Clarity will come with peeling away the layers of imposed dogma, and beliefs born of past disappointments and hurts.The Ace of Air also symbolises a time of feeling motivated and excited by the ideas in your head, your goals, and dreams, because they are yours. It is time to take them and make them more. This marks the beginning of the individualisation process we all must go through in order to realise our fullest potential.Potential Blockage: The Ace of Air reversed wants to know if you are holding on to outdated beliefs, opinion, or fears that are exerting an influence on your decision-making ability. Past hurts, past failures and mistakes, loss, the thoughts and opinions of others, and fear of upsetting others if we disagree or choose a way that is different to their own ... all of these things can hamper our ability to implement new ideas, or a new way of being. Over time, they become impediments that can limit and restrict.The Ace of Air reversed asks that you look within to discover what it is that prevents you from acting. Are your own beliefs sabotaging your future goals?189II. Two OF AIRKeywords: Duality, Polarity, Separation, Unity, Dichotomy, Integration, Choice, Big PictureKey Phrases:- Everything has an opposite- Duality divides and separates- Polarity unites and integrates- When you create, you also destroy- Embrace an open mind- Nothing is ever black and white- A choice between dichotomy and integration- Sometimes both parties can be rightMeaning: The Two of Air represents both duality and polarity, and the theory that everything in creation has an opposite.Duality is the theory that two opposing forces come together to create a state of chaos. In this theory, positive and negative poles repel each other, and so there is a constant and ongoing battle between the two, where one seeks to overcome or be rid of the other.Polarity, however, is the idea that two opposing forces exist in all things within the universe, not as separate competing forces, but as complementary, opposing aspects of a singular whole. In this theory, one is just as necessary as the other; one does not exist without the other - and, in some situations, depending upon one’s perspective, one could be even said to be an identical mirror image of the other.Consider a magnet, for example. It is made up of a positive pole, and a negative pole. Without either one or the other, the magnet ceases to be a magnet. You cannot remove a negative half from the positive half, because there is no half of one and half of the other. There is only the whole. If you190were to divide a magnet in two, all you would succeed in doing is one of two things - you would create two separate magnets, or destroy the magnet.As the theory of polarity points out, there are opposites, and while one has no identity or meaning without the other, neither is intrinsically good or bad. Fear is. Love is. Light is. Dark is. Love can be as destructive as fear, and fear can be beneficial. It can save lives, and inspire the desire to improve or heal. It can also make you more empathetic, understanding, and appreciative.More often than not, both polar opposites are experienced in unison. For instance, when you create something, you destroy the state that existed prior to your creating it. You create and destroy in unison. They are not separate states. They are the same state seen from two different perspectives.When you love something, you most probably also fear losing it. The fear might not be voiced, or even acknowledged - it might even be denied. It is, however, still present. You would fight to protect that something because you love it, but you also fight because you fear losing it or seeing it harmed. Therefore, to love is to also fear, and to act from a place of love is to also act from a place of fear. You might choose to lose weight and exercise, and say that you are doing so because you love yourself, and so you deserve to have a healthy body. At the same time, it could be said that you choose to lose weight and exercise because you fear what may happen if you do not. Your choice is motivated by both love and fear. Again, it is the same state simply viewed from two different perspectives.That is polarity.With the duality principle, however, one force is always better than the other - right and wrong, love and hate, light and dark, positive and negative, creation and destruction - all illustrate extreme opposites where one is perceived to be good and the other is bad, and the primary goal is for good to triumph over, to overcome, the bad.Duality divides and creates two separate states. It creates a state of one versus the other. It creates a war-like state of conflict that serves only to perpetuate more chaos.Duality is black and white. Polarity is the entire spectrum. Duality divides and competes. Polarity unites and accepts.The Two of Air offers a choice between two paths. You can choose a191path of dichotomy, or one of integration. One offers conflict, and the other offers peace.Potential Blockage: The Two of Air reversed cautions against taking a black- and-white approach to life. To do so is to move through life with a closed mind, and eyes that only see part of what is. It is to refuse to look at the bigger picture.Are you taking a rigid and inflexible stance, when an open mind and heart is needed? Understanding is required, and that means accepting that sometimes there is no right or wrong. Sometimes both parties can be right, and both parties can be wrong.Embracing the spectrum of colour that is life opens the mind, and, in turn, reveals that there is more than just the right choice or the wrong choice available.192Ill. THREE OF AIRKeywords: Education, Talent, Study,Willingness, Guides/Teachers, Comprehension, Communication, PerceptionKey Phrases:- Expand your mind- Every experience offers a lesson- Education is a lifelong process- Learning aids comprehension- Lessons repeat until we understand- Learning transforms talent into skill- Don’t kill the messenger- Ignorance is nothing to be proud ofMeaning: The Three of Air symbolises the importance of education and study in helping us to reach our highest potential, and reminds us that education should be thought of as a lifelong process. Life, itself, teaches us. Every experience can offer us a lesson. The people around us, and those who come into our lives, can all teach us, and guide us. They can give us insight into who we are, who they are, and our relationships within society, nature, and our immediate environments.Education serves to help the individual develop an understanding of life and to comprehend it. It helps to maintain a sense of freedom and purpose. It helps us to determine whether a situation is right or wrong for us, and provides us with other options. It also helps us to see that there can be long¬term ramifications - rewards and consequences - to our actions.We learn of our history, we learn of our possible future, we learn about nature and the world, we learn about ourselves as a race, and we learn about the universe in which we dwell. The knowledge we receive via an education empowers us, and the more we know, the more we can accomplish. Education helps us to use our minds and our senses to our benefit. It protects us from193being fooled, manipulated, and deceived, and it also gives us the means to follow our dreams. The more we learn, the more we can comprehend, and the easier it becomes to communicate and express ourselves.But to become both learned and educated takes time, and a willingness to commit oneself to a lengthy process of study, and evaluation of the information we have