The Major Arcana: an Overview

Lots of things have happened between my last blog posts and this new set of blog posts.
It seems appropriate that this new year and this new set of posts, along with all the new things in my life, that we are going to be talking about the Major Arcana.

These cards are all about the big stuff. They represent not only all the huge life  changing events, but also they represent the big archtypes and personality types. They are much less day to day cards than the minors. If one pops up in a reading it usually has something big to say to you.
Now before I get into too much depth with the basics of the Majors, I want to talk about some struggles I am having. I can’t quite decide how to present the individual Majors. Most blogs and books and lessons will do them in the numerical order. Which has a great bit of logic to it. After all, they are numbered for a reason. If we take them in order that they are numbered they create a path for us to learn ourselves deeply.
At the same time, they do not appear to us in that path. I men we can work with them in that path. Sure. But when we draw them in readings to learn about ourselves they are random.
As an example of this idea that the cards come to us randomly, I will share with you the two Majors that I have been working with in the last six months. The first six months of the year I was working a lot with the Hermit and working through a period of introspection. Around the middle of summer I noticed that my majors were moving into the larger numbers. More than once I noticed I was getting Wheel of Fortune. That is interesting. Then I started to get The Tower. Which now with this health issue makes sense. Some of my walls came tumbling down. I was moving from one cycle of my life to another one. But to fully appreciate where I am moving to, I needed things shaken up for me. (And trust me, they really were).
Back to how on earth are we going to address the Majors. I would like to think (thanks to being deeply Gemini) that there is a middle path. I just haven’t found it yet. So for now, we are going to study them in the order given. 0 though 21.


So, the basics. The cards are numbered 0-21. They start with the Fool and end with The World. The Majors represent both the journey spiritually that we all should be taking in this life and the basic archetypes of humanity. They travel through the life lessons that we need to learn to become fully realized people. As a Buddhist, I liken these lessons to sign posts on the path to enlightenment. A spiritual journey is rarely clearly lit and obvious. But the Tarot and especially the Major Arcana can help guide us on our way.  The Majors are numbered, which would suggest a clear and “right” way to progress through them. In my experience that is very misleading. They do go along in an nice order. But we as chaotic humans do not. We travel a nice straight path and then we back track to find that lovely flower, or we stay where we are because we are stuck in the mud. Sometimes we skip ahead to the end of the book. The numbers aren’t rules so much as guidelines to keep us on the path or to help us find our way back to it when we have strayed.
As Archetypes they can help us create the allegories that help our lives make sense. I believe that humans are story tellers by nature. We create our own mythologies and our own narrative. Archetypes help with that. (And I do think that is part of why we so heavily rely on stereotypes, even if that is wrong). We have archetypes like the The Fool, the Lovers, Justice, and The Devil. We know the archetype for death will also bring us through to rebirth. We understand our world through archetypes.

I think thats a good start.
Have a blessed week



Birth Cards (and year cards)

hermit birthcard post
The Hermit from the Crystal Tarot by Philip Permutt


I was busy writing up a bunch of posts for some of the major arcana cards. When I write I tend to bounce back and forth between some of the several posts and or chapters I am working on. As I was working on the first few posts about the Major Arcana, it occurred that I have missed something pretty important that I use all the time in working with clients and the tarot in general. Birth cards.

Birth cards are the Major arcana card that is associated with your birth day. You will share this card with a lot of other people. But it will be important, if you are going to be using the tarot as a guide for your life in general. The birth card is really your archetype for your life this time around.  It will both tell you what your lessons are to be and how best to learn them.

Birth cards are great. When I have a client less willing to talk at the beginning of a session, I ask them their birth date. They may not be willing to tell me what the problem is, (or sometimes even their names) but they don’t mind telling me their birthday. Even if they only want to give me the month and day, and I need to use their year card instead, that helps me find a place to start. And because I am strive to be the gentle reader, this is very effective.

The invertor birthcard post
The Inventor from the Steampunk Tarot by John and Caitlin Matthews


My favored method of finding both the birth card and the year card is to take the month, day and year of birth (or the current year) and add each of the single digits. For instance if your birthday is August 8th of 1988 add 8+8+1+9+8+8 which will = 42. But we only have 21 birth cards and we never use the 0 card for this… so we need to reduce down to either a number lower than 21 or a single digit. In this care 4+2 =6, which is the Lovers. If you were determining what sort of archetype energies would be surrounding you this year and had that birthday, the numbers would look like 8+8+2+1+6 =25. 2+5=7 which is the The Chariot.

