The Stolen Child Tarot

The Stolen Child Tarot

Author: Monica Knighton
Artist: Monica Knighton
Independently Published
Limited Edition
2012

The Stolen Child
William Butler Yeats (online-literature.com)

WHERE dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we’ve hid our faery vats,
Full of berrys
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Away with us he’s going,
The solemn-eyed:
He’ll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest.
For he comes, the human child,
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than he can understand.

I have included Yeat’s poem, in its entirety, because this poem was the inspiration for the “Stolen Child Tarot”. Knighton (also author/artist for the “Tarot of the Dead”) designed the imagery in this deck without the use of man-made objects, She notes on her first Kickstarter Project page for this deck that a crown might be represented by antlers, or an animals form could represent the clothing for a human station. There are also no adult figures in this deck – the figures represent changeling children that have embraced different parts of the natural world. In speaking with Monica, she noted that the second theme in this deck is one of emphasizing the quaternary and the four elements repeatedly in imagery and more subtle ways. The focus here is on a geometric square, its stability, manifestation, and the earth … with special emphasis on the earth.

This is a Limited Edition deck (500 decks printed) which, according to Knighton’s Kickstart page, will not be reprinted until all 78 cards have been done. The illustrations in this deck are done with colored ink and watercolor, and have shading and detail that do not reproduce with a good quality with online print on demand services – which is why she choose to work through Kickstarter. By working with Kickstarter, Knighton was able to work with a local (to her) printer, utilizing a profession four color process that accurately reproduces the color and detail of the originals.

I found Kickstarter very easy to work with. Knighton was very clear about what was included with each level of pledging, and there were plenty of updates so that we all knew where she was in the process. That was something that I very much appreciated!

Rather than including a printed book (LWB) at added expense, Knighton went the route of creating a beautiful PDF download entitled “A Field Guide to the Stolen Child Tarot”, which includes full color thumbnails of each of the cards, along with interpretations. From the Field Guide:

9 The Hermit

The Hermit is willing to let go and explore the unknown for its own sake. The illumination of the bug could be a beacon to draw others of its own kind or a warning to scare predators away. Pure Science, Pure Research, Curiosity, Wisdom, Advanced Age, Leaving ones comfort zone, Humility vs. One who does not suffer fools, Silence, Asceticism.

There are 22 cards, plus two blank cards, and two title cards (one of which is signed and numbered). They come packaged in handmade art paper portfolio, with no two alike! Mine came with a beige inner wrapping, and a forest green outer wrapping, held together with slender twine. Beautifully done!

The cards are 3 ¼” by 4 5/8”. The card backs show a ¼” white border, followed by a thin black border. There is a pattern between white squares and illustrated squares that if you move back from the card a bit you will see forms a series of squares. The illustrated cards in the four corners show a budding leaf, to emphasize the number four. The other illustrated squares show an open blossom with four white petals and four black petals – again, to emphasize the number four. The center of the card shows a four petaled dogwood blossom in the center (matching he blossoms on the World card), with illustrations representing he four suits surrounding it (Earth/Acorn, Air/Feather, Water/Shell, Fire/Flame). Please note: no specific compass point arrangement was held in mind when placing the images, because different systems place the elements in different places.

The card faces show a ¼” white border. followed by a thin black border. The artwork is colored ink and watercolor, with a very gentle sense to them. Nature and animals predominate, with the faces of all of the figures portrayed as changeling children (there are no adult figures in this deck). There are no titles on the cards, but I think you will find that the imagery carries the archetypal theme nicely.

The Fool shows a baby, seated in nature, one hand up to his face, smiling delightedly as four hummingbirds (representing the four points of the quaternary) flit around him.

The Lovers pictures bats pollinating plants in nature – they are so adorable, hanging upside down and looking so very innocent!

The Magician shows a laughing changeling, dressed as a fox. His hands are thrown up in the air, and he is having a grand time! All four elements are represented here, and at the bottom of the card are two adorable little mice!

