A line from a song hit me while I was pondering judgement. Spare me your judgements and spare me your dreams
‘Cause recently mine have been tearing my seams
I sit alone in this winter clarity which clouds my mind’. (Thistles & Weeds, by Mumford & Sons)

To be at the point of clarity and release, we must first go through the metaphorical tower moment then Death. From this death comes grief, confusion, sadness, anger and finally acceptance. These are normal emotions that accompany the aftermath of a major ending. I believe we do have the choice in how we handle sadness and disappointment in order to reach clarity and release. We are able to assess and learn.

The catch is being aware of that “ego voice”. The part of us that wants the control, the fairy tale, the idealistic yet unrealistic reality. The part of us that sabotages our happiness and causes much havoc if we allow it. When we look at the imagery depicted in many pieces of art on Judgement it has a very spiritual connotation to it. The figures appear to be experiencing a resurrection in order to be assessed on their heart and actions. This idea is huge. There is often forgiveness with the moments after Judgement. With forgiveness comes healing and the ability to change and discard and start life anew. Metaphorically this is something we should, if we are on a path of light-leaning growth, experience many times in our lives.

If we choose to really really reflect and be as impartial as is possible for us to do, then we can stand in our own truth more accurately.

It’s easy to get caught up in how something should have been. This is a trap because it paralyses our growth and ability to step into a beautiful life again by keeping us at the graveside of what has passed.

To hear and face the call to awakening or starting over are two very different things.

We can hear easily- listening and acting is the hard part.

Starting over with new skills,understanding and knowledge doesn’t mean the circle of endings will never come round again. Life is one big cycle of revolutions. What judgement or being woken does is let us keep what is useful from our experiences and throw away what is useless baggage.

I love the term rising from the ashes.. it is so dramatic yet perfect for regeneration. It is up to us to do what we choose with what we have. The imagery and symbolism on many paintings and art of the Judgement card show that it is possible for anyone to experience this consciousness, rebirth or resurrection.

It is liberating to come to a point of accepting our own roles fully, and not blaming the other or the situation or event. Do we have to be grateful for heartache and loss? I don’t think so. But what i do think we must be grateful for is how it brings us closer to living in our truth and wisdom. The purpose of life IS to be happy. We will not find that in others. Or things .We find that in our depths. We find that in our own.ability for contentment as a human. To be given the chance to rise and follow our authentic road – that is a gift for sure.

The song finishes with the phrase “plant your hopes in good deeds, don’t smother your soul in thistle and weeds..”

Very apt for growth and release.


“Don’t cover yourself in thistles and weeds.. “

Major Arcana, Tarot Thoughts

Choices, Consequence and Moral Codes – The Lovers, Justice & The Hierophant

Law of Attraction, Major Arcana, The Pondering Chair

I have discovered on a personal level that I have ingrained codes of what affects my conscience. It’s funny how we don’t realise the potential effect our actions can have on others until we are faced with a personal moral dilemma.

It’s interesting how The Lovers, Justice and The Hierophant can tell the story of choice between pure love and desire, the consequences of that choice and how far we are willing to go before our moral and ethical beliefs cause us to choose what we believe at our core essence and halt.

It makes us question how high or low we wish to demonstrate our value, and pushes us to draw back and truly understand a part of ourselves that we always believed we had, but never truly claimed ownership to.

There are times in our life where we do what’s right not because we want to, but because our higher self compels us. To battle against what we truly desire and have in reach, is a real test of our self value.

The Wheel shows us that what goes around comes around, we are never up for too long and never right down for too long. It shows us that what we put out, returns, and teaches us that what we are considering breaking our code for is never meant to be permanent anyway. Change and movement is inevitable. Pretending it isn’t is fooling ourselves and setting us up for The Tower.

To have these dilemmas of conscience brings us to a state of hanging – The Hanged Man and all that his meaning encompasses. We are suspended in a state of being almost frozen. Fear, pride, wanting – all these things bring us to a period of deep silent reflection. Uncomfortable reflection too.

Our world has been turned upside down and all we can do is retreat until we have the insight to accept what is and learn that the more we fight, the more fatigued we get.

There is an opportunity for surrender to our higher self. To come to a solitary conclusion in which we know that this period has taught us so much enables us to let go of what has put us in this position in the first place.

Of course personally I have faced moral choices before, but somehow the low value I placed on myself was a perfectly acceptable reason to ignore that caring, knowing voice of logic and heart. This always, always resulted in the Wheel turning abruptly, and the harsh side of Justice to come slamming down.

Usually this was by not only the personal shame that was felt in the long-term , but by the Law of Attraction making me harvest what I had sown.

