Lessons from the Tarot

Those of you who keep up with me on Instagram may have noticed I’ve been posting daily oracle and tarot cards, followed by their meanings.

While reading Ruby Warrington’s, Material Girl, Mystical World, I read that “rather than a way to predict future events: A reading is a perfect reflection of your subconscious. And as such, each and every card contains a valuable learning to help us navigate whatever stage we’re at in our personal evolution.” 

Those words really struck a chord with me due to my interest and study of archetypal work (read more about archetypes). The more I read about tarot throughout the chapter, the more I was hit with keywords like “shadow,” and I immediately knew this was something I wanted to learn more about. MORE TOOLS FOR INTROSPECTIVE SELF-STUDY AND LIKELY PAINFUL, BUT NECESSARY GROWTH?!? Count me in.

I took the book’s advice about letting a tarot deck choose me, and after some online sleuthing I had my very own Leila + Olive tarot deck on the way. I’d seen them at a shop in Sonoma last August and had almost purchased them without any real knowledge or interest in tarot.

This is clearly a sign they are meant for me, right?

I waited impatiently for an ENTIRE WEEK, and once they arrived I eagerly opened them only to discover… WHAT THE FUCK DOES ANY OF THIS MEAN? It’s all flowers and moons with a few snakes scattered about.

So I ordered WTF is Tarot? followed by this book and the traditional Rider Tarot Deck because I realized I needed some more descriptive images to practice deciphering. I am one of those people who learning by doing, so I began posting on Instagram daily. There are only so many questions you can ask yourself without getting redundant.

I began by drawing cards, and attempting to decipher them on my own and cross-checked with another source. Kind of a pain in the ass, but how else are you going to learn all of the cards?

This week I realized I’m not supposed to memorize all the cards (I don’t have time for that shit, either). The same way all the meanings are understood differently, the readers will be interpret them differently as well. There is no right or wrong.

So today I sat down with the gorgeous deck of suns, moons, stars, and flowers for the first time since I bought them, tossed a pretty Dalmatian stone on top and actually kicked ass in my reading. (Yes, I still cross-checked.)

This intuition stuff is wild.

There’s a lot of self-doubt to overcome. Fear that you’re not doing it right, you aren’t studying enough, the list could go on forever. But I guess the important thing is to get out there and give it a shot.



New Moon Ritual for Intention Setting

The New Moon is the beginning and end of the lunar cycle. This is the time when the moon is directly between earth and the sun, and becomes backlit making it appear invisible. But even though we cannot see the moon, we know she is there. This phase of darkness offers an opportunity to reflect inward, and to plant the seeds of new intention.

This is my favorite ritual for calling in the energy of intention. There isn’t a right or wrong way, so add and omit anything to make this ritual your own.


Step 1: Create a sacred space. 
I usually use my coffee table so I have lots of room and a comfortable, shag rug to camp out on. I arrange pictures, crystals, herbs, flowers, candles, malas, my Moon Deck, and my journal for writing down my intentions.

Step 2: Get grounded. 
I begin by clearing the energetic space by burning Palo Santo (Most people smudge with sage, but I’m not a huge fan of the odor.). Then I spend a few moments practicing Sama Vritti, or any other pranayama technique that helps me move inwards with a mudra (symbolic hand gesture) that will aid in the intentions I’ve been considering. There are several New Moon Meditations of various lengths available on the free app, Insight Timer, if you prefer a guided meditation.

Step 3: What have you been dreaming of? 
Consider the things you’ve been longing for lately, and notice the recurring images, feelings, and thoughts that appear. Often, our intentions stem from our recurring desires.

Step 3: Make a list. 
List what you’d like to draw into your life that can help you achieve your dreams and goals. Dream big! The New Moon is a time to visualize what you truly want so that you can turn it into reality.

I usually draw a card from the Moon Deck at this point for guidance regarding things to consider in this new journey.

Step 4: Symbolic acts. 
If you intend to start a new journey that will require you to leave something behind, you may write some of those things down and burn them like in the Full Moon ritual. If you want to invite love into your life, maybe put a rose quartz and lavender onto a small bowl or pouch along with some of the qualities you seek.

Step 5: Keep your dreams alive! 
The hardest part isn’t setting the intention, it’s making a consistent effort to turn it into reality. How can you keep yourself aware moving forward? Some people place intentions under their pillow, or on their nightstand. Others place them on their alter, or taped to the bathroom mirror where they’ll see them daily. I personally make an effort to journal about my progress.

Step 6: Follow up. 
Remember that each new moon falls in a zodiac sign has its corresponding full moon six months later (see a list here). Think of your intentions in two week/6 month cycles. At the full moon, note progress and find ways to take actions on the intentions you’ve whether it’s moving towards completion, finding you need a change of direction, or scratching it all together.

The next New Moon is Saturday, March 17 in Pisces. Here are some things to consider when exploring intention setting for this lunar cycle. I hope that your lady luna adventures prove to be as insightful, healing, and inspiring as mine.  xx