Temperance shows the face and arms of a changeling underwater, watching the scene in front of him. The represents the junction between land, or material life, and water, or the unconscious, spiritual life (represented by the frog, that goes onto land to give birth, and then returns to the water).

The Devil is depicted as a snake, with two rats sitting in front of it.

Justice shows a changeling, in the center of a field, wearing antlers (symbolizing station and authority) The regimented society of the bee world is represented here in the form of honeycombs, and the bees themselves.

I absolutely adore both the Empress and the Emperor cards, which mirror each other. The Empress shows a brown bear, facing the right hand side of the card. In between her front paws stands a changeling, also focused towards the right hand side of the card. Surrounded by flowers, she is our creative source.

The Emperor shows a white (polar) bear, in a barren landscape, facing the  left hand side of the card. Knighton notes that as the King sits on a square to rule, the polar bear literally sits on top of the world. Leaning against his left front paw is a changeling, which is also focused to the left hand side of the card.

The Hermit tugs at my heartstrings! Here we see a changeling, in animal furs with a human face, peering out at two bugs in the center of the illustration. What wisdom will he find here? Is it meant to draw like kind together, or to scare predators away?

Judgment shows a tree branch, with cocoons on it. Along the branch we see a caterpillar, looking down on a butterfly that has just emerged from its cocoon.

In the World we see a changeling, looking straight out at us, with a cornucopia in its arms. The cornucopia represents the world. Behind the changeling we see a white stag, looking to the left hand side of the card. The quaternary is evoked in the four petaled dogwood blossoms.

This is an incredible deck, and, while not a beginner’s deck, is really very easy to read with! I love the earth connection, and will push maneuver my way to the front of the line to purchase the 78 card version when it comes out at all costs! Limited Edition decks are still available from Monica on her Etsy site – http://www.etsy.com/shop/MonicaLKnighton?section_id=11453344.

© April 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

Theater of Karma

Theater of Karma –
A Novel of Tarot, Mystery, The Occult, and Romance

Author: Kooch Daniels
Tarot Media Company
2011
ISBN #9780983302469

Kooch Daniels, author of “The Art and Magic of Palmistry”, and co-author of “Tarot D’Amour” and “Matrix Meditations” (with her husband, Richard), has ventured into new territory in “Theater of Karma”. A novel of fiction, her intention is to move Tarot out of the realm of academia and into the realm of potential reality.

The twenty-two chapters in this book represent the twenty-two cards of the Major Arcana, their keywords and themes. The characters in the story, and their issues, reflect the world of a Tarot reader, and what that reader might be dealing with on any given day. While the Tarot is a spiritual journey, that journey takes place in the physical world, the world of reality.

From the outset, this is a story founded in sex, drugs, rock and roll! While set in current times (Jerry, the character that represents the Fool and the one taking the journey, works in the computer industry), what is happening, and how it happens, is very 60’s Haight-Ashbury. This is going to make it difficult for many readers to connect with the story, and the message. If the reader is willing to step outside their comfort zone, they will find that there is a story here, with a message. Archetypal energies are taken from the world of mythos into the physical world, which allows them to be viewed from a new perspective.

The connection between the chapters is sometimes a little loose, as is the connection between the characters. But the story itself is an interesting one, touching on love in its many forms, demonic possession, astral travel, ritual circles, psychic ability, spirits and more.

Each chapter carries the name of a Tarot card, as well as a chapter title that relates to the theme of the card. For instance, Chapter One, The Magician, is entitled “Hermes, Be Our Guide”, while Chapter Ten, the Wheel of Fortune, is entitled “The Mandala of Karma”. Within each chapter the theme of the card is worked out through whatever is happening in the character’s lives.

I would like to have seen this material presented in what to me would be a more realistic fashion – i.e. less Haight-Ashbury – but I do feel that if the reader simply allows time to be suspended for a moment, they will enjoy this book, and get something from it. It is, after all, fiction in the real world!

