Archive for 2011

Solstice Tarot Circle Game on Youtube!

Last year at this time, I created a Winter Solstice Tarot Circle Game, blending two of my favourite soul-nourishing things, circle process and tarot cards.

This year, my friend Joanna Powell Colbert took it up a notch by creating a Youtube video that explains the solstice game/process with beautiful visuals.

Please gather your loved ones, watch the short video, then sit around a candle with your cards.  You’ll know yourself and each other so much more intimately.

You can enjoy Joanna’s lovely video at  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAE-a0ytv_A

A blessed dark womb time of the year to you!

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Making Friends with XV

I was recently asked to offer some thoughts on tarot Trump XV, traditionally called the Devil, but also known in some modern decks as Bindweed, Trickster, Error, Illusion, etc.

Some of my favourite key words for the Devil card are structure, limits, and boundaries.  I believe that every card, even a “scary” one like the Devil, is neutral; it’s up to us how we live any card’s concepts.  Does structure feel like a prison sentence or is it more like enjoying time in a sandbox?  Is a limit something you require to get things done or is it an enforced shut-down?  When is a boundary a border that contributes to segregation and when is it a necessary guideline for respectful interaction?  Does reining you in stifle your creativity or does it prevent you from making a huge social gaff?

There’s a strain of thought in certain circles that “the devil is merely the divine as seen by the unwise/uninitiated”.  It’s reassuring to think that the divine has a shadow side.  Knowing this liberates us from the obsession with perfection and transcendence that pervades our culture.  It’s OK to be flawed.  And it’s OK to use that flaw as a start point to be, do, or have something better.  To recognise Trump XV as the divine in disguise encourages us to honour our demons, addictions, and unhealthy projections (remember that the Devil is an invention of certain religious sects who were unwilling to claim their own “stuff”) as red flags that something is ready to shift or evolve.

The Devil card asks each of us, “What in your life feels like a flaw or saboteur, and what container will safely hold you as you commit to the process of remembering what is divine about it?”

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Proud to be Among “2011’s Best”!

Theresa Reed, aka The Tarot Lady, writes a very good blog.  At the end of each year, she creates a “best of tarot” list with different categories.

Imagine my great delight to discover that my book, Tarot for Manifestation, is listed under Most Creative Use for Tarot on this year’s list.

It’s an honour to be mentioned alongside the other wonderful tarot practitioners and publications.  Thank you, Theresa!

You can read The Tarot Lady’s 2011 list at http://www.thetarotlady.com/best-of-tarot-2011/

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15 Tarot Tips

Brigit, of BiddyTarot, asked 15 of us who practise tarot for a living what our favourite tips are for people who want to learn how to use the cards.  The variety of responses is helpful and refreshing.  You can enjoy the contributors’ wit, wisdom, humour, and humility and learn something about reading tarot by going to







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Where “Non-Circle” and “Circle” Converge

Since spending time with Christina Baldwin, Ann Linnea, and 17 other colleagues at Lifebridge Sanctuary in the Catskills at the beginning of this month, I’ve been wondering how circle process can be planted in more settings in our culture.  One thing that comes to me is to listen to people’s stories about good conversations, gatherings, and meetings that they’ve experienced to discover the components of circle that were in place even if they didn’t realise it at the time.  Then, we can introduce components of circling to them in their language before giving them circle work language.

For example, someone might say, “My boss didn’t interrupt me.  She just let me talk for 15 minutes.  That felt good.”  In PeerSpirit circle language, this would be the practice of attentive listening.  When another person tells me, “Everyone just pitched in and did their bit.  Tom grabbed chairs, Marcy swept the floor, Amir made sure the windows were locked, and Mai washed the dishes.  Nobody needed to be told; they just saw what needed doing and did it.”  In this description, I hear the PeerSpirit principles of rotating leadership and shared responsibility.  Someone else says, “It was so helpful when the facilitator had us pass the microphone to each other.  We knew whose turn it was and we could hear them really clearly.”  This is most definitely the use of a talking piece.

What is a memorable spontaneous conversation that you’ve had?  What components do you feel made that conversation possible?  Please share with us and help us to find circle in the world.

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How Might We Create Personal Change?

Friend and colleague Andrew McGregor interviewed me in his series about why some people change, some stay stuck, and how we can create change in our lives.  While there’s something of a tarot focus, anyone can get something out of our conversation which you can listen to at



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Please Pass the Candle

On Friday, my friend Sharlene hosted a birthday party for herself.  Some of us knew one another and several of us were new to one another.  Of course, an excellent pot-luck meal began the process of getting to know one another.  After the meatballs, penne, chicken curry, and salads, something deepened the connection.

Kim and Jerry had taken a lovely beeswax candle as a birthday gift.  Kim asked the group, which was already circular in shape, to receive the candle one at a time and offer appreciation and good wishes for Sharlene.  The chit-chat slowed down and we became more focused as each person took a turn holding the long piece of fragrant beeswax, spoke words of appreciation about their relatedness with Sharlene, then offered specific blessings for her for the coming year.  The stories and wishes told us a lot, not only about the one being honoured, but also about each other.  To be in this spontaneous council was to witness the core of each guest.  Then the guitars came out and we sang and enjoyed music.

Imagine having the courage and creativity to call such spontaneous conversation circles more often.  What if folks concerned about local food stood in a supermarket using a baguette as a talking piece to respond to, “How might we engage this store in conversation with their local farmers?”  What if the cleaning person said to the room full of executives, “What can we do to ensure safe and green products are used by this company?”  What if a five-year-old girl delivered an autumn leaf to her parents and asked, “When will stop yelling so you can hear each other?”  What if the first 15 minutes of a holiday dinner became an opportunity to respond to, “In what way are you a gift to the world?”

Who knew that such musings would be called forth from a birthday party!  What spontaneous circles of conversation and listening have you been in?  What spontaneous circle of conversation can you see yourself calling next?

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