Respecting the tarot – 2017 Lammas Tarot Blog Hop

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Our wrangler Morgan Drake Eckstein has asked us to write about how we show respect to the tarot and any other divination system we might use.

At first, I had no idea what to write. I don't have any elaborate rituals, I say no prayers, light no candles or incense sticks before reading… I was worried my post would consist of one line: "I wash my hands and wipe the table clean before starting to shuffle." Not a very interesting hop.

Then I made myself think harder and ended up looking like Winnie the Pooh; bent over with effort, scratching my head.

Still I had only a vague idea of the basic stuff everyone does (I think). I don't ask the same question over and over unless something changes in my (or querent's) circumstances. I read whatever cards came out and put extra effort in if they don't make sense at first glance. I don't like people touching my cards except when cutting the deck – a habit I got from my grandparents while playing Rummy. But these are common enough. Nothing extra there. :/

So what the heck do I do to show respect to the cards?

Even after falling over like a sack of potatoes (remember I was in the Pooh position), I couldn't think of anything special. And then, after resigning to hopelessness and almost withdrawing from the hop, it dawned on me. I'll ask the cards!

Out comes the wonderful Egyptian Tarot from its 15 year old cotton wrap that I sewn for it when its box fell apart! It looks as if a five year old has done the sewing but they have lived in it forever and it has a sentimental value for both of us – i.e. the deck and me.

Egyptian Tarot

Me: Hi guys, nice to see you again!

ET (Egyptian Tarot): And about time too! You always play with the Trionfi della Luna! 😑

Me: Oh don't be such Ten of Swords, you know you are my favourites!

ET: Yeah yeah, so you keep saying…

Me, shuffling: So I have this blog hop I want to do but I have no idea how I show respect to you guys and my other decks… help?

Egyptian Tarot

ET – Out jump the Seven Swords, The Crocodile (Fool), The Magus, and the Slave of the Pentacle (Page): When the need is great you come to us with an open mind, believe in our magic and put it to use, and strive to learn.

Me: Awww… πŸ™‚ But that's what anyone would do. Don't you need a ritual or some candles or stuff…? I'm starting to feel bad about not having any special measures for you guys.

Egyptian Tarot

ET – out jumps the Nine of Cups, the Three of Cups and the Nine of Pentacles: You stay out of that BS, girl! You love us, and that is quite enough of an offering. (Nine Cups in this deck means a marriage proposal that should be turned down immediately)

Me: But how do I love you? I only come to you when I need advice. I don't do daily draws or journals or journeys. I just… come when I need you.

Egyptian Tarot

ET – out jump the Two Swords face down, The Two Cups, the Seven Scepters and the Ten Scepters: You don't fight with us, you work with us in peace and after taking our ideas on board you see them through to success.

Me: Ah, I'm starting to understand. I honor you and show you respect by actually listening to your advice and seeing it through, even if I don't want to. Huh, that makes sense. Still… Are you OK in your 15 years old wrap? It's kind of embarrassing, looking at the wonderful pouches and cloths available…

Egyptian Tarot

ET – out jump the Twilight (Moon), The Crown of the Magi (World), the Two Ways (Lovers) and the Four Cups: Don't let others influence you with their own beliefs. We feel good in our lame wrap, it is part of us now. We love it this way and feel safe and loved.

Me, melting down: I love you guys. Thank you! Anything I could do for you? You do look grubby, maybe a bath with a baby wipe? (In the 15+ years I've been using them I never physically cleaned them and well… I wasn't always washing hands before using them. Especially on a certain occasion on a gig ten years ago when I had to quickly grab a jam sandwich between two readings to avoid dying from starvation.)

Egyptian Tarot swearing at me

ET: out jump the Seven Swords, the Eight Swords and the Ten Cups:

DO NOT DARE TO TOUCH US YOU FREAK OR WE WILL NEVER ANSWER A QUESTION EVER AGAIN!

…We are quite happy as we are, thank you very much. *

Me, almost falling off my seat, laughing: Ok-OK! I love you too guys… πŸ˜›

*I need to share the description of these cards, to show the gravity of the deck's words (and for those who read RWS and may not understand the reason for the red colour and the caps lock): Seven Swords: sudden catastrophe that may affect the brain; a loss of position; ultimate triumph. Eight Swords: you are threatened with the loss of a law suit; that great anxieties are in store for you, you may even be sentenced to a heavy penalty, prison or death. The Ten of Cups is the sudden change of tone, and has the nice and cozy meaning similar to the RWS.