© March 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

The Mary-El Tarot

The Mary-El Tarot

Author: Marie White
Artist: Marie White
Schiffer Books
2012
ISBN #978-0-7643-4061-1

I am one of the legion of people that have followed the progress of this deck from day one (that would be day one, ten years ago!). I am incredibly excited to now have it in my hands, and to be able to work with it. The cards were painted in oils, and maintain the traditional structure of the 22 Major Arcana (with traditional titles), and the four suits (Wands, Cups, Swords, and Disks), with the Court cards entitled King, Queen, Knight and Page. Justice is VIII, Strength is XI. Schiffer includes two extra cards with each deck – one card includes information about Schiffer, while the other card includes other Schiffer titles being offered. I feel very blessed that my book, “Tarot, Birth Cards, and You” was listed on this card, along with Jeanne Fiorini’s “Tarot Spreads and Layouts”. Some days life is just good to us!

In the 192 page companion book – “Landscapes of the Abys”, White begins with the thought that art is the language of the soul. This has never been more evident than in this deck! Part of White’s intentions with this book are to reveal the glorious paths that run through the iconography, the history, and the innovations in the Tarot. She speaks of the Major Arcana as originating in the Middle Ages, in one of the most artistically creative times in all of humanity. That it is a universal key that can be used to write the powerful name of every single thing, including God. The Minor Arcana are seen as the poetry written with the alphabet of the Major Arcana, and are seen to be every bit as important. White sees a perfect symmetry between the two – one representing the world of spirit, the other the corporeal world.

On one level, White sees the Minor Arcana as representing the different aspects of body and soul, and the journey to be one of developing the different aspects of self. In the end, White sees Tarot as a reflection of our own soul, which, in turn, is a reflection of thw wisdom of the universe.

From the book: “The Landscape of the Abys”is the landscape of the Moon, of the High Priestess, it is the geometry of the temple, it is the shape of the tree of life, the Merkabah, the caduceus! It is the doorway between heaven and earth, between microcosm and macrocosm, between the world of eternity and infinity. It is the horizon in all ways.

The Abys is the world of life and death we jump into as the fool so we can experience all of this glorious beautiful life.

There is quite an interesting section on the history of the Tarot, including the following:

Death:
Mr. Emperor, we must dance!

Emperor:
Oh Death, your horrible figure
changes for me all my nature.
I was mighty and rich,
The highest in power without peer.
Kings, princes and lords
had to bow for me and honour me.
Now you come, you horrible form,
to make me food for worms.

Death answers:
You were chosen, will you realize that,
to protect and preserve
the holy churches of Christianity
with the sword of justice.
But haughtiness has blinded you,
you have not recognized yourself.
My arrival was not on your mind.

From Lubeck, 1463, St. Mary’s Church in Lubeck, Germany, by artist Bernt Notke.

At the end of the introduction are two charts: one delineating the Major Arcana, and one delineating the Minor Arcana. Following this is a note on the foundation for the “Mary-El Tarot” – that it is built on the three pillars of the Marseille, Rider-Waite and Thoth decks, with deep respect for their wisdom and tradition, as well as the evolving iconography that reflects the inner truth that we all carry.

The cards are presented with black and white scans, a discussion of the card, and the imagery used, upright and reversed keywords, and traditional divinatory meanings. Short quotes are used throughout the book, many from one of my favorite people, Joseph Campbell.

Spreads present include a two card Daily Reading spread, a three card Advice spread, a seven card Relationship spread, a three card Yes or No spread, a five card Past Life spread, and the ten card Tetractys spread. At the end of the book is a bibliography – in the case of this book, an invaluable resource!

