Gift certificates available

Tuck one of my new gift certificates into a lovely metallic gold envelope (included) and voila, you’ve gift-wrapped a personalized experience of insight and perspective. Your loved one can redeem anytime within a year of your purchase.


Gift outside the box

The gift of Tarot works for all the traditional gift giving occasions, such as birthdays, showers and graduation. It’s also a great way to encourage and support family or friends who feel a little lost, or are in the throes of massive personal growth.

Order them right here on the Tarot Readings page.

Of sleep, rest and other mysteries

Through my life, I’ve noticed three distinct kinds of sleepiness.

  1. Classic drowsiness.

    The body’s gently persistent call to sleep comes with heavy eyelids and heavy limbs. It’s difficult to summon energy for facial expressions, and easy to share murmured secrets. Even when it’s inconvenient, there’s a sense that it’s healthy and natural. This is the sleepiness that eventually overtakes children at slumber parties.

  2. Exhaustion or “over-tired.”

    This is the tired of final-exams week, a long-anticipated conference or a competition. A relentlessly overstimulated body/brain eventually runs out of juice. The head may ache, there may be dizziness or trembling, digestion becomes irregular. It feels like the machinery of the body is revving in neutral. And even exhausted as the system is, it takes awhile to fall asleep.

  3. Reboot.

    The wild card of sleepiness. When reboot comes calling, there’s a sense I’ll be powering down soon, so I may as well find a comfortable place in which to lose consciousness. Unlike the other two types of sleepiness, reboot can happen regardless of what’s going on in my life or how well rested I feel.

Reboot stalked me throughout the final week of August, along with some other physically intense symptoms which have since eased.

Until now, I’ve not talked about reboot. Is it common? Do you experience it?

Time was, I suspected drops in barometric pressure were responsible for reboot. But lately, it’s seemed more random. Maybe it’s connected to the uptick in solar activity. If you have insight, please share.

Photo credit: Big D2122

Major Arcana. Major turning points

Strength card interpretations: Fortitude / Courage / Resourcefulness / Commitment / Self-confidence
“Think of important moments in your life. Choose a Tarot card to represent each experience.” This was the exercise offered by one of my Tarot mentors, Ferol Humphrey.

Three of us did as she suggested. We arranged our picks in chronological order and narrated our life’s highlights to one another.

Strength, 3 ways

All three of us included the Strength card. One, to represent her discovering a special affinity with animals in distress. Another, to represent her realization that one can choose not to fight without being weak.

For me, Strength represented my relationship with my skin. A decade ago, 40-year-old me faced yet another encore of disfiguring cystic acne. It proved a turning point in my life.

The battle I couldn’t win

Over the years, I’d tried any number of poisons to do away with this genetic condition. Nonstop antibiotics were the norm through my teen years, along with treatments involving sunlamps or dry ice, surgical lancing and occasional local steroid injections. Twice, I bombed my system with Accutane, once at age 21 and again at 30. (Sizable lawsuits have since forced the drug off the market.)

At age 40, the mirror once again reflected a familiar, hated landscape of redness, inflamed sores and distorted facial features. I could no longer kid myself there was any “conquering” cystic acne. I was going to have to befriend it.

So rather than seek a doctor crazy enough to prescribe a third round of Accutane or its equivalent, I sought a more holistic approach. With the help of a naturopath (who was also a skilled esthetician), I’ve come into a place of sustainable balance.

When Strength calls for surrender

Fighting against my condition kept me angry, resentful, fearful and occasionally mean. I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror and I took it out on everyone, including me.

Strength meant having the courage to lay down arms and try to understand my body. Strength meant having the patience to let small changes show their effects over time. Strength meant taking responsibility for my body’s nourishment rather than ask a doctor to fix me.

Being ashamed of my skin diminished me. With Strength, I can appreciate that my skin will forever show me — and everyone I meet — when I’m out of balance.

What have you done with Strength?

Think of important moments in your life. Is there a Strength moment among them? What did it teach you? How did it change you?

At some point in our lives, we experience all 22 cards of Tarot’s Major Arcana — it’s why they’re Major. Turning points. Game changers. Some fill us with gratitude, others leave us with scars. And some, like my Strength experience, do both.

Would you like clarity or insight on something in your own life? I offer personal readings and would be glad to help.

Lacking the foundation

Interpretations for the Tower: Sudden insight or clarity (“a-ha!”) / The shattering of illusion / Crisis / Depression / Liberation
Tarot readers come in all stripes. I tend to be a “good news” reader, finding constructive ways to frame even the most challenging cards. Like the Tower.

To me, the Tower often represents an unexpected “a-ha!” moment (or series of moments) of sudden clarity. But when one of my Tarot mentors, Ferol Humphrey, suggested I choose a Major Arcana card to represent significant events in my life, I had quite another thing in mind for the Tower.

Expecting one thing. Getting another

My 16-year-old self longed for adventure and applying to be a foreign exchange student seemed the perfect thing. I sailed through the selection interviews, but the day I received a letter containing my departure date and the name and address of my host family, I felt flooded with abject terror.