gathered. We must observe and listen, study, absorb, and then be tested to see if we comprehend what we have learned - and then observe more, and listen more, study, absorb, and be tested once again. This process does not stop even when we leave the classroom. Life is our classroom, and it is by living life that our passions and talents, and the opportunity to seek to increase our knowledge in a manner that can transform those passions and talents into genuine skill, will be revealed.The Three of Air reminds us to move through life with the intention of learning from life, from our experiences, from the people around us, and from the world around us. To accomplish this, we can ask questions about everything - and of everyone - with whom we come in contact. We can seek out our elders, and those who have different customs, because one will teach us of traditions and of a history that is not discussed in books, and the other will expose us to ideas and beliefs that are different to our own. Both, in turn, can provide us with the contrast and depth that will enable us to perceive the world from multiple perspectives.Listen to their stories, allow them to teach you their trade, of their history and culture. Learn from them and their lives, and you might discover they have given you the means to improve your own life.When we have the desire to learn and to nurture our talents, while patience will stand us in good stead, a desire for instant gratification will likely hinder us. It takes a true willingness to commit oneself to study and learning. To learn something, and learn it well, requires dedication, commitment, and time. Sometimes, it takes a lifetime, and sometimes the lessons offered will repeat, and repeat, and repeat, until we can perform a task as naturally, and with as little thought, as breathing. It is important to remember that sometimes learning cannot be rushed and that practice will give way to ease and confidence. Repeated lessons and practice make it easier for us to understand - to comprehend.Comprehension is the ability to understand the lessons we have194learned - and sometimes to do so requires both effort and willingness in the form of time and an open mind. Sometimes, it requires learning certain lessons several times, until we become familiar. While other times, our comprehension can only be increased by exposing ourselves to new experiences, places, and people, to the strange and the unfamiliar.The more you educate yourself, the more you know and understand, the easier it becomes to step outside of yourself and see the world and your experiences for what they truly are. In doing so, it becomes easier to find your place, purpose, or direction, to fulfil your goals, and to lead a productive life. The Three of Air will appear in your cards when there is a need to expand your mind by educating yourself in order to improve and grow.Potential Blockage: The Three of Air reversed cautions us against wearing our ignorance like a badge of honour. Choosing to wilfully close yourself off to learning is nothing to be proud of, nor is the choice to speak from an uneducated perspective. There is a difference between having an opinion based on your idea of what is wrong and right and having an educated opinion founded in fact. Don’t risk making a fool of yourself by declaring yourself knowledgeable if your knowledge and experience are limited. Show that even if you lack in knowledge and understanding you are wise - admit your ignorance and open yourself to the opportunity to learn. If someone has a vaster understanding than your own, then learn from them and grow.195IV FOUR OF AIRKeywords: Structure, Routine, Order, Patterns, Discipline, Organisation, Understanding, ProductivityKey Phrases:- Order your environment- Banish clutter. Clean house- Create structure in your day- Follow a routine- Keep a time budget- If you truly want something you, will make time for it- Limit distraction and time wasters-Weed out bad habits- Remove negative influencesMeaning: The Four of Air symbolises the importance of ordering your environment and giving your day structure, especially if you have specific goals or projects you wish to perform, and complete.Routines are our daily habits - the things that we do on a daily basis - given structure and order. Following our routine moves us from one part of our day to the next. Having a routine can provide us with a level of security born of consistency.By establishing order in our environment, we also add to that sense of security. When everything has its place, we can be confident that it will be there when we need it. We won’t waste hours of our day looking for something that has been lost in the clutter and mess that we often surround ourselves with.A cluttered and chaotic environment can give rise to a cluttered and disorganised mind, a mind that is unable to follow a routine that is conducive to productivity.The Four of Air suggests establishing order in your life by removing the196clutter. Establish a pattern of regular cleaning. Put things back where they belong after use so they are there the next time you need them. Keep your paperwork in order. Even make a place in your life for the unexpected and unanticipated. That way, even chaos does not have too much of an impact on your peace of mind, or prevent you from doing what needs to be done.Does your routine make space for your goals and projects? When we want to make real headway, it helps us if our daily routine includes a suitable amount of time set aside to work on those things that are truly important to us. If you want to complete a project, working in an ordered and routine manner will help your progress by establishing a pattern of consistency that will result in a successful and timely completion.If you feel that you have no time, then the Four of Air represents an opportunity to sit down and look at your routine to see if there is time to be found that is currently spent on unnecessary tasks. Making time for yourself to relax is one thing; spending five hours on the Internet chatting on social media or playing computer games is another. Wouldn’t some of that time be better spent working to meet your goals?Alternatively, do you spend hours playing computer games or reading books, instead of writing that epic fantasy adventure, because it takes your attention away from doubts, insecurities, and fears that you might have regarding your aspirations and goals? If so, the Four of Air suggests that it is time to look at why you are behaving in a way that sabotages your productivity and creativity.Patterns of behaviour are often habituated when they offer a psychological or emotional reward. Most of the time, they do not become an issue of concern, but, if they become habituated, they can often have the same effect on our lives as drug or alcohol addiction. They provide a pleasure response, and so we repeat them in order to get another hit. Are you seeking a pleasure hit for all the wrong reasons? Does socialising on the Internet generate that pleasure hit by giving you social connection? Does playing computer games generate that pleasure hit by allowing you to escape reality for a time? Establish new productive and creative patterns, and you may get the same pleasure hit when you succeed at your objectives.This card appears in your reading to let you know that now is a perfect time to establish new patterns and habits, and to look closely at those that197have already been established and decide whether they are of benefit, or whether they hinder. Scrutinising your habits, both good and bad, will also increase your