The cards and book come in a medium size lift top box (6” by 11 ¾”) with the trademark Schiffer magnetic close lid. I love this – the box can be inadvertently knocked over (I have three cats!), and the cards are snug in their little home! The background for the box is black, with a red mythical looking bird across the top, followed by the deck name (in red lettering) and the artist (in white lettering). The sides of the box contain deck information and small images, while the back talks about the theme of the deck, “the Alchemy of the Soul”. The back cover for the companion book is black, with only the ISBN information. The front cover is black, with the deck name in red lettering, the name of the companion book, and the artist’s name, in white lettering, in the middle of the cover we see two intertwined ouroboros (the snake holding its tail in its mouth).

The cards are 3 3/8” by 5 ½”, with a reversible back (black, with two entwined ouroboros in the middle). The card face carries a ½” black border. For the Major Arcana, the card number (in Roman numerals) and the card name are in gold at the bottom of the card. The Minor Arcana Pips (numbered cards) show the card number and suit at the bottom of the card in gold lettering, while the Court cards show the card title and suit at the bottom of the card, in gold lettering.

The colors in the cards (done as oil paintings) are magical! The symbolism is non-traditional, but entirely representative of the energy of the card. While perhaps this deck could not be used for class use (where the deck of choice is generally the Rider-Waite), it could be used to learn the Tarot by studying the LWB (Little White Book, Companion Book). The research behind this deck is phenomenal! My advise – go buy every single book in the bibliography! Now!

Death – a card that is generally not on anyone’s list of favorite cards, IS a favorite of mine in this deck. I look at it, and I feel calm, peaceful, and in a very good place. White calls Death Tarot’s “memento mori”, that it is there to remind us that we are mortal, and to liv e a good life, to the fullest, because one day we will die.The imagery shows Morta the Crone, the cutter of the thread of life, giving our soul liberation. The threads of water are her radiating hair, while the flower is a traditional memento mori symbol, as flowers bloom only for a short time.

The Magician stands between the primordial mother, hidden beneath the surface of the water, and the primordial father, with his sun and infinite lemniscate. The two trees are the doorway between the spiritual and the corporeal world, and the Magician, cloaked in the brown of earth, is handing us a Metatron’s Cube (or a Phoenix’s egg). The dark of the abyss shows in that under the Magician’s cloak we only see black – there are no facial features.

The Fool carries a bag that contains himself – all that he is. He is a living Tree of Life, the beginning and the end. The image is a universal key, with all of the elements of creation. The dragons are the twin serpents held by the Sumerian God Enki. The butterflies are symbols of transformation.

In the 2 of Swords is creation through word, the space between heaven and earth, between Yin and Yang. White notes that nothing is solid in this card – what we see is a combination of swords, wings, and locust.

The Knight of Wands draws you in immediately – he is the Dark Knight of transformation and transmutation. It was interesting to note that while I immediately saw this as a black bear, it was originally meant to be a Black Panther. Needless to say, it evolved into a somewhat ambiguous figure with glowing eyes, carrying a lightening bolt. This Knight searches for light, power, and energy, and absorbs them.

The Three of Wands is a card that I hesitated for a moment to include here. I am entirely drawn to it, but it does carry a definite level of energy. White notes that it is the third pillar in the Tree of Life (the pillar of Mildness, which reconciles the pillars of mercy and severity. It is the Kundalini, the serpent coming up from the base of the spine. Here we see quite literally the snake moving up to the eye.

The 8 of Cups shows the lion skin of Hercules draped over a young and innocent child, symbolizing that strength is due to an open heart, and a lack ofbitterness. The 8 of Cups acts a s a mirror with the outside world reflecting the inside world.

The 3 of Disks is the journey of the soul into flesh. What we see are a mother, father, and child, all covered in layers of gold fabric (gold carrying the symbolism of having been brought up from the dark reaches of the earth).

I found this deck to be very easy to read with , containing many layers of meaning. I love the symbols, and the esoteric quality. Aside from use as a primary reading deck, this deck could be used in comparative reading, or for journey, meditation or ritual work. I highly recommend it!