It’s handy to know your birth card and to find your new year card. One of the things that I like to to do from time to time is to to a journal writing exercise to check in with how I am feeling about my birth card. Mine is the Hermit, and I do sometimes really struggle with this card. It’s good to check in when you are going through trauma or big life changes. I (as you know) have been going through some big changes and I took some time this weekend during a workshop to journal about how I was feeling about my life experience with the Hermit. What was different from the last time? What is standing out to me with this card now?

Your year card will tell you a little more about what to expect in this year. Usually these are picked on your birthday. This year my year card will be either 2 (if I reduce all the way down) or 20. So either, The High Priestess or Judgement. Either one seems pretty fitting at a glance.

As I said, I find using the birth card very handy in very many situations. It helps a reluctant querant open up, it helps you find a place to start, and sometimes it can offer quite a bit of insight. It’s very useful as a place to start learning the tarot from. If you are interested in finding out more about what your birth card has to teach you, this simple journal exercise will really get that moving. Find a quiet place and a pen and paper. Determine your birth card and pull that out of your deck. Sit with that card where you can easily see it and focus on it while you write. Begin just writing. Look at that card and write about what you see, and how that makes you feel. If you know something about what key words the card means, write about how they manifest in your life, or how they don’t. Write about any feelings this card and the art work evokes. Do this for about 30 minutes. Even if much of that time is spent staring at the card.

With all that said, I think very soon we will start on the cards of the Major Arcana.

Blessed Be.


February In Review


feb justice post

Well, if ever a card had a sense of humor. It would have been Justice holding court in the month of February for me.

Remember way back in January I did a card a month reading for the year. My intention was to post a review at the end of the month. And I am already working on the notes for the post for March. But February decided that it really needed to teach me a lesson.

Justice is the card for balance. Which I decided (in that way we do when our subconscious makes our decisions) that balance was for other people and I was going to do it all. HA! Instead I did nothing. Karma.

February was about keeping some boundaries that people kept pushing. But because I am not so good at that, I went a little too far in some directions. So now as that month is easing out of influence I am finding that “Oh I could have handle X situation better.”

Justice was meted out in that I was able to tell people that they had caused me pain. I did so in a fair way. I did  not bring up things that were pain from long ago. I focused on the current situation. Which can be hard when we are hurt. It’s human nature to want to inflict more pain. I do think that is why boundaries are good. They keep you focused on what needs to be said in the moment.

And in a more material way, I started trying to adjust my health. Trying to find that balance. I really need to be doing an elimination diet. I need to know why I am all squeaky and why my joints hurt so bad. In the past I would have gone all out and cut out everything but broccoli (maybe cauliflower) just to get it over faster. But here we are… cutting out one thing at at time.

In a more business sort of note… at the shop we are working on creating a calendar of events, finding artists who want to sell on consignment and making more classes than we really have time to teach. We sell gift certificates and we are expanding our reading offerings. Check out the website at 



The Fool!


The fool (fool post)

Where better to start with our study of the Major Arcana then the Fool? The Fool who leads on the journey of discovery.

In many many decks we see the fool at the beginning of the deck in the 0 position (trust, I will get to all of this in a bit) but then we don’t see him again until the Hanged Man, and then… we never see him again. I think that we need to remember that there is an element of the Fool in each and every step of the tarot journey. Just how we decide to bring him in is up to us.

Some decks (not many, but it does happen) have the fool in a completely different place. I’ll be honest, it doesn’t make sense to me. The Fool,  because he is the eternal optimist and the spirit of both adventure and discovery, really should be where your tarot journey starts. I would much rather see the Fool with the number 1 and the deck not have a zero.

merlin fool (fool post)
It kinda drives me nuts that this deck has the fool at #7 (traditionally the Chariot) in the Merlin deck 

So… way back in the introduction to the major arcana, I talked about the numbering of the cards. The majors are numbered 0 through 21. We start at 0. With the Fool. The Fool is the expression of childish joy. Zero represents this idea of alpha and omega. Some how both nothing and everything. (Side note: I don’t know how much I will be getting into numerology as we do this… Those may be separate posts. Remember, we are winging it here). Zero is an everything number and a number that boosts the power of other numbers.

The Seeker (fool post)
The title of this card is just really perfect for what the Fool means. 

