How Do I Love Thee?

May 19, 2012 § 5 Comments

What’s that you say? You desperately want me to post another activity from The Tarot Playbook? Well, okay, I suppose if you really want me to…

This one goes out to all the court cards in the house and it’s called:


Roses are red, violets are blue,
I’m not a poet, that much is true.
But if you’ll allow me, I’ll make you a ditty,
Pass the thesaurus, you look very pretty –
And lovely and bonny and goodly and bright,
And stately and gracious, you’re such a nice sight.
Your eyes flash with passion, your hair’s golden fronds,
You look like a princess, you’re my Queen of Pentacles…

1. Pick one court card at random. If you fancy a challenge, try the one you feel least attracted to.

2. Gaze at the court as though they are an angel descended from heaven. (If you happen to have one of those angel-themed decks, all the better.) Look at the court as if you’re seeing them for the first time. Imagine they’re the most beautiful creature you have ever seen. Let yourself be swept away by their loveliness. Continue to be swept away until you feel the urge to write a poem about them.

3. Now, jot down what you consider to be the four most wonderful things about the object of your affection – be it their noble countenance, their statuesque posture, their sparkling eyes or their stylish shoes. If you’re struggling to find anything wonderful, just jot down the four things that you hate the least.

4. For each of those four things, write down a few adjectives that best describe their deliciousness. So, for example, you might decide the Knight of Swords’ armor is hard, glistening, smooth, and well–oiled. Or you might think that the Queen of Pentacles has ripe, juicy, fleshy knees.

5. To have any hope of winning your heart’s desire’s heart, you must turn your list of random words into a lyrical masterpiece – a poem at once tender and passionate, one that will make them covet you instantly. You should spend at least four months crafting the perfect ode.

6. When you have finished your poem, read it to your beloved. Hopefully, by the time you reach the end, they will feel the same about you, but don’t feel too bad if they don’t. As the saying goes, there are plenty more courts in the deck..

Scans of the Dark Fairytale Tarot, Part 2

May 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

As promised, here are some scans of what I personally consider to be the “not-so-nice” cards from the Dark Fairytale Tarot – or, in the case of the 10 of Wands below, “nice-but-what-does-that-have-to-do-with-anything”. (Plus a scan of the card back, which I like, but I thought you might like to see it.)

For some nicer cards, see this post.

Let me know what you think…


May 5, 2012 § 2 Comments

Okay, here’s another little taster of what’s in The Tarot Playbook: 78 Novel Ways to Connect with Your Cards. I chose this activity completely at random or, should I say, my deck did: I shuffled and drew the Tower which, when looked up in the handy card index at the back, pointed me to this. It’s called:


Tarot is a symbolic language. A bird is never simply a bird. A stone is never simply a stone. No Tarotist would ever dare call a spade a spade (as it’s clearly a sword). Hermetic occultists have spent lifetimes coding and decoding this most sacred and esoteric of alphabets. Fortunately for you, this piece of encryption should take less than an hour…

1. You will need something to write on and something to write with. The “on” should be crisp and white, and the “with” should be sharpened to an atom–sized point.

2. List the card names down the left–hand–side of the paper. Though this be a menial task, do not let your mind wander or you’ll miss one out and have to start all over again.

3. Place all the cards in a face-down pile. It doesn’t matter what order they’re in, although the order in which the artist painted them would be ideal.

4. Turn the top card over. Study it for a symbol or detail that you believe is unique to that card. Look for something distinctive and easy to recall. It also helps if it’s something quite central to the image – an arched window is good, a broken toenail is not.

5. When you’ve chosen, make a simplified drawing of that object next to the card’s name in the list. Imagine you are creating a hieroglyph – it should be a true copy of the original item but it should also possess a certain economy of style, making it easy to replicate. For example, if you’ve chosen a feather, you might draw one long curved line dissected by several shorter lines (this could also be used to represent a kebab).

6. Do the same for every card in the deck.

7. When you’ve finished, store your list of codes in a safe place. It is your personal Rosetta Stone. use these codes any time you wish to journal a reading that is particularly personal (or to thwart your nosy little sister). or, for even more fun and giggles, share your code with a close friend and use it whenever you do readings for each other.

This blog post was a sponsored broadcast by The Tarot Playbook: 78 Novel Ways to Connect with Your Cards. Available in all good bookstores and some bad ones.

Scans of the Dark Fairytale Tarot, Part 1

May 2, 2012 § 9 Comments

So I’ve got my hands on a copy of the Dark Fairytale Tarot, which should be in stock at Tarot Chest in a couple of weeks. I’ve been looking forward to this deck – from the (very) few images I’d seen I hoped it might be eerily enchanting. But when I opened it, to be honest, I was disappointed. In fact, my exact tweet was:

“Shiny fronts matt backs, digital photo-realistic montage, overblown special effects, beautiful young women looking pensive in various poses.”

However….I have been giving it another look and am starting to appreciate it more. I think the main problem was the huge difference between my expectations of what it was and the reality of what it actually is. But, in fairness, what it actually is isn’t all that bad.

For example, here are the scans I’ve just uploaded to the store. I chose cards that I thought looked nice but also tried to choose ones that are representative of the deck as a whole and that also WORK as tarot cards (very important that).



I’ve noticed also that the cards look nicer when I’m not looking at them too closely and when there’s lots of them together, as there would be in a spread. So perhaps all is not lost.

Next, I’ll post some scans of what I consider to be the not-so-nice cards. But, tell me, what do you think of it so far??