© February 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

The Way of the Fool Tarot

The Way of the Fool Tarot
Artist: Beatriz Inglessis
Collector’s Edition
2012

Beatriz Inglessis is a native Venezuelan that is currently living and working in Tokyo, Japan. She is currently working on a Doctorate of Fine Arts at the Tokyo University of the Arts. “The Way of the Fool Tarot” is a 22 card Majors only, Limited Edition (50) deck, reproduced from her Japanese woodblock print project. They are 2 ½” by 3 ½”, which is a very nice size for small hands like mine. There are two extra cards with the deck – one contains the card information, and is signed and numbered, while the second card shows the card back on both sides, and may be used to balance the cards when displaying them.

The cards backs carry the primary color of beige, with a darker circle in the center of the card, with a Sword and a Wand penetrating it. In the middle of the circle we see the icons for Pentacles and Cups. The card faces show a ¼” beige border, with the card number at the top in Roman numerals, and the card title along the bottom. The traditional names for the cards have been retained. There is a thin black border surrounding the image on each card.

The cards come in a gray cloth bag that folds over, and has a thin red cord that goes around it, with a small gold piece at the end. It has a very gracious look and feel to it. This is something that I find holds true with Indie authors/artists – they go out of their way to make presentation memorable and pleasurable!

A review from Paul Nagy can be seen here - http://tarothermeneutics.com/news/inglessis.html. I am including Paul’s review here because he is much better at discussing the artistic aspects of the cards than I am.

What I do know is that the artist tried to stay true to the intent of the card – I feel that she did a wonderful job! A retrospective of the cards can be seen here - http://www.beatrizinglessis.net/#2087071/THE-WAY-OF-THE-FOOL-DECK . Videos showing the cards as poster size original prints can be seen here – http://www.beatrizinglessis.net/#266906/THE-WAY-OF-THE-FOOL-CARDS. Inglessis has done something that I have never seen done before, and that is to place the card images in a scroll format. This is absolutely amazing! http://www.beatrizinglessis.net/#1217889/THE-WAY-OF-THE-FOOL-SCROLL.

If I had my way, I would be presenting all 22 of these cards! The reality is that I can only present a few. The Fool would be the first one that I would talk about. I love the simplicity – the gray cliff, the white animal companion in the foreground, and the Fool himself, about to walk off the cliff, as he looks backwards. It appears that he is carrying a backpack, rather than the typical wallet at the end of a stick. The sky is a vivid orange, with the sun noted in black outline in the upper right hand side of the card.

The High Priestess is featured seated, etched in white with a black background. A full moon is featured behind her, against a blue background.

Justice shows a female figure, appearing to wear a veil over the lower part of her face, with the scales of justice balanced on her head. The background color here is a light purple.

Strength shows a woman in black, seated, with an animal in front of her, and a lemnescate over her head. The background color for this card is a beautiful peach.

For me, the cards are minimalist, and they flow well. The archetypal energy of each card stands true, and they can be read with easily. There is excellent use of both space and color – nothing is overwhelming.

For those that have not worked with a wood cut based deck before, this deck is a treat! For those that have, this deck is a treat! It is a deck that both Tarot collectors, those interested in Tarot art, and those simply interested in a beautiful deck will want to check out!

The deck can be purchased here: http://thewayofthefool.bigcartel.com/.

© January 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

Tarot Birth Cards – Sun/Wheel of Fortune/Magician

Over the next year I am going to be blogging about Tarot Birth Cards, what they mean and how we can work with them. I use the system of Tarot Birth Cards developed by Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone of the Tarot School (www.tarotschool.com). Using the Seeker’s birth data (month, day and year), pairs of birth cards are defined. (For more information, and to calculate your own Birth Cards, go to http://tarotschool.com/Calculator.html.)

Please note: Karyn Easton and I have a project being published by Schiffer Books in fall of 2011 – my book, “Keys To Empowerment”, and Karyn’s deck, the “Tarot Lovers Tarot”. Karyn has a Birth Card calculator up on her site, where you can also view her incredible deck (it really is!) – http://paranormality.com/tarot-birth-card-calculator.shtml.