understanding of yourself.Sit down and write a list of how you spend your time. Look for those elements that eat into time that could be better spent elsewhere. Don’t cut them out completely, because, if you do so, any change to your routine is likely to become unsustainable. Instead, budget your time like you would your finances. Allocate time for wasting time, but do so in a manner that allows you to stick to your time budget and get things doneTo be creative and productive, and to reach our goals, requires both a structured day and the discipline to commit to your routine. It also requires a willingness to create an environment that supports your ventures. By establishing a healthy routine that makes time for both relaxing and creating, you will create an environment that is conducive to both. By making it a positive environment also, you increase your chances of success.Remember, if you truly want something, you will make time for it.Potential Blockage: The Four of Air reversed symbolises the importance of addressing distractions and negative influences, and sometimes that includes people as well as habits. When this card appears reversed in your reading, ask yourself if you have someone in your life that is always questioning your goals and creative ventures. If so, do they often suggest or imply that you are wasting your time? Do they always suggest reasons you should not do something that you know would make you happy? Do they interrupt your routine with an expectation that you entertain them?It might be necessary to take them aside and ask that they be supportive or silent, and that they respect your desire to work to a routine. If they refuse, then it might also be necessary to step back and decide if the friendship is a healthy one. To raise legitimate concerns is a sign of caring, but to ridicule, or dismiss your goals as being unimportant is not. If a friend refuses to respect your boundaries and work ethic, are they truly your friend?198V. FIVE OF AIRKeywords: Illusion, Reality, Separation, Self¬Sabotage, Self-Deception, Criticism, Conditioning, HealingKey Phrases:- A conflict between reality and belief- A time for honesty- Let go of illusion and pretence- Face a painful reality- You are not alone- Advice and constructive criticism are not a personal attack- Drop the mask. Reveal your true self- Forgive others for wearing their masksMeaning: The Five of Air represents a conflict between what is real and what is believed. It addresses a need for honesty, and the courage to let go of a self-deception that is being held onto in order to hide and protect from a painful reality.This painful reality may be one that we choose to deny, but even so, its influence can still create dissonance in our lives and work in a corrosive manner that gives rise to conflicted thoughts, a desire to avoid and procrastinate, and eventual self-sabotage of our creative endeavours. It can also manifest in a desire to withdraw and separate ourselves from those who love us.The symptoms to look for are low self-esteem, a disparaging inner voice, and an inability to handle criticism as it only serves to reinforce a low opinion that is already held. Even simple advice and constructive criticism that are offered to help improve or fix something that is in need of further work is perceived to be an attack, and is responded to with hurt or anger.199When this happens repeatedly, others may become reluctant to speak up even when there is a real and genuine need. This reluctance is noticed and feeds the anxiety.As a result of this inability to take advice of any kind and see it for what it is - care and love - conflict, mistakes, and outright failure become common occurrences, which, in turn, make us believe even more that we will never succeed. Behind the mask, we fall victim to self-recrimination, judgement, and blame, and criticise ourselves in a manner that is neither objective nor constructive.And yet, despite everything, we try to put on a brave face and continue to smile, but it is a mask. The smile is the lie that hides disappointments, regrets, guilt, and a pain that we attempt to deny, because we have been conditioned to suppress and repress our true thoughts and feelings.If the Five of Air card appears in your reading, it is, in essence, a gentle intervention. Remove the mask and the blindfold from your eyes. Let go of the lie that all is okay and that you are happy, and allow yourself to see that you need to address the thoughts and beliefs that have you thinking poorly of yourself. It is time for you to see and face the inner demons that have you believing that you are not worthy or deserving of success or happiness.Drop the mask and show your true self, wounds and all. Look at the damaging thoughts and beliefs, address their source, and give yourself an opportunity to heal. Allow others to help you. You are not alone, and you are loved. Understand that the advice and constructive criticism others offer is not meant to limit and wound, but to help you heal and grow.Potential Blockage: As with all of the Five cards, the Five of Air reversed offers a second challenging message regarding the choice to wear a mask. Whether it be a personal message, or pertaining to someone close by, the Five of Air reversed is advising you to be cautious misrepresenting yourself, a situation, or another person. The truth will always out, so it is better not to embellish or fabricate, even if you only weave little lies in order to fit in with the crowd and belong.If you are wearing a mask, put it aside and reveal your true self. Don’t be afraid of rejection. Yes, you might lose a few people by revealing the truth, but you will also draw to you those who admire your honesty and200authenticity, who like you for who you are.If the roles are reversed, and it is another who lies, then, in this situation, it might pay to show empathy and compassion. When the mask slips, try not to judge too harshly or condemn. Embrace them. Forgive them. Doing so will give them confidence and may help them to keep the mask off instead of putting it back on.VI. Six OF AIRKeywords: Solutions, Comparisons, Compromise, Open-Mindedness, Mindfulness, Illumination, Epiphany, Personal PowerKey Phrases:- A time of research & investigation- Look at, and compare, a range of options- Weigh the pros and cons- Be willing to compromise- Don’t let rigidity hamper possible success- A moment of epiphany- Step into your personal power- Do not discredit what others offerMeaning: The Six of Air represents a solution born of compromise that lies somewhere in between the black-and-white, either/or choices that are so often seen as the only options available. Now is a good time to contemplate and compare a range of different options in order to discover the best solution for one and all.Therefore, it is also time for research and investigation. As you consider the options, compare, take notes, weigh the pros and cons for each. There might be a need for compromises to be made, as sometimes, in order to achieve our goals and objectives, compromise is required. Now is not be the time to prevent an outcome by being inflexible and taking a rigid stance.The Six of Air also represents that singular moment of revelation and illumination, when the mind opens and at once understands the extent of the power we have over our lives. Suddenly, you see potential in everything. You see how every experience and choice made by you and others has shaped you and your life and brought you to this moment. In turn, you also understand how every choice you make in the present will shape your future.202In that