And so the reading ended, the wonderful Egyptian Tarot has gone back to its lame wrap, and I have learned that the important thing is not the ritual, the candles and the looks, but the love and respect you show your cards in your heart. Follow their advice and they will guide you through the maze of life.

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A reading with my Past Life’s Lesson Spread

I have been searching the internet for a spread on this topic for ages, but couldn’t really find what I was looking for. This is a spread I have made to look at past lives in a constructive way. What is the point of knowing who you were if you don’t learn anything, right? Now, this won’t give you your past name, but it will address some issues you might be facing in this lifetime.

Your positions:
1: The main characteristic of the previous life you have to know about right now – e.g. short, long, happy, sad, busy…

2: What kind of a person were you? – your main characteristics: kind, mean, optimistic…

3: What personality traits have you brought from that life to this that are hindering you now? – e.g. haughtiness or mistrust in people

4: Useful traits you brought into this life?

5: What is the lesson you had to learn then, and use in this life? – e.g. You had to learn to be persevering and you could use that trait now

6: What blocks do you have to release that stem from that life? – such as fears and dislikes

7: What karmic debt can you balance now that was made in that life? – e.g. If you were Emperor Nero then, you have quite a lot on your plate but most of us will have a lot less. 

8: How can you restore the balance? 

Let’s see a reading for me! Here are my cards:

Past life lesson and karma tarot reading spread
1: The main characteristic of the previous life you have to know about right nowThe High Priestess

On the card we see Devi Sarasvati, the goddess of Knowledge and Arts.

A scolarly life, quite lonely either because I have decided to be a nun or an ascetic, or because even if I had family around me I was living in my head. A life spent with studies. I was probably very proud of my knowledge too.

2: What kind of a person were you? – Three of Pentacles

On the card we see Prince Siddhartha riding out from his palace, and being confronted with sickness, old age and death. He is deeply shaken and decides to start his journey to become Buddha shortly after this experience.

It seems I’ve been pretty oblivious to what was happening around me. Like, to really obvious things… sometimes I still am, haha! Also, the card means teamwork; I wasn’t such a loner after all? Maybe I’ve been a creative director or an architect, or a librarian… 

3: What personality traits have you brought from that life to this that are hindering you now?Ace of Cups

The card shows Lord Shiva in a meditative state as the source of spiritualism. The suit of Cups shows his evolution from an ascetic to a family person.

 I am way too emotional. I can’t handle stress and I crumble under pressure. I might also give too much attention to the ‘other side’ and not live in the ‘real’ world. I simply love to sit in one place and explore my imagination or do magick. That’s not very helpful when I should be getting about my daily routine… πŸ˜‰ 

4. Useful traits you brought into this life?The Fool

The card shows Lord Shiva’s Rudra avatar. Rudra (the Screamer) has jumped forth from Lord Brahma’s forehead and started breaking the half-made universe because he didn’t have a name or a purpose. When Brahma gave him the name Rudra and told him to do some creation, he calmed down and finished the universe. Yipee!

A useful trait I brought from that life is a faith in… faith. Whatever has to happen, will. Whatever had to happen, has happened. No use of being a five of cups and cry over spilled milk. Hakuna Matata.

The Fool is always ready to start on a new adventure and has complete trust in himself that he can do it. Or if not, there will be something else he can do. But there is no way he will be stuck for more than a short time.

5: What is the lesson you had to learn then, and use in this life? – The World

The card shows Lord Shiva as Nataraj, the Lord of Dance – and the one who’s dance is the pulse of the universe. 

The complete opposite of the Fool! πŸ˜€ I had to learn to complete my projects, to follow them through even in the face of great adversity (the Fool has to reach the World by going through Death and The Tower and the Devil cards!) I wish I remembered this lesson earlier… I am not really good at finishing things. But I will remind myself now! πŸ˜‰

6: What blocks do you have to release that stem from that life?King of Wands

Creativity, self-worth, confidence, loudness… something terrible must have happened because I have almost none of these things. I know I could be like the KoW but somehow I am afraid to be. I am afraid that my work will be misunderstood, that I will have to explain myself, I have impostor-syndrome… I’ll do a separate reading on this matter later on. It’s a lot. In a nutshell: I am afraid to be ‘out there’.

