Tarot Impossible: What Was The Question?

Agentphelps Hello Agent Reader.  We've experienced some difficulty with Agent Tarot. She was in the middle of a Tarot reading when some nefarious mad scientist abducted her. We've dispatched Agents Collier and Carter to rescue her. Your job, should you choose to accept, is to determine what the question might have been.

Africantarotcover Here is what we know. She was using the African Tarot deck. This colorful, simply drawn deck is often overlooked but has a lot to offer someone looking for a bright and amusing Tarot deck. We know that Agent Tarot was reading for Miss Lulu Lovelorn. Miss Lovelorn is also missing.

The cards are the Queen of Pentacles, the Ace of Swords and the Page of Wands. Can you apply your skills at backward Tarot reading to deduce what the question might have been? Once we know that, we can determine why these two were abducted and for what nefarious evil plot.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 Africantarotqueenpentacles Africantarotaceswords Africantarotpagewands
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This blog post will not self-destruct in thirty seconds. Do post your thoughts. The world is depending on you, Agent Reader.

 © November 2010 U.S. Games Systems Inc. 

Tarot Quilt Spread

I saw this idea mentioned on Living Tarot on Facebook. They were talking about making a Tarot quilt. I happen to love quilts. I'm not a quilter, but the idea of sleeping under something that has been put together with such care and love amazes me. So I started daydreaming about what cards I would put in my quilt. So many cards came to my mind. The Empress and the Queen of swords for feminine creativity, beauty and clarity of thought. Then there was the 6 of cups for those happy memories. Of course the 9 of Coins so I could enjoy my rest after a hard day's work.

So I developed this Tarot Quilt spread for you to try.

The Tarot Quilt Spread

Row one is the grounding row. This is where you find what you like to wrap yourself up in so you can feel safe and protected. The cards I got were the 7 of Swords, the Page of Pentacles and the 7 of wands. What would you make of that group? I see it as mental mult-tasking, budgeting and standing my ground.
IMG_0001

Row two is the comfort row. This what you like to wrap yourself up in so you can feel nurtured and creative. Here I received the 4 of Cups, the Moon and the Ace of swords. From this I take away the hope of one more good thing, intuitive knowledge and sudden inspiration.

IMG_0002

Row three is the dreams row. This is what you like to wrap yourself up in so you can have beautiful dreams and reachable goals. I drew Temperance, the Knight of Cups and the King of Cups. I like this row the best because it tells me I can create my own balance and I have more holy grails to seek with friends who will nurture me.

IMG

What cards did you draw? What do you think it means? Would you sleep under this quilt?  If you could pick the nine cards, what would you choose?

The deck depicted is the Tell-Me Tarot.

© November 2010 U.S. Games Systems Inc.

Thanksgiving Spread

Cornucopia_blog A spread should give you insight into areas of your life both good and bad. If we only focus on what we need, we can lose sight of what to be grateful for.  Here in the United States we celebrate a Fall holiday called Thanksgiving.

But did you know that Americans don’t have a lock on this holiday? Eight countries total celebrate a Thanksgiving meal. They are Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Korea, Liberia, Switzerland and, of course, the US.

 

I don’t know how they do it in other countries, but my family’s tradition involves cooking up your best dish then sharing with friends and family. We follow that up with watching football and parades.

Here is a spread to help you digest what areas of your life to be grateful for and what areas  you may to attend more.

