A Past Life Tarot Spread

I’m working on putting together a fun and informative Tarot spread to present to our students when we present our Past Lives workshop this weekend. I’ve been reviewing past life spreads I’ve used in the past and “mixing and matching” different elements into a new spread. Here’s what I’ve come up with:

11 Cards, laid out in the following way:

Card 9………………………………………………………………………………………Card 11
Card 8………………………………………………………………………………………Card 10
…………………………………………….Card 7…………………………………………………..
…………………………………………….Card 6…………………………………………………..
…………………………………………….Card 5…………………………………………………..
…………………………………………….Card 4…………………………………………………..
…………………………………………….Card 3…………………………………………………..
Card 1………………………………………………………………………………………..Card 2

Card 1: Basic Soul Nature (yours or the querent’s)
Card 2: Present Life Issue
Card 3: Past Life Influence/Issue
Card 4: Environment/Early Life Influences in Past Life
Card 5: Accomplishments in Past Life
Card 6: Past Life Relationships
Card 7: Past Life Death/End of Life
Card 8: Lesson the Soul Wants to Learn
Card 9: How the Past Life Affects This Lifetime
Card 10: What is Needed to Learn This Lesson?
Card 11: What to Anticipate When/If the Lesson is Learned

I like this combination of information because it allows a reader or querent to see influences from a past life that affect his current life, but it also gives him a glimpse of his actual life circumstances in that past lifetime. Using intuition when looking at the pictures on the cards themselves can shed some additional light on the details of an incarnation.

When I did this modified spread for myself using the Rider-Waite deck, the following cards came up. My interpretations are in italics:

Card 1: Basic Soul Nature: Page of Pentacles.  A contemplative child who worries about security. A gazer/scryer who contemplates the mysteries of life. A slow, methodical person.

Card 2: Present Life Issue: 10 of Swords.  Debilitating worry. Negative thoughts that adversely affect progress of any nature.

Card 3: Past Life Influence/ Issue: 2 of Pentacles.  Juggling two rival energies. How to act in a tempest/storm. Excess energy not necessarily put to good use. Issues of balance and equilibrium.

Card 4: Environment/ Early Life in Past Life: Major Arcana The High Priestess.  A feminine energy with esoteric knowledge. The Goddess. Connections to mystical society with high expectations. Knowledge and feminine power.

Card 5: Accomplishments in Past Life: Major Arcana Death.  A major change. Death of old knowledge for something new. Movement away from one lifestyle to another. Re-birth.

Card 6: Past Life Relationships: 8 of Swords.  Restriction. Inability to stand up for self or to ask for help. A negative, abusive relationship or circumstance. Security that comes with too may restrictions or rules.

Card 7: Past Life Death/End of Life: 2 of Cups.  A good friendship or love connection based on respect, sharing, compassion. Reconciliation of a higher nature.

Card 8: Lesson the Soul Wants to Learn: Queen of Pentacles.  Self-sufficient woman of means and resources. The ability to rely on self or one’s own resources.

Card 9: How Past Life Affects You Now: Major Arcana The Fool.  No fear of the journey ahead. A need to trust in the Higher Power. The possibility of recklessness.

Card 10: What is Needed to Learn This Lesson? Major Arcana Temperance.  A peaceful attitude. The balance of the mundane and spiritual. Equilibrium in all aspects. Standing in two worlds. Angelic interventions.

Card 11: What to Anticipate When Lesson is Learned: 4 of Cups.  Choice coming from quiet contemplation. Offers from Spirit.