7: What karmic debt can you balance now that was made in that life? – Queen of Pentacles 

Being a mom. Spending time with family. Being a family person, and enjoying it.

8: How can you restore the balance? 10 of Pentacles 

Well here’s to stating the obvious: have a happy family life without having a guilty feeling! Everything in my life led to the point where I am now: being a mom of two awesome boys and staying at home with them. The plan wasn’t exactly this; I have graduated from Uni and worked in an IT company. But when destiny/karma calls, there’s no whining about plans and expectations… Still, I do have a guilty feeling about sitting at home and not having a career. It comes with living in this era I guess. Homemakers are valued next to nothing. Big conflict between karmic balance restoration and expectations of modern society… Will work on this later on! πŸ˜‰

So, what have I learned? To sum it up: I need to realise that this is a new life with new experiences and opportunities to get rid of some karma. I have to let go of the block on my Wands aspects (I will do a detailed reading on this later on); I also have to embrace being a mother and not let society’s expectations spoil the fun. And I have to make myself aware that I actually can finish projects and I know how to carry things through… just have to get the hang of it again! 

If you’d like a reading with this spread, drop me an email to katalin.patnaik at gmail dot com, or leave a comment and we’ll talk it through. The first person to write will have a free reading with it (because I am such a softy Ace of Cups… and because I feel that someone out there needs this right now). I will expect a detailed and honest feedback in return! πŸ˜‰

Shuffle your cards in my name, and have a great day!
Love,

Kati

Cards are from the Sacred India Tarot by Rohit Arya and Jane Adams. 

2016 Yule/Winter Solstice Tarot Blog Hop

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‘Tis that time of the year again! Be merry, open your moneypurse and overspend your credit limit. The Coca-Cola trucks have been sighted: it’s officially Christmas!

Also, welcome to the Yule tarot blog hop. Our wrangler, Joanne Sprott from Cosmic Whispers Tarot has given the topic of looking inside, digging for gold in the dark, fertile soil of our souls. How marvellous! I love the moist smell of rotting autumn leaves, and can’t wait to have dirt under my nails!

That said, after the October Tarot Shadow Work Challange I have created I had no idea what to write. I have used up all the ideas I had, and recycling them into this post didn’t feel right. Then inspiration hit!

Norse Mythology on Facebook came up with an art competition with Goddess Freyja and Midwinter as topic, and how these two connect ( results were out on the 23rd, I haven’t won anything, lol). I have made this painting to submit:

Freyja as Goddess of Death

Freyja, the Lady. Freyja the beautiful. Freyja the sexy. NjΓΆrd’s daughter; Frey’s sister; Od’s neglected wife; owner of Brisingamen, the most precious piece of jewellery in the nine worlds. Roughly these are the things your average viking enthusiast will associate with her. But she is so much more than these suprficial, mainstream love-goddess things!

Some researchers say she is Gullweig-Heid; the Van goddess who has been burnt by the Γ„sir three times for bringing disquiet to Asgard (in the form of erections and posessive machoism). With the help of her magic she has resurrected after each murder attempt, but this attrocity has triggered the great war between the Γ„sir and the Vanir – at the end of which to seal the peace, hostages have been exchanged; can you guess who was one of them? Exactly.

Living amongst the people who have put her on a burning pyre three times, and yet most of whom can barely hide their erections when they glimpse her – the guys anyway – is tough. And Freyja, along with being extremely magnetic, is a tough woman.

Her carriage is pulled by two cats [this alone proves my point: go and try to teach a cat this trick and see what it thinks about it! ;)] as she flies over battlefields, claiming the souls of the dead. No, it is not only the valkyries who deliver heroes to their heavenly abode in Walhalla. Along with Odin, Freyja has the right to half of all the souls who have fallen in battle. She takes them to her castle Sessrumnir to party until RagnarΓΆk comes and they can prove their worth. Very goth!