In most decks the Fool is represented as a young male (most have this character as fairly androgynous though), ready to step into so sort of adventure. He is a vagabond, the traveling jester. He carries a pack with him. In readings sometimes this pack will represent the tools he has, sometimes the baggage he carries. He is ready to literally leap into the unknown.


When this card shows up in a reading it really pays to look at where in the ready it shows up. Single card reading, this card is telling you to find the joy of adventure, the joy of learning or the bravery to leap into the unknown. If the Fool visits in a larger reading, what is around it? If the cards around the Fool represent specific areas of your life, what can you do to bring back that childlike joy to those areas? What sorts of types of play can you bring to those areas?

crysalis fool (fool post)

And that brings up a point. I use the Fool to remind clients to find play. I have activities for each of the cards. With the Fool I actually have the activity “fly a kite” because flying a kite requires a dedications that leads to exhilaration. Play in the mud. Be a child.

Because when you connect deeply with the Fool you will begin to grow into a full realized person.


On Clarifiers

I just want to make a quick post as we move into some of the deeper stuff with the tarot.
All along this journey I have been continuing my personal and professional tarot work. I haven’t changed how I read the cards, other than my personal growth as I work with them. That is to say, all of the mundane aspects of my readings (how I shuffle, how I draw, etc.) have remained the same.
But I have been asked by clients why I don’t draw clarifiers.
A clarifier is a card that is drawn at the end of a reading (typically) when the reader or querant wants a more in-depth answer. Sometimes it is used to help clear up who a person maybe be in reference to cards in the reading. Sometimes to help clarify a timeline. There are as many reasons to pull one as there are readings.
I just don’t use them. This is purely a personal preference. I used to use them. And found myself using clarifiers all the time. They weren’t supporting my readings, they were becoming part of my readings. So I challenged myself to not use them at all for 6 months. Rely only on what was in front of me and what tools I had in my personal Tarot tool box.
It took time. But over that six months I found that I was better able to trust myself in reading the cards. For me, that was more important that anything. That trusting my voice for readings was so key to becoming comfortable in what is now my calling.
Do I care if you use them? Not even a little. Use them in what ever way you see fit. I know many a very good reader who knows themselves well enough to know best how to use them for their readings.
I just have gotten this question enough to feel like I had to address it.
Blessed Be.



Happy First of February. Happy Imbolic. Happy approach of the sun.

As you all know it has been quite a winter in these parts. Not the weather, mind you. No, that has been truly delightful for me. But all the other parts of my world have been spinning along almost as though I am not a part of them.

And it’s all okay. Things are going so magically well. The business is just so ready to do all the things I want it to. The kids are all getting their acts together. All is well.

We have a website up and running. I love this site. I love all the things I can do with it. Including booking appts. on the site. (Of course there are kinks, but hey, still). I even have blog posts over there. For the time being I think we will use both. But I will be working on migrating all the posts here, to over there.

I’m reluctant to make firm choices about how we will be moving forward. Every plan I have seems to change a week later because I am responding to what clients what.

What would you like to see? Where is it easiest for you to find me?

Thank you for all your support!
Blessed Be

Month End January.


ace of cups

Remember at the beginning of the month I wrote that huge post about the cards I pulled for the year? Here we are at the end of the month and I just want to do a check in an write up the connections with my January card and the month I had.

I love the my January card was the Ace of Cups. Aces are always that primal energy of the suit. So with cups, the ace is that sort of primal energy of emotions. It was certainly a very emotional month. There were ups and there were downs. There was chaos (which, yes, I somehow always relate chaos to an emotion.)

In the last few days of the month I have been addressing some less pleasant emotions, like the stress of starting this business, and some dredges of emotions from my adoption, and a few around my illness and shifts in friendships. It’s been a complicated month. Heck, it’s been a complicated couple of days. Raw emotional days. In which I feel isolated, very alone in the crowd.

When you look at the card, that ace of cups (specifically the one I used from the Ryder Waite deck) you can see the dove of faith filling that cup. That cup which is actually over flowing with life giving water. That’s interesting. Last night I told a friend that I thought my well was empty. I just didn’t feel I had anything else. Still not sure this morning that I can get at that well. But it’s all there. My faith, even if I sit alone in it, fills my well.

This morning, as I sit with this card and look back on the month, I am suddenly really grateful that I choose to write this post today.

Have a great day
Blessed be.

A client reading

full reading 1

As you know, I really enjoy being able to share readings with people as a teaching tool. And it always helps to have readings that are for other people. I always ask permission before writing up and sharing and as always the names are changed to protect the innocent. Because the photos are so large I will not be posting too many of them. As always, you can ask me any questions you may have.

