The True Nature of Tarot by Diane Wing: A Review

10th anniversary edition
Marvelous Spirit Press, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-61599-584-4
Paperback, 346 pp., $27.95
Reviewed by Victoria Constantino

Released this year in an updated 10th anniversary edition, The True Nature of Tarot by Diane Wing is an exploration of a beloved system of divination that continues to increase in popularity and widespread use. Prefaced by eight chapters filled with guidance and approaches for beginners and seasoned tarot readers alike, at the heart of the book is an index of interpretations for each card and a compendium of card combinations with possible meanings. Chock full of helpful information and insight, The True Nature of Tarot is a valuable guide for both professional tarot readers and seekers.

An understanding of tarot as “a dynamic tool that reflects where we are on the path,” Wing notes in the book, aids us through life as we grow and seek deeper wisdom. A tool for reflection, tarot offers a method for us to connect with the divine and the truth within, to understand ourselves on deeper levels so that, ultimately, we can discover our own answers. “The ultimate goal,” Wing writes, “is self-mastery, where you do not need to consult those external to you; you’ll be able to tap into your own intuition and your own sovereign judgment. When you master yourself, you master your destiny. It will no longer be a question of prophecy, but rather creative direction.” And part of the value of tarot is as a tool that can help us to achieve self-mastery. It is a tool for spiritual growth and development, something that can guide us on our path to self-sovereignty.

Spreads, approaches to reading and interpreting cards, detecting patterns in readings, and guidance on choosing a practitioner are some of the book’s highlights. Of exceptional value is the guidance on tuning into the intuition, psychic development, and preparation techniques such as grounding. The True Nature of Tarot is packed with useful information that evidences the author’s deep understanding of tarot derived from a decades-long practice. This is a book that belongs on any reader’s or seeker’s shelf.

September: The Month According to Tarot

Image of tarot spread for the month of September
Soul Cards by Kristine Fredheim
Image by Victoria Constantino

September isn’t pulling any punches. The strong guidance this month is to do ourselves a favor and clear the deadwood by going within, releasing all that doesn’t serve us, and considering where we may be creating our own obstacles that stand in the way of our goals. We each have a lot of abundance available to us, even if we don’t realize it yet.

Q1: Overall energies for the month of September: King of Cups

The King of Cups is emotional warmth and protection, a caring and creative soul who wants to be liked. As a king, he is at the top of his game and sits at the pinnacle of leadership. He is someone who leads from the heart. He can represent a friend, an ally, someone you can call on for emotional support. He can also represent an aspect of self. This card guides us to ask a few questions. Are we responsible stewards of our own emotions? How do we nurture and care for ourselves? How do we navigate emotionally challenging waters? We may benefit from taking time for introspection this month and allowing ourselves time to go within, to explore the uncharted waters of the heart, and take a closer look at what doesn’t belong there.

Q2: Week 1 energies: The Emperor

The Emperor is a strong divine masculine energy. He is the wizened warrior who has seen it all and has triumphed over challenges and obstacles. He has created a strong, steady foundation that will support him for many years to come. The Emperor is empowered and self-sovereign, an emblem of the strength we all hold within. This week may find us exploring how we can be more empowered and live sustainably in ways that support our growth. Where The Emperor is not afraid to make hard choices, he follows his own path and always stays focused on his goals. We are guided to do the same, to separate the wheat from the chaff and eliminate with precision and efficiency everything that does not serve our highest good, and to recognize that we owe it to ourselves to do so. Now is the time to gather our strength and take aligned action.

Q3: Week 2 energies: Three of Swords

It’s time to remove the swords from our hearts. This could mean energetic clearing, cord cutting, or taking the time to go within and begin the healing process. The process looks different for everyone and we are guided to do what resonates with us. The process of letting go can change as we do and can be unique for every situation. Setting the intention to process, clear, and heal in ways that are effective and appropriate for us sets the energies in motion. What are we letting go of? What doesn’t belong in our lives anymore? What can we do to move forward? What still hurts? What are we still holding onto that is ready to be released? Sometimes, figuring out where we still need healing can be as easy as noticing our triggers.

Q4: Week 3 energies: The Sun reversed

Where are we blocking our blessings? What obstacles stand in the way of our receiving all we have asked for? What beliefs do we hold that are counter to what we want? Where are we feeling held back and what is the root cause? The Sun in the upright position indicates attainment, manifestations, goals being reached, and success of every kind. It may benefit us this week to explore old and outdated beliefs and to rewrite everything that is not in alignment with what we know now and who we are today. There is always something magnificent awaiting us, improvements of every kind; all we have ever asked for is waiting in the wings. This week is an opportune time to rewrite our beliefs, and to learn what is holding us back so we can get into the receiving mode. The Sun reversed can indicate that we are only letting in a fraction of what is available to us and we may need to do some inner work so we can receive all we have asked for in its fully manifested state.