The painting shows her in midwinter, suggested by the tiara made of holly leaves in her hair. Her long blond locks are left loose, somewhat unkempt. A warrior doesn’t always have time to brush out those knots! Around the corners of her blue eyes you see the tiny marks of ageing. This is a mature goddess who brings you the honour of death in battle, not some damsel in distress! (Although if I would have drawn more wrinkles, I suspect I wouldn’t have lived to the day this hop goes live, hehe) Her facial expression is a kind of RBF (resting bi*ch face) to convey the message that she does not care for your BS. She has heard all the pleas, knows all the lies men have ever made up to convince a woman. You will need something more if you want her on your side.

She wears her falcon cloak that makes her able to fly without having to transform into an actual bird – and probably having to arrive as naked as a newborn after taking her own form back. On her leather shoulder plate you see the likenesses of her sacred animals: a boar and a cat, made of gold with ruby insets. (They are based on viking replica jewellery, here and here

It is said that she sheds red gold, or in this case ruby tears for her missing husband. I have used these tears to decorate her armour. She is beyond playing the neglected wife now. She uses her past sorrows as ornaments, as precious stones for her soul under fallen autumn leaves.

I will leave you with that thought and this card I have made for the hop.

Viking Goddess Freyja as Tarot card Death
Cloudless Winter Solstice for everyone! Make sure to like, share and comment before you hit the Next button! πŸ˜‰

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A chat to Rasputin

After my previous post I wanted to know what I would have thought about Rasputin, had I known him in his life. Out with the cards!
1. What would I have thought of him had I been one of the villagers of Pokrovskoye? – Queen of Wands, 9 of Cups

2. What would I have thought of him had I been in St Petersburgh? – Four and Ten of Pentacles

3. What would I think of him now if we talked? – Judgement, Slave (Page) of Wands

A reading on Rasputin
If I’d met him in Pokrovskoje, I would have been secretly attracted to him but would have denied it fervently if asked. It wouldn’t have been proper. And anyway, he was so weird! πŸ™‚
In St Petersburgh I would have been openly attracted to him, lol. Probably mostly physically, although his magic would have been intriguing too! 
And if we talked now, I’d be digging for long buried answers for  long dead questions.
The whole time I have felt his presence behind me. It wasn’t manacing, it felt more like he was interested in what I was doing. Then I have asked him through the cards whether he would mind if I called him Grigorij. For a second the thought of him saying “yeah, call me Grishka” flashed through my mind. At that exact same second the Fool jumped out of the deck. I was laughing so hard! πŸ˜€ He must be thinking I’m total bonkers – I am, actually. No hard feelings.

A chat to Rasputin
So after the ice broke I have asked him if he wanted to talk. Seven of Swords – yes, he’s ok. Then Strength jumped out while shuffling:

“I won’t bite” he said.

“Would you consider teaching me?”

It depends. I want to get to know you first to see if you are serious.” – Justice

“What could you teach me?”

Self confidence, emotional and psychic stability. The ability to not give a damn about what others might think. Death, change, transformation, and how the other side works. I could teach you how to handle ghosts.” – Eight of Cups, reversed Three of Swords, Death.
And that’s when it dawned on me. For some time now I have been thinking of reopening my eyes to the spirit world. I have shut down this ability a long time ago because I didn’t want ghosts to appear out of nowhere and disturb me in my ‘adult life’ eg work or bringing up kids. Lately I feel the calling. I feel to see again. But at the same time I had to admit myself that I am frikkin’ scared of ghosts. Then along came Rasputin and asked: 

What exactly is the difference between me and other ghosts?

“OMG Grigorij, YOU ARE A GHOST!!” 

Well done girl...” 
Yes I know what you are thinking. This degree of daftness needs a special talent to manage. But I finally realised that if I can talk to him without soiling my pants, then why couldn’t I do the same with any other common ghost! 
Good for you Kati!
Lesson one, ‘Death’ started, I guess! πŸ˜€

Ra-Ra Rasputin Lover of the Russian Queen – Not?

A dear friend of mine has recently took up a fitness challenge, and in order to stay on top of it, she is posting a song on Facebook every day for her workout. One day she has posted Boney M’s Rasputin, and it got me thinking. For one thing, I love this song, it’s one of my favourites from the band. On the other hand, I have always felt it is a little (very) unjust towards Rasputin. Just as most anything in pop culture is. But!