To find out what it is like to care about oneself, and to truly believe that we deserve so much good is quite a new concept for those who never before have placed high value on their own existence.

To get used to having love for oneself and believe in being worthy is the key to loving others in a way that is pure and almost holy. The choices we face, the dualities of light and dark, cause and effect become clearly apparent to us.

This also means that anything that doesn’t align with the amazing gifts we as precious beings deserve in every aspect of our lives becomes blatantly obvious. With this high value, we know instinctively that the choice we must decide on is clear .

This personal growth, value of self and awareness does not mean it is by any means always easy to make the right choices for us. But it does give us the springboard to remain true to our authenticity. That is the road to inner peace. That is the solid seedling of true love. All of a sudden it makes sense – to love others we must first love ourselves.

The Sun – Intensity at it’s full strength.

Major Arcana, The Pondering Chair

The Sun – without it we would not survive. It is one of the keys or components that together with other necessary elements  sustains life on earth. There is nothing quite as comforting as holding your face towards a warm sun on a cold day. The smile of sunshine can lift spirits and hearts by simply being what it is. Radiant, warm, light giving beauty.

The sun is powerful – so much so that looking directly into it’s bright light without a filter can cause blindness. The sun can be dangerous. It can suck the life out of living organisms by simply beating down. It sucks out life force given the right conditions because that is the power of something so intense.

When we face the bright light of sunshine head on in a metaphorical sense, we can be so dazzled we fail to truly see clearly straight away. I have always felt intuitively with the tarot that too much energy from the Sun card can have a detrimental effect – and the clarity and truth and joy the card can bring can often be misread in terms of reality.

How can we filter the sun’s energy when it is blaring in our face? This is the question I have been pondering the last few days. The thoughts that have entered my ever expanding understanding of the cards in connection with making sense of life lead me to believe that we need protection at all times when we are looking at the Sun – in order to see clearly.

The positive that the Sun card brings is truth, perspective and a reminder of realigning our egos to live in harmony with our authenticity.

Yes – it is an extremely positive card. But as with all things in existence it has it’s own dualities. It has extremes.

As I reflect on the energy of the Sun card and come to terms with its stark light illuminating and potentially burning fragile aspects that cannot withstand the exposure for too long, I see truth and clarity coming to the fore. I am grateful for the beautiful yet often intense force of the Sun card. I am reminded that even when something seems so positive and bright – there is always a shadow side.

That is life. That is reality. Nothing is ever all good. Nor is it all bad. It is just what it is – a force to be respected – at all times.

Much love,

Tess ♡

The World – nearing completion. 

Consciousness, Major Arcana, Tarot Thoughts, The Pondering Chair

The final card in the Major arcana or so it is often said. I suppose looking from the perspective of enlightenment or a storytelling kind of view then yes, it kind of fits well. But we aren’t generally living life in sequence of the cards assigned numerical order, and completion is a tall order for any of us. There is usually more finality in the Death Card or The Tower. The World card brings us to the peak – the culmination, blending all of what is good together. But this is temporary, much like anything else we experience. 
How do we know that the Fool in card zero is not the result of The World. After all, he is at the peak of a cliff, is he setting off? Or has he arrived? Round and round. Or is it on and on until we are but dust? 

The World card is where we are ready to begin again. Drawing from all our experiences, an opportunity to start fresh in a way. Let what is gone go and embrace what is coming. This leads me to reflect on what is so special about the distant memories many hold on to. I find these days that I don’t enjoy musing too long on what has been. It doesn’t serve me. It does not enhance my present moment. I realise more and more that all we truly have that is precious is this moment we are living in right now. 
I don’t find that looking forward too far is useful either. It takes so much away from this time of now.  Each journey is what it is. When I am at the final position thinking “yes! I made it, here I am!!”, it soon becomes clear that the adventures of this lifetime, perils and all begin anew, or maybe just continue like the next chapter in a saga.
I was reading something as usual that fits in well with my thoughts. It was a summary of the I-ching hexagram 64, ‘Nearing Completion”, The final hexagram in the Book of Changes. This summary spoke of nearing the peak, the effort it has taken with that goal in sight,only to finally see that you still have to descend down the other side. I loved that description. Life is very much like that. We are never quite where we imagine we should be to be happy completely and permanently.
We allow our spirit to be so eaten up by things that drain us. Thinking it will be over soon if only this or when such and such. I don’t want my precious moments to be filled with anxiety and stress over poverty, physical ailments and self pity. Perhaps using those emotions to motivate me to help others and give more is better than bemoaning my own lack and self absorbed issues. 
The World in a literal sense is something so much bigger than the self.  Perhaps sometimes by the time we reach that part of our journey we see that it’s not just about us, or our tiny little self created ‘world’.
The essence of spirituality is about caring for others, human, animal, earth, sky.. you get what I mean. It’s universal love and compassion. It’s not easy, especially when we believe we have always given. Or even that we have nothing to give. We can be very judgmental and selective without even realising it. Or we can look at ourselves and think we are so lovely. We might be, but then again we may only be in certain circumstances or in certain circles. Sometimes our motives have not been understood wholly by ourselves or entirely truthful. It’s possible. 
The ability to reflect on who we are, in every way, how we think, what our ego voice says – and do it in a brutally honest way too, that’s harsh. Yet it’s part of maturing and adjusting in line with who we authentically want to be and are meant to be. That might be part of this peak moment. Who knows. 

