Integrating The Shadow – A Halloween Reading

I dearly love the month of October – the beautifully colored leaves, the crisp, cool air, and all of the spooktacular Halloween costumes and the preponderance of lovely chocolate candy! I love the decorating, I love carving up a pumpkin every year (although I have zero talent in this direction, and they all end up looking the same!), and I love getting small bags of (chocolate!) candy ready to give out. I also love doing late night readings on this one night of the year when the veil between the physical and spiritual worlds is at its thinnest. 

I do want to take a quick look at the different names for this night, and then I want to talk about a reading that you might want to try. This night of nights can be referred to as Halloween, All Hallow’s Eve, or Samhain, and is associated with the Day of the Dead. Halloween is of relatively modern origins, having its roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain, as well as the Christian celebration of All Saints Day. It is largely a secular holiday, focusing on activities such as trick or treating, costume parties and the telling of ghost stories. All Hallow’s Eve is the night before All Saints Day (November 1st), and is a time for feasting and remembrance.  Samhain is a Celtic festival celebrating summer’s end and the harvest. The Day of the Dead is a Mexican festival that brings families together to pray for and remember family and friends who have crossed over. 

Rather than dialogue with ancestors, or ask for wisdom from Spirit, this year I decided to address the Shadow side of life. The thinning of the veils makes it very easy to access Spirit, but it also carries another huge dividend: it allows us to use wisdom from Spirit to bring up our Shadows from our subconscious into the light of consciousness. Think about it: Shadow would not exist without the benefit of light. This is my reading for you on this night of nights:

Integrating The Shadow

The Cauldron: What do I need to know on this night?

The Ghost: What shadow from my past is holding me back?

The Goblin: What actions can I take to understand this shadow?

The Broomstick: How can I best move forward on my path, now that I have integrated this shadow?

The cards that I drew were:

The Cauldron: King of Cups

The Ghost: Queen of Pentacles

The Goblin: Two of Cups

The Broomstick: Queen of Wands

 

I have chosen to illustrate this reading with four different decks: the Deviant Moon Tarot, the Fantastical Creatures Tarot, the Halloween Tarot In Tin and the Lover’s Path Tarot. Each deck brings its own energy to the table.

Deviant1

The Deviant Moon Tarot, by Patrick Valenza, deliberately includes images of cemeteries and mental asylums to help illuminate the deeper parts of the subconscious. The imagery is jarring, and a bit on the dark, or shadow side, yet amusing in its own way. It is all about visions and bad dreams, and acts as a wonderful gateway on this night of nights.

Fantastical1

The Fantastical Creatures Tarot, by Lisa Hunt and DJ Conway, is a much lighter deck. Based on mythical creatures and fantasy animals, it is an awesome showcase for talented artist Lisa Hunt’s work. The one thing to note with this deck is the elemental associations: Swords are Fire, and Wands are Air. Other than that, it is based on the traditional Rider-Waite template. Deep messages have the ability to sneak through the lovely watercolors of these cards without scaring the heck out of anybody! 

Halloween1

The Halloween Tarot In Tin, by Kipling West , is a very light, fun deck with the suits entitled Pumpkins, Imps, Ghosts and Bats, and a sleek black cat as a central character! The artwork is cartoon style, with strong coloring. As with the “Fantastical Creatures Tarot”, this deck brings messages across from Spirit in a very non-threatening manner.

LoversPath1

The Lover’s Path Tarot, by Kris Waldherr, features classic loves stories and myths from around the world. It references love, emotions, and relationships – all of which play into our shadow selves. Waldherr notes that all love relationships mirror our relationship with ourselves. It is in our relationship with ourselves that our shadows lie. The artwork in this deck is very easy to connect to.

I hope that you have enjoyed all four of these decks, and are getting some ideas for what you want to do on your “night of nights”!

 

© October 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

 

Take a break to play :Tarot Anagram


Images
Here's a fun tarot anagram for all you wordsters out there.

     HIP TAROT HE HEN

1. First, use ALL 13 letters above to form an important term in the tarot deck. 

 

2. Now, see how how many other smaller words you can create when you scramble  these letters. Create as many words as you can using at least 4 letters. 

For example, HEART, THRONE, HERO, PATH  etc. 

 

HAVE FUN and let me know how do you!


Card XVIII- The Moon

Moon3
Moon2
Moon1
On the 18th day of October, let's take a look at one of the most beguiling cards in the tarot deck- The Moon.

These are a few of my favorite examples. Do you recognize all of them?  