I always had a soft corner for history’s bad boys (and girls), so feeling sympathy towards the “mad monk” is not a surprise – here I feel the urge to insert that he was neither mad nor a monk, but let’s just carry on shall we. I am fascinated by how history is (re)written by those on the winning side, and how a perfectly normal human being can be made a monster. We are not talking about Nero, though; sometimes these bad guys really were monsters, and I am aware of it. But there are sheep wrapped in wolfs’ skins amongst them. So while I find him fascinating, I will try my best to be objective.

Anyway, I have decided to ask the cards about Rasputin and his life. Here are the positions:

1 What do we have to know about his relationship with Tsar Nicholas II?

2 What do we have to know about his relationship with Empress Alexandra?

3 What do we have to know about his relationship with power?

4 What do we have to know about his relationship with magic?

5 What do we have to know about his relationship with us later generations?

6 What do we have to know about his relationship with his family?

7 What do we have to know about his relationship with women?

And here are the cards I got from the Borderless Deviant Moon Tarot:

tarot readin on Rasputin with the Borderless Deviant Moon

1. The Tsar – Eight of Wands

This was a very dynamic relationship full of action, probably a lot of emotions as well. They would interact a lot and Rasputin was known to put ideas into Nicholas’ head through the Tsarina. Although Nicholas II didn’t like him at first, Alexandra has made sure that Rasputin was welcome to the palace, especially after Rasputin has seemingly saved the tsesarevich Alexei’s life. The picture on the card suggests Rasputin has also been responsible for the killing of the tsar and his family, although I highly doubt that it was intentional. He wanted to protect them and given good counsel – that the tsar and the Duma haven’t listened is a different thing.
Update: you know that legend that Rasputin wrote a letter to the Tsar before his death. The Eight of Wands sums it up perfectly. The paper in the raven’s beak is of course the letter. The seven trees that the peasant woman is about to cut down are Nicholas, Alexandra and their five children. Rasputin’s letter said that if he is killed by a commoner, the Tsar and his family will live. But if he is murdered by a nobelman, they will all be dead within two years. We all know what happened next.

Empress Alexandra Feodorovna with Rasputin, her children and a governess.2. The Empress Alexandra – The Chariot

He had an even bigger influence on the Empress Alexandra. The Chariot is the 8 of Wands’ pair in the Major Arcana. It’s like its bigger version. The Empress was absolutely devoted to him as we know, but to be honest, I don’t see any clues of an intimate relationship. He has used her as a vehicle to get where he wanted to be, but this card for me doesn’t mean adultery. She took him to places but not into her bed. She has carried his advices to the tsar and as I said he had total control over her, but that is about it.

3. Power – 8 of Cups

Nah, political power was not in his interests. He wanted to influence the tsar to help Russia. Let’s not forget he was a peasant, the son of a farmer. Although he was uneducated, he was very intelligent and whenever he told something to the Tsar, it always turned out right. He has opposed to Russia entering the First World War, saying it would be disastrous and would mean the end of the Romanovs. We all know what happened to the Tsar’s family. So what I think is, while he wanted to and was influencing politics, he did’t do it for the power. He was a loyal royalist, wanting to save Russia and its ruler.

4. Magic – The Star

He was a powerful healer who received his knowledge from ‘above’. He listened to his guts and never had a minute of self-doubt. Good for him! πŸ˜€ According to his daughter Maria, he was able to astral travel and heal from a distance. If we can believe Maria, once when Alexei was near death because of an internal bleeding (he had haemophilia, so even a small bruise meant danger) he has locked himself in his room and hasn’t come out for a day, continuously praying or laying ‘unconscious’ on the bed. Shortly after he finally came out, a telegram arrived from Alexandra saying the boy is considerably better.

5. Later generations – 5 of Pentacles

I think it is safe to say he pities us, and thinks we are beggars looking for material goods only. He doesn’t have a good opinion about the fangirls seeking him for sexual pleasures either. At one point of time there was a group of women who took hold of an object that was allegedly his severed penis, and worshipped it as a fertility symbol. Later it turned out to be a sea cucumber but never mind.

rasputin-with-kids6. His family – Seven of Swords

He was dancing on the sword’s edge, as we say in Hungary. He may have wanted to balance family life and ‘work’, but we all know that if your family lives thousands of kilometres from the Tsar in the middle of Siberia, it is just not possible; although he has almost always gone home for sowing and harvest, which says a lot about his attitude towards his family. If not very present, he was at least dutiful. He had three children, a son and two daughters. His daughters were living with him in StPetersburg. I feel he wanted to be a good husband and good father (in the traditional Russian sense), but with all the politics going on he just couldn’t manage it.