Q5: Week 4 energies: Two of Pentacles

This may be a week of balancing priorities and things in the material realm, which can include finances, responsibilities, work, studies, relationships, and leisure time. We may find ourselves navigating competing priorities, and we may need to consider what can wait and what needs to be done right away. This week especially, it is important to take time for ourselves, however impossible it seems. Making time for the things we love is a way of nurturing ourselves and can be as simple as getting a coffee on the way to work, taking a short walk, or having a conversation with a friend. The Two of Pentacles can also indicate a second source of income or a job offer. If you are changing careers or seeking employment, this is a positive week to do so.

Q6: Overall guidance for September: Queen of Pentacles

Who’s abundant? You are! This month and beyond, we will benefit from taking the time to appreciate things, circumstances, and people around us. We live in an abundant universe that provides plenty for everyone. When we look for and appreciate abundance in our lives and around us, we manifest more of what we are appreciating. Even if it’s only the blue of the sky or the smile on a stranger’s face, we can always find something to appreciate. One of the greatest benefits of spending time in appreciation is that it gets us into the receiving mode and allows us to manifest more of what we want. By focusing on what we want, we get more of the same. The Queen of Pentacles is a reminder that we all have the ability to live in abundance and to be the masters of our own outcomes.

August: The Month According to Tarot

Soul Cards by Kristine Fredheim
Image by Victoria Constantino

August is a month of abundance and manifestation. Be prepared to receive this month and reap rewards as never before. We stand poised on the brink of great success, tremendous satisfaction, and the ability to connect deeply with ourselves—our own truth and our hearts—more powerfully than ever. Get ready to uplevel and to welcome in deep gratitude and prosperity. This month, we can rewrite our belief systems to serve our greatest and highest good. Are you ready to receive?

Q1: Overall energies for the month of August: The Hierophant

Traditionally a religious figurehead, The Hierophant stands for religious belief and the doctrines underpinning our beliefs. This card may be a call to action, asking us to examine any beliefs that do not ring true or resonate at a heart level. Many of us may carry energies, beliefs, and indoctrination from past lives, and these may still impact our lives and our beliefs on a certain level, whether we are aware of it or not. It may benefit us to clear and release ties, energies, pacts, contracts, promises, and commitments from past lives, as these may be lingering unseen, still affecting us.

This card can also encourage us to examine what we truly believe and the indoctrination we were raised with, and to release any hindering or non-resonant beliefs and all energies associated with them. We are ready to make our own path, supported in the ways we know to be true and resonant for us and our present realities. Timelines are shifting, many from past lives, that are taking with them man-made religious distortions. These are crumbling, ready to fall away as we walk a path of truth and light, called to our oneness in the awareness of the divinity at the heart of all.

Q2: Week 1 energies: The Chariot

The Chariot’s fast-moving energy takes us full speed ahead as we hurtle into the fiery, powerful energies of manifestation contained in August. This is a chariot illuminated by The Sun, and it rockets forward, flames trailing in its wake. This is manifestation and empowerment the likes of which we’ve never seen before. We rush headlong into who we were meant to be, expanding at the speed of light. We hold magic in our hands and in our hearts.

Our expansion combines with the knowledge of our oneness as we align with the truth of who we are and become the divine magicians and creators we came here to be. We are infinite, eternal, magnificent. We are magical. New paths open before us as we walk, as we move forward grounded in the certainty of the beliefs and desires that propel us onward.

Q3: Week 2 energies: The Sun

The Sun illuminates all it touches, everything in our reality. Light codes are coming in strong this month, elevating us and giving us the opportunity to uplevel as never before. We have the power and ability to reach long-held dreams and goals now—those long-awaited moments are now. Every moment is now. Centered in every instance of our present reality, aligned with the truth of who we are and connected with our own divinity, we can reach zero-point manifestation; from there, the sky is the limit. All the glory we have wished for is possible now. Connect to the divine within, the sacred immaculate heart.

Solaris, our sun, works with the energies of Sirius to bring us to the portal of manifestation and receive divine upgrades from cosmic light. We may be gaining greater awareness of our celestial nature and perspective on our own realities as we zoom out, noticing ourselves as a tiny speck somewhere with the vast starry blanket of all that is. We hold the vastness of eternity and the power of the universe within our own hearts. This power is a game changer, as it empowers us and reminds us of our own magnificence. When we realize this, all untruths fall away as though they were nothing, and we stand in our sovereignty and truth, each of us a bright light, luminous in the infinite universe.

Q4: Week 3 energies: Knight of Cups

This is an offer of the heart. Some movement or travel is indicated now, something making its way steadily into our experience. We can expect pleasant changes and opportunities for levity and fun. An uplifting energy is indicated now. This month favors career changes, seeking new employment and business expansion, and this week, it is especially favorable. Applications, financial transactions, and paperwork promise to yield success.

This week, we are supported with journeys into the heart. Romance and flirtatiousness could make their way into our experience; there is the chance now for lighthearted enjoyment. We can go with the flow, ensuring our beliefs support our desires. Now is a good time to rewrite belief systems to ensure future prosperity, success, and happiness.