 

Let us know YOUR favorite Moon Cards and share your insights on them. When a Moon card comes up in a reading, what does it mean to you? 

Moon4

Sneak Preview of Deviant Moon Book

Fans of Deviant Moon Tarot have asked for a companion book, and we have heard you!

Patrick Valenza is busily writing detailed descriptions of the cards with expanded meanings. He is also sharing insights into his own creative process, with personal anecdotes on what inspired his beloved Deviant Moon characters and their settings.

Here's a sample page (FIRST DRAFT) for the Magician Card.

ENJOY & PLEASE LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!

 

DVM78_2

 



 

I . The Magician

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The novice magician performs on stage to the shadows of an imagined audience. Though he has not yet achieved mastery of skill, he envisions a time when he will be competent in his craft. This innate confidence lays for him a mental blueprint on how he can one day reach his goals. There is great effort and concentration expressed on his face as he wields the four symbols of the minor arcana. With time, practice, and patience, he will become fluent in them all.  In spite of inheriting the gift of four hands, he must still labor diligently to reach such a high level of craftsmanship. He dips his forefinger into a cup of blood, demonstrating that his art does not come without pain or sacrifice. The box at his knees is a material manifestation of the cosmos, symbolizing  that mortals, as well as gods, can revel in the rewards of the universe through hard work, will, and perseverance.

 

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Upright meanings:    

The magician shows that you are more than able to master any desired skill through practice, sacrifice, and a determined focus on your outcome. He encourages you to cultivate your potential abilities and to be willing to invest the time required to do so. Occasionally, you may feel overwhelmed or frustrated, however persistence to the task at hand will pay off. Stay confident in your craft, and believe that your creative power will manifest into tangible results. Be resourceful in your approach to all situations, remembering that you already have everything you need inside yourself to accomplish your dreams.

 

Reversed meanings: 

The magician reversed warns of the waste or misuse of your unique talents.  There may be setbacks in undertakings due to uncoordinated efforts, and you might find yourself unable to grasp new concepts as confusion sets in. This could also signify the lack of confidence in your emerging abilities. 

 

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"The magician is based on another Venetian character created for a story I was writing in 1982. In it, a mechanical fish made of gold arises from the canal and takes a few citizens on a ride beneath the city. At the time, I was progressing in my work as a colored pencil artist, yet I was getting tired of drawing figures in a traditional manner. I felt the need to grow beyond what I was comfortable creating. When designing the magician's body, I used stylized shapes more and more, as abstraction began to influence my drawings. Multiple arms just came naturally for this figure, as it was a necessity for him to be performing with all four suit symbols. Reality started to bend with the needs of each card. It was a precursor to other odd body parts to come throughout the deck!"

 

 

 

 

Rider-Waite on Wheels

I wanted to share this delightful interview by Madhavi Ghare with all our readers. Enjoy!

Tarot Card Images on Helmets

 by Madhavi Ghare

A very interesting idea was brought to my notice a few days ago – Tarot card images on Helmets! While exploring the whole thing a bit more, I had a chance to communicate with and have a nice telephone chat with Danielle Baskin, the wonderfully vibrant person who is the brains behind this concept.

Here are some excerpts from the conversation we had (both e-mail and telephone):

[Any errors in the transcription are purely mine.]

MG:

Danielle, tell me, how did you get this whole idea?

DB:

I [had] never touched a tarot deck until about two years ago when I was sort of ‘conned’ into getting a reading on the street. I was completely skeptical about the whole thing but [since I was] feeling sorta ‘off-track’ in life so [I said] “Okay, why not?”.

What really surprised me was the powerful sense of agency I felt immediately after leaving. It’s like all these hypothetical ideas [that] you didn’t know ever existed started to emerge simply from attempting to construct a story using these enigmatic images as a template. I accepted the idea that the Tarot cards [are purely images] – and didn’t reject it as a form of advice or therapy. The images trigger so much buried information! It’s [the process of] constructing the story that helps clear [the mind] and create patterns of thinking.

 

Helmet with Star Card Image

Helmet with Star Card Image

 

MG:

What was it about the cards – especially the images on the cards – that really struck you?

DB:

When I bought a deck and tried to figure out the different meanings of the cards, I started writing down my immediate reactions to the way Pamela Colman Smith placed the symbols.

I’ve always been fascinated on how different modes of thinking trigger eye movements – and how visual perception relates to storytelling.

