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January 2020 Wrap-Up

This is the first post in the new end of the month wrap-up series I’m implementing for my monthly planning spreads. This is where I’ll attempt to display how I integrated the theme, how to, and helper of the month cards into my life. I’m sure these first few posts will seem a bit rocky, and weird as I learn this new approach and figure out how these cards work together.

Theme: Thrive
How: King of Swords
Helper: Hummingbird (be swift)

January 2020 Spread. Click to embiggen.

I’ll be honest here, this was a hard theme to start off with. Thrive in the beginning of a new year makes me feel rushed. However, I like having the prompts on the Sovereign Oracle to give some suggestions and frame. I focused mostly on the second one which says, “Create a pathway to resources that support your vision.” This gave me the statement to create my lists of what needed to be done this month and when. My vision for various writing projects is to get a completed project by their due date. My vision for the classes I’m teaching in Feb is to give my students the tools and info they need to make a path of their own. 

I’ll be teaching two classes at PantheaCon over President’s day weekend. The first is Journaling the Tarot and I have created 51 journals and handouts for my attendees. The second is Divination of the Cities with Diana Rajchel and we’ll discuss using tarot and other divination techniques for you to chat with your city. 

The King of Swords was quite clear in how to do this. Just freeking do it. I am a master of hitting my mark, so while I felt a bit floundery in this month, I knuckled down and did the work and am pretty pleased with everything I got done.

The Hummingbird reminded me daily to be swift. As soon as I got emails in, I tried to respond to them. I tried to swiftly work on my assignments and tasks as soon as they came onto my daily task list. 

In the end, I think I was able to Thrive in this month. I finished a few writing projects, got clarity around my classes, and added a few new items to 2021’s timeline. Stay tuned.

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KonMarie Tarot Style

January brings out all our best intentions. Goals are made, resolutions set, and the energy for doing “all the things” is infectious. One of the things people get into during this month is the idea of decluttering or restructuring their home. The beginning of a new year is a perfect time for a reset. In fact, I often reset my house, computer, and hobbies during December and January. A lot has been written about decluttering: different methods, pictures of pristine homes, and lots of personal discussion online. Recently, one decluttering method has reached center stage and everyone’s been talking about it.

I’m talking about Marie Kondo’s KonMarie Method, as described in The Life Changing Art of Tidying Up. Last year Netflix created a show of her methodology where she went into cluttered homes and helped owners sort and decide what to keep. Her process is almost too simplistic; and yet, it’s masterful in how it works. She describes it not as a series of rules, but a mind-set on creating order out of chaos. Yes, she has her own steps to sort, organize, and put things away, but it all boils down to one thing: “Does this item spark joy?”

This simple question has triggered many people in saying that she wants you to toss everything out. Which is further from the truth. Why am I mentioning this on a tarot blog, you may ask? There’s a few reasons. One, this method is almost spiritual in nature. It seeks to recognize the clutter and to thank the items for doing the work for the time it spent in your house. My friends know me as a minimalist, I like to keep “clutter” to a minimum because I am allergic to dust and cannot do some house work. So this notion of keeping only what works and sparks joy is perfect for me. 

Two, in our small house, we have a limited amount of space. I collect and purchase a lot of decks. The KonMarie method helps me understand which tarot and oracle decks I truly love and will use, and which ones create anxiety or stress by just being there. 

A bookcase shelf stacked to the gills with tarot and oracle decks. Almost no space left for new decks.
So many decks, so little space. Wish box size was standardized.

Several times a year I take an honest look at my tarot collection—- which I keep to a single long shelf on a bookcase —-and take stock of the remaining room. To be honest, I rarely have space to add all the decks I desire. It seems like at any given time I have about 10 decks on order (darn you kickstarter!). Which means I need to start asking those hard questions: “Which decks spark joy? Which add value to my client? Which ones are in constant use?” Decks which do not make the cut, for whatever reason, I’ll set aside in a bag to find them new homes.

Asking this question on a routine basis keeps my decks fresh and in alignment with my current style. It also helps cultivate a healthy collection where I have decks I enjoy using.