Q5: Week 4 energies: King of Wands

The King of Wands is fortunate, foretelling of success and favorable outcomes. Whatever we have been desiring, this card says we will be successful. New employment, raises, great opportunities, and good fortune of all kinds is indicated now. We will be victorious and receive the recognition and results we have been hoping for. Manifestations are coming in hot this week! Our focus and intentions are supported by our beliefs and the energies at hand now give everything a powerful, positive boost.

The King of Wands can also indicate that we are coming into our own power. Confidence, rootedness in our own sovereignty, and success are our new modus operandi. This king is a reminder that we hold the keys to our dreams, wishes, and hopes within. Our will gets a boost this week and we are on fire with new ideas and manifestations. This is a positive forward momentum that fulfills the truth that, to quote Abraham-Hicks, the better it gets, the better it gets. We hurtle onward into greater success and positivity.

Q6: Guidance for the month of August: Queen of Cups

The Queen of Cups guides us to be seekers of truth and to look for that truth within. This queen is the master of her own heart. She rules her own emotional realm, and knows her emotional landscape so well she could draw a map of it. This month, she encourages making a daily practice of looking within and tending to our own emotions and needs—of making self-care a part of our daily ritual. We are guided to nurture and nourish our hearts and our emotional needs this week, to take time for ourselves in the fast-moving energy that is present throughout the month.

Engaging in creative practices can be deeply rewarding and provide a platform for deep healing and soul nurturing. We can process and clear so much by getting into the flow state, whether that’s via acting, writing, singing, painting, drawing, creating new concoctions, or dreaming up ideas. Tapping into our creativity can be richly satisfying. Engaging in a daily visualization practice throughout the month of August and beyond can yield tremendous rewards. We are getting to know ourselves on deeper and deeper levels, connecting to our emotions and our truth as never before.

July: The Month According to Tarot

Soul Cards by Kristine Fredheim
Image by Victoria Constantino

This month is bookended by pages, signifiers of new beginnings, fresh starts, the beginning stages of a journey when we are filled with enthusiasm, excitement, and joy for what is to come. Each week of the month is ruled by a Major Arcana card, which could tell us that this month, we are going on a journey that is related to our life path or soul mission for this lifetime. We may be going on an inner journey or taking those first steps into a grand adventure.

Q1: What are the overall energies of July? Page of Wands

This month, we may be striking out on a new path, learning new skills and discovering how to apply them to our goals and our current circumstances. In many ways, we may be learning to navigate our lives anew, truly discovering our abilities as creators of our own realities and tapping into our innate penchant for moulding and shaping our lives as we wish. We may be coming into our true power for the first time or upleveling to new heights of sovereignty, freedom, and autonomy. When we embrace the newness with enthusiasm, we are opening ourselves up to the best opportunities and highest path. Energies of new beginnings and higher paths are available to us now. This month and beyond, we can choose to open our hearts to receive our highest manifestations and our highest guidance.

Q2: Week 1 energies: The Emperor

The Emperor is a grounded pillar of strength, a person or energy of sure-footedness and solid foundations. There is great support here for us, great love and wisdom. We also have this strength and knowledge within us, our own best and highest guidance. The Emperor can signify a guide or supportive energies shepherding us along on our path, bringing us to a place in which our goals are made manifest, our dreams writ large across our lives, fully available to us in every given moment. This card can indicate a force of stability, perhaps an employer or source of support, either coming into being or strengthening in ways that benefit us. This could be us gaining more solid footing in certain areas of our lives. It could also be our strongholds (career, finances, emotional support, relationships) becoming more established and firmly rooted.

Q3: Week 2 energies: Temperance

Temperance arrives this week to encourage balance and prudence. As part of the Major Arcana, this card can connect to our life path and soul mission, or may indicate karma and karmic events. This could mean that we are peacemakers or ones who bring harmony, or that it is part of our path to facilitate this; or, we may find ourselves in this role this week. Peace, balance, and harmonious resolutions are indicated, as well as support that brings us peace. Anytime we encounter conflict, a peaceful stance and focus on unity promises the best possible outcome. This may be a week in which we need to maintain balance so that nothing spins off kilter; this could be in any aspect, such as finances, career, or relationships. We can nurture our own energy this week to bring ourselves to a stable, harmonious, and peaceful place so that we can facilitate this in the outside world and in those around us, encouraging peaceful resolutions in all relationships.

Q4: Week 3 energies: Strength

Anytime we need to call on our strength, we have the ability to tap into an endless reserve that is within each one of us. We may be remembering our own strength or discovering it for the first time. Each one of us has what it takes to live our best life and walk our highest path. The figure on the Strength card has a lemniscate, or an infinity sign, above their head, signifying our eternal nature—a reminder that we are eternal and we are divine. Because of who we are, we hold infinite strength and wisdom within us. This card may be appearing this week to gently encourage us to be still within ourselves, to look deeply at who we are and tune into our true nature. This can be a journey, a rediscovery of the authentic self, the divine self, and the truth within us. Once we make this connection, we are fortified to handle, with grace and powerful strength, whatever we may encounter.

