Athena’s Spear Spread

Athena’s Spear Spread

Elizabeth Hazel – The Whispering Tarot (2008)

5      4
7      2      6
9          1           8

From Elizabeth: This is a spread to use when a client is facing a challenging situation or needs to make a quick decision about a personal or business situation and is trying to avoid critical errors.

Card 1: Current position
Card 2: Emotional landscape, perceptions of situation
Card 3: Hopes for the future; what is being sent into the world

What is known or emerging:

Card 4: Sources of aid or conflict
Card 5: Possible strategies; things to consider; allies or adversaries


Card 6: Best offense (assertiveness, courage)
Card 7: Best defense (coping skills)


Card 8: Unexpected elements, incoming people, information, options that may change current viewpoint
Card 9: Unexpected gains or losses, material adjustments
Card 10: Outcome

For the purposes of this reading, the situation is not one in which an immediate decision needs to be made, but rather an ongoing process that has reached the point where they need to be absolutely certain that this is the path they want to follow, because it will change their life in a dramatic fashion.

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Card 1: Two of Wands
Card 2: Nine of Wands
Card 3: Ten of Swords
Card 4: Death
Card 5: Ten of Pentacles
Card 6: The Devil
Card 7: Nine of Pentacles
Card 8: The Chariot
Card 9: The Emperor
Card 10: The Hanged Man

Currently, the Seeker is in a place where seriously considering both short and long term goals, predicated on their current situation. The choices are within the Seeker’s control, but there is an indication of a dominant person being in the picture.

The lens of perception for the Seeker on this situation is that of ending one cycle in their life, and moving on (to a higher level). They are trying to think things through, and waiting for someone else involved in the situation to make a decision.

The Seeker is sending out thoughts of ending their life as they know it and literally “reinventing” themselves. There is relief in leaving some things behind.

That which aids (or hold back) the Seeker is their own ability to let go – to have faith in themselves, and in their own future.

What the Seeker needs to take into consideration (whether it works for or against them) is the life that they wish to create for themselves – how do they wish to live? Who do they wish to surround themselves with? What do t hey wish to surround themselves with? What will bring them joy? What will bring them peace?

The best offense for the Seeker is to not stand in their own way. They need to not bind themselves through their own shadows.

Their best defense, their best manner of coping is to allow themselves to accept the status due them.

What is unexpected, what might change the options of the Seeker is their need to balance their four worlds, and the need to give up control.

Any material adjustments that the Seeker may experience will be through their ability to allow someone else to make decisions in their life.

The outcome for the Seeker in this situation depends on their ability to see the big picture – to step back for a moment and be an observer in their own life. They need to look at what they will be sacrificing to make this situation work for them.

© July 2011 Bonnie Cehovet

St George’s Day Spread

This spread was gifted to us by Alison Cross this am via Face Book (great place to have coffee and chat!). I used the Gaian Tarot – one of my favorite decks.

St George’s Day Spread
From Alison Cross

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The Maiden – this card represents your goal – Four of Air (Swords)
St George – this card represents YOU in relationship to The Maiden – Justice
The Dragon – what holds you back from achieving success – The Teacher (Hierophant)
The Sword – the energies of this card will help drive you forwards – Eight of Earth (Pentacles)
The Shield – the energies of this card indicates something you would do well to protect against – Guardian of Earth (Queen of Pentacles)
Final Card – The Magician

Your final card in the spread represents what might happen if you CAN slay the dragon using the Sword and Shield info and obtain The Maiden. The likely outcome card.

My goal is to create sacred space, and that is very true. I am in the midst of major changes, and I need to be able to hold my space to give these changes “room to operate”.

In relation to my goal, I am being a very demanding little person! I am standing there going “Universe, it is time for this to happen!” I have put in the work, now I want to see the results!

What is holding me back from accomplishing my goals is my Cappie nature, IMHO. Outmoded structures/beliefs need to be acknowledged, loved and then released.

What I need to protect myself against IS myself. Guardian of Earth (Queen of Pentacles). I need to be less conservative – especially in the financial sector.

If I can slay the dragon … the world is mine, and I can manifest the life that I wish!

(c) April 2011 Bonnie Cehovet

Tell It Like It Is!

