How Do I Stay Motivated as a Tarot Reader?

I think that one of the biggest challenges as a tarot reader comes to us when we start to feel unmotivated. It can be really hard to find time to sit with the cards! I’ve been at this for almost nine years and I still find it difficult to stay motivated. So, today I’m going to offer to you some of my personal tips to help keep you motivated! Continue reading

Is There a Place in My Tarot/Oracle Practice for “Fluffy” Decks?

Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot of criticism in regards to “fluffy” decks. A fluffy deck is one that is saccharine and overly positive. It offers no guidance when it comes to the tougher situations in life, because it seems to completely ignore these situations in general.

I’ve heard from a great deal of people that Doreen Virtue’s decks tend to lean towards the fluffy side. Continue reading

How the Five of Swords Helped Me with My Confidence

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For the longest time, when I drew the Five of Swords, I always looked at the card from the perspective of the man with all the swords. It wasn’t until I attended a class at my local New Age shop that I realized that I could interpret this card from the perspective of the two characters in the back. We were working through spreads for ourselves in this class, and I wanted to know about opening a webstore to sell tarot readings. The Five of Swords came up in the space that asked, “What obstacles do you need to overcome?” I was totally stumped. When I looked at the Five of Swords, all I saw was a man who was confident and sure in himself and his skills. How was that an obstacle I needed to overcome? I was certainly lacking in confidence at this point. The facilitator of the class came over, looked at the card, and asked me, “What would have happened if the two other men had been more confident in themselves? What would happen if you were more confident in yourself?” I was totally blown away. I imagined what my life would look like if I was more confident in my skills, and I fell in love with that life.

Sometimes I still struggle with being confident in my skills as a tarot reader. I’ve been at this for eight years, and there’s still so much to learn. But then I realize that there are readers out there who have been doing this for considerably less time than I, and they’re tarot rock stars. Why shouldn’t I be confident in what I know? I have valuable experiences and advice when it comes to tarot. People have come to me and asked me for advice about tarot, and have said that my advice has given them confidence. If I can lend others a sense of confidence, then I can certainly lend myself a sense of confidence.

Never doubt yourself. Whether you’ve been doing this for a month, eight years, or 20 years. We all have valuable experiences to share with the tarot community. We all have rockin’ advice and tips to share with each other, and it’s all meaningful. Don’t be like me. I’ve been studying tarot for eight years and am coming up on my ninth anniversary. Don’t spend eight years of tarot study doubting yourself every chance you get. There’s no right or wrong way to do this. Your results don’t need to be like everyone else’s. Be confident in your skills. You DESERVE to be confident in your skills.

You’ve got this. Keep it up!

xx

Does Using Tarot Cards Invite Evil Spirits?

I was asked on Instagram today if using tarot cards was safe and if they could attract evil. I feel like this is a question that a lot of people interested in starting a tarot practice might ask. The only answer I can give is that it depends. I know, I know, I say that a lot, but it’s true. It all really depends on who you ask. I’ve spoken to and worked with people who believe that using tarot cards without taking proper measures is a mighty fine way to have evil spirits enter into your life. I am not one of those people. I don’t believe that tarot cards are a conduit for evil spirits. Do I believe that there is energy involved? Sure. Part of my reading practice when it comes to reading for other people is to take protective measures, but these measures are not for evil spirits or demons. People have emotional baggage, and while I want to help others unload that baggage, I don’t want it loaded onto me. I have my own load, thank you very much, sir. So I take measures to guard myself from taking on other people’s emotional loads.

I think this concern with evil spirits and demons is largely a stereotype perpetuated by the entertainment industry. There are loads of movies and television shows about dumb kids who messed around with tarot cards, and then three days later, on the night of a full moon, they mysteriously died at midnight. When people see things like that, it not only makes tarot readers look bad, but it also makes people reluctant to purchase their own cards and dive deep into the world of tarot. That’s my two cents. At the same time, I have absolutely no grounds and no right to discredit anyone’s account of encounter with evil spirits through the use of tarot cards. It’s never happened to me. I don’t believe it ever will.

If you’re tossing around the idea of getting your first deck, and you’re afraid of attracting evil spirits, then the only advice I can give you is to trust your gut. What does your intuition tell you? If it’s throwing up red flags, then as much as I personally advocate for the use of tarot cards, they probably aren’t right for you. If the benefits of a tarot practice outweigh the potential risks, then look into the different types of protective measures you can take.

I think this is a very interesting topic. I’ve never really thought deeply about it until I was asked this question. Just as there are thousands of different tarot decks out there in the world, there are a vast multitude of different kinds of tarot readers, and we all have different ideas and opinions when it comes to the tarot. If this question has taught me anything, it’s that there are still so many aspects of tarot to explore and question, and whether we’ve been studying tarot for eight days or eight years, there is always an opportunity to learn more (about the cards and about ourselves) and dive deep.