moment of recognition, the mind changes in an instant, and so does life itself.The Six of Air is presenting you with the opportunity to act with mindfulness and awareness. From this moment onwards, choose to take responsibility for your thoughts, beliefs, and actions, understanding that even by taking a passive or inactive role by doing nothing or by allowing others to make decisions on your behalf, you are making a choice. Own it. The only drawback is that you will no longer be able to blame others for stealing your power if it was your choice to give it away. This is your moment to come of age and own your power.The Six of Air signifies an opportunity to empower and illuminate your life by opening your mind.Potential Blockage: The Six of Air reversed symbolises a bad habit of making comparisons in a divisive manner that separates and creates an ‘us versus them' situation.When the Six of Air appears reversed, it is cautioning you to be more embracing of others’ differences, and warns not fall into the trap of judging others because they think or believe in a different way to you.It comes to remind you that we are all different, and that the one thing that we all have in common is just that: we are all different. Every single person has beliefs totally unique to themselves, shaped by their own experience and knowledge. Don’t be too quick to discredit what another has to offer, just because their perspective and perception is different to your own.203V1L SEVEN OF AIRKeywords: Spirituality, Religion, Politics, Personal Dogma, Atheism, Fundamentalism, Indoctrination, KindnessKey Phrases:- Its not what we believe, but how we believe- Lift others up- Does what you believe make you kinder?- Are you willing to lose another for your beliefs?- There are many ways, not just your way- Educate, don’t indoctrinate- Seek a kind approach- Moderate fundamentalist beliefsMeaning: The Seven of Air symbolises the realms of spiritual belief, religious practice, and personal dogma, and the influence they have upon how we perceive the world around us. Spiritual belief can make our lives feel complete, make us healthier, happier, kinder, and more compassionate people, and yet it can also place us at odds with others and start wars, both global and personal. It can bring peace, and a healthy sense of wellbeing, or it can literally place you in harms way and tear your world and life to pieces. Spiritual belief, in the form of religion, has throughout the centuries, been one of the root causes of almost all human conflict, and it is still one of the leading causes of bloodshed in our modern world.There are many who subscribe to the belief that embracing a spiritual path is different to following one of the many organised’ religions. But consider this: whether you subscribe to a religion, or have a more organic spiritual ideology, or even subscribe to Atheism, all involve following a204personal dogma that can be orthodox and rigid or expansive and accepting. To believe in a religion, to embrace a spiritual path, or none at all, is no different, energetically, than believing that one political party is better than another, or that a vegan diet is better than one that includes meat and animal products, or that your favourite sports team is the best sports team. All forms of belief can lead to peace and a healthy sense of wellbeing or to extreme and fundamentalist behaviour. All paths can be born of independent knowledge and understanding, indoctrination, or a mix of both. Each choice, even the choice not to believe in the Divine, requires that you believe in something, even if that something is that a belief in anything other than our physical reality is a symptom of a deranged mind.The Seven of Air reminds us that all personal dogma and spiritual dogma can give rise to an open mind or a closed one to varying degrees. Each path contains core beliefs that won’t be changed, or cannot be changed, because to do so would make them something other than the beliefs that are meant to be subscribed to. Therefore, it matters not what you believe in, but how you choose to live and express that belief. How does what you believe on a spiritual level influence your thoughts, feelings, and actions? Does it make you kinder and more understanding of those who are different? Or does it inspire a feeling of superiority, that you are ‘right’ and that your way is 'the only way’? Does your spiritual path inspire you to lift people up, and brighten their day? Or does it inspire you to think less of others, or pity them because their ignorance damns them to some imagined hell or purgatory?What are you willing to give up, to lose, because of how and what you believe in? What does your spiritual path, or personal dogma, bring into your life? The Seven of Air symbolises an opportunity to look closely at how your personal spiritual beliefs and personal dogma, influence your thoughts and behaviour, and to contemplate whether they serve to make you a better person, or serve to make you more critical and rigid.Potential Blockage: The Seven of Air reversed represents a need to step back and moderate any extreme or fundamentalist behaviour. You do not do your cause any justice by following a fundamentalist path. The only thing this achieves is to make those around you, who do not share your beliefs, angry and resistant to the changes you are attempting to impose upon them.205Instead of opening minds, you can close them tighter than a steel trap.When the Seven of Air reversed appears in your reading, seek a gentler, more moderate, approach. Educate, instead of trying to indoctrinate. Don’t use cruel and punishing methods. They never work. All they do is perpetuate the paradigms that you seek to end.Vlll. EIGHT OF AIRKeywords: The Ego, Truth, Power, Responsibility, Consequences, Cause and Effect, Lessons Learned, MemoryKey Phrases:- Ego does not always tell the truth- Effect will always follow cause- Time to change your ways- Admit that you made a mistake- Memory is imperfect- Self-justification does not mitigate harm- Consequences are inescapable- We all make mistakesMeaning: We are creatures driven by our egos. Our ego is in part, our identity - the centre of our consciousness. It is driven by our instincts and base desires, and constrained by culture and society. It can have us feeling confident and certain, or it can have us feeling uncertain and afraid. It can also employ one of several defence mechanisms to shield us from uncomfortable truths or a reality that we are not willing or ready to accept. So many of us are afraid of the truth. We can be so afraid of the truth that our ego will work hand in hand with our primal instincts and do what it can to protect us. If our ego is wounded, or we have been taught to fear, the defence mechanisms employed may also be detrimental to good health, wellbeing, and to our relationships with others. Our need to feel safe, to feel good, to be right, to be better, to be needed, and to be loved, can result in the evidence at hand - reality - being distorted and shaped to fit our perception of events so that what we want to believe is in conflict with fact.Cognition is the process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses. Cognitive dissonance is a207conflict that arises when an individual attempts to hold on to two conflicting beliefs or thought processes at the same time. That conflict can give rise to mental, emotional, and physical discomfort, especially when our actions and our reason for behaving in a particular manner war with our natural sense of right and wrong and the moral code we are taught by those around