This reading makes a lot of sense to me. It seems to indicate that in a past life, I was raised in a mystical, esoteric community, probably one that was Goddess-based or matriarchal (The High Priestess). This resonates with me on a soul level; I know I’ve lived several lifetimes in societies like these. In this particular lifetime, however, I must’ve become upset or disillusioned with this lifetime and left it (Death), most likely to pursue a relationship outside of the society. That relationship was not all it seemed (8 of Swords) and left me feeling restricted and unhappy. At least at the end of my life, I was able to find a different relationship that worked on many levels (2 of Cups). My lesson in that lifetime, however, was all about balance and equilibrium, especially concerning the mundane and the spiritual (2 of Pentacles). In this lifetime, I am trying to learn how to keep negative thoughts from impeding my spiritual progression (10 of Pentacles). This resonates with my soul nature (Page of Pentacles), which is contemplative and interested in investigating the mysteries of the Universe. This past life is influencing me still; my soul understands the need to trust in the Higher Power and to have no fear of the path ahead (The Fool), but it is still working on these trust issues. To learn this lesson, I need peace and balance (Temperance). My work in between the worlds as a medium and with the angels can help me to learn this lesson. When I have learned it, I can look forward to more choices and contemplation of further soul lessons (4 of Cups).

Yes, that sounds good to me!

If you’re interested, give this Tarot reading a go, and let me know what you get in the comments below.

Blessings to you on this lovely Tuesday!

The Radio Ambush

A week or so ago, I was a guest on an internet radio show. I do a lot of these since I’ve published my books, and, for the most part, I really enjoy them. I get to talk with some very interesting, smart, fun people about topics I love: mediumship, ghosts, Tarot, magick, Spiritualism, writing, the creative process, and many others. Whenever I get a request to do one of these shows, I try my best to fit it into my schedule. It’s another way to connect with more people and to spread the message that my books promote. I consider it an honor to be asked to appear, and I am grateful for the opportunity.

Most of these radio shows are done on stations that cater to a metaphysical audience. This latest one was no exception. When the host contacted me, I checked out the webpage and thought the show’s audience would be right up my alley. They’d featured interviews with other mediums, psychics, and ghost hunters. Via email, the host and I arranged a night that would work for both of us for my appearance. That correspondence took place over 3 months before my spot. In the meantime, I tried to send him copies of my books (which didn’t work out), but we didn’t really have any other contact.

The day of my appearance (which was scheduled for that evening), I received a surprising email from the host. He explained that he had a co-host on the show who was a conservative Christian and might have some questions for me about my mediumship work. I got the distinct impression from this that there might be a confrontation about religion on the docket.

Honestly, I didn’t know how to respond. The terrified, non-confrontational part of me wanted to immediately back out. I don’t enjoy fighting about anything, let alone feeling as if I have to defend my spiritual beliefs. I even wrote an entire chapter in my latest book, Ask A Medium, about a similar topic. I wrote that chapter for all of the clients and students who tell me how much they hate trying to defend themselves against radical religious types who berate them and try to scare them out of their spiritual views. I don’t like this any more than the next guy, but over the years, I’ve learned some strategies to at least feel more sure and steady when embroiled in this kind of debate. But having to do this on the radio was not my idea of a fun time.

The responsible part of me chided myself for wanting to cancel my appearance. Having hosted my own radio show, I didn’t want to leave anyone in the lurch if I backed out at the last minute. My reasonable side posited that I had not been treated fairly and told up front that this show might turn into a religious debate, and if I didn’t want to do that, I shouldn’t harbor any qualms about saying, “Forget it.” The self-righteous part of me swelled up, too, saying that I shouldn’t be driven away from an opportunity to talk about my beliefs because I was scared I would offend someone with more strident and stringent views. I should be allowed to speak my piece; after all, wasn’t that why I was invited to participate in the first place?

In the end, I dashed off an email to the host, saying that I was not very happy about the prospect of debating religion on the air, but I would do my best.

Well, I did my best–and then some, perhaps.

Look, here’s the thing: if you’re a Christian, and even if you’re not, don’t fling Bible quotes at me. Truth be told, I like the Bible, and there are some wonderful, inspirational words of great wisdom in there. There is also some stuff that is a product of its time and the many, many interpretations and translations the writings have gone through over the centuries. Using the Bible to back up your case is like building a Three Pigs house out of sticks: it won’t withstand the wind from the Wolf. The Bible can be used to support ANY argument that you want to make. Think it’s OK to kill someone? There’s certainly a lot of havoc-wreaking vengeance in the Old Testament, often initiated by Yahweh Himself. Want to sell your daughter into slavery? Go ahead–the Bible says you can! Considering consulting a medium to talk to the dead? The Old Testament says you shouldn’t, and that God will hate you if you do–but isn’t it funny that God didn’t seem to hate Jesus when he had his pow wow with Moses and Elijah on the mountain as his disciples watched? Do you see what I’m driving at here? Evangelical Christians use the Bible as the literal Word of God, but many, like the co-host of this radio show, use it to support their way of thinking while ignoring some of the other parts that don’t suit their parameters.