Fair warning … this is a rant! If you don’t like rants, then move along. The rest of you can stay. In blogs and in chat rooms, I have been seeing more and more readers expounding on – and bragging about – the fact that they “tell it like it is”. No sugar-coating to their readings! Their clients get the absolute, unvarnished truth! Woo hoo!

From my point of view, a Tarot reading – or any other type of divinatory reading, is meant to be empowering to the Seeker. They are meant to gain insight into their issue(s), and walk away with a clear understanding of what their options are, and what the best way to proceed might be.  Whatever system is used for the reading, it should be able to mirror the energy in the Seeker’s life, and tell their story.

I had the lovely opportunity this weekend to see “truth in action” reading, and I walked away very sad … and very disturbed. The reader told their client that the person they were asking about  just needed to be let go, and for them to move on with their life. To bluntly announce this,  which was clearly hurtful to the person asking the question, and to then immediately move on to the next caller was inexcusable. It got worse – congratulations were in order because the readings were moving along so quickly … all due to the reader giving the callers the “truth” in such a blunt manner.

A good reader will see the truth of a situation, and this truth is what their client needs to hear. You don’t have to sugar-coat anything, but you can deliver your message in such a manner that your client feels supported. Send them away with action steps that they can take to do the moving on, or at least give them things to review so that they can at least think about doing so. (None of us make changes until the time is ready.)

Rant over. I am sure that those readers that choose to read in this manner will continue to do so. Please advertise your intentions loudly, so that I do not inadvertently come to you for a reading.

(c) February 2011 Bonnie Cehovet

Be My Valentine

Today is Valentine’s Day. Rather than doing a reading on personal relationship, I decided to do one on my relationship to a project that I just began, outside of the Tarot field.  My question was: “What do I need to do to make this work successful?” I did a three card reading, with undefined positions … I simply let the story unfold.

The Nine of Cups shows flow and movement – In the LWB, Law notes that fish are associated with health, prosperity and good fortune. There is also a highly emotional charge to this card, as there was to my taking on this project. In a word – it made me happy! And … it came to me, I did not seek it out.

At the very beginning of this project, when I was experiencing my highest joy, I also experienced my deepest sorrow. It literally hurt my heart. I allowed that hurt to be a learning experience. made a couple of decisions based on it,and moved on.

The Queen of Cups is all about creativity, as is the project that I am working on. I need to follow my intuition, and my heart. I have followed my passion, now I need to follow my intuitive instincts and allow myself to soar!

Images from the “Shadowscapes Tarot”, Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and Barbara Moore, Llewellyn Publications, 2010.

(c) February 2011 Bonnie Cehovet


New Moon In Virgo Reading

Three of Swords

There is a very gentle rain going on outside – nicely conducive to doing a New Moon reading! This New Moon is in Virgo, focusing on introspection, patience, and the how and why of what we are manifesting. This is a time of moving past limiting beliefs from the past and bringing Mind/Body/Spirit into alignment. Virgo asks us to see the truth in a situation – even when it hurts! We can only pretend for so long – then we need to own our thoughts, own our actions, and own that we are co-creators of our own life.

Deck used: “Sun and Moon Tarot” (Vanessa Decort, U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

  1. What actions do I need to take to become more self-aware? – Nine of Pentacles
  2. How can I best connect with my emotional self? – Seven of Wands
  3. How can I best connect to, and express, my creative (spiritual) self? – Three of Swords

To become more self aware, I need to pay closer attention to what success means to me. What in the material world reflects my idea of success? What do I need to have to feel successful? What choices have brought success to me? What sense of confidence has success brought to me? I need to honor the success that is already there.

To connect with my emotional self, I need to accept the battles of life, give my best, and honor my “wins”. Conflict helps me to focus, and to move past stagnation and depression. Conflict literally “gets my blood up”! Conflict can make me feel alive. The caveat here – not to become so involved in conflict that I can’t see past it.

To connect to my creative self, I need to allow myself to acknowledge the pain that can be in life, and move through it. I need to use this pain to transform myself.

© September 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

Solar Eclipse Reading

Good things happened for me following the recent lunar eclipse in Capricorn. Tomorrow we will see a solar eclipse in the sign of Cancer – I am hoping to see good things here too! I chose my most recent favorite deck, the “Shadowscapes Tarot” (Stephanie Pui-Mun Law, Barbara Moore), to do a reading with for this eclipse. The spread is one of my own making.