This client is someone I know in the real world. So I was able to leap right in and go with this one. I used my Steampunk Deck because it was the most appropriate deck to use with this client. Everything else would have been too fluffy or too out there. This deck is surprisingly grounded, despite being all airships and submarines. Of note here is that the client drew prime numbers a lot (two Threes and two Sevens) and that they didn’t have any of this decks version of cups. The client should be focused on things other than emotional stuff and relationship stuff for the time being.

I did my version of the Celtic Cross. For those of you that are new to that, we will talk about that later. It’s basically what has evolved as the best way for me to read that layout to another person. In part because I have a bit of card flippage. It took over a decade for me to realize that I can change the position of standard layouts to fit how I read the cards. As always, Do what feels right.

creading space cover cross

So onto the layout. Starting with card one: the situation or the energy around the client. This was the Messenger of Airships. This card is really very much a person card. (It’s basically the Page of Swords) and in my experience this card is the bringer of news. In this case, because the cross of the situation (card 2) was the Stricken Tower, this news and specifically the person bringing it upset the world of the client. That is… the crashing down of the old was brought about by the person bringing the news as well as the news itself. Airships in this deck are Swords or the suite of air and often of strife, or conflict or troubles. Sometimes trouble is not so much strife, but something we need to work on within yourself. What is important is that the Tower must come down for the client to move forward.

The root of the situation (Card three at the bottom) is the Ace of Engines. Engines are Wands. Wands rule the world of ideas and plans and plots (and yes, sometimes work.) That ace is the generation of ideas, passion, fiery. It’s that things that drives you. But here this idea is maybe an opposite idea (or ideal) than that of that Messenger card up above. And it is that clashing of ideas (or ideals) that is bringing down the Tower.

Card 4 (things that are passing and or fading ) Eight of Engines. I need to note here that I very rarely will read this deck in reverse. It just seems to muddle the picture. What I have noticed is that when a card pops up in reverse with this deck, you need to be paying attention to that card. The completion of an idea of some sort. I know this client is in school but I see no indication that this is to mean that they are getting done with school. Really, what is passing is the phase of struggle.

Card 5, crowing energy or energy that is coming into power in the near future. Three of Airships. There is that three. For me threes are all about community, partnership, and working together. Almost every world religion has some variation of a Holy Trinity. And that power will be coming into play soon. It’s going to make a little more sense when we wrap up.

Card 6 and card 10 I almost always read as the “end cards” or what the situation looks like as a whole. So we will look at both of them together at the end of the reading. Card 6 is 7 of Engines.

3 of engines

Card 7 is where the “how Kiki reads the cards different” comes into play.  I read the next three cards as a triad. They are the clients inside world, the bridge and the the clients outside world. By outside world I mean, friends family, other people. This card is the attitude and thoughts of the client. In this case the client pulled the Three of engines. This card to me is about the energy of ideas and the big EUREKA moment. Right now, the client is waiting for that. And is waiting for that from some form or partnership. Threes are about working groups, and working with others. So it makes sense. It is also a very magical number and is about wholeness. That Eureka moment is coming (and speeding toward the client).

Card 8 is the bridging card so I am going to pop back to this one in just a second.

Card 9 is the outside world view of the client. This was the 6 of Airships (Swords) and told me that the clients friends and family may be seeing the client as a bit flighty, and mired in strife.  This was not a meaning that may be typical of this card. The imagery in the card itself and its position in this reading is what led me to this interpretation. Ungrounded, and up in the air about some things. Which will brings us back to the bridging card.

Card 8 is the 7 of Leviathans. In this deck that is the suit of Pentacles, which is the suit of the element of earth. Looking at this card, the large train engine with 3 7’s on the front, I know the bridge is for the client to be the grounded person they can be and to show that force to the world. This client is actually a force to be reckoned with. They are just in a phase of needing to show the world that they can complete complicates tasks in front of them.

brazen head

The final card was the Brazen Head, or Justice. Balance. I will never read Justice as getting justice, but rather as a Karma card. In my faith, Karma is about balance. And that is what will happen if the client can be on the look out for that Eureka moment and for new opportunities in partnerships and collaboration. Because that number 6 card was the 7 of Engines with is about re-ordering the world of ideas to make it make sense. So that when this client has their Eureka moment all those ideas will slide into place.

Thanks for reading
Blessed be.