So, in this radio discussion, I was lambasted with Bible quotes and had my integrity as a medium called into question. How did I know I was talking to good spirits when there are lots of righteous Christians tricked by the devil? Didn’t I know it was wrong to speak to spirits? Didn’t I worry about the health of my soul?

Well, quite frankly: give me a flipping break.

I believe in intention. And I believe in a loving, nurturing God. If you set your intention to always remain in that Divine Energy that is God, then you are not going to touch in with anything in your mediumship work that is evil or negative. Why? Because God’s energy is in EVERY energy. If you set your intention to connect with the Divine Spark of God that resides within every energy, then you will be able to connect with loving, high vibration energies of loved ones who have passed as well as guides, teachers, and angels. Yes, I am aware of the warnings in the Bible that the devil can disguise himself as an angel. But why would a loving God allow this to happen? If you set your intention to connect first with God, then God is not going to allow anything negative to happen to you. Period. Nothing can harm you. You will find your peace, and you will do your work–any work–in that loving light of Creator. End of story.

So what happened in the interview? I tried to be patient, and I tried to answer the questions in a mild tone of voice and explain my position as lovingly as I could. I even threw a few Bible quotes of my own in there to prove my point about being able to use the Bible to support any position. (Another reason not to quote the Bible to me: I can quote it right back to you, mister.) But ultimately, I said, “Look. You are not going to convince me that I’m wrong, and I’m not going to convince you that you’re wrong. You have your faith, and I have mine. All we’re doing in arguing is perpetuating a negative energy cycle because we’ll wind up mad at each other. Why do that?” Eventually, the co-host relented, and the first host went on with questions about mediumship development–questions I would much rather answer.

I am not advocating disagreements here, nor am I advocating picking a fight and trying to belittle someone else. But I am advocating standing up for your beliefs. Educate yourself. One of the best ways to do this is to read arguments against your beliefs and then to come up with intelligent answers as to why those arguments don’t hold any water. If you’re going to argue theology, know your subject. Be as smart as you can about what you do so that you can present your side in a thoughtful, organized, intelligent way. Knowledge is power.

Try not to let yourself become embroiled in a heated argument, though. I did my best in this instance to control my temper. It takes a lot to make me mad, but I was mad by the end of that segment. (And hey: Jesus got mad in the Bible, too. Remember the scene he made at the temple?) But I tried to remember that keeping a cool head was only going to make me look more reasonable, and raising my voice in anger would make me look defensive. In the end, I was proud of myself for defending my beliefs and not backing down when confronted while remaining reasonable and gracious.

I was, however, quite miffed about the whole situation. I don’t think it was very professional of these radio hosts to treat me this way. I think there’s a lesson here for me about better preparation for these shows. I’ll have to be more careful, more selective, in the future. So I do thank Spirit for this, because I know it will make me a better person in the long run.

I hope some of you will find encouragement by reading this post. Be respectful, but don’t make nice; don’t back down. Your beliefs, and your integrity, are worth more than that.

The Dixie Chicks say it pretty darn well.

May blessings abound for you.

Honors and Other Scary Things

Yesterday, I went to a reception for local authors given by the Ohioana Library and the Cincinnati Public Library. I’d received an invitation in the mail and really didn’t know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised to find such a large gathering of folks at the main branch of the public library, people who really seemed excited to welcome and honor local writers for their publishing successes. The reception consisted of introductions, a panel of sports writers talking about their work (it seems there are a bunch of Cincinnati writers penning books about the Reds!), and then a presentation of certificates to the authors themselves. During the presentation of the certificates, the hosts read a brief biography about each author, which they asked us to submit beforehand. When I’d accepted the invitation to the event, I’d dashed off my “normal” biography without a second thought and sent it in. It contains the usual information about my work as a medium ,writer, and instructor–no big changes, nothing unusual.