This year, in addition to rotating decks and looking for space, I’ll be taking stock of the decks I own. It’s been a goal of mine to have all my tarot and oracle decks listed on this site for perusal and mini-review.

Do you KonMarie your tarot/oracle collection? What are your collection habits? I’d love to know! Leave a comment below and let’s talk size, shape, and faves.

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Introducing Cardslingers Podcast

Cardslingers Coast to Coast Logo with 3 cards
Cardslingers Coast to Coast Logo

We are very fortunate to live in this era of books, internet, and technology. There are now more ways to connect to tarot and tarot readers than ever thanks to modern progression. A few years ago, I joined my friend Rose Red as a co-host on Tarot Visions podcast. On the show we interview people with tarot interests, or other relations to the cards. We continue to record shows twice a month (and the occasional 3rd show in months with a fifth Friday) and have branched into discussing our own pagan and magical practices. It’s been fun and I enjoy discussing tarot. You can check out our back catalog at www.tarotvisionspodcast.com, and connect with us on twitter at @tarot_visions or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TarotVisionsUS. You can also subscribe through Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Overcast, and Spotify.

Doing all of that has given me quite the skillset when it comes to setting up, processing, directing, and recording audio. Last year my good friends Melissa Cynova and Hilary Parry Haggerty decided to figure out what we could do when you stick microphones near our faces. Turns out, we have quite a lot to say as well; in addition to being silly and a little bit uncouth (spoiler warning, we cuss). So, we’re recording under the name Cardslingers Coast to Coast. This time, it’s just the three of us discussing cards and relevant topics of interest to readers of all types. Hilary lives in New York, while Melissa is in the Midwest. With me on the West coast, it makes a nice pairing to see what regional differences we have and what each of us are dealing with as we sling cards. 

Today marks the launch date of the first episode of “Foolin’ Around” where we discuss what the Fool card means to us and what are our favorite images. We also have a short Intro episode which introduces us all and what we plan to accomplish. Give us a listen, if you would. We plan on releasing new episodes once a month for now. That could change in the future depending on our schedules.

You can find us through Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Overcast, and Spotify. The show and all the notes are on podbean at cardslingers.podbean.com. Catch our social media presence on twitter at @cardslingerscc. We’re excited to see where this ‘cast goes. One thing’s for sure, you can never have too many tarot podcasts!

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January 2020 Planning Spread

We’re kicking off the first planning post for 2020 today! To recap, in 2020 I’m using these decks: The Sovereign Oracle, the mini Ceccoli Tarot, and the Animantras deck. I chose them because I wanted to play with my mini decks this year. They give me a theme, a means to apply the theme, and a cute animal to act as the guide for the lesson. This whole spread sits on my desk where I can see it, work with the energies, and integrate them into my day.

Theme: Thrive
How: King of Swords
Helper: Hummingbird

January 2020 Planning Spread. Click to embiggen.

The theme for January is thrive and the messages on the card ask me to “imagine an easeful, prosperous outcome. To create a pathway to resources that support this vision and release any tendencies to assume a struggle is necessary.” I dig this theme. While I’m by far no means hugely successful, the things I do for writing, podcasting, and publication are thriving. I get asked to write and do more. This month I need to figure out what this vision means, lay down the activities to achieve those items, and figure out what I can and cannot do to create space for ease.

The King of Swords is a lovely card which reminds me that “I can have my cake and eat it too.” I think part of the how I will begin to thrive in January is to focus on delegation and handing out tasks that others might be better at doing. Ask for help: from friends, colleagues, and my partner. I putter around, waiting to ask for the help I know I need, cos I’m just too stubborn to figure it out on my own. Guess this month is time to get better at the art of asking.

My helper in all this is the Hummingbird, to be swift. Kayti writes, “the energy of a hummingbird reminds us to be fast and efficient in all we do. To fuel ourselves with the sweetest things in life and to always be helping others.” I can see a resonance in the hummingbird which relates back to the other cards. When I need help from others, I should ask right away. Even if it means putting my items on hold so they can be done. Asking for help right away is a surefire way of removing the blocks and stress from my work and world. The last time I asked for help but didn’t wait for it, I lost 5.5 hours worth of podcast editing for Tarot Visions. Ugh, totally learned my lesson on getting help right away AND for patience in waiting for the help to get back to me. 