P.S. I think my scanner needs dusting…

Something Foolish for April Fool’s Day

April 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

The Tarot Playbook is out this month (hurray!) so to celebrate April Fool’s Day I thought I’d give you a peek at the very first of the 78 Novel Ways to Connect with Your Cards. This one’s called:


Making a commitment to spend 78 days, weeks, or any length of time with a deck you’ve only just met is surely one of the most foolish things you can do. What if you don’t get on? What if, after just one study session together, you realize you’ve made a terrible, terrible mistake? Your only choice is to suffer or fail. That’s why this book exists. The only thing that is required of you and your cards is an open heart and a willingness to act like a fool…

1. This ceremony can be performed at any time of year, though Springtime is best.

2. Before you begin, some preparations must be made. Dress in whatever makes you feel most attractive. Wrap your cards in a white silk cloth or large white handkerchief. Light a candle.

3. Place your cards on a high surface, such as a table or a kitchen worktop. Lightly rest your left hand on top of your cards.

4. Now, say these words:

I do solemnly declare, that I know of no good reason why I (say your name), should not frolic with wild abandon with you (say your deck’s name), from this day forward for as long as either of us cares to – forsaking no others, and with no strings attached, for no other purpose than to enjoy each other’s company and have a good time.

5. Unwrap your deck and allow it time to say the same to you (telepathically, of course).

6. Now cradle the cards in your hands and blow out the candle. The ceremony is complete. You and your deck have taken the first step towards present happiness. Celebrate by asking a random passer–by to take a photograph of the two of you together.

Intrigued? Stay tuned for more sneak peeks throughout April.

Tomato Soup

March 30, 2012 § 4 Comments

I really like tomato soup.

A couple of years ago, I went through a phase of having tomato soup for breakfast. Every morning. And then after a while I stopped. I think I might have moved onto something more orthodox, like mushroom pate on toast. But I still like tomato soup and I still have it every now and then for lunch, with a nice bit of bread and butter.

The thing is I’ve never felt a failure at eating tomato soup. I’ve never thought I should give up trying to eat tomato soup and stick to something more acceptable, like sandwiches. I’ve never felt that people were watching me, waiting for me to consume my next bowl of soup, making secret judgements about my abilities as a soup eater. I’ve never compared myself to others who eat tomato soup and found myself lacking.

Food for thought, don’t you think. 😉

Gypsy Caravan

March 28, 2012 § 5 Comments

When I am rich, I am definitely getting one of these (and the garden to keep it in):

Every tarot reader should have one, don’t you think?

Hey, here’s an idea. If everyone reading this sends me £1000, I could buy one and then you can come and visit it whenever you like. Whaddya say?

Search Inside

February 5, 2012 § 2 Comments

Did I mention I have a book coming out in April? Hmm…must have slipped my mind.

Anyway, Schiffer have got it on their website (you may also find it on some other websites that sell books) and now they’ve uploaded scans of three pages so you can see what its insides look like. Please note, these scans are not to scale!

What’s with the cakes, I hear you ask? Well, it’s simple. Selling books nowadays is so difficult. There’s just too much competition. So I decided I would offer something a little extra with my book to sweeten the deal. That’s right, if you buy my book you will also get – at no extra cost – a picture of cakes. I know, right?

P.S. Almost forgot! The book is called “The Tarot Playbook: 78 Novel Ways to Connect With Your Cards”

P.P.S. Here’s a picture of the cover. Due to a last minute coup, this probably isn’t the cover that will be on the final book. But I don’t have a picture of the new cover so this will have to do.

Imagine this, but with a lizard.


January 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

Decks for lovers, owners, and servants of cats.

Cats! That’s what popped into my head today. Why are there so many cat-themed tarot decks? It’s one of life’s great mysteries. At Tarot Chest there are five. (Brainiacs among you will have noticed that clicking that link yields eight decks in the search results. Just because a deck’s got cats in it, doesn’t mean it’s cat-themed. Halloween Tarot, I’m looking at you.)

This got me thinking about other animal-themed tarots. It didn’t get me thinking for very long though, as I could only think of two: the Ferret Tarot and Parrot Tarot (and I’m pretty sure that second one doesn’t actually have anything to do with parrots).

Given the infinite variety of fauna on our little planet, surely there should be more animal-themed decks. Why no Giraffe Tarot? Or a Tarot of the Duck-Billed Platypi? Wherefore art thou, Chicken Tarot? (I’d like an Orangutan Tarot please, if any orangutan-painting artist is listening. I’ll write the LWB…)

That’s said, I’m sure there are many more animal tarot decks than I know about. How many can you name? I’m off now to Google it.


October 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’m quite excited about Halloween this year. It’s not usually a big thing for us but we’ve moved to a new house and our little girl is old enough now to join in, so we’re going to dress up and carve pumpkins and do the whole Halloween thang. Our house has an unusually high number of spiders in residence anyway (big ones!), so we won’t have to decorate much…

I’ve also been thinking about doing a special Halloween reading. Obviously, this year I’m committed to the Haindl, but I don’t see why I can’t have a little fun with it. I’m thinking about trying out this spread that I came up with a long time ago but never got round to using.

What about you? Do you have any Halloween tarot rituals? What’s your favourite deck or spread to use at Halloween?

(Click the Ace of Pumpkins to see a range of fun and friendly decks for Halloween, all with 10% off!)

Ace of Pumpkins from the Halloween Tarot

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