A special thanks to Leisa ReFalo, www.tarotconnection.netwho developed the Birth Card Calculator, and graciously gave us permission to use it.

Note: As of January, 2011, this has been broken down into two separate projects, but I will still be using the images from the “Tarot Lovers Tarot” in my book.

Our tenth pair of Birth Cards are the Sun (Key 19), the Wheel of Fortune (Key 10) and the Magician (Key 1). Some of the associations for these cards are:

Sun: 

Astrological Sign: Sun

Keywords: warmth, clarity, enlightenment, self-confidence, overcoming obstacles, the ability to draw  things to you, the ability to visualize clearly, being recognized for one’s abilities, opening up to creativity, joy, happiness, optimism, inability to be happy, inability to express joy, inability/refusal to see the good around you, either showing off or hiding your abilities, accepting credit for something that you have not done, false hope

Wheel of Fortune

Astrological Sign: Jupiter
Keywords: Destiny, karma, a fortunate turn of events, natural consequences, progress, adapting to change, beginnings and endings, seasons, cycles, resistance to change, a negative turn of events.

Magician


Astrological Sign: Mercury
Keywords: Power, new project, new phase of life, new beginning, skill, confidence, self-reliance, intelligence, control over resources, energy disrupted, lack of will, lack of focus, delusions of grandeur, unreliability, trickery, indecision, poor self-image.

The theme for this lifetime is dealing with the concept of time in all of its forms, and the change that comes with it. The Sun gives us clarity where there was darkness. The Wheel of Fortune works in cycles, with past, present and future intertwined. The Magician creates time, and has  the ability to suspend it.

We can choose to do personal work with our own Birth Cards, we can use Birth Cards in conjunction with a reading for a client (place their birth cards, drawn from a deck other than the one you are reading with, above the spread(s) laid out for them). The spread(s) are then read through the lens of perception of the Seeker’s Birth Cards. As added value, a reader could give their client scans of their Birth Cards, along with a short write-up about them. Readers can also use the Birth Card system to better understand other people in their own lives (family, co-workers, friends etc.).

The key to bringing balance to any lifetime is that of understanding how and where your Birth Cards are operating in your life.The Sun is ruled by the Sun, placing the focus on light, warmth, and enlightenment. Freedom to do as one pleases, happiness, contentment – the Sun brings all of these things to us. Here the individual lives in tune with nature, lives intuitively, in sync with the cycles of life. Everything about the Sun is seen int he light of day – nothing is hidden.

The Wheel of Fortune is ruled by Jupiter, with its authoritative, expansive nature. It is all about the cycles of life, death and rebirth, cause and effect, destiny and fate. Represented here is spiritual evolution. Is the Seeker able to detach from the people and things of their life and move on? Where and how are they needing to do so? What have they initiated in their lives that they are waiting for others to react to or build on? Remember – what was begun on the Magician’s path comes full circle here.

The Magician is rued by Mercury, placing the focus on defining goals, concentration on will and intent, and manifestation. He holds the keys to creation – he brings the energy of Spirit down into the earthly plane. His caveat – As Above, So Below. He represents the power of creation, and the ability to manifest. He balances his elemental tools to produce the vision that he sees in his mind. The Seeker here shows discernment, the ability to tell reality from illusion. They also have the ability to analyze and problem solve. The Seeker needs to ask themselves how they view the person or issue they are faced with, and what they want to do about them.

The Sun, the Wheel of Fortune, and the Magician set the tone for this lifetime. The path that the individual walks is one that addresses how time functions in their life, and how they adapt to the changes that time brings with it. The Sun asks us to open our hearts to enlightenment, to flow with life, to enjoy our abundance, and to honor it. The Wheel of Fortune asks us to pay attention in the present, to be aware of the opportunities being presented to us, and to acknowledge that which is not working, and needs to be released. The Magician asks us to acknowledge and make use of our personal power.