Judgment – Cause & Effect

Major Arcana, Tarot Thoughts, The Pondering Chair

Cause and effect. The story of our life. A morning layout of cards synchronised with a book I’ve started reading in the rather roundabout but usual way that these things occur.
It was a connection between where I was and where I am and why, and how I can get past the repercussions of this cause and effect in a way.

Judgment was the final card in the layout, one of those big impact cards that can really shift our mindset and perspective in many ways. It is the card that reminds me to always take stock of things and be truly honest with myself for the highest good of all concerned.

We can fool ourselves and our egos, easy peasy, but our inner self, the real us – never!

There is often an inner conflict or turmoil prior to self cleansing and purifying. A battle between how we feel we got here and how things came about, and the honest side of knowing that our own choices led us to where we are and what resulted. The consequences can affect us for an extraordinarily long time. This is assessing the cause and effect.

It’s come to light in pondering and spending a while with Judgment that healing and rising cannot take full flight until we have come to terms with, and accepted this actuality for what it is, beyond the details and intricacies. Perhaps acceptance of what and where and how and why is the final key to moving forward into resurrection?

The petty conflict that rages within ourselves wastes hours and days. The battling eats up our joy and sparkle. It has no purpose but to feed our ravenous egos and fuel our bitterness.

Perhaps, in reality, we are where we are because we decided to do such and such, followed by such and such. Before we could blink those choices led us to make more choices and more choices. Every action has its reaction. This is judgment. Facing up to what is and looking it in the eye.

We cannot hide from what is. We can fool ourselves and pretend. That is where we get stuck in the cycle of never healing and growing. Until we accept cause and effect, for whatever is eating away at our spirit, we will not rise and be reborn. Our purpose will remain hidden, our path blocked, our spirit heavy. Nothing will heal and nothing will grow.

Just some thoughts. Much love, Tess x

Normal – a chaotic reflection 

Major Arcana, Tarot Thoughts, The Pondering Chair

Normal. What a funny old concept. A weird subject for a tarot blog no doubt, but one I am pulled to muse after a chance comment I read directed at a person who suffers Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

This led me to wonder about the validity of being normal. What is normal? Is it something I myself strive for? Where does it fit in the journey and why is it so precious? Is it something that the tarot incorporates and is it even beneficial? How can being ‘normal’ help us heal and grow and most importantly, does normal align with our own authenticity?

My first stop was of course the dictionary. The Oxford dictionary states: -Conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected. The Cambridge dictionary – ordinary or usual; the same as would be expected. Straight away those definitions bring forward in my mind a couple of tarot cards, and if you are a tarot person, probably for you also. So normal, in the context of the comment in the opening paragraph implied that this person should be just like everyone else!

Conforming, expected, standard, same, ordinary, usual, typical – these are the keywords for ‘normal’. ‘Normal’ is definitely not something that I would ever encourage my own children to even strive for, as it seems to involve denying ourselves the right to be undividual, to express our emotion,difficulties or even joy in a way that we see fit from our own truth.

Naturally I ponder while I write, and I can slowly see why the Hierophant jumped out at me while mulling over the subject of normal, and why I haven’t always been fond of him.

Normal is pretty ugly when we observe it for what it truly is. So much of what is ‘normal’ as a society and accepted by the majority as standard defies belief. Chasing wealth, debt beyond our means, worshipping other humans as gods, trying to shape ourselves to be a cardboard cut out of what society deems as ideal.

We elect and follow leaders who do not align with our core values. We ridicule, ostracize and persecute those who look different, believe different things, or live in their own authenticity, those who are not the same as us. This is ‘normal’ – to judge and punish.

We push ourselves beyond our capabilities or compromise our morals to be the same or to fit in, to make money or get ahead. We Minimise our quirks, we lie, and then we allow ourselves to feel inadequate, because we don’t fit in to what someone decided was the suitable space for each of us.

