How I Read Tarot Cards – instructional

Good morning, tarot enthusiasts, learners, and tarot-curious. This morning I’m working with the Lioness Oracle Tarot deck, in honour of the Lion’s Gate. I know very little about these Lion’s Gates, but I’ll let Norma Budinski of Harp To Heart Healing explain it. This is from her latest newsletter:

“We’re currently in one of the most powerful times of the year known as the Lion’s Gate! It takes place when an alignment between the Earth and the star Sirius occurs, creating a cosmic doorway of abundance and heightened manifestation!

Sirius is a star of legends, known for bestowing wealth, honor, devotion, passion, and powerful creative talent. In ancient Egypt, the rising of Sirius was directly associated with the rising of the Nile River, which would nourish the land and crops, sustaining life. The Lion’s Gate is a portal for accelerated ascension and major shifts on all levels. It remains open until the 12th of August.

It’s important to remember that you’re always creating your reality. However, when the Lion’s Gate is open, everything moves faster and with intensified energy. The Lion’s Gateway will multiply your efforts and keep them magnifying as you focus on your highest intentions. 
 This energy also activates your heart chakra bringing great healing, heightened intuition and freedom from past limitations. During the Lion’s Gate, you can access higher realms of consciousness, clear and align your energy for receiving. Meditation, spiritual practices and energy healing are essential to receive the transmissions at this time.
This year, the Lion’s Gate coincides with the New Moon bringing dynamic transformation!
 You may have intense dreams and receive very clear guidance from your Angels or loved ones in spirit. Parts of this energy may create heightened sensitivity, drama or unexpected events. It’s essential to trust that the old ways, patterns and beliefs are being cleared. Greater ease is being created for you to open to increased love, healing and prosperity in many forms.

In addition to the Lion’s Gate and the New Moon, we’re currently in the energy of Imbolc heralding the end of winter and the emergence of  spring with its growing light.”

Today, I’m asking my tarot deck: where should I focus my energy for today? I have a number of things on my mind, and feel overwhelmed, not knowing where to start, or what appeals because it all appeals.


Oh it would have to be one of the Major Arcana cards, wouldn’t it? If it was from the minor arcana, I could simply go off the correspondences of the four suits. Fire – action. Air – thought and imaganation. Earth – groundedness like gardening and house painting. Water – more emotional work such as art journaling. But no, I get Justice.

All right. First let’s look at the card itself. In this deck, there is a starry background in blue, purple, and indigo. In the foreground is a rainbow, with a pink rose at either end. In the middle of the rainbow is the symbol for Libra, the scales.

For me, the night sky, the universe is a symbol of deep imagination, deep dreaming, which ties in well with what’s been said above by Norma Budinski. With Imbolc in the air, the Lion’s Gate portal, and the now waxing moon, I could sink into pictures of galaxies and the deep sky, and dream a whole new life for myself.

The rainbow has many symbols for me: over the rainbow is the land of Oz, a fantastical escapist place. Mind you recent books such as ‘Wicked’, and ‘Dorothy Must Die’ have given me a jaundiced view of Oz. The rainbow colours are also associated with the LGBQI community. For me, the rainbow is a symbol of hope, of the whole spectrum of colours, of inclusivity, vibrancy.

The pink roses. In the language of flowers, pink roses symbolise love, gratitude, joy, and funnily enough, indecision. Information garnered from THE COMPLETE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS.

Now we turn our attention to the meaning of the Justice card. “Justice rules the law of equal return. It knows that which comes out, comes back in similar form. It knows there is strength in truth. Equilibrium and balance are key qualities in this honest judge. Fairness. Weighing things before an important decision. Cutting through false exteriors. Cause and effect. Equal exchange. Defending what you think is right.” – from the booklet accompanying the deck.

Faced with about a dozen choices of what to do today, the Justice card acknowledges that I do indeed have choices, and advises a little bit of this, a little bit of that. There are no major decisions to be made today, so I’ll structure my day to have balance between active and more passive things. I’ve already done a little house painting, and now I’m sitting at my wee desk typing this up. Justice advises me to keep balancing the day this way. Activity, then more restful things. All while keeping an eye on my energy expenditure, and giving some thought to how I’m travelling, and do I need to rest. And to give a bit of gratitude as I go.