Images from the “Tarot Lovers Tarot”, Karyn Easton, 2008, paranormality.com

© January 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

Tarot Birth Cards – World/Empress


Over the next year I am going to be writing about Tarot Birth Cards, what they mean and how we can work with them. I use the system of Tarot Birth Cards developed by Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone of the Tarot School (www.tarotschool.com). Using the Seeker’s birth data (month, day and year), pairs of birth cards are defined. (For more information, and to calculate your own Birth Cards, go to http://tarotschool.com/Calculator.html.)

Please note: I have a book being published by Schiffer Books in fall of 2011 – “Tarot, Birth Cards and You: Keys To Empowerment” (http://www.schifferbooks.com/newschiffer/book_template.php?isbn=9780764339028), incorporating images from Karyn Easton’s “Tarot Lovers Tarot”. This was to have been a joint project (book and deck published together), but the decision was made to publish both separately, which I find very exciting! Karyn has a Birth Card calculator up on her site, where you can also view her incredible deck (it really is!) –http://paranormality.com/tarot-birth-card-calculator.shtml.

A special thanks to Leisa ReFalo http://www.tarotconnection.net, who developed the Birth Card Calculator, and graciously gave us permission to use it.

Our twelfth pair of Birth Cards are the World (Key 21) and the Empress (Key 3). Some of the associations for these cards are:

The World:

Astrological Sign: Saturn
Keywords: allowing your limitations to act as a guideline to freeing your thinking and actions, manifesting that which you wish to see in your life, taking responsibility for your thoughts, words, and actions, finding the joy in  your life, fulfilling your own potential, fear of change, fear of success, holding on to the past, inability to manifest that which you  wish in your life, success delayed, inability to see the whole picture, living through one’s prior successes

The Empress:

Astrological Sign: Venus
Keywords: nurturing, mothering, mother image, creativity, fertility, physical birth, birth of new ideas, awareness of self, harmony in life, prosperity and abundance, undisciplined mothering, absence of a mother, fear of becoming a mother, fear of birthing new ideas, rejection of traditional female roles, feeling unempowered.

The theme for this lifetime is completing one’s inner work, bringing together the diverse parts of one’s life, the ability to feel comfortable in the external, physical world because the individual is at one with themselves. The ability to give and receive love, and to live from a sense of love.

We can choose to do personal work with our own Birth Cards, we can use Birth Cards in conjunction with a reading for a client (place their birth cards, drawn from a deck other than the one you are reading with, above the spread(s) laid out for them). The spread(s) are then read through the lens of perception of the Seeker’s Birth Cards. As added value, a reader could give their client scans of their Birth Cards, along with a short write-up about them. Readers can also use the Birth Card system to better understand other people in their own lives (family, co-workers, friends etc.).

The key to bringing balance to any lifetime is that of understanding how and where your Birth Cards are operating in your life. The World and the Empress represent the two aspects of the gateway into a 21/3 lifetime. The World is ruled by Saturn, placing the focus on on staying present and doing the work that needs to be done..

The Empress is ruled by Venus, placing the focus on love and compassion. Here we see the nurturing aspect of the feminine principle, and the need for peaceful, harmonious surroundings.

The World and the Empress set the tone for this lifetime. The path that the individual walks is one that addresses the completion of their path, the integration of opposites in their life, and the ability to give and receive love. The World reflects the power of self-actualization, of becoming a whole individual. Once we have integrated all of our selves, all of the opposites in our life, we have no mare need for masks. We can face the world, feel comfortable in it, and express our authentic selves. We do not attach ourselves to anyone or anything – we are whole as we are.

The Empress is all about learning to give and receive love, to become one with the feminine aspect within us. We are comfortable nurturing ourselves, as well as those around us. We honor and respect the harmony, abundance, and prosperity that surrounds us. There is a deep connection to our creative self.

A 21/3 (World/Empress) individual empowers themselves by

Images from the “Tarot Lovers Tarot”, Karyn Easton, 2008, paranormality.com .

© January 2012 Bonnie Cehovet