Jumper Cards: Clumsy Shuffling or Meaningful Advice?

In the magical land of tarot, you may often times hear talk of “jumper cards”. Now, if you’re new to the tarot, you may be asking yourself, ” Well, what the heck are jumper cards?” A jumper card is a card that jumps out of the deck when you’re shuffling. You should pay attention to those cards, because they’ve got some juicy little knowledge nuggets for you.

However, a more important question to ask is, “How do I know that a card is a jumper and not just a result of my clumsy shuffling?” That’s a pretty good question. If I read every card that flew from my deck and out of my hands while shuffling, I would have a 20 card spread, at least. I’m a rather clumsy shuffler. As I point out in almost every post I write here, I have itty bitty baby hands. I can’t even shuffle your standard playing card deck without making a mess. While jumpers are very important, it’s also equally important to be realistic. Sometimes, you’re just gonna heck up with the shuffling. Not every card that falls to the floor in slow motion as La Fortuna plays dramatically in the background is an important messenger.

“That’s all very well and good, Ashley, but how do I know that a card is a jumper?” Well, alright, cool your jets, Turbo. I’m getting to that in my own mystical time. It’s quite simple really. You’ll know when a card is a jumper. I don’t know how else to tell you. You’ll just know. In my experience, jumper cards have made themselves known to me when I needed them the most. At the same time, I’m pretty good at determining whether or not a card actually jumped, or, if in my pre-tea sleepy haze, I just missed my hand completely and shuffled the cards straight onto the floor. Trust your intuition and own your shuffling mishaps, that’s all I’m saying.

I wish you much luck on your tarot adventures, loves!

Ties That Bind Tarot Spread (The Battle Axe)

I am so very excited to release this brand new spread, created in collaboration with the enchanting Sam of escapingstars.wordpress.com and exclusive to my blog! I’ve been using Sam’s spreads for quite sometime, and they are so incredibly insightful. It was an incredible honor to work with her in bringing this spread to life, and I hope you all enjoy it very much! If you use this spread, please leave a comment! If you have an Instagram and photograph your spread, tag me @corvidaecorvus_. Make sure you check out Sam’s blog as well, where you can find more of her tarot spreads, as well the link to her Etsy store, where she offers tarot readings and custom crystal grids! And now, without further ado, I present to you the Ties That Bind Tarot Spread!

Ashley Phillips

Dream 1: 10/13/14

Two days ago, I experienced a very powerful dream. I would like to share it with you.

I was walking through a forest. My eyes were covered with a satin cloth, and I had my arms extended outwards at my sides, letting my finger tips brush against the trees. They were birch, and I relished in the feel of their curled paper bark. Behind me, two ravens called out, and I turned to face them. I could hear the beating of their powerful wings as they left their perch in the trees. They landed on my shoulders, but I was unafraid. Their talons dug deep into my skin, but I felt no pain, for I knew that they had come to me to deliver something important. I was to receive a gift. I held both of my hands up to their beaks, and they placed in my hands what they had come to deliver. They flew away afterwards, and as they took off, I heard a voice that told me to remove my blindfold. I did as I was told and looked down at what lay in my hands. In my left hand was a small wooden disk with the rune Algiz carved into it. In my right hand was a forked antler tip. I clutched the two items in my hands and held them close to my heart. The wind kicked up, and as the breeze whistled through the trees, the voice returned.
“These messages are older than you, child. They are older than your mother, and her mother, and her mother, and I have given them to you to decipher and understand,” said the voice. The wind began to die down, and on the last gust of air, I let my thanks take of in the breeze.

Cropping Tarot Cards and My Reaction to Tarot Cropping Opponents

Recently, I’ve decided to go borderless and cut the borders off of some of my tarot and oracle decks. This can be done a few ways:

  1. Using a paper cutter and a corner rounder punch
  2. Using an exacto-knife and a ruler, as well as a corner rounder
  3. Using scissors and a corner rounder

I tried both one and two, and found that the paper cutter method worked best for me. It’s faster, and I found that using the exacto-knife and ruler method hurt my hand. Whatever method you choose to use, however, it is important to remember that it is highly unlikely that the edges of your cards will come out perfectly even. So, perfectionists, I would suggest that you deeply consider if you truly want to crop your cards.

Alright, now that we’ve discussed how to crop your cards, let’s talk aobut why!