Q5: Week 4 energies: The Hierophant

The Hierophant may be calling us this week to commit or recommit to a daily spiritual practice. This could be meditation, grounding, walks in nature, journaling, or anything that forges our connection to the larger universe of which we are a part. This card can also call us to examine our beliefs and perhaps release those long-held ones and anything that does not serve us; it can also ask us to examine our own hearts. Who are we now and what beliefs serve us where we are, given what we have learned and experienced? We may feel called to rewrite our beliefs, to forge new paths within our own minds and hearts that support the path we are currently on. This card can also appear for those who are meant to be spiritual leaders, wayshowers, lightworkers, or lightbringers: This is your time to shine. It’s time to light up, to activate your gifts and step into your true calling. Trust your heart, your support, and your intuition. Trust the wisdom within you.

Q6: Overall guidance for July: Page of Pentacles

This page can show us learning new skills, preparing to walk a new path, or change careers. We could be getting ready to step foot into a new adventure or perhaps just learning to walk again, figuratively speaking. This could mean re-entering the workforce after some time away, and taking this opportunity now to prepare ourselves in the best way possible, by learning, training, and preparing in ways that support our highest and best outcomes.

As guidance for the month, the Page of Pentacles asks us to prepare, to set goals and intentions, and to take the necessary steps we need to reach our goals. Something new is in the works. The journey of each week in this month is held by a Major Arcana card. Something big is being prepared for us, and when we step up to support our own preparation, we are working in concert with our best and highest outcomes. We are asked especially to allow ourselves to feel all the joy and enthusiasm that is part of this new becoming. We are capable of catapulting into the stratosphere, and all it takes is that first step. Let’s just keep going and believe in ourselves; let’s believe in the journey.

June: The Month According to Tarot

Soul Cards by Kristine Fredheim
Image by Victoria Constantino

June is a month of making room for happiness, fulfillment, prosperity, and all that is good. Before a house can be built, the brush must be cleared away. As we continue to heal, forgive, and release what does not serve us, we open the door to opportunity and improvements in all aspects of our lives. There is so much waiting for us this month, and we are asked to clear away the debris so we can build something solid and stable that will serve us well for years to come. We are reminded this month that things can always improve for us, and we are asked to do what it takes to gain clarity and align our expectations and beliefs with all our hearts desire. We do not experience the desire for something unless it is possible for us to have it. We receive our wishes, hopes, goals, and dreams from the higher aspect of ourselves, and we receive them when we are in a state of readiness for them.

Q1: What are the overall energies of June? Queen of Wands

Fruitfulness, generosity, prosperity… This queen epitomizes abundance and security. She is a masterful artist of manifestation, ushering in her dreams and goals with efficacy, ease, and grace. Her appearance heralds energies of opportunity, happiness, and peace. This week may see us considering new options as we consider the path ahead. When the road forks, we must choose which way to go. We may be encountering happy choice points this week, and may feel guided to follow our creative inspiration when it arrives to us, without questioning or doubting. Trust is key—trusting ourselves, our new ideas, and that following them will bring us joy and fulfillment. We may also be asked to lean into trust that we have what it takes to succeed, and to make adjustments to our beliefs so that they align with our hopes.

Q2: Week 1 energies: King of Cups

The King of Cups holds emotional depth; he is a masculine energy in touch with his emotional, nurturing side. He is giving, caring, a good provider, and someone who wants to be liked and appreciated. He stands by those he cares for and wants to ensure their well-being, as he feels responsible for their emotional landscape to an extent. This may be a person who wants to make everyone happy. If a person, he may be a key figure in this week’s events. He is warm and benevolent, and he is also creative, like the Queen of Wands. The strong aspect of creativity that is coming into play this month may be guidance to get creative in our manifestations, in our emotional approach to relationships and situations, or to recalibrate our emotions in some way. Creative problem-solving is also highlighted this week.

Q3: Week 2 energies: Temperance

This week, we are supported by universal allies who guide us to consider our options before choosing, to be practical, patient, and to make wise decisions. We may feel guided to consider how we can invest in our future and plan for our happiness and success down the road. This week we may find ourselves writing intentions for our future. Where do we want to be in five years? A decade? Twenty years? We can set those intentions now and establish the momentum of energy, like a snowball rolling downhill, which gathers snow (energy) and speed as it travels. Peaceful resolutions, harmonious outcomes, and cooperation are all highlighted now, as those will prove the best and most fruitful path forward. As we grow within and as our hearts expand, we are more readily able to see the highest possible solutions and path forward in any circumstances. The more we open our hearts, the more ego falls away and we are aligned with the truth of who we are—with our divine, highest nature.