Thanksgiving SpreadTurkey

~~~~~~~~~~1~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~6~~~2~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~7~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~5~~~3~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~4~~~~~~~~~~

The layout is mean to look like a table with loved ones around it.

  • TurkeyWhat sustains you. This is the meat of your life. Don’t be surprised if you find an unusual answer here. It may not be what you expect.
  • StuffingWhat completes you. This is the extra side of life that makes everything just better.
  • Cranberry SauceWhat you don't get enough of. Okay, I love cranberry sauce but if you hate it, you can replace this with something else. But this is something in your life that brings you great joy that you need to do more.
  • Green Bean CasseroleWhat you get too much of. This is that thing in your life that you overindulge in. Perhaps this will show you some place where you can let go of some things?
  • BreadWhat you need to share. What do you have that you can share with others. This doesn’t have to be a physical thing. It can be a gift or skill that you have that can enrich others and sustain them.
  • PieWhat you should enjoy more. And we all need to remember that it is okay to eat dessert. We hold ourselves back from enjoying life sometimes. This is a card to remind us that it’s okay to have one more slice of pie.
  • BlessingWhat your blessing is in life. I think this is a very important card because we need to count our blessings.

Riderwaite_pents_9Sacredroseempress

If you do this spread, I hope you will share it here in the comments. We’d love to hear back from you!

Spread previously posted on Aeclectic Tarot Forums.

© November 2010 Stephanie Arwen Lynch

Beginner or Fool: Which Are You?

Whimsical-Fool I was born on April 1, and The Fool card has always been my favorite. I am always interested to step out into new ventures, embrace new ideas, and test the unknown. ~Stuart Kaplan

Every Tarot reader started out a beginner. Many may tell you they began as Fools and are still fools. When you first picked up that deck (or if you are contemplating picking up a deck), you are embarking on a fool's journey. Recently on Facebook, we discussed what decks we each began with and what decks we would recommend to others.

Of course the Rider-Waite Tarot came up more than once, but so many other decks as well.  Of course, it is always a good idea to pick a deck that appeals to you on a visual level. I know of at least a few readers who will have the Rider-Waite as their learning deck while using a second deck for the images.

There is something so timeless about the Rider-Waite Tarot to me. Who can see the iconic Fool and not know immediately what it represents? That's just one reason the Rider-Waite is the most popular Tarot deck in the world. One reader in Dallas, Ferol Humphreys, commented that she likes to keep a spare Rider-Waite in her purse so that she can give it away. Others talked of using it to teach with as well. But there is more than one Rider-Waite Tarot.

Tell_Me_2 Here are some of our decks that a beginner might enjoy. There is the classic Rider-Waite(R), the Golden Rider Tarot, the Universal Waite(R) Tarot and more. The Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative set also features the Rider-Waite Tarot.

Or you might be someone who prefers decks that simply tell you what the meaning is. For you, we have the Tell-Me Tarot or the Vanessa Tarot. Each deck offers meanings on the cards. Some like to be able to compare cards so they might prefer the The Complete Tarot Kit which offers both the Rider-Waite(r) Tarot and the Thoth Tarot. With the provided journal to write your observations in, you have everything you need with this kit.

One final deck a beginner might enjoy is the Whimsical Tarot. This little deck has been a favorite for years. Due to its continued popularity, U.S. Games Systems, Inc. has reissued it. This is a great deck for the younger set as well as the young-at-heart.

What elements are most important for beginners, do you think? Is it the accessible imagery or the straightforward meanings? Or do you think it is something else all together?

 

VAN78_1

So what was your first deck? Do you still have it? Do you still read with it? Would you recommend it to others as a beginners deck? We want to hear your thoughts. Are you still a fool? Feel free to discuss in the comments.

The Path To Thanksgiving: A Tarot Spread

 "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."

-John Fitzgerald Kennedy

"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice."

-Meister Eckhart

"Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action."

-W.J. Cameron

 

There is a path to Thanksgiving? Yes, there is a path to Thanksgiving – and to thanksgiving (the giving of thanks). Thanksgiving is celebrated here in the U.S. on the fourth Thursday in November. (Thanksgiving in Canada is celebrated on the second Monday in October.) The first Thanksgiving celebration in the American colonies was shared by the pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians. It was a celebration of the colonists having survived their first difficult winter, but also a celebration of their having learned from the Indians how to live off of the land.

Modern Thanksgiving is a time of families getting together, of traditional family recipes appearing on the table – of roast turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. It also highlights one of my favorite events of the year – the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, which ends with the arrival of Santa Claus in his sleigh. Your household may be watching old movies, or that very important football game, or, in the past few years, a very important NBA basketball game.

Readers see another side of this holiday, especially if they read for a phone line. They see the stress that people are under – dealing with difficult family members, tempers flaring, alcohol consumption gone out of control. They might also see those individuals who are spending the day alone, which might trigger some level of depression. How can we help our clients (or ourselves, if we are under stress)?

I designed the following spread as a way to get a quick overview of the Seeker’s situation. Further questions can be built on this spread.

Thanksgiving House of Cards 

  1. Where is the stress coming from that the Seeker is aware of?
  2. Where is the Seeker’s hidden stress coming from?
  3. What actions can the Seeker take to release their stress?
  4. What energy can the Seeker use to help heal?

 From the Fantastical Creatures Tarot (Lisa Hunt & DJ Conway) I drew: 

  1. The Star
  2. Page of Cups
  3. Knight of Swords
  4. Queen of Pentacles

 FantasticalCreatures_LisaHunt_USGamesInc

The Giving of Thanks