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The first deck I cropped was my Art Through the Eyes of the Soul oracle deck. While I thought that the borders were pretty, they had gilded edges and that, combined with the almost comical size of the cards, made shuffling these cards almost comparable to shuffling razor blades. So, I decided to cut the borders off. Not only did removing the borders make the cards a thousand times more easy to handle, but they also opened up the image on the cards. I had not realized how absolutely distracting the borders were until I removed them. This is especially true for my Wildwood deck.

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Cropping my Wildwood deck is quite possibly one of the best decisions I have ever made in regards to my tarot journey. There are details in these cards that I’ve never even noticed, because I was so distracted by the borders. The cards seem much more open now. Free. It’s especially important to me to get the full impact of the image of a card, because that is what I use to interpret the card. While some people can look at the 3 of Swords, for example, and immediately recall the traditional meaning of the card, because they have studied traditional card meanings, I don’t read cards that way. I apply my own meanings to cards based on what the images tell me. So, to remove the borders from this deck has made all the difference.

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This is my newest deck, the Druid Animal Oracle. These cards were weird, because they had a double border. A white one, and this beautiful border with leaves and the like as well as some knot work. I hated the white borders, and felt like they took away from the cards, so I removed them as well. I’m quite fond of the other border though, and decided to keep it, because I don’t feel that it takes away from the cards. Instead, I feel that they blend into the card, as opposed to the stark and striking white borders.

At the end of the day, why you choose to crop your cards is completely up to you. However, that doesn’t mean that people aren’t going to tell you what they think about it. While I was contemplating the idea of cropping my cards, I decided to watch some YouTube tutorials on it. For some reason, I was under the impression that the task would be much more complicated than it actually is. While I was watching these turotials, I found some comments that I found…well, I’ll share them with you and you can draw your own opinions about them.

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Personally, I was a bit shocked at these comments. People are moved so quickly to rage over such trivial things. Look, I get it. Tarot decks are a deeply spiritual tool, steeped with meaning. But just because you go to Barnes and Noble and pick up a deck does not mean that it is profoundly meaningful. It was mass produced by a company that more than likely views tarot cards as nothing more than a cheap game you bust out at parties to impress your friends with. YOU imbue your cards with deep spiritual meaning. Whatever magic those cards posses comes from YOU. And if you don’t like the borders on your cards, then cut them off. I think it’s absolutely foolish that someone would go so far as to say that people who crop their cards deserve to burn in Hell. If there is a Hell, I’m sure there are people a lot more deserving of residence there than those who choose to do whatever they want with something that a) they dropped $25 on or b) they are exclusively going to use.

I love my cropped decks. I feel closer to them. The one and a half/two hours it took me to crop each deck was wonderful bonding time. The images are free from their little white prisons and my interpretations of them feel 100 times stronger. So, if that makes me a “defacer” who “deserves to burn in Hell”, then that’s just fine by me.

Anyways, there’s my two cents on the subject of cropping cards. If you’ve been considering it, then I say go for it. The first card is always the scariest, but once you establish a rhythm, it’s easy, breezy, beautiful Covergirl.

Blessings to all of you. Enjoy the rest of your week. Consider if your rage is truly justified, and remember to always stay classy, San Diego.

Life Update

Hello, all! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I suppose I haven’t really been feeling that motivated to make blog posts or do my daily card draws for all of you. My grandpa came to visit over the weekend, which is a real treat, because I only get to see him for a few weeks over the summer. I didn’t really get to see him this year though, because I was taking a full summer course load and had class all week except Fridays. I was very happy to see him!
Then I had a consultation with an oral surgeon on Tuesday to talk about my wisdom teeth. I’m still trying to digest the fact that, without insurence, just saying words to his face would have cost over $200. I think I only spoke to the doctor for 10 minutes. It’s absurd. As of right now, my appointment should be on January 2nd. I’m so terribly frightened! Just talking about the surgery makes me want to faint! And don’t even get me started about the video they made me watch! I guess there’s a nerve that runs right under your wisdom teeth, and if something happens to that nerve, there is the possibility that you can lose your sense of taste in half of your tongue. I’m not sure I want to risk it. I really like tasting things…
I don’t think that I’m going to be doing daily card readings on Fridays anymore. It’s such an awkward day for me. I wake up at 7:00 so that I can do my reading for my Philosophy of Religion class at 1:00. Then I engage in deep philosophical inquiry/debate for four hours. After that, I go home for about an hour and a half, maybe two hours, and then my family and I rush into town for our bowling league. I end up getting home between 9:00 and 10:00, and at that point all I want to do is sleep. So, it’s looking to me like I will only be doing these card draws Monday through Thursday.

Well, I guess that’s all I’ve got to say. I’ve got a couple of blog posts in mind, and I can’t wait to share them with you! Until next time (hopefully sooner rather than later)!