us.Practicing a behaviour that does harm - smoking or overeating, for example - can give rise to cognitive dissonance. The desire to continue doing something that everybody knows and cannot deny is harmful is rejected by a belief that it benefits the individual more than it harms them. Their parents or grandparents may have smoked for decades with no apparent ill effects, or the individual may come from a long line of overweight people who all lived long and happy lives. The act of smoking helps one to keep their weight under control, while the act of eating makes the other feel sated and peaceful. There is an emotional or psychological hook, and so they continue, even though their choice to do so could result in their chronic ill health, even death. What they have is an addiction, and what their mind attempts to do is to make them feel good about the fact that they refuse to give up their addiction. They know and understand the potential consequences of their choice to continue, but refuse to consider them, or choose to ignore them, responding in a defensive manner when those consequences are raised.However, the conflict that arises can be dispelled by doing one of several things: accept reality, and then make changes in one’s life in accordance to that truth, or, by the continued use of self-justification and other defence mechanisms, in order to make ourselves feel better, continue to do something, or believe something, that is doing us, or others, harm. The self¬justification and rationalisation increases our self-esteem, and allows us see our thoughts and actions in a favourable light. Nobody likes to think poorly of themselves, and so our ego acts to protect us by creating reasons and excuses to justify our actions. This is natural and normal behaviour. We all do it at some time or other.But while we can embrace a natural and normal state of denial, we are unlikely to escape the consequences of our actions. We can deny and suppress, we can rationalise, and we can justify - but every action gives rise208to a consequence, and those consequences can be both favourable or not. If you do something that you consciously or unconsciously know to have a potentially harmful consequence, and you choose to ignore it, or believe that it won’t manifest, then the Eight of Air comes to caution you to think again. There is a price to be paid for all that you do, no matter your reason or intentions, and you alone are responsible for the consequences born of your actions. In everything you do, cause and effect will play out. It is inevitable, and the consequences unavoidable.The Eight of Air is a very challenging card because it symbolises the need to look at your beliefs and behaviour, and question them. Are you hiding from an uncomfortable reality? It is time to take responsibility for your thoughts, actions, and the consequences they give rise to, and to see them for what they really are. It is a time to be humble, and accept that you might have projected your feelings about yourself onto another. Have you made a mistake or chosen a path or beliefs that have not served you well, and, instead of accepting this painful truth, allowed your ego to weave a reality that allows you to pretend? It is time to face the facts.Don’t worry about losing face by admitting to your humanity. Contrary to the belief that others will think less of you, in most situations, a simple apology and admitting that you made a mistake, or have been protecting yourself from a harsh truth, will earn people’s respect. Therefore, accept that maybe you don’t know as much as you think you do, and that you might be hiding behind a false reality, created by ego that serves only to make you feel good. But do not blame yourself, or allow a wounded ego make you think poorly of yourself. We all make mistakes. We all, at one time or another, try to deny, rationalise, and justify our actions and behaviour. Every single one of us. It is an inherently human trait; our egos will instinctively work to protect us, but sometimes we have to accept that our egos don’t always have us do the healthy, right, or honourable thing.Take this opportunity to take charge of your life. Embrace your personal power by learning from your mistakes so that you grow in wisdom and awareness. Be humble, and accept the truth that your ego is not always honest, and you are not always right. Your ego might have your best interests at heart, but it will offer self-justification in order to make you feel good about your behaviour, in order to protect you from the harsher209truth that your actions may have been misguided or harmful. The path to enlightenment is made up of our mistakes, and the lessons learned from them along the way. Wisdom is earned, not bestowed.Potential Blockage: The Eight of Air reversed signifies the need to question our memory of past conversations or situations. Why? Because our memories are not always accurate. In fact, unless we are blessed with perfect recall, our memories can be distorted, and our recollection flawed. Memories fade, and sometimes important details are forgotten. Sometimes our memories can become conflicted, as one experience becomes confused with another. They can merge and mingle, so that context and content are changed dramatically. There are also times when we become so focussed on a detail that we no longer have any recollection of the true nature of the entire experience. We see the detail, instead of the bigger picture that we have blocked out. Memories can also be distorted by our ego, emotions, beliefs, perspective, understanding, perception, and our overall mental health and physical wellbeing. Simple changes in diet, a lack of sleep, and illness, can hamper our ability to remember - and if our ability to remember is affected, then it follows that what we recall is only a partial memory, not necessarily a complete one.If you want an accurate log of your experiences, the Eight of Air recommends that you keep a journal that you write in every day. Write everything down. Write the story of your life. That way, when you look back at a moment in time, you have a written account of that moment that, while still being one that is only from your perspective, will be more accurate than memory alone.The Eight of Air signifies the importance of not giving our memories too much power or influence over our present. Yes, there are times when we experience moments that change our lives so dramatically that we will never forget them. But there are also times when our egos, as magical and as wonderful as they are, can alter our memories in order to make them fit a reality of our making. Sometimes, they can rewrite the entire script, change the dialogue, and create a moment that never happened - and believing that it did will not make it any more real. Be sure that what you believe you experienced is really what happened. Be sure that your recall210is as accurate as possible, especially if you are currently caught up in a ‘he said, she said’ situation. Everything changes with the passage of time, including our memories. Sometimes, it serves us better to remember that our memories can be altered, and not allow them to confuse a situation in the present. When you are asked to question everything, sometimes that means questioning yourself more than anyone else.211IX. NINE OF AIRKeywords: Self-Awareness, Universal Consciousness, Understanding, Insight, Vision, Imagination, Fantasy, CreativityKey Phrases:- Open to possibility- Possibilities are infinite- Know thyself & know the universe- What dwells within you dwells within nature- Belief creates- All that