The giving of thanks is an ingrained part of Thanksgiving, beginning with the pilgrims being thankful that they had survived their first year, and that the native Indians shared their wisdom on how to live in harmony with the land, in a healthy manner. The giving of thanks does not have to be limited to Thanksgiving Day – it can be honored all through the month of November (actually, it can and should be honored year round).

When we give thanks, we are acknowledging the things that we have to be grateful for – the things that nourish and sustain us. In acknowledging the things that sustain us, we are able in many ways to release at least some of the stress that we are under. Our lives are filled with blessings, if we choose to see them.

In what ways can we acknowledge the blessings in our life? Here is a partial list – place in your life the tools that work best for you. You are a unique individual, and you lead a unique life. Only you know what will work best for you. 

  1. Prayer
  2. Thanking your Guides.
  3. Journaling
  4.  Giving a random smile to a friend, co-worker or stranger.
  5. Lending a hand to someone in need.
  6. Inviting someone who would otherwise be alone to celebrate Thanksgiving with you and your family.
  7. Donating time or money to your favorite charity.
  8. Making a conscious effort to life your life in harmony with those around you, and with Mother Earth.
  9. Make an effort to live in the present – in this way you will notice the abundance and prosperity around you that you have to be thankful for.
  10. Give silent thanks as you go about your day.

The Tarot represents the story of our life. Its archetypal nature tells our personal stories, as well as the stories of communities and nations. It is an excellent tool for understanding where and how we have a need to give thanks. In giving thanks, we are keeping in touch with ourselves, and with the environment around us. We are keeping our mental/physical/emotional/spiritual selves in balance, and living our life in an authentic manner.

What does the Seeker have to be thankful for in the:

  1. Mental Realm.
  2. Physical Realm
  3. Emotional Realm
  4. Spiritual Realm

 From the Medieval Scapini Tarot I drew: 

  1. Nine of Swords
  2. Seven of Wands
  3. King of Cups
  4. Temperance

 MedievalScapini_USGamesInc

May this Thanksgiving find you healthy, happy, and celebrating the abundance and prosperity that is rightfully yours!

Wishing each of you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

 © November 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

CONTEST: Calling All Would-Be Sleuths!

Calling All Would-Be Sleuths!

DQ54
We like games here at US Games Systems, Inc. So let's play one. It's a scavenger hunt! What will you win? Your very own copy of the Doomed Queens: Royal Playing Cards deck, that's what. You can play Rummy with your friends and wow them with the Doomed Queens of Kris Waldherr. 

DQ54_1 So what you have to do to enter is answer the following ten questions. All answers can be found on the U.S. Games Systems, Inc site and on this blog but you will have to hunt for them. So grab your pipe and magnifying glass, all you would-be Sherlock Holmes types. Let the search begin!

 

1. U.S.  Games Systems, Inc. publishes award-winning card games. Name one.

2. If you want to be informed of the specials for registered customers only, what should you do?

3. Why was Waite's choice of Pamela Colman Smith such a good thing?

4. What was the first product giveaway on the U.S. Games Systems blog?

5. What are three types of Rider-Waite Tarot that we publish?

6. Find at least 2 products with the word "dog" in the title.

7. What year was US Games started?

8. Name three titles in the Natural World Playing Card series.

9. What is the tiniest deck published by U.S. Games?

10. How many pages are there in Volume II of the Encyclopedia of Tarot?

Sherlock Don't put your answer in the comments! You don't want to make it easy for your competition. Email your answers to our Watson (lynn@usgamesinc.com) by Sunday November 21, 2010. The winner will be drawn from all the correct answers. Look for that name to be announced on this blog on Monday November 22.

So what you have to do to enter is answer those ten questions. The game is afoot!

© U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

The Empress’ Harvest Wheat Bread Recipe

What better time than the present to pull out the Empress Card, and with it, the fabulous recipe for Harvest Wheat Bread from Corinne Kenner's Epicurean Tarot.

 

EpicureanEmpress

 

 

The Empress’ Harvest Wheat Bread

 

1 package active dry yeast

1/3 cup dry milk

2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons honey

2-3 cups unbleached all-purpose four

2 cups warm (110° F) water

2 tablespoons softened butter

1/2 cup molasses

1/4 cup cracked wheat

3 cups whole-wheat flour

 

Dissolve yeast in 2 tablespoons of the warm water. Add milk, salt, honey, and 2 cups of all-purpose flour. Add the water, butter, and molasses. Stir vigorously.

 

Add the cracked wheat and whole-wheat flour to form a soft dough. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. (Use additional flour as needed to make the dough manageable.)

 

Lightly oil a large bowl, and roll the dough in it to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl loosely with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise until it doubles in size (about an hour).

Punch the dough down and let it rest 10 to 15 minutes.

 

Shape the dough into two loaves and let them rise until they double in size (about 45 minutes). Place in lightly oiled pans.

 

Place in preheated 375° F oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the loaves from the pans immediately. Let cool before slicing.

 

Enjoy!

EpicureanRecipeBACK
 

Celebrate Abundance

Images The start of November has me thinking about the celebrations ahead; the gathering of loved ones to express thanks for the bounty of blessings in our lives. 

 

When I think about 'abundance' the tarot card that comes to mind first is the Three of Cups, with its joyful dancers with glasses raised. Near their feet, we see a spray of vegetation with pumpkins and grape vines. 

 In her book Introduction to Tarot Susan Levitt points out that "The pumpkin in the foreground indicates a spiritual harvest, or that emotions will be jubilant come autumn."

A similar interpretation is given Hajo Banzhaf's book Tarot for Everyone, "The Three of Cups indicates that a matter will develop favorably. It depicts a harvest festival and means that something reached a good end, the harvest was brought in and we can be thankful, happy, and satisfied with it."  

Of course, in the Crowley Thoth deck, the Three of Cups bears the key word ABUNDANCE. 

In the coming weeks, I look forward to having you gather here to share your stories of celebration. What are you most grateful for? How do you express it? 

Blessings to all!