Q4: Week 3 energies: The Emperor

The Emperor is a wise leader, one who is just and fair. He has weathered battles and is still standing, successful and with strong, clear boundaries around him. His energy is grounded, stable, and protective. This week may find us grounding into strength and stability, and leaning into our wisdom as well as our practical side. Someone—a leader, perhaps an employer or patriarch—is supporting you and wants to see you succeed. It may be necessary to drop veils this week, as we may have been seeing things through clouded vision or may have misunderstood a situation. Grounding in nature can help us gain clarity and structure. This structure and support may be necessary for the stability of future endeavors. We are building what will grow; we are planting the garden of our future. As we take control of our own future, finding that balance between surrender/receiving and maneuvering the reins so that we stay on course, we are empowered for ourselves and fully grounding in our strength and highest capabilities.

Q5: Week 4 energies: Five of Cups

The Five of Cups asks us to process and clear the pains of the past so we can heal. We are asked to practice forgiveness and to look where we can bring peace to a situation, which may be within us. This week we may be guided to focus on clearing the deadwood from the heart and to look to how we can emotionally nurture ourselves. Something may be ending, reaching its natural conclusion as its purpose is served, but that doesn’t make it any less painful. Surrender feelings of loss, disappointment, betrayal, hopelessness—whether through prayer, ritual, or intention. We can write down what we wish to release on paper and burn it, sending its ashes to the wind with gratitude for the experience and the lessons we have learned. We then create peace within our hearts and make room for what is better, what is meant for us, to arrive. The peace may not come instantaneously, but may progress with time and as we gain clarity and perspective. It is time to begin to rise above and start moving forward.

Q6: Overall guidance for June: Ten of Wands reversed & Nine of Cups

The Ten of Wands reversed stands as much with the Nine of Cups to offer guidance for June as it represents the energies of the last four days of the month. The Ten of Wands reversed asks us to lay down our burdens, to focus there throughout the month, and to practice compassion and forgiveness, for ourselves and for others. We are asked to clear the past, to let go the detritus and all that does not serve so we can make room for the abundance and emotional fulfillment that awaits us, symbolized by the Nine of Cups. There is a world of joy that is ready for us to be ready for it. This month, we can welcome in abundance, new opportunities, and a joy we have never known. This month is powerfully positive. While we are all at different places on our journey, we can always open our hearts to receive the improvement that is available to us at all times. The universal energies are waiting for us to open our hearts so we can flow in all that is better.

May: The Month According to Tarot

A tarot spread for the month of May including the Eight of Pentacles, The Hermit, The Empress, the Six of Swords, the Knight of Cups, and the Queen of Wands.
Soul Cards Tarot by Kristine Fredheim
Image by Victoria Constantino

This month may bring powerful manifestations, and the conditions are right for the seeds of our intentions to sprout, for us to start seeing attainment of our hopes, dreams, and desires. This month, whatever you are working on, go for it! The energies are strongly supporting your manifestations and creations. If you haven’t already, it’s time to get clear on what you want, set goals, and tune into your heart’s desires. You are a powerful creator and you can make the magic happen. You can create the life you wish. Now is the time to reach for the sky, and believe you can get there. Tuning into our expectations and beliefs this month and making any adjustments can be rewarding. Believe in yourself and make it happen!

Q1: What are the overall energies of May? Eight of Pentacles

This month shows us reaping the rewards of our efforts and focus. The goals we have been working toward are beginning to bear fruit, and the seeds we have nurtured are starting to sprout. Reward and gain, achievement and recognition, notable (and noticeable) progress are all being made manifest this month. May inches us ever-closer to summer in the Northern hemisphere, and the abundance of blossoms we see all around is echoed in the potent energies of manifestation and creative fertility that are increasing in the weeks to come, destined to reach their peak in the few months ahead. Everything is cyclical, and as we live our human lives, we feel these cycles too, as the wheel of the year turns and our experiences are echoed in the rise and fall of the sun, the warmth of spring and the cold of winter, the peaks of lush, fragrant abundance and the cool retreat of the plant kingdom into the frozen underworld. Now, we can embrace the beauty and prosperity that are all around us. We may receive fresh ideas and new excitement, burgeoning enthusiasm for new projects and goals or for what we know not yet.

Q2: Week 1: The Hermit

The Hermit says it’s time to retreat into your heart, into your mind, into the truth of who you are. Think of the fertile soil in which seeds hide. There, they gestate and grow and, when the conditions are right, they begin to manifest into the world above. When we retreat within, we can weed the garden and make room for the seeds we will plant. We can add nutrients to the soil to make it a fertile place and decide what we will plant there. When the time is right—and only we will know when it is—we can then plant the seeds and water and nurture them until they sprout. These seedlings hold so much possibility, and so do we. We can plant anything we want. The more we feed and nurture the new life, the faster, stronger, and healthier it will grow. This is the energy of The Hermit—the retreat within to do the inner work, to heal, to clear and release, to connect to our intuition and find the answers we seek to forge a bright new path ahead. The Hermit holds the lantern and is sometimes associated with a guide figure. While we hold our own guidance within, we can also call on our allies for support whenever we need it.