exists was first imagined- Fantasy is the birthplace of reality- You were born to create- Imagine your fears awayMeaning: The Nine of Air represents the imagination and our connection to the Universal Consciousness or Universal Mind. It signifies the importance of knowing thyself, for in truly knowing thyself one will know both the universe and the power of the Void.Ask yourself, what if the universe we dwell within is actually the mind of another being? What if the universe is, in reality, a God Mind, and we the creation of another being’s imagination? What if, within our minds, there exist universes within universes, where creatures that we dream of and imagine dwell in the same way we do here upon the earth, and within their minds are more universes? Like fractals, where the same pattern repeats and creates, our minds contain a universe, and within that universe are creatures and beings, who also have universes within their minds. The universe in which we dwell is one of billions existing within the mind that is yet another universe. The pattern repeats in both directions exponentially, creating an infinite number of universes and realities.Now ponder a moment... what if we looked within, and discovered that212within the realms of our minds, we create new worlds and realities with our belief? We choose to believe in something, and a new world that mirrors that belief is born. We stop believing in something, and that world either evolves with our beliefs or ceases to be, completely. Universes overlap, are born, and die, forever bound to the life and beliefs of the God Mind that created them. What if billions of lives were dependent upon our belief for their very existence? Would it not be wise to believe with understanding and knowledge? Would that not create a universe that is a little more constant and conducive to life?What if we are the only beings within this universe because the God Mind in which we dwell is a young mind with limited exposure, and, at this time, only believes in our existence?Pythagoras is credited with saying, ‘Man, know thyself, and you will know the universe in which gods dwell.’Simply put, he believed that to know oneself, was to know the universe, and the power of the gods, and he is correct. Everything man has within our physical reality, that is not born of the natural world, was first imagined by man. The television, the phone in your hand, the laptop on your desk, the movies you watch, the car you drive ... everything that man has created ... was first imagined by their inventor.Moreover, when those brave souls voiced their desire to create their new and strange contraptions, they were seen as crazy, eccentric, and foolish. They were told that what they wanted to create was fantasy. At one time or another, everything we have in our present reality, was once deemed to be an impossible fantasy, and yet now, these things exist, and we take their existence for granted.This is the power of the mind, and the mind’s true potential has not yet even begun to be understood, or known. All we do know is that the only limit to the mind and what it can do is one that we, the individual, place upon it. We are only limited by our imagination ... or lack of it. By looking within, learning and understanding the mind and the complex manner in which it controls our lives, and how it has taken our life experiences, and used them to influence all we do and all that we are, we can choose to unlearn some beliefs, change our thinking, and embrace a new, less restrictive way of thinking. You can become the God mind that you are - and within your213mind, you can imagine, and make what you imagine into a reality.We live in a society that admires innovation and creativity, and yet, paradoxically, fears it, and at times actively seeks to destroy the desire to create. We may be exposed to teachers who punish those who ask questions and challenge the answers because they know there is a better way. We might be ridiculed by family and friends when we use our imaginations, and speak of things that are deemed to be fantastical and unbelievable, but again, all that exists in our present reality was once fantasy and dwelt only in the mind. We may find we are repeatedly trained to reject creative endeavours as a waste of time and effort.The Nine of Air represents the importance of knowing your mind, understanding the beliefs and thoughts that limit and restrict you, and freeing your imagination. Now it is time to embrace innovation and creation. It is time to step into the realms of the unknown and imagined, to enter the Void - where your imagination is most powerful - and bring what you find there to life. You are born of a Universal Consciousness. You are capable of greatness, but all too often you may have been punished for seeking it. Nonetheless, it is time to let go of any unconscious bias against creativity, and embrace it as the expression of human power and ingenuity that it is.You are as powerful as your mind allows you to be. You are as creative as your mind allows you to be. Don’t be afraid to embrace your beautiful imagination; the Void in which it resides is the womb that gives birth to a universe that is teeming with life and possibilities. To imagine and create is to make divine magic. You were born of a creative Universal Consciousness; you were born to create.Potential Blockage: All too often, we allow fears, sometimes imagined fears, to prevent us from leading a happy, productive, and fulfilling life. We limit our potential because we imagine we will be laughed at. We do not express our thoughts and feelings, because we fear what others will do, or think of us, if we are honest. We imagine failure, and so we may simply not try.The Nine of Air represents the opportunity to use of our imagination to banish our imagined fears. You may have a fear of heights - even if you have not fallen in reality - because you have imagined falling. Or you may214choose not to take an opportunity and try, because you have imagined failure. Likewise, you may reject a potential relationship, because you imagine it not working.But just as you imagine your worst fears, you can also imagine success. When you find your imagination taking you down a negative pathway, you can choose to take control of your dreams instead. It is in your power to shift and change all that you imagine. When you see failure, change it to success. When you imagine an ending, instead see a beginning. When you fall, learn how to fly. It is your imagination. It is yours to control, to manipulate, and create. Imagine your fears away.215X. TEN OF AIRKeywords: Individuation, Self-actualisation, Liberation, Altered Perception, New Paradigms, Great Mystery, Paradox, PotentialKey Phrases:- A time of independence- Say goodbye to the public persona- No longer bound by another’s opinion- Walk your own path- Humans are paradoxical by nature- See and know your potential- The self is whole- Time to grow up and leave homeMeaning: The process of individuation leads to becoming one’s self, to stepping away from the external forces that we believe define us, to becoming an independent being who recognises and embraces their own uniqueness and individuality.It is about removing the mask we present to the public so that we are liked and respected and accepted; the face we wear so we fit in and belong.No longer are our public face and private life very different; we present our face to the world, and if it is not liked, then so be it. If it makes us a black sheep in a flock of white sheep, then so be it. We would rather be honest and accepted by the few than to