At least, not unusual to me. But as I sat in the audience yesterday, watching the other authors receive their certificates and listening to their biographies, I started to feel very nervous. Most of these people were professional writers with credentials as long as my arm. They taught at the university level or wrote for magazines and newspapers. Some had written countless books about heavy subjects like cancer, cardiology, the architecture of Cincinnati, or the history of the Catholic Church. Many of them had a “Doctor” in front of their names, and lots had awards out the yin-yang. And as I started sweating my background, I started to wonder how my biography would sound to all of these learned, intellectual people. What would they think of a clairvoyant medium? Would they chuckle and shake their heads over my references to Tarot reading or angels? I could just hear the snickers and the whispers as I sat there, my folded hands clutched together in an ever-tightening death grip.

Worse, what would my children think? They sat next to me, politely paying attention, well-trained from their 9 years in Episcopal school, where they sit through chapel services every week. Would they hear their mom’s biography and sink lower in their seats? Would they be embarrassed if someone in the audience laughed as I walked up to accept my certificate?

Boy, your mind can do terrible things to you, can’t it?

When my name was read out (and mispronounced, as usual), I stood and started up the aisle. It felt like I was walking in a dream, underwater, with no clothes on. I was glad I didn’t have to say anything except “thank you” to the woman handing out the certificates because I was afraid my voice wouldn’t work. When I turned to face the gathering, I spotted my husband on the side aisle, the family camera in hand. I tried to smile, but I’m sure it looked more like a grimace. I haven’t yet looked at the pictures he took; I think I’m afraid I’ll be as white as a sheet. Everything seemed amplified: the lights, brighter; the sound, magnified; my feelings of dread, intense enough to turn my stomach.

But you know what? No one laughed. At least, I didn’t see it if they did. I didn’t notice any disbelieving, shaking heads, either. And I wasn’t pelted with tomatoes. I made it back to my seat in one piece, and I sat there, staring at my certificate with the tremor in my hands melting away.

Now, why would I feel this way? Why would I assume the worst at a moment when I should be proud and happy?

It’s hard to say. Sometimes I am still afraid to speak up for my beliefs. There remains a small part of me that wants more than anything to be accepted, liked, and respected by everyone. EVERYONE. This is, I know, completely unrealistic, and yet I can’t deny that the feeling is there. I don’t like confrontation; I don’t like to have to fight for anything, because I’ve never been a good fighter. I prefer peace; I prefer compromise; I definitely prefer everyone getting along. But the world isn’t always like that, is it? Sometimes, you have to stick up for yourself. Sometimes, you have to voice an unpopular opinion because it’s the right thing to do. Sometimes, you have to realize that not everyone is going to agree with you, or, worse yet, that some people may downright not like you for what you believe, say, or do. And you have to be able to live with that.

Over the years, I know I’ve come a long way in this department. It has never been easy or comfortable for me to voice a dissenting opinion. It has been extremely difficult for me to show emotions like anger or grief because, as a child, I wasn’t allowed to have these feelings. I was expected to always be happy, sunny, and/or quiet. Only one person in my household was allowed to have feelings, and it wasn’t me. I have always been a peacemaker, a referee, the one who smoothes things over and makes it nice. I still do this; I accept that this is part of my nature, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing to embrace. And yet, I’ve learned some things about myself and the world around me. I’ve learned that I have the right to believe the things I do and to live the way I want to live, as long as I’m not hurting myself or anyone else in the process. I’ve learned it’s OK to demand respect and to have the expectation that I deserve it. I’ve learned that I’ve worked long and hard to get where I am, and in recognizing my own divinity, that I should love myself and the journey that has brought me to this place. I have learned that I can and should defend myself if I’m backed into a corner (there may be another post coming soon about this), and I should be proud of who I am, no matter what others think of me.