Q3: Week 2: The Empress

The Empress lives in abundance and fertility. Her world is one of her own creation; she is a self-made woman, a woman in her power. This card pertains to all, not just feminine energies, even though it is strongly feminine in nature. We all have within us both masculine and feminine. We may be guided to seek balance if things are off-kilter and to come to a place of fertile resonance and harmony in our own hearts and minds. The Empress may also represent the divine feminine on a greater scale, or the divine feminine in your own life—a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend. She may be you—who you are now or what you are striving to achieve. The Empress represents creativity and creation, and indicates the power each one of holds to manifest whatever we wish. In regards to manifestation, The Empress indicates the receiving mode—that state of being or vibration in which we allow all we desire to flow to us unfettered. This week, the energies are fertile for creation and creativity. Abundance and prosperity are flowing, and we can choose to get into the stream and receive.

Q4: Week 3: Six of Swords

The Six of Swords finds us sailing into something new, which could be a manifestation or the attainment of a goal we have been working toward. We may be sailing away from one situation and into a better one. We may be freed from blocks or a situation that held us back, gaining an increasing sense of freedom and hope. Where swords represent the mind and sixes are associated with harmony, this card may see us becoming unblocked, gaining clarity, or being freed from constraints that once bound us. We are working through the conflict of the Five of Swords, coming into greater understanding and gaining awareness or perspective on events that may previously have felt unresolvable. Our focus, intention-setting, goals, hopes, and wishes are becoming evident, our thoughts turning to things as we begin to sail into hope, into improved circumstances and a better way of life. A new phase is beginning.

Q5: Week 4: Knight of Cups

With new beginnings often comes idealism, and that can be a great thing. The Knight of Cups may be asking us to focus on (and believe in) the highest possible outcome. If you are embarking on something new, traveling, accepting an offer, or starting out on a new path, cycle, or phase in your life, believing in the best possibilities will serve you well. After all, we get what we expect. Cups are linked to the emotions, and especially to the heart. This card can sometimes indicate travel, positive change, or an exciting new relationship. It can also sometimes urge us to consider our options carefully and know when it serves us to be practical and when we need to let loose and have a little fun. Only you will know what is right for you. This week may bring something fun to consider and is a good week to travel.

Q6: Guidance from the Universe for May: Queen of Wands

The Queen of Wands is linked to powerful manifestation and creativity, and as an energy, she brings vitality, prosperity, vibrance, and warmth. She is generous and active, enthusiastic and passionate. This month, she may be guiding us to be true to our hearts, to not give up on our dreams, and to pursue our ideas with zest and creativity. “You can do it,” she reminds us, and, “you’ve got this!” This month, ventures bring fulfillment, dreams become reality, and things that were mere seeds of ideas become clay in our hands, which we are moulding and shaping in every moment with our thoughts, beliefs, expectations, goals, and desires. This month, do the thing! You were born for this. Keep going. Believe in yourself. You really have got this.

Tarot: Trusting Your Intuition

Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot
Image by Victoria Constantino

When it comes to interpreting tarot, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend throwing out the guidebook, but trusting your own intuition above all is important. It’s best when you have a working knowledge of the usual meanings of cards and can then draw from that tradition as a springboard to further your understanding. A deepening of understanding comes when you tune into what your intuition is telling you the cards mean—for you in particular, or for the specific querent you are reading for. 

Decks that include symbolism (in contrast to minimalist decks) provide a rich tradition from which we can draw. The symbols themselves—which can be represented by figures or archetypes, animals, what we would traditionally think of as symbols (such as planetary representations), and colors—provide a rich depth of meaning we can use to create interpretations that are unique to us or the querent. Do butterflies symbolize something specific to you, or does the number four hold a certain meaning that only you would know? Those are influences that can factor into your interpretation of the cards. 

If the guidebook says X about a certain card, but you are feeling Y, always trust your instinct. Cards carry messages that impact us where we are, in the moment in which we are interpreting them. Whether a card is a reflection of your current energies or station, represents future possibilities, or what is at the end of the path you are currently on is something a guidebook cannot tell you. This is where your intuition becomes key. The same card could mean something completely different to you depending on when you draw it and where you are energetically at the time.

When you are first starting out with tarot or trying to strengthen your connection to your intuition, writing down your thoughts about each card in a journal can yield insights. Try doing this before consulting the guidebook—you may surprise yourself. When you’re done writing out your interpretation, you can then review what the guidebook says about the card and look for any common threads. This can assist you as you are learning about the cards and can help you develop your eye for symbolism as well as your interpretive capacity. It can also help you to trust yourself more as you confirm your insights with the guidebook’s interpretations, realizing, however, that you may produce deeper insights about the card and its meaning that the guidebook does not delve into.

Trust—that is, trusting our own wisdom and understanding—goes a long way toward improving our ability to obtain meaning and significance from a reading. As with most things, time, commitment, patience, and continued practice will help you to strengthen your connection to your intuition.

On Inspiration and Creativity (We Are Receivers)

Photo & painting by Victoria Constantino

When it comes to creativity, showing up is crucial. The simple act of being present at the page (blank or not)—or the canvas or stage, or whatever the medium may be—is a catalyst that incites the momentum of creation. Trust is important, and allowing is key. This means trusting ourselves to mould and shape the clay of raw materials, and allowing ourselves to have fun in the process. It also means allowing ourselves the time to play and explore.