be what family or society expects. Individuation is being who we are meant to be, as opposed to being the person society tells us we should be. It is breaking free from caring about what people think of us, because we love who we are and what we do with our life. We are free, liberated, because we are not bound by others’ opinions of us or our actions, the constraints of society, or the impediments of our past.It is integrating conscious and unconscious, soul and shadow, the216masculine and the feminine, and creating a whole where the self resides at the centre. No longer does duality separate and divide. All is in harmony, and working in unison. You are you - whole, complete, and ever evolving - and that evolution is not a linear process. It is a circumambulatory process of viewing the self and seeing it from multiple perspectives, and accepting and integrating all of the facets and aspects into the whole. No aspect is ugly or beautiful, none good or bad, none better or worse; each has its place and purpose as part of the beautiful whole.To individuate is to understand paradox, and accept that you are one. You are human. To be a whole and complete human is to be paradoxical.To individuate is to see and know your potential, and to step forward into the unknown and meet it. You are willing to step away from all that you were, so that you may become all that you choose to be.In this process, your perception is altered forever. You are forever transformed. No more are you willing to embrace old paradigms that limit and restrict, that espouse a belief that says you should not or cannot. You move forward into the Great Mystery with confidence, knowing that even when life offers conflict and chaos, when we remain at the centre, we have peace.When the Ten of Air appears in your reading, it represents a time in our life after we have chosen to step free of the mask and wear only one face in private and public. No longer do we hide our thoughts, beliefs, or feelings in order to be accepted, liked, or respected. We have turned our back on expectation, on convention, on mediocrity - on normalcy - to embrace and accept who we are and stand tall and proud.It is time to separate yourself from the herd, and to walk your own path. Step through the doorway, and begin a life where new paradigms replace the old, and you are free to be the best you that you can be, instead of the you society tells you that you must be.Potential Blockage: The Ten of Air reversed represents one who allows others’ thoughts and opinions to define and shape them. Instead of moving forward and becoming an independent being, they have allowed others to determine their path and shape their reality. They have become afraid to think or speak for themselves and, instead, allow others to dominate. They217do so, because they are afraid of the great unknown, and of what life will bring if they choose to defy convention, break with tradition, and stand alone.The Ten of Air reversed signifies a need for this issue to be addressed. It is time for you to ‘grow up and leave home’ and step through the door into the great unknown. It is time to think for yourself, speak for yourself, and determine your own direction.The future longs to greet you, but it cannot if your present is being determined by everyone else but you..
XI. ELEVEN OF AIR: BODY/MINDKeywords: Imagination, Reality, Fact, Opinion, Body, Mind, Open Mind, Narrow MindKey Phrases:- Be open-minded and questioning- You are only limited by your mind- Be discerning- How is your mind affecting your body?- How is your body affecting your mind?- Facts are certainties- Opinions are not facts- We can only change ourselvesMeaning: What is reality and what is imagined? What is fact and what is fiction? Can that which dwells within the mind have an effect on the body? And can the physical body affect the state of the mind? The Eleven of Air symbolises a need to keep a healthy understanding of the relationship between mind and body, and the power each can have over the other. It symbolises being able to differentiate between fact and opinion, and to make room for the imagination within our realities, while still embracing a little bit of reality within our imaginings.This may be a challenging card for some, because the eyes can only see what the mind is willing to conceive. So the more rigid the mind, the more difficult it is to accept how much influence, and power, the mind and body have over each other. If the mind is unwilling or limited, then understanding is difficult, and acceptance, in some circumstances, may be impossible. We all know someone who, no matter how many times they are offered facts, not opinions or theories, still cannot believe unless they witness it with their own eyes, or experience it personally, and even then they still might not219believe it. They are complete sceptics.Then there are others who are open to everything and question nothing; they would believe you if you were to tell them that you did not see a blue sky above but instead saw a pink one. Yes, there are actually people who see and perceive colours differently, but this person is so open-minded that they would not consider that a lie is offered. They would not question or even consider that you might be lying to them. They are just so trusting and willing to believe in the good of others that they accept everything offered whether it be truth or deception.Their willingness to trust and follow blindly gets them into just as much strife as those who find it difficult to believe in anything beyond their own experiences. The Eleven of Air appears to remind us that somewhere in the middle of the two is a better way to be. Strive to be open-minded and questioning. Sometimes a little scepticism and discernment can serve to protect you from making foolish mistakes and following blindly as you are led off a cliff. On the other hand, believing only in facts, and the reality that you experience with your physical senses, can close you off to reaching your fullest potential. You may limit yourself and what you can accomplish, because achieving goals, and living your dreams, requires a belief in something more than just the tangible.When the Eleven of Air appears in your cards, it also asks that you look at the impact your beliefs might be having upon your body, and the impacts your lifestyle and diet might be having on your mind.The mind can and does have amazing power over the body. Some Tibetan monks and Indian yogis have become so skilled at using meditation to manipulate their bodies that they can control blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate, and more. People with multiple personality disorders have been known to have personalities that have completely different health statuses. They can have one personality that physically needs glasses in order to see properly, and another that does not. There are some with personalities that exhibit a range of physical health issues, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, but other personalities that have no health issues at all, and these differences have been witnessed, recorded, and studied by both medical practitioners and scientists alike. It is a fact that the mind can alter the body.220How is your mind affecting your body?In the same way the mind can alter the body, the body can also alter the mind. Research now shows that if the body is unhealthy - for example, there are issues within the gut such as GERD, Candida, irritable bowel syndrome, and Crohn’s disease - the mind too can be affected. Imbalances within the gut can lead to