What are your thoughts on these three cards? Got any input for me? I’d love to hear.

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2020, A Spread

hello, 2020!

Happy 2020 everyone! I hope you all had a great 2019, despite the on-going environmental and political challenges. It’s hard to believe we’re now in the second decade of the 2000s. Twenty-twenty is one day old and full of magic and potential.

During my twenties, I played in a role-playing campaign using the Cyberpunk 2020 rules system. This is a world that blends technology, music, and the body and pushes it to the max. Think about what would happen if you combined the ability to connect your brain up to the internet with extreme cybernetic body modification using prosthetic limbs, nanorobotics, and smart drugs while corporations rule the world in nefarious ways and that’s sorta what Cyberpunk 2020 was. My hacker character jacked into the net to use her special skills to get information for the team, funds, and do other cool network battles.

Now that we’re in the same year as this game and I’m sad to say, it’s not at all like the rulebooks described. There’s no “jacking in” and no real cyber limb replacements or eye/ear systems. The only real connection to that world seems to be how corporations have ALL the power. In any case, I’m still waiting for my cyber hearing to come around. And the ability to plug into a web world where I can directly get my creative ideas out from mind to project fulfillment. Of course, none of this relates to tarot or the spread… or does it?  

My word for 2020 is clarity. Twenty-nineteen brought many big changes and shifts into my world. As the dust settles out, I want to focus more on what they mean and how to incorporate them gracefully into my life. Go deeper in boundary setting and all the studies I have. With the start of my next book draft in November, I also will want to begin edits and gaining clarity around the draft and what the submission package to Llewellyn will look like.

I’m also growing my podcast empire with the introduction of Cardslingers Coast to Coast. Hosting with me will be Melissa Cynova and Hilary Perry Haggerty, two of my favorite friends in the business. (We better be, as we have matching tattoos received due to this project!)

But that’s not what this post is all about.

Those of you who have read these posts over the past few years will know what this spread and page is. Every year I lay out a total of 36 cards from 3 different decks: two oracle and one tarot. This year I’m going small. I love pocket and mini decks and there are so many good ones out there. This year I chose Theresa Pridemore’s The Sovereign Oracle to set the Theme for each month. I’m using the mini Ceccoli Tarot by Nicoletta Ceccoli for the Hows. Finally, I’m using the fantastic Animantras deck by Kayti Walsh for the helper cards. I adore planning spreads. They’re flexible and help bring ritual and structure to meeting my goals over time.

I’m also refining and adding two new steps for 2020:

1. Smaller cards mean I can keep the whole monthly spread at my desk. This way I can refer to them every day and make sure I’m tracking the reading as laid out.

2. I’ll be posting each month’s spread on the first, as usual. I’m now introducing a wrap-up post at the end of each month. It was brought to my attention that while sharing this information is excellent, I don’t share how these spreads take prominence in my life. I’m hoping this helps me and everyone reading my site.

This page is a place holder for this year’s full series of planning spreads. The image gives you an overview of all twelve monthly themes. I’ll follow it up with a table showing a quick overview of the Month’s name theme, how, and helper. I may or may not link review posts in the table. I’m undecided. Click on the name of each month to view what I wrote for each triplet.

Anyhoo, here’s 2020’s overall theme spread with all 12 months using The Sovereign Oracle. Look for patterns as you view this image and read the details. It may be a bit harder this year with the number of words printed on the cards. They are color-coded, so you might see patterns pop out. All these little insights help in understanding the readings and add to the interpretation.

My themes for 2020. You can click the image to make it bigger. Cards from The Sovereign Oracle.
January
Theme: Thrive
How: King of Swords
Helper: Hummingbird
February
Theme: Resilience
How: 10 of Swords
Helper: Beaver
March
Theme: Resources
How: 6 of Wands
Helper: Unicorn
April
Theme: Resolve
How: Queen of Wands
Helper: Snow Leopard
MayJune
JulyAugust
SeptemberOctober
NovemberDecember