Just showing up, in and of itself, is work. It’s part of the process.

When we do the work of showing up, creativity shows up for us. Put in another way, we allow creative inspiration and ideas to come to us when we set the intention, and set the stage, for them. Opening a blank page or setting a new canvas on the easel is an open invitation to creativity. It is an act of intention that says, “Here I am, I’m ready. Let me be a vessel for what wants to come through.” When we consider that we are a physical manifestation of source energy, and that we each have a source that is flowing well-being to us at all times, as Abraham-Hicks teaches, then when we get into the receiving mode, or the energy of allowing, we open the valve for creative inspiration and the beautiful manifestation of ideas to flow to us.

It’s helpful to release any expectations about the outcome, and certainly any anxieties. We honor the creative process when we just let it flow where it wants to flow. We can always rewrite or paint over or rework the creation in question to our heart’s content. When it comes to something like writing music, for example, we allow the song to be the best it can be when we let it flow naturally without forcing it. If the next chord sounds like it should be A but we had in mind to make it B, we can block or stifle the process by forcing it to be what it isn’t or steering it in a direction that is counter to where it would naturally flow. It’s about honoring the path of least resistance.

When we trust the creative piece itself, the process—and, it must be said, ourselves—to receive what is there for the receiving, that’s where the magic happens. We are receivers. When we tune in, when we show up, it’s like tuning the radio to a certain station so it can receive the music that is floating across the airwaves. How many times have you had an idea, but abandoned it or didn’t move forward with it at all, only to see that same idea crop up elsewhere, brought to life by the hand of some other artist? This ties into the concept of the collective consciousness. When we tune into creativity, we are allowing ourselves to be receivers for what is out there in the ethers, just waiting to find a vessel to manifest them. Ideas—songs, stories, and works of art in whatever form they may take—have a life of their own.

The thing about ideas, though, is that they’re not always convenient. Some of the best ideas can arrive at the most inopportune times. We may be in the receiving mode when we’re driving, but that doesn’t exactly make it an ideal time to record those ideas. But we have a duty to them, to honor them by being prepared or carrying them in our minds until we can write them down, sketch them, or what-have-you. Preparedness is helpful. Carrying a recording device (this could be your phone, via a recording app) or a small notebook and writing instrument can help ensure our ideas are not lost. When we honor our ideas—or you could say, the ideas we receive—we can bring forth some truly noteworthy creations.

April: The Month According to Tarot

Soul Cards Tarot by Kristine Fredheim
Image by Victoria Constantino

April is a magical month, ushering in positive new changes and energetic freedom. Rapid manifestations are imminent, and we best serve our highest good by keeping our thoughts positive and believing in ourselves and our greatest potential. We are guided to be confident, to know ourselves as the powerful creators that we are. The strong message this month is to stay positively focused on our goals and embrace the changes that are coming. The presence of The Magician and The Fool bring a crystal-clear message: Now is a powerful time of creating a new life and manifesting something truly magnificent. The new season has ushered in a brand new cycle. Positive change is truly in the air; can you feel it?

Q1: What is the overall theme of April? The Magician

You are the creator of your life, the weaver of your fate, the master of your own destiny. You hold the power to create the life you desire through your focus and attention. This month, we are working on manifesting in bigger, more expanded ways than we have before, and the energies are supporting us in our work as manifestations become more rapid. We get to experience the thrill of creation. Like an artist bringing a scene to life with a paintbrush, using the vast array of colors at their disposal, we weave, create, and build through where we choose to focus. We are guided to choose our thoughts carefully and become ever more mindful of how we see ourselves, what we are visualizing, what we choose to believe for ourselves, and our expectations. When we find our thoughts don’t line up with where we want to be, we have the opportunity to shift them in that moment. Every moment is a new opportunity; every moment holds vast potential.

Q2: Week 1: Seven of Cups

Sometimes a card of illusion and truth, the Seven of Cups can guide us to practice discernment—something we should always do—but this month especially, working in concert with The Magician, the Seven of Cups brings an even stronger message to pay attention to our thoughts and guide them so they align with our goals. This can take practice, but once we’ve made the decision to be mindful, we can catch ourselves when our thinking doesn’t align with our hopes and dreams, and then choose to focus instead on more positive aspects. With consistent practice, we begin to see results. Seeing our world in a positive light becomes easier and more natural the more we raise our vibration. Doing things that bring us happiness this week will help us to be in a place of receiving and lend us an easy ability to focus, when we choose to do so, in a place of positive expectation. This is also a card of visualization and believing in our dreams. This week, spending consistent time in visualization, perhaps a little each day, will prove especially rewarding.

Q3: Week 2: The Chariot

If we’ve been putting in the work that The Magician and the Seven of Cups have guided us to do, this week may find us moving quickly and needing to keep our focus on our goals to ensure we reach our destination, making changes as needed so we stay on track. The Chariot represents a fast-moving energy that can bring rapid changes and possibly even conflict that is beneficial for us to address early on so it doesn’t careen out of control unchecked. The conflict can be in relationships or within ourselves. We may be working to resolve internal struggles. This brings to mind the story of the two wolves; the wolf we feed—whether it represents positivity or negativity—is the one that will thrive and become dominant.