We are ashamed of gentleness and emotion, for feeling and existing. The list goes on and all of this is normal.

Organized religion, politics, sects, gangs, all for us to conform. We all at some stage want to belong and want to fit in to something, to be part of the group standard. Even when we rebel we fall into a typical classification.

The Hierophant card has often been shown to be the card of conforming and following the masses. Just to look at some of the art on some decks it’s instantly visible.

Conforming to a certain degree is a part of our development in becoming well rounded, civilised, educated humans. Without the standards and institutions he represents we would live in a dystopia. Even my idealistic mind knows that in context there is a need for the Hierophant’s order in this world. But layers, those tarot card layers…

If we dig further beneath the layers we can find something much more beautiful.

Just as the High Priestess is the silent voice, the Hierophant speaks aloud, translating to us what we may not understand. Yet there is a balance needed. It is our decision whether or not we choose to conform to what the masses deem ‘normal’. Often we accept it without even thinking. He offers us the gift of knowledge as opposed to simply fitting in.

Knowledge and understanding are the most precious gifts our intellects and imaginations can receive. It provides us with a platform to become informed, guides us to seek out further insight and find the right answers for ourselves.

The more we open our minds to knowledge, the more we are able to choose what is right for us and not simply take what is accepted as normal or the standard. It’s like a bit of a double edge. On one hand we can accept what is standard and ‘normal’, or use the Hierophant as a source of learning – which in essence is partly what he should be.

The more we understand on an exoteric level, the more we can decide all by ourselves whether or not we believe that normal is what we truly desire.

For years, I wanted normal. I tried and tried for it and never quite made it. I don’t know when or why I decided that ‘normal’ was not really that great. I even question deep down if anyone truly in their heart is ‘normal’.

Maybe it was when I began to observe the fatigue it bought. Perhaps it was when I realised that it felt empty, false and unnatural and quite frankly unachievable.

The journey of healing does not have room for being ‘normal’. How can we all fit in to the same little box? How can we all be standard and conform to a mold when we are each unique?

The disharmony I feel as I pause at card 5, trying to reconcile this concept of just being normal, having tried so hard for so long to only realise that the normal of the world appears so abnormal to me….

Normal is something that I want to create for myself. If I want to dance in the moonlight once a month butt naked with a crown of flowers on my head – I shall! That is normal. For me!

I will listen to what is presented to me on my life journey. I will consider all that I am taught and shown. Yet I will not go with it because I’m ‘expected to’. I have my own mind, and there is so much more to learn. Not everyone will agree with me or appreciate my ideas, and that is exactly as it should be!

Much love,

Tess x

The Emperor & the mighty oak tree

Major Arcana, Tarot Thoughts

The Emperor of the Tarot, an archetypal figure of authority and power. The masculine energy that brings order and stability. The stability represented by the Emperor is a facet I have been fixated on when I see him in my own readings. This is the trap of reading for oneself. Seeing only what we want to see, missing the bigger picture. 
Just as the qualities that make each individual human are multi layered, so too are those of each card in the tarot. Any reader knows this. Sometimes it takes looking at an entirely different depiction, to find out how it affects us and our experience and perception. 
The Tarot of Trees, a very unorthodox yet beautiful deck, gave me a deeper look at the Emperor and how he can be something more than that stability and order I so deeply desired in my life. 
The image depicts a massive oak tree, ancient and proud dominating the scene. The beauty and strength of the oak undeniable. The thick trunk held securely in the ground by what I imagine would be deep, long roots. The foliage dense. A most imposing awe inspiring sight. There is no chance of this oak tree swaying and bending in the wind.
Before this huge and imposing tree are hundreds of smaller trees. These trees are beautiful also, yet they appear almost insignificant in the shadow of this great oak. 
Studying and becoming lost in this artwork, it occurred to me that perhaps, stability and power aside, there is something so beautiful about this Emperor. 
Too much of one aspect can be a negative. It can cross the line into becoming dominated or dominating. Unconsciously, we might even run from the slightest possibility of this even occurring. 
How can we accept the Emperor into our lives with grace and balance? Setting boundaries for ourselves by adopting some of his qualities is probably useful. Especially in interpersonal relationships. This I think is at the heart of the fear many of us have with the Emperors energy, due to whatever experiences we may have had with people in this role.
Recognising that we ourselves have our own power and authority,  but also accepting that there are certain things in life we must submit to as a society, for the good of all. (Laws, civility, courtesy etc).
Without order there is chaos. Without personal boundaries we are vulnerable. It’s all about balance. This card image is just beautiful. We can each be a mighty oak, without lording it over another. I think some forget that!