Honoring The Solar Eclipse

1. Where am I now? Four of Pentacles
2. What is being hidden from me? Nine of Wands
3. What do I need to know? Queen of Cups
4. What do I need to leave behind? Two of Pentacles
5. What do I need to manifest? The Sun
6. What energies can I call on to help me manifest my goals? Six of Wands
7. In what ways can I honor this eclipse as part of my life? Eight of Swords

I love the Dragonfly on this card guarding his hoard. I love the chameleons around him too – is not life filled with people and things of a chameleon-like nature? Okay, maybe I have lived too long and am a bit jaded! Where I am right now is at the end of a long road, and I do not want to give up what I battled hard to incorporate into my life. Ummm – I do need to note that some of this is currently excess baggage, which is no longer serving me well! I do need this solar eclipse badly!

What is being hidden from me – well, not really, but for all intents and purposes – is that I do have Guardians watching over me. They are being vigilant for me, so that I can actually let up a bit. Cappies have to look up t he word “fun” in the dictionary on a regular basis – they can never seem to remember it. 😉

This is such a lovely Queen! As Stephanie indicates, this Queen is poetry in motion. What a nice image to have for what I need to know! Deeply connected to Spirit, this Queen has a highly creative nature. I need to remember that I can easily nurture myself by accessing my creative nature.

I literally need to leave behind the balancing act! 😉 For so many years I have had to balance responsibilities, both at work and at home. This does take its toll, even though it is my nature to work, and then work some more! And the balancing act was voluntary. J I feel that I am being told to leave behind the need to be flexible and adaptable, and live my life to the fullest, according to my wants and needs.

What I need to manifest is the light and warmth of the Sun in my life. Whew! We are talking allowing myself to be self-confident, and to continue on the path of enlightenment. I need to grow into my person power and life the life that I am capable of.

What energies can I call on to help me manifest my Sun? My own inner knowing, and the inner work that I have done to date are the energies that I can call on to manifest my Sun. I need to believe that I can triumph, and triumph will follow.
In what ways can I honor this solar eclipse? By picking my battles! Do not waste energy on that which is not important. If a battle is imminent, or necessary, take a step back to evaluate my goals and the means to achieving them, always understanding that I am continually moving forward, even when it may not seem so.

© July 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

Guest Blog By Craig Conley

I recently came across Tarotist Craig Conley’s latest project – the “Punctuation Tarot”. It is stunning and quite unique! I asked Craig if he would like to do a guest blog, and he kindly agreed! Enjoy!

On May 31, Bonnie presented a short spread from the “Shadowscapes Tarot” (Stephanie Pui-Mun Law, Barbara Moore). From the companion book she used a spread called Message From the Universe. It’s a four card spread with the positions defined as: (1) Body, (2) Heart, (3) Mind, and (4) Spirit.

The cards Bonnie drew were:

1. Body – The Empress
2. Heart – The High Priestess
3. Mind – Death
4. Spirit – The Sun

Let’s have some fun and see if Bonnie’s reading might have been different had she used the Punctuated Tarot <>.

The Empress’ punctuation is the prime symbol of mathematics, representing the “derivative function.” In the context of the Body, what is derived or obtained could be likened to the fruits of one’s physical labors. This symbol also speaks of the rate of change of a function (perhaps the aging process, given this context). The Empress card proclaims that issues of the body are of prime or first importance and are worthy of honor.

The High Priestess appears in the position of the Heart. Her punctuation is the question mark—a riddle. Given her place in the Heart position, the High Priestess guides the Seeker to protect her loving emotions with a veil of mystique. The High Priestess suggests that some puzzles, such as the meaning of love, are best left unsolved.

Death appears in the position of the Mind. This position relates to how the Seeker thinks about and sees the world, and the way that she approaches problems. Death’s punctuation is the ellipsis, indicating a suspension point or a trailing off. The Seeker is cautioned to let go of antiquated mental constructs, to allow them to dissolve, to trail off into silence.