Behold my Tower

Other than my lofty dreams, I had no foundation for such an adventure. My blissfully stable upbringing had never forced me to adapt to new family dynamics, let alone the rest of it—school, community and culture. My world was shaken and I was thrown.

Welcome to the Tower.

My 16-year-old self was asking for the experience of the Fool card—a bold, grand adventure—but first had to endure having her self-deception shattered. The experience was visceral and upsetting. Looking back, I wish it hadn’t been necessary, but I can’t regret it. It changed me.

That’s what the twenty-two cards of the Major Arcana are about—the key experiences that mark the turning points of our personal stories.

Your choice: the hard way or the easy way

Even if we never leave the house, there’s no avoiding the lessons of the Major Arcana. They’re part of our human experience. You could say we draw them to ourselves. I sure did. The only question is, when they arrive, will you resist or will you meet them with grace.

As a good friend of mine said of the figures falling from the Tower, “Though we can’t see it here, a moment after this ‘snapshot’ was taken, they remembered they could fly.”

An insight like that makes the fall worthwhile.

Would you like clarity or insight on something in your own life? I offer personal readings and would be glad to help.

Mirrors, mirrors. Aren’t we all?

People can be so annoying. Especially when they show me something about myself I don’t want to see.

It happened at a recent Meetup. One of my fellow students of Tarot read her cards with fluttering hands and plenty of mystical drama. Normally, I would chalk it up to personal style and perhaps find it amusing. This time, it irritated me.

Why? If I needed to justify my feeling, I’d point to the way she spouted prognostications as set-in-stone truths. This precludes free will and thus violates my code as a Tarot reader.

But that very afternoon, I’d rolled my eyes while telling a friend about a client’s infatuation with the mystical trappings commonly assigned to the intuitive and psychic sides of life.

What was my beef?

Time to look in the mirror

Truth is, I was once as infatuated as my client. And while I’ve not indulged in the kind of hand-fluttering as my fellow reader, I recognize it as a symptom of the same thing.

It seemed my irritation stemmed from being reminded of a version of myself I’ve left behind. But if I’d truly left it behind, I’d feel compassion rather than irritation.

My irritation carried the ugly whiff of judgment. And now that I’ve noticed it, other examples are popping up. They represent different areas of my past/beliefs/self-image. Facing these mirrors challenges me. It’s uncomfortable to admit to feeling judgmental, of myself and/or of others.

It helps to remind myself that I’ve grown–I’m experiencing these feelings from a perspective never before possible for me.

In other words, it’s okay to be where I am today. It’s merely my opportunity to embrace what I see in the mirror, and to appreciate the people who show it to me.

What are your mirrors showing lately? How do you handle it?

Photo credit (mirror): Elizabeth/Table4Five

New things: “Surprise me”

Ever felt overwhelmed when asked to choose among awesome things? That was me at Nosh Euro Bistro this week.

A friend was treating me to lunch, and just reading the menu made me salivate. How would I choose?

She suggested I asked to have the chef surprise me. What a great idea! I asked for something from the “nosh” category and an entree.

Elevating “special” to “memorable”

The presence of a friend I’d not seen in far too long, combined with fanciness of the place (and that she was treating!) would have been plenty to make the day special. Add in the “surprise me” game and we had ourselves a high time.

Rather than turn my “50 New Things” project into a blog about food (rather than the full range of experiences I intend to include), I’ll simply say this about the things that turned up at our table: decidedly drool-worthy. Yum.

Will I play this game again? Absolutely. It needn’t be a restaurant-only game, either. Imagine playing it in the bookstore. At the movie theater. In the airport. I can’t wait to see what else these two words might bring me.

Photo from Nosh Euro Bistro website

New things: Calling in to a radio show

Have you ever phoned in to a radio show or podcast? As of today, I have.

The show in question was about Human Design, a self-discovery tool I’d heard about last year listening to Benjamin Bernstein’s wonderful “This Week In Astrology” podcast. After that show, I’d emailed his guest, Hal Bahr, for a copy of my Human Design chart.

That action put me on Hal’s email list and I learned he’d be on a show with Kim Gould. The show date came and went. I’d forgotten it. Oh, well, I thought, it must not have been important for me to hear it.

Second chances wear funny clothes

Yesterday, I heard the original show date had been scrapped due to technical problems, and they’d try again today. Seemed the Universe wasn’t done with me.

I called and voila, I was on air. They were charming and helpful. I took notes, said thank you and that was that.

Short version of what I learned from the hosts: Mars and Venus occupy the same spot in my Human Design, but unsurprisingly, they express it very differently. For my Mars, different = dangerous. By contrast, my Venus maintains a fearless trust in a greater unanimity and an ability to find value in apparent differences.

I trust her to soothe my Mars as I fling myself into my 50 New Things in my 50th Year adventure.

[Awhile back, I announced my intention to celebrate my 50th birthday year by trying 50 new things. This post contributes to my chronicle of some of those new things.]

Photo credit: curtis.kennington