depression, anxiety, irritability, hyperactivity, an inability to focus or concentrate, and memory lapses. Pain and inflammation can also have similar effects upon the mind, especially if they impact on the ability to sleep.How is your body affecting your mind?It is important to understand that what you believe in your mind can have an impact on your body, and what you do to your body, can have an impact on your mind. Just like the Indian yogis and Tibetan monks, you have it within you to have so much more control than you might believe, and sometimes the biggest changes can be made just by learning to see a positive lesson within a negative experience, or telling yourself that you can and will, instead of you can’t and should not. You can do almost anything you set your mind and body to doing.The Eleven of Air also addresses the subject of fact and opinion, and discerning between the two. We all have opinions, and those opinions may be valid if based on knowledge and personal experience - but opinion and fact are not the same thing. A fact is something that has been proven to be true, and that truth is based in certainty and constancy. It is a fact that night follows day. It is a fact that we live on a planet that is made up of oceans and landmasses. It is a fact that rain falls from the sky. It is a fact that rainbows are created when light shines through water particles. A fact is something that cannot be disputed.An opinion can be disputed. For example, it is an opinion that all dogs have fleas. A dog owner might have had many dogs and all of those dogs may have had fleas, but this does not make the statement that all dogs have fleas factual. It is his opinion based on his personal experience. The fact is that not all dogs have fleas. Some do, and others do not.Ute Eleven of Air asks you to be wise to the difference. When offering information to others, be sure that what you offer is fact. Be clear when you are offering opinions based on your personal experiences, because what221might be truth to you might not be truth for someone else. Don’t get caught up in a game of *1 am right, and you are wrong,’ when you are basing your arguments on opinion. Facts are certainties, while opinions might be true for the individual, but can be subject to dispute when looked at from the perspective of another.A wee note should be also made of the difference between something that has been proven to be fact and something that is theoretical. A theory - a group of ideas or concepts - might well have been studied and researched to great extent, but it must always be remembered that theories are based upon conjecture, speculation, and assumption. Until such time as a theory can be proven to be factual, it is only a guess. We can theorise all that we want, but we should be careful not to offer theory and conjecture as fact.Our minds, our imaginations, are amazing creative tools. With our minds and imaginations, we have the ability to shape our reality, and to create our reality, but that reality is also shaped by absolutes. The Eleven of Air asks us not to become so lost in our imaginings that we forget reality. Instead, we do best to remember that there needs to be a productive harmony and acceptance of both. We can literally change our minds, and in doing so alter our physical state, but we do so within a physical reality that is full of certainties that we have no control over. We can only control ourselves and our perception of the world.When you differentiate between what is factual about your own mind and self, and what is simply theory or opinion-based belief, you can change what is within both, so that your mind and body are one, and not working against each other. You can see that a true fact is a fact and rarely changes, while opinions change all the time, irrespective of‘the facts,’ and can exist side by side with contradictory truths, because they are often based on our perception and understanding, as opposed to reality.Like the other Eleven cards, the Eleven of Air is a balancing and realignment card. If it appears within your reading, it does so in order for you to determine if there is an imbalance at play, and suggests that you meditate upon the subject.Potential Blockage: The Eleven of Air reversed has a very simple and direct meaning. If it appears in your reading today, it, like its upright meaning, symbolises a potential imbalance that needs to be addressed.222XII. TWELVE OF AIR: THE SCRIBEKeywords: Record-Keeper, Information, Knowledge, Tradition, History, Personal History, Preservation, CensorshipKey Phrases:- Look for an unbiased source- Be objective and seek multiple perspectives- Visit the library or archives- Value the written word by writing things down- Document your life journey- Make multiple copies of your digital files- A need to censor yourself- Guard your personal informationMeaning: The Scribe is the record-keeper - the keeper of all knowledge and information about past, present, and future. He is a priestly man, although not necessarily a religious one. His religion is knowledge and wisdom, tradition, mythos and law, philosophy, religion and science, mathematics and the arts, history, current events, and events that are coming. He has a reverence for books, and makes little room for anything else in his life. They are his constant companions, and when he is not reading and memorising their contents, he is searching for new sources of information, and collating and documenting that information so it can be recounted with ease. He is on a perpetual quest for knowledge, not just for his own benefit, but for all of mankind. He believes that record keeping is the cornerstone of civilisation, and without accurate records, the past has served no purpose.Unlike the Sage, the Scribe is a man without intellectual bias or prejudice. He is objective and passionate about preserving, having, and providing the most accurate information, and values being to be able to provide the most223accurate information. He always offers knowledge from several perspectives and differing points of view.He is a man of letters, and those who know him see him as multifaceted. He is philosopher, historian, councillor, teacher, instructor and more. He is respected. His knowledge is treasured.His knowledge is also feared by those who seek to control the information and knowledge that he has amassed. He holds the keys to the library. He knows the secrets of kings and church, the machinations and the politics that have brought leaders to power, and removed them. With the knowledge he has, he himself can make or destroy nations; it is a power that inspires fear, but also a power that he would never use, because the machinations of man are of little importance to him. Knowledge is his god, and the only god he worships.When the Scribe appears in your reading, he symbolises the importance of documenting your life journey. Whether it be through photos, a journal, a blog, or video, record your story so it can be enjoyed and remembered, and do it in a manner that can be safely preserved. Write your thoughts down on paper, keep scrapbooks full of photos and thoughts about your favourite experiences.The Scribe asks that you value the act of writing things down. You might wonder at the necessity, but while the technology at hand enables us to store a wealth of information, it can also be unreliable, and you risk losing everything if a hard drive fails or ‘the cloud’ should cease to be. If you don’t wish to write things down, take the appearance of the Scribe in your reading as a timely reminder to make multiple copies of all that have stored on your phone, c