For example:

  • Upper Left – What you’re imagining in your future
  • Upper Right – What events have actually happened (Unseeable)
  • Bottom Left – Potential area of mental space – not yet broken into
  • Bottom Right. What factors are affecting/controlling you

Of course, reversing the images changed the meanings dramatically. For example, in The Magician [card], when the card is reversed, the hand pointing at the plants is more noticeable. This could mean quite literally feeling like a situation is out of your hands and you can’t grasp your resources, you’re blaming something else for your situation. The infinity sign [seems] less important when reversed. His face frowns more. He points at nature. When [upright] The Magician is aware of all his resources and the natural world. He appears to be altering nature, to make it more beautiful using cleverness and manipulation.

 

Helmet with Hierophant Card Image

Helmet with Hierophant Card Image

 

[The amazing part is] that the cards were not painted in reverse. I’m not sure [that] Pamela Coleman Smith [thought about the fact] that the images would be flipped while she was painting them intuitively – but I still like the idea of the card possessing dual meanings, but a reversed card might be a stretch of a confabulation.

MG:

So what gave you the idea of painting these image on helmets, of all the things?

DB:

Well, the idea just came to me suddenly one day. The idea of having an entire deck of Tarot cards cycling around on the streets seemed to really jump out at me. There is a lot of motion involved with the Tarot cards. The images of the cards make you want to take action! I most certainly wanted to, and did!

The idea of seeing connections and attributing causality to chance circumstances is really fascinating to me. – while on a surface level the helmets are ‘protecting people from accidents’, they might [also] be regularly reappearing into people’s lives. It would be fascinating if people run into certain Tarot helmets on their daily commute and if there’s some sort of pattern of thinking (or mental state) that correlates to the times they do see that image – like “Whoa! I’ve seen that before! This is connected to this which is connected to this.”

I think temporarily disengaging from your environment is really important to help crystallize memories and sort of ‘think about yourself thinking’. Noticing symbols are important – because they help you learn about how you think. Not that symbols or omens are more powerful than you – but the idea that you’re noticing them could be more relevant than the symbol itself. It helps you pay attention to your own personal thought patterns and open up spaces for possibilities.

I also like the idea that each card-wearer will be connected to an entire deck. Realizing that he is a part of a whole. And that the whole is always in motion and impossible to capture.

MG:

All this sounds pretty interesting if you ask me!

DB:

 

Helmet with Emperor Card Image

Helmet with Emperor Card Image

 

Yes, it is! Especially since the wearer of the helmet always has the card stationary – there would be different ways to think about the card. [And as] the helmet is hemispherical like a brain, I got the idea of purposefully mapping out the images in accordance to the right-brain/left-brain.

Though highly debatable in neuroscience, the dualities that represent your conscious/public behavior (left) and your potential and unconscious thoughts (right) are understandable. The brain doesn’t necessarily work that way – but the two concepts or mental-modes are simple to grasp. I thought about this for a bit while mapping the images.

For example, the character in Justice is on the left side of the helmet hence its a card about public persona and and image you’re portraying. It’s less of a ‘personal’ image. I painted the High Priestess split in the middle in the back because its both subconscious and conscious. I think that card is about information and knowledge. How one can become burdened by excessive knowledge to the point where it blocks thinking. It is really symbol-rich and relates to vision (the occipital lobe).

MG:

What are your thoughts about looking at all these images in motion?

DB:

As I said before, the wearer of the helmet has the image stationary on his head, while he is moving around. Meanwhile other people may see the image either coming towards them, or moving away from them.

For example, with the High Priestess, if the image is coming towards you it means you have too much information clouding your thinking. You can’t see her from the front of the helmet. If [the image is] moving away from you it means you’re just scratching the surface of the learning experience. You need to examine things more closely. In the High Priestess image, you can see words and letters like ‘TORA’ but its physically moving away so you need to catch up.

MG:

What about the colors of the cards? Did they play any role in this process?

DB:

 

Helmet with Hermit Card Image

Helmet with Hermit Card Image

 

Oh, yes! The color choices are also really important.

For example, placing gray around only half of the Hermit (disappearing into a vanishing point) is another intentional choice.

I am planning to make a little informational booklet about each card and give it away with every helmet so that the people who buy the helmets can understand the fantastic symbolism of the images that they have chosen.

MG:

Did you get inspired by any particular card when this idea came into your mind? If so, which card was it?

DB:

Oh yes! It was The Magician card. He has all these resources on his table which he is using. And the infinity sign on top of his head – its like there are an infinite number of possibilities with the things you have in front of you.