Note that when an ellipsis occurs at the end of a sentence, it can suggest a feeling of melancholic longing. That melancholia is tied to the next card: the black Sun’s dark night of the soul.

The Sun appears in the position of Spirit. The Sun’s punctuation is the bullet, introducing items in a list. This position points to how the Seeker can allow spirit to fill her daily life, and the Sun’s bullet suggests that an enumeration is in order. The word “bullet” comes from the French for “small ball.” The small ball on this card suggests the Sol Niger, the paradoxical black sun that emits both light and darkness (for without light there can be no shadow). In alchemical terms, it is the blackening synonymous with melancholia. In Jungian terms, it is an archetype of the unconscious.

If we read these cards as a sort of rebus puzzle of punctuation marks, we can construct a hidden message. The puzzle pieces are: prime, question, ellipsis, bullet. We might decode these symbols as follows: The prime enigma dissolves the lead bullet hiding the alchemical golden light.

Note: Craig is also guest blogging on the “Punctuation Tarot” with Tarotist Catherine Chapman –

An eccentric lexicographer and scholar, Craig Conley is author of the Tarot of Portmeirion, Magic Words: A Dictionary (Weiser Books) and One-Letter Words: A Dictionary (HarperCollins). His website is

Taking Tarot To A New Level

“Beyond The Celtic Cross” is a book that I seem to keep going back to reread, just for inspiration! The section that I am currently looking at is the one on understanding the four elements. Basic stuff, one might say, but it does give one pause for thought.

The elemental associations that Paul uses are the traditional ones, with an Elemental Dignities overlay. From the book:

“Fire – Action

The Wands or Fire cards represent actions, deeds, and consequences of actions. Fire is hot, aggressive, dynamic and unstable.

Water – Emotions, Desires

The Cups or Water cards represent emotions and feelings. Wager is cold and passive.

Air – Thoughts, Problems

The Swords or Air cards represent thoughts and ideas. Air is hot, wet, divisive and unstable.

Earth – Practicality

The Disks or Pentacles or Earth cards represent practicality, business and money. Earth is solid, dry and cold.”He continues on to talk about paired cards of the same element. For instance, two Fire cards represent actions that bounce off of each other – but don’t go anywhere! Two Water cards will merge their energies, only to create a larger, more passive energy. Two Air cards create a great debate that remains sterile because neither energy is willing to make a change. Two Earth cards together basically sit thee and ignore each other. (I love that image! Earth is heavy in my chart, so I understand this scenario!)

Now we move onto three cards of the same element (remember to picture the cars in a linear fashion). Three Fire cards exhibit the energy of the two outer cards rushing the center card, which results is a tremendous amount of fiery energy that has nowhere to go! This energy then carries over onto the cards next to it – which Paul likens to an unstoppable chain reaction! Towering inferno – here we come!

Three Water cards result in the two outer cards merging into the center card – with absolutely nothing happening! Remember – Water is passive!

Three Air cards together allows the two outer cards to “talk” to each other, resulting in their being a ble to develop a new view about an issue or situation.

Three Earth cards together allows he two outer cards to work together, but they still retain their own identity, and are able to be supportive of the center card.

These small seeds of ideas give a reader room for that wonderful “Aha!” moment in their reading, where the whole thing comes together – or, at the least, begins to make sense in new and interesting ways.

This is only a small sampling of he wonderful wisdom graciously shared in this book!

© May 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

The End Game – Wrapping Up A Reading

The End Game – Wrapping Up A Reading

The cards have been shuffled, the questions asked, the spread laid out, and the cards interpreted. The interpretation has been discussed with the Seeker, and they have asked any further questions that they might have. Is the reading now over? In some cases yes, in some cases no. If the Seeker is satisfied with the reading, and they are taking away some clues as to what their next step might be, then the reading has accomplished its purpose.

However, if the reader or the Seeker would like to get a better idea about how to handle the next step, to get an idea of what energies to draw in, then the cards need to be turned to one more time. This time, the focus is on determining what energy the Seeker can call on to help them resolve their issue/situation.

One way to do this is to take a look at the card that comprise the reading. Look at the suits, and how they are represented. How many cards are there from each of the suits? Are the suits balanced? Is there a missing suit? If the suits are balanced, then the needed help may well come from the Major Arcana. If the suits are unbalanced, then look at the predominate suit. Using the principles of elemental dignities, choose the suit that will bring balance to the predominate suit in the reading. From this suit, have the Seeker choose one or more cards to help them resolve their issue/situation.