withwife7. Women – Queen of Pentacles

My question in my head was: has he really had so many lovers, and was he really into SM? For me this card is a big and definite no. The Queen of Pentacles for me is loyal, loving, respectful, into sensual love making. It would be great to know his wife’s date of birth, to see if she is an Earth sign and if this card represents her. She was sitting at home in Pokrovskoye, tolerating her husband’s absences (not that she had any other options but still), taking care of the house and fields… I think she fits Earth/Pentacles well. Which would mean that other than his wife he has never had anyone. Which is the exact opposite of what we think we know of him. Empress Alexandra was a Gemini, Air, a Queen of Swords. This is definitely not her. Rasputin himself was an Aquarius, just to rule that out. So it seems he was given his bad reputation by his enemies and the doppelgΓ€nger they have employed according to his daughter Maria. There were multiple investigations ordered to find any proof of his monstrous behaviour, always ending up unsuccessful and with him back in the Tsars favours. On the picture you see him with his wife Praskovia.

So what have we learned? That Boney M, although an awesome band, is not a reliable source for the study of history.

Stay tuned, I might research ‘Ma Baker’ as well! πŸ˜€

Kati’s Tarot Sadow Challenge Day 3 – The High Priestess

Day three, The High Priestess – nursery, primary school teachers, female family members (like sister or nieces) apart from your mother and grandmothers. The first time we come in contact with women other than our mother (who ideally was the epitome of love this time) can be hard. They might act differently than we are used to with ‘mom’, and that can lead to confusion, disappointment or fear. If a teacher gives you punishment for something your mom would just smile on, it leaves a big scar. This is the first step to realize not everyone loves you unconditionally. Ask your cards: How did these women affect my Shadow? What part of me did they put there?
tarot, shadow, work, high priestess,

The Master of the Cup – How did these women affect my Shadow?

Through my sister I had to learn that I am not the centre of the universe – at least of my mother’s universe – and that sharing can be good, although I was not very happy to share my mother’s love and attention. I am the oldest child so for some time I have got all the attention and naturally it is hard to give that up. 
Through my teachers I had to learn to shut up, sit down and “drink my milk” even if it’s too hot -see how the cup has a cloud of steam rising from it… by this I mean obedience and listening, even if I know it is not exactly right. I was never brave enough to stand up for myself.

2. The Sphynx, The Mistress of the Cup and The Three Swords – What part of me did they put there?

Accepting that things change all the time is hard, and I guess I am afraid of change after all. I never though I was, but thinking about it now yes, I am uncomfortable with change.

The part of me that could say “no, I’d like to have this ice-coffee, thank you very much all the same!” The one that is not jumping to other’s tunes.

The fighting back part.

Kati’s Tarot Shadow Challenge Day 2 – The Magician

Day two, The Magician – Childhood and teens. Today’s card looks at your self esteem, confidence and actions that have affected your Shadow during your childhood and teens. Ask your cards: How did my childhood and puberty affect my shadow? How did my self confidence evolve? What are the things that has become part of my Shadow this time?

My cards are: The Magician (hahaha) The Four of Swords, The Ace of Cups, the Five of Wands and the Hermit.
Root card: Death.

1. The Magi – How did my childhood and puberty affect my shadow?

The Magus/Magician is so full of self-confidence he is likely to burst. Exactly the opposit of my childhood self. I was shy, brainy, a bookworm; I quickly had to learn that studying too much will only get you bullied. I have soon stopped being openly brainy… a nice manifestation of the Magi’s deceptive, illusionist side. Based on this I’d say I have issues with showing off my knowledge and with my confidence in general.

2. The Four Swords – How did my self confidence evolve? 
I think we have explored this, hahaha! Actually I loved to perform. Competitions, school events, drama group… the only problem was that I always got soooo nervous that I couldn’t perform to the quality I would have liked. Till date if I have to defend my point of view I get nervous and forget everything I otherwise know by heart. πŸ˜€ So yeah… always second place.

3. The Cup, The Five Scepters and the Veiled Lamp – What are the things that have become part of my Shadow this time?
Intuition/spirituality, trust in myself and my abilities, the ability to teach others or share my knowledge.