And definitely some time set aside for deep sky dreaming, and manifestation magical work. Ooh, sounds like a bit of art witchery to me….. UnicornLass, I’ll be calling your energy in for this.

Thankyou, dear Lioness Oracle Tarot. When I bought you, which I’ll admit was for the title alone, I thought you’d be a beautiful but ultimately neglected addition. I wasn’t sure I could read with you. And yet, here we are at the Lion’s Gate portal, and we’re grooving.

That’s the instructional for this week, tarot fans. Don’t forget that if you’d like to see how I’d tackle a particular question, drop a comment in the comments section, and we’ll what we can set up.

This Could Be Dangerous – books

Uh oh. I’m about to watch a library tour. I back art witch Molly Roberts on Patreon. Her patreon-only offering this month is a video tour of her library. Uh oh. I have WordPress open, and am ready to make a list. This could be trouble, considering I have my ipad and my e-book ordering apps just sitting there within arm’s reach. Uh oh.

The Complete Artist’s Way – Julia Cameron

The Crystal Bible – Judy Hall (yes, I could definitely piff all my crystal books and just have this one)

The Illustrated Guide to Divination –

The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need –

Sun and Moon Signs – Julia and Derek Parker

Vampires Over The Ages – (textbook for a course)

Mastering Herbalism – Huson

Polish Herbs, Flowers, and Folk Medicine – Hodorowicz Knab

The Way of the Green Witch –

Modern Ailments and Ancient Remedies –

Cunningham’s Encyclopaedia of Crystal, Gem, and Metal Magic – Scott Cunningham

Crystal Vision Through Crystal Gazing – Frater Achad

Kabbalah Inspirations – Jeremy Kosen

Tarot of the Golden Wheel (tarot deck)

Flower Fairy Books – Barker

The Book of Answers – (bibliomancy)

The Cottage And Three Acres – O-Neill

The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life –

The Childless Witch – Camelia Elias

Sidewalk Oracles – Robert Moss (Molly recommends anything by this author)

The Book of the Law – Crowley

The Devil’s Notebook – Anton LaVey

Myths etc – Joseph Campbell

HerLand – Gilman

Prayers To The Great Creator – Julia Cameron

365 Goddess –

Illuminata –

Earth Prayers – Elizabeth Roberts

Songs of Shades – Joey Morris

Pronoia –

The Goddess Companion –

Dancing In Moonlight – Thista Minai

The Storyteller’s Goddess

The Wheel of the Year – Campinelli

Aphrodite’s Priestess

Casting The Circle – Diane Stein

Unbound, A Devotional Anthology for Artemis –

Intergalactic Wickedary – Mary Daly

Succulent Wild Woman – Sark

Witchcrafting – Phyllis Curott

Goddess Communion – Selena Fox

Colour Magic for Beginners – Brewster

Financial Sorcery – Miller

Confessions of a Tarot Reader –

The Tarot – Case

Bones, Shells, and Curios –

The Complete Guide to Tarot Illuminati –

Prime Chaos –

Practical Kabbalah –

The Sorcerer’s Secrets – Miller

John Dee’s Conversations With Angels – Deborah Harkness

Moon Magick –

Ask Baba Yaga –

Rust Belt Arcana –

Maps To Ecstasy –

The book of Life – Macino

Earth Power – Cunningham

Fear – Thich Naht Hahn

Merlin’s Book of Magic and Enchantment –

Dictionary of Superstitions – David Pickering

Practical Greek Magic – Murry Hope

Glamour Magic –

Urban Primitive –

Folkways – Telesco

Urban Shaman –

Teutonic Magic –

The Encyclopaedia of Magic and Alchemy –

The Book of English Magic –

On Becoming and Alchemist –

Star Songs and Water Spirits –

Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil

The Enneagram –

The Road Back To You –

Mystic Approaches – John Butler

How To Read Water – Tristan Gooley


This list isn’t exhaustive, but it’s the books I could catch sight of. If an author isn’t listed, it’s because I didn’t see the author’s name, or it was mentioned. These books are the ‘esoteric’ or magical part of Molly’s bookshelves.

This list isn’t a recommendation of any of these books, as I haven’t read many of them. It’s a personal suggestion list for me, should I be looking for my next read.

All thanks to Molly Roberts for her video, and the look at her magical bookshelves.

Full Moon in Sagittarius spellwork – 2021

Full Moon in Sagittarius 2021.