The following is a quick take on elemental dignities from Paul Hughes-Barlow’s site –

1. Fire and Air are friendly and active
2. Water and Earth are friendly and passive
3. Fire and Water are enemies; they weaken each other
4. Air and Earth are enemies; they weaken each other
5. Fire and Earth strengthen each other but are neutral
6. Water and Air strengthen each other but are neutral

Looking at these definitions, if the predominate suit in an unbalanced spread is Fire (Wands), then the best suit to turn to for resolution would be Air (Swords). If it was Water (Cups), then the best suit to turn to for resolution would be Earth (Pentacles – even though I personally think “mudpies” when I put Water and Earth together!). Air may strengthen Water, but the action is neutral, where Earth is passive but friendly. If the predominate suit was Air (Swords), then the best suit to turn to for resolution would be Fire (Wands). If the predominate suit was Earth (Pentacles), then the best sui to turn to for resolution would be Water (Cups).

Separate all of the cards from the chosen suit out of the deck, and go over them with the Seeker. Ask them which card, or cards, they would feel most comfortable working with. Ask them what they are taking away from their reading – what stands out most for them, and what they want to take action on. Using the card(s) they have chosen, help your client to define one or more steps that they can take to resolve their issue/situation.

Another way to do this is to go over what the client is taking away from the reading, and help them to define what it is that they wish to resolve. Once this is defned, have them go through the entire deck, face up, and choose whatever card(s) they feel will help to empower them in resolving their issue/situation.

Either technique could be considered added value for the reading. If you wish, you could scan your client’s chosen card(s) for them to take home as a focus, or you could have short written description of each of the cards, the energy that they carry, and how they can be used. Gift your client with a written description of each of the card(s) they have chosen. This works well, as the written descriptions would apply to all decks. (Note: Unless the deck chosen has reversed the attributes for Wands and Swords, which a few decks do.)

The act of drawing the extra cards helps to empower your clients, as well as helping to build a bond with them. You will also have fewer clients trying to get you, the reader, to make their decisions for them. Decisions that they very seldom are willing to act on anyway!

Wrap up your readings with style!

Note: It has been brought to my attention that using elemental dignities in this way may not bring the best choice of suits to balance a reading. There are pros and cons to both sides of this issue. I will say that this method has worked for me, and that, from my perspective, I will stand by it. If this blog does nothing more than start you thinking about ways to reconcile your readings, then it will have done its job. Take away what you will, and leave the rest behind.

© April 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

Happy Birthday, Tarot Elements!

Happy Birthday, Tarot Elements! This is the first anniversary of Catherine Chapman’s excellent site, Tarot Elements ( I decided to do a reading to celebrate the occasion, using the Joanna Powell Colbert’s “Gaian Tarot” (

I am using a three card Past/Present/Future spread, with the following cards drawn:

Past: Child of Fire (Page of Wands)
Present: Guardian of Earth (Queen of Coins)
Future: Two of Water (Two of Cups)

One of the definitions that Joanna suggests for the Child of Fire is that of student. This would be the case with Catherine, in a way, as she was both student and partner with Paul Hughes-Barlow in interpreting the reading that lead to their collaboration on their book “Beyond the Celtic Cross”, which was the impetus for setting this wonderful site up. It was time for something magnificent to happen in Catherine’s life, and it took the form of this site. Catherine has created a solid foundation for future work with her fiery energy, will and determination!

What an appropriate card for the present! This Queen nurtures and protects the seeds of wisdom that will grow from this site, and the financial stability that it will bring. My sense is that real time results are more important in the present than pie in the sky ideas. There is a plan to the way in which the site has been set up that will act as a solid base for future growth.

The future has a caring, compassionate feeling to it. Everything will be taken into account – Catherine’s needs, the site visitor’s needs, the need to share and teach, There is a deep heart connection between Catherine and the work that she is doing.

I look forward to watching Catherine, and Tarot Elements, grow into their own!

Happy Birthday, Tarot Elements!

(c) April 2010 Bonnie Cehovet