Q4: Week 3: The Eight of Swords

We may be trapped in a prison of our own making or we could be bound by forces outside of our control. Regardless of the situation, the one thing we can always control is our own minds. We may need to bring our focus back around to the positive so we can let go of whatever is occurring in the world around us and focus instead on the garden within. The garden is something we can create within our minds. Do we allow weeds to take over or do we pull them? This is a week to do inner work, as we face, heal, and clear what does not serve us (the weeds). When we weed the garden, we make room for the roses and the beautiful, thriving colors that illuminate our inner landscape. No matter what is going on outside, when we hold the light within, it will light up our entire lives. Our own light can break the strongest of bonds and free us from what may seem like the most impossible situations.

Q5: Week 4: Four of Cups

Something is being offered to us, but if our eyes are closed or we are otherwise turned away from possibilities that don’t fit the container we expect them to arrive in, we may be missing something of tremendous benefit. This week, we may need to take the blinders off so we can see with clarity. The Magician’s influence over this month reminds us that we create our own realities, and that we are always creating, moment by moment, with our every thought and vibration. The Four of Cups can indicate that we are bored, stagnant, uninspired, or not being challenged in the ways we wish to be. Sometimes doing something new or changing the scenery can offer fresh perspective. Where fours are numbers of stability and cups resonate with the realm of emotions, this card can also indicate emotional stability. We may be finding it, or grounding in it, seeking a stable place after a time of imbalance. We are guided to tap into inspiration and emotional harmony, and to find the joy within.

Q6: Guidance from the Universe for April: The Fool

Embrace fresh starts, welcome change, and frolic in the joy of new possibility. The world is vast and exciting, and holds much in store for those who are open to its treasures. The Universe is asking us to open our arms and our hearts wide to our own potential and to throw out the old blueprints; they are vestiges of a former life and have no grounding in our current reality. It’s time to toss away old ideas and limitations and embrace the freedom that is ours for the receiving. Forget everything you thought you knew—these are unprecedented times. Allow yourself to dream big and believe in your dreams with the open-hearted, pure belief of a child. Let yourself dream up the best reality you can imagine, for yourself and the collective. The world is magical and full of wonder; it only ceases to be so when we stop believing in the wondrous, limitless possibilities that are available to us all.

Tarot: The Journey Within

Decks: Soul Cards Tarot & Blue Bird Lenormand
Image by Victoria Constantino

Tarot is a reflection of ourselves. When we hold a deck, a sort of energetic transference takes place. It is a connection that takes place all day, every day, and it is as natural as breathing. Anytime we hold something, we are connecting with its energy. It may not be a conscious connection, but it happens nonetheless. When we consider that everything is energy, this isn’t so surprising. Those who are sensitive to energy can connect with objects in this way and obtain any information they may hold.

Anyone who has worked with energy tools, like pendulums and tarot, for any significant period of time will tell you that you can get a skewed or false reading if your energy is off, or not aligned. If you are upset or impatient or having a bad day, for example, or if your thoughts are scattered or you are experiencing anxiety, the cards will reflect this. That is why it is so important to breathe deeply or otherwise connect in to a place of peace before entering a reading, whether you are receiving it or performing it, for yourself or another. Many practitioners develop their own rituals around this, and often, those may include prayer or calling on higher guidance or allies for a message. It can simply involve calling on the highest truth and light to assist with the reading. This is a way of ensuring the truth and accuracy of the cards and interpretation, and that it comes from a place of light to bring clarity and wisdom to the querent.

The way we approach a reading is also connected to the expectations we have for it. If we enter a reading with doubt that it will be of any value, then the cards will reflect that. However, if we enter the reading in a place of trust or positive expectation, expecting clarity to come from it, then that is what the cards will deliver. In precisely the way that the cards reflect our energy, they are also a powerful reflective tool that allows us to peer within. Of course, we can ask the cards anything, which opens up infinite possibilities of exploration for us. If we are examining what we need to release that we may not be aware of, or anything that may be coming up for clearing and healing, or even how best to go about doing the work of healing, the cards can be a valuable tool that allows us infinite insight into our interior landscape.

When we are attuned to our intuition, we can gain exponentially greater value from a reading. In this ideal interpretive space, we can go far, far beyond what the guidebook says to find the meaning and interpretation that is meant especially for us and our specific situation and experience. Certain symbols on the cards may catch our eye, for example; those can hold meanings that we can interpret in ways that are particular to us and, in this way, provide us with unique value. Trusting our instincts when it comes to the interpretation is key, as it opens us up to a greater flow of information. As soon as we doubt, we put up blocks to anything that might want to come through. Overall, tarot provides a medium through which we can tap into deeper and deeper layers of healing, awareness, and understanding that bring us further in our journey into the interior.