MG:

Wow! The Magician is the card that does always talk about creative inspiration and creation. In fact, many creative people often use the image to help them find focus and bursts of creativity within their lives and work. I know I always pull out this card and look at it and carry it around with me, whenever I feel myself losing focus.

DB:

That is very interesting. But, funnily enough, it wasn’t The Magician which was my first helmet painting.

MG:

Then, which was the first card you painted on a helmet?

DB:

It was actually The Wheel of Fortune card. And I had some pretty interesting experiences with that image, let me tell you.

MG:

Really? Like what?

DB:

When I first started my company I created a Wheel of Fortune card for this psychic I met at a craft fair. I made it for free so I could meet with her to discuss tarot cards. Once I created it I kept getting tons of orders. When I went to meet her to give it to her my wallet was stolen from me on the subway. I actually lost some money when I was giving away the lucky helmet. Who knows what to attribute this to?

MG:

Oh yeah! I have had that experience with The Wheel! It is a crazy merry-go-round alright!

DB:

Tell me about it!

Danielle and I chatted for a few more minutes after that exchanging our experiences with the cards.

My Take:

 

Helmet with Fool Card Image

Helmet with Fool Card Image

 

Personally, I found this whole concept quite fascinating – imagine you are going to work and then you spot a helmet with the picture of The Magician card, and then you go to work feeling great and experiencing a burst of creative energy within you! Or seeing the picture of The Hermit card while you go back home from school, and finding that peaceful, solitary place to sit down and grasp some complicated lessons you learnt at school…

The possibilities of the sightings of these symbols is endless – and will only add to the powerful symbolism that surrounds us in our lives everyday! In fact, something like this makes us sit up and take notice of these symbols – which otherwise just go away unnoticed because we just didn’t look.

When I do get me one of these helmets, I plan on getting one with The Fool card .. We have quite an interesting bond, The Fool and I..

Which one will you get?

To order your helmet from Danielle, just go to her website onwww.humantarotproject.com or e-mail her at tarothelmets@gmail.com.


…and the winner of the Halloween Tarot deck is:

HAT78 Berthe van Soest!

Congratulations Berthe! You were randomly selected from all of the participants and we couldn't be happier for you especially since Halloween Tarot is your go-to deck in October! We agree that the deck is super friendly and gets us in the mood for spooky readings.

Please email lynn@usgamesinc.com with your snail mail address and she will send your deck out just in time for Halloween!

We want to thank everyone who posted and shared their favorites. There were certainly some surprising choices. Keep coming back for more tarot fun and contests!

Decks for Halloween (And a Giveaway!)

Halloween tarot cover 180 oooooOOOOOooooo

Mad scientists, vampires, werewolves and creaky doors…

Icy winds, scraping twigs, laughing ghouls and headless horsemen…

Frenzied bats, bubbling cauldrons, candy corn and rattling bones…

BOO!

Were you scared? Nah, I didn't think so.

So Happy Halloween to you, spooktacular Fool Stop Tarot Blog readers!

I thought I'd share some great U.S. Games Systems decks you could use for Halloween, Samhain and Día de los Muertos readings and parties.

First up: the oh-so-perfect-for-the-season Halloween Tarot by Karin Lee and Kipling West:

Halloween Chariot Halloween_Tarot_3 

Next, how about the utterly original Deviant Moon Tarot by Patrick Valenza:

Deviant_Moon 3PDeviant_Moon asw 

Check out the hauntingly beautiful Archeon Tarot by Timothy Lantz:

Arch 1 Arch 2

And how about that nifty, quirky Phantasmagoric Theater Tarot by Graham Cameron:

Phantasmagoric_Theater_Tarot_11 Phantasmagoric_Theater_Tarot_6

In a similar vein, what about the Karma Tarot by Birgit Boline Erfurt?

Karma Kn Sw Karma Hanged

And what Halloween season would be complete without vampires, right?

Feast your eyes on the Vampire Tarot by Nathalie Hertz:

Vamp 1Vamp 2 
Tell me: do you use a special deck for Halloween, Samhain or Day of the Dead festivities? And, would you like to win the awesome Halloween Tarot (in a tin!) ? All you have to do is post your favorite spooky, unusual or "dark" deck from U.S. Games Systems before Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 10 AM EST to be entered into the random drawing.

Also, feel free to share any creepy or unusual Tarot readings you've given (or received!) during the Halloween season, as well as some of your favorite accoutrements or music that you use during Samhain parties or readings.

Have fun and good luck!

Janet, Social Media Maven