Date: 26th May, 2021

Day: Wednesday

Moon Sign: Sagittarius Full Moon Eclipse

Element: Fire – Mutable.

Time: 7pm.

Tarot Card: Temperance.

With the Sun in Gemini, and the Moon in Sagittarius, we are talking a double whammy of communication energy.

Having trouble finding the words you need in a particular dynamic? Sagittarius is represented by the centaur, the archer. We are going to use the arrow as our symbol.

Tools needed for this spell:

– a fairly straight stick(if you want to go deeper, you may wish to research the magical associations of different trees and acquire an appropriate stick) about the length of your forearm. Don’t break it off the tree unless you have permission of the tree. At this time of year, there are plenty of wind blown sticks lying around.

– a whittling knife and/or sandpaper

– craft or wood glue. You’re going to be sticking stuff on your stick.

– paint, glitter, whatever you want to fancy up your stick. Think fire colours, and air colours to match the Fire of Sagittarius, and the Air of communication.

– Cauldron or something you can burn your stick in (burning will happen after the spellwork, as filling your house with smoke at night is not good).

– stuff to get a fire going. I pour methylated spirits into my cauldron and set it alight. I will often add incense as I go.

1. Pre-decorate your stick, leaving one end free. This way, your arrow is going to be dry and able to be handled.

2. We are going to whittle/carve/sandpaper a point onto the plain end of the stick, forming it into an arrow. While you whittle or sand, you will be asking the energy of Sagittarius and the energy of Gemini to help you find the right words or actions to open up communication.

3. When everyone has completed their point, we will angle the arrows towards our computer screens, and each will make a general statement about what they are conjuring.

4. In a large gesture, and on the count of three, we will arc our arrows up and away from the screens, and point them towards the sky, asking that our arrows fly true, and that the Sagittarian full moon aid us on our journeys.

5. Tomorrow, before the energy of the full moon has turned to the waning moon, and thus the waning of energy, you will burn your stick in whatever sacred way you wish, to send the energy to the universe/the gods/the Huntress Diana.

Alternate 5. If you feel that burning your arrow isn’t right, you may release the arrow into the wild by placing it in a tree, or some wild place in which, conceivably, the Wild Hunt might run.


This spellwork is a version of a releasing arrow ritual I learned in a Native American circle many years ago.

As an experiment, and a change, we will not cast circle, invoke elements, or invoke deity. Sagittarius is wild energy, and does not like to be contained. Sagittarians are built to push boundaries, leap fences, and go where no one has gone before. Asking Mutable Fire to be within a circle goes against its nature. So let’s see what happens if we simply clear space, and go to work.

Samhain 2021

Even if I write up on my calendar a week beforehand to start preparing for an upcoming Sabbat, I am a Mistress of ignoring notes to myself, and ending up realising, the night before, that I’ve got nothing planned. That’s when I turn up to one of the open rituals available to me.

I won’t name the group involved, because I don’t want to name and shame anyone, but I attended a twilight ritual, with about 9 participants. I had issue with one of the guys there. Look, mate I don’t care how liberated and free you are from your past, your hang-ups, and whatever else. I don’t care how many tarot readings you do now, and which circles of your own you run. Seriously. I don’t even care if you wear a rainbow unicorn onesie to a ritual. Even if it is Samhain, and everyone else is dressed in black to honour the Crone, the Morrigan, Persephone’s descent to the Underworld, and the coming of the Winter months.

What I object to is you having your onesie open to the crotch, and your pasty, bulging, white body on display across the sacred circle, right in my line of sight. Put It Away, sunshine.

Anyway, we invoked the elements, and I was the Fire Quarter. In retrospect, I could have chosen better. With my mind edging around mania, Fire was probably the last thing I needed to be standing in. Earth would have been more calming. I have so much Earth in my astrology chart, though….

We stood beneath a huge, spreading oak tree. Most of the autumn leaves have already fallen and the ground was slippery with dry leaves on a well-trod circle, with four paths to the centre. The branches of the oak stood dark against the pale blue sky. At 5pm, the sun was already almost set, and the sky had that paleness that comes before twilight. A few leaves hung on to the branches. I thought of my parents, gone many years, my brother crossed over, my great-niece Bec and her stillborn daughter Peyton. I thought of my ballroom dancing friend Gail, who suicided when she could not conjure, as an adult, the secure family feelings she had as a child, and had not found the right man to take care of her forever. Her death brought home to me how similar we were at that time, and made me back away from following her further down the ‘I need a man’ path. I thought of Damien, who I knew at university, and who died during our second year, from a ferocious cancer. He married just before he died, and I saw his widow Robyn at the funeral, stunned into silence that she had been married only a month.