So, even though I’ve learned all of this, I still get nervous sometimes. Just like yesterday. And yet I was relieved and happy when things turned out well. I did belong at that reception. I worked arduously on my books, and it’s nice to receive some recognition for the work. And maybe, just maybe, someone will pick up one of the books who wouldn’t have before, because they remember seeing me there and thinking, “Well, isn’t that an interesting subject to explore?”

After the presentation, they served refreshments. As I stood in line for punch with my boys (who, after all, didn’t seem the least bit embarrassed to be seen with me), a lady approached and asked, “Are you the medium?”

“Yes,” I said with a smile.

“Can I have your card?”

I handed her one with steady hands. Will she call me? I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that I was there, and it was a good experience.

Blessings to you all this fine day.

xo

Monday Message from Merlin 3-8-10

ice-melt1

Good day! I do greet all of you beautiful souls in the midst of your Earthly journey from the realms of Spirit. My name is Merlin, and I am the Master Teacher of this beloved soul called Rose with whom I work in this lifetime. I am honored to be her mentor, and I am equally honored to be with you in this manner today as we all strive to reach our highest potential as spiritual beings.

Yes, even I, in my present form, am still learning, still growing, still expanding the depth and breadth of my knowledge of the Universe and the Great Divine Presence that permeates it all. How exciting is this for all of us, to be in such a form, to be children sitting at the feet of the Unknown, thirsting to learn and to experience All That Is? What a privilege to be here, and what a true manifestation of the love and blessings that the Divine provides for us!

I asked Rose to choose the photo above today to go with my words because of the beautiful image of the melting ice. Spring is on its way in the part of the world where Rose resides, and there is a melting of fear and isolation from the hearts of those who have felt the chill and loneliness of winter. We are on the cusp of a new day, a new season, a new beginning, and there is excitement and anticipation in the air. Do you feel it stirring within yourself? What have you been preparing for through the long, dark months of winter? Most feel compelled to withdraw, to look within, to retreat from the outer world to spend time in the inner sanctum. And this is a sacred process for those who truly wish to delve deeply into their spiritual selves. Often this process can cause fear and doubt, never easy to wrestle with in the dark recesses of the soul. And yet it is only through confronting fear and doubt that true enlightenment can be achieved. Now, as the Wheel of the Year once more turns toward Spring, the Light that returns to our lives can nurture the qualities, attributes, and situations we most want and need to grow. Embrace this loving Light! Allow it to cast your fears away and to warm your soul! Know that you are a powerful being, with loving, compassionate intentions, and that you can achieve the hopes and dreams that you have by trusting in your own divine nature. Know that you yourself are a seed, and within you in the sprout that can and will grow into a sturdy oak with the right care. You can accomplish so much if you trust yourself, trust the Universe, and trust the growth process. Allow it to be what it needs to be. Allow yourself the space to make mistakes and to change your mind, for these are the ways we learn to trust our intuition and to understand how it works in the physical world. Ask for guidance from your spirit teachers, but know that you are ultimately in charge of your forward progress. Expect good to come, and it will–perhaps not always in the form that you anticipated, but always for your highest and best spiritual fulfillment.

You are loved, beautiful souls, more than you can possibly know. If you were here in the planes of Spirit, you would feel the constant, undeniable energy of this great, consuming, powerful love. Since you are not, you must trust that it is there–no easy feat, I understand, but one that gives great comfort and great strength to those who embrace it. This starts with recognizing your own personal divinity–different from ego, which drives achievement at the cost of all else. Divinity recognizes the beauty of every living entity and strives only to resonate and vibrate at the highest energy possible–love energy! Do all that you do with love. Put love first, always, in your life, and you will never go wrong. Let love, which is the energy of Creator, permeate all that you do. When you start from this compassionate, peaceful, beneficent place, you will attract only good into your life, and you will have heaven on Earth.

Let your hearts melt at this time. Let them open, like the new buds on the trees, to soak up the Light that returns to you now. You have never been alone; the Light has always been there. But sometimes we need it to be terribly dark before we can actually see the Light, no matter how tiny it is.

I take your leave now, Earth angels, and bid you peace, love, and blessings in all you do. Until next time…

Merlin

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