There have been other funerals, other griefs. No one lives without losing people. Times like Samhain mean a time to remember, to celebrate their lives, to honour them, and be thankful that we’re still here, still breathing. This is the first year that I’ve had no wish to be already passed over. Trans Cranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy? Art witchery on my own brain? I don’t know. All I know is that I’m currently going through life with a quieter mind, and a lightness to myself.

As the year moves into the short, cold months, I honour my beloved dead, and am thankful I am still here.

The Daily Blog – Earthly Pleasures, etc

This morning, I took PizzaBoy up to Belgrave, to what I thought was a small vegan market in the grounds of Earthly Pleasures cafe. Alas, I had the time wrong, and the market didn’t start until 3pm. So we brunched, and I restrained myself from taking a picture of my avo/hummus/pea sprouts on gluten free bread, even though it was very pretty, because ten years ago, it would not have crossed my mind to share pics of my food. I sat and enjoyed the sight instead, and then eat heartily, and drank chai tea.

We had time for a Power Potter through Belgrave’s main drag (power pottering being a snappy visit to all my favourite shops) before we got PB home in time for his online gaming session of ‘Champions’, RPG, he tells me. All I’ll say is that I hear him shouting ‘I’ll use my psychic powers!’ and think: ‘Oh sure, when you say it, it’s fine, but when I say it, suddenly there’s skepticism’.

I did a little art therapy. I had need: a dark murky background in black, greys, and bruised purples, and then red acrylic paint running down the page. I left that to dry, and headed back to Belgrave to the One Love Market. I chatted, browsed, looked, and came home.

Back to art therapy. I took a picture of Weeping Woman by Picasso, and cut open her head like a flip top, and did the same for her mouth. I pasted torn up words dripping out of her head, and lightning springing from her mouth, only to be fenced in by black paint. More red paint/blood dripping from her head and mouth. Finished off with a tiny dot of orange in the bottom right hand corner.

I feel like every time I have to go see a new mental health professional, I should take this mixed media piece along and say: “Are you about to recommend meditation, moderate exercise, and more sunlight?”

Anyway, that’s out of me now, and I can settle into some reading, maybe.

Art Witch manifesto from Molly Roberts

Although, I am Word Witch and Art Witch.

“I have the right to not be All Things to all people. 

I have the right to Be as many things as I want. 

I have the right to be a supply magpie, change my mind like the moon and dabble in many flavors of beauty.

I have a right to create things that interest me, tell my story and speak to my experiences.

I have a right to deny *any* request that debases my creativity and disrespects my magick. 

I have the right to exist and call myself an Art Witch (Or any sexy descriptor you like), even when I’m not actively creating, producing work or casting spells. 

I have a right to care for myself, not because it will “ensure future productivity” but because it ensures the preservation of my miraculous mortal humanity. 

I have a right to create for the hell of it, for pleasure, to bring about tears or to blow off steam. 

I have a right to create things no one else will see.

I have a right to create stuff no one likes, because I am worthy of following the awkward growth and ultimate destiny of my passions.

I have a right to pursue hobbies, interests, loves and whims that do not appear outwardly creative or “productive”.  

I have the right to make piles of experimental stuff outside my comfort zone for my growth and delight. 

I have a right to dry seasons, hibernation and rest.

I have a right to abundant inspiration and prolific wet seasons.

I have a right to silently hold special moments and potent dreams close to my heart until they are strong enough to be shared, if ever at all.

I have the right to express myself respectfully, freely and with gushing integrity.

I have the right to a dignified and fulfilling creative life outside the algorithm.

I have the right to ask for fair compensation for my creative work if I want.

I have the right to generously give away whatever and whenever I desire. 

I have the right to be uncool and unedgy and be as soft, humble and messy as I please.

I have the right to throw style to the breeze and create what needs to be made now.

I have the right to exist beyond the scope of usefulness. 

I have a right to complexity, nuance and exploration.

I have the right to want to create something different today than I did yesterday.

I have the right to become something different today than I was yesterday.”


So it is. So it always has been. So it will be.