One of my favorite aspects of the secular celebrations of this time of year is the opportunity for costuming. Even people who are normally very conservative in their dress unleash their creativity, humor and fantasies as bankers become clowns, teachers become cowboys and doctors become their favorite cartoon characters.
In a society that places great value on fashion and appearance it can be very healing to have an opportunity to present yourself in a way that is outside of your norm. Some costumes are simply fun, funny or ironic. Others reveal something about the true identity of the wearer.
The tradition of wearing costumes on Halloween comes from the concept of the Thinning of the Veil. During this season it is said that those in the spirit world have greater access to the world of the living. People would dress in ghoulish costumes either to make the spirits feel more comfortable or to hide from spirits coming to seek revenge.
Somehow there is an inherent connection between tarot and costuming. Many modern tarot artists such as Ciro Marchetti and Paulina Cassidy dress their characters in masks and costumes. Many tarotists use the card characters as inspiration for tarot-themed costumes. A tarot conference wouldn’t be complete without a tarot costume ball. Many costume party hosts hire tarot readers as entertainers.
On a deeper level, working with tarot helps to reveal our true identity. Tarot helps us understand who we really are beneath the masks we wear every day.
Sometimes we use the word “masquerade” to describe a false scenario, that is, something that appears true but isn’t. Tarot helps us separate what is real from what is false.
Reading the Authentic Self
What’s under that mask?
That’s something we wonder at costume parties. It’s also something we wonder about ourselves, and about the people we know. Most of us have to hide parts of our authentic selves. Sometimes we even hide our genuine feelings from ourselves!
Tarot is a great tool to help us find our own authenticity, and to reveal the authenticity of others.
Here are some questions you can ask to help reveal the authentic self. Simply ask the question and pull a card, or a few cards, to get your answer.
Questions for Self
Who am I?
What is my true motivation?
How do I really feel about…?
Why do I feel this way?
What is in my best interest?
What is at the core of my being?
Questions for Others
Who is this person really?
What is this person’s primary motivation?
Why does this person act this way?
What is really going on in this person’s life?
What is true about this person?
What is this person feeling?
It is important to bear something in mind when we do these kinds of deep readings, especially about other people. Our intentions must be for the highest good of all concerned. When we read about the lives of others we must hold what we know in confidence, and we must use the information we derive only to heal and to help, and to protect ourselves.
The Week in Review
This week on ourTarot Topics Community BlogJoanne Matthew shared another seasonal poem. Read"Little Sprite", and make sure you tune in to Christiana’s Psychic Café this Sunday to hear Joanne share some poetry and tarot spreads.
My contribution to the Community Blog this week is a short article about how tarot changes over time. Read "Tarot Evolution."
During my travels this week I discovered a new restaurant! Read my review of Casa Tequila in Wellington, FL on my Dark Forest blog.
For all my creative friends who suffer from writers’ block or lack of inspiration, here is a poem from Morgan Drake Eckstein called “Send me a Muse.”
Barbara Graver reviewed a great book by Sonia Choquette called “Tune In: Let Your Intuition Guide you to Fulfillment and Flow.” See what Barbara thought of the book on her New Age Review.
What Does Your Costume Say About You?
I often have the opportunity to work as a tarot reader at Halloween costume parties. It’s so much fun to offer readings to adults in costume. Sometimes I find costume choices will figure very strongly in the reading, other times less so.
Is there a clear way to divine personality traits from costume choices? I’m not sure, but I have noticed a few things.
People who choose costumes based on their own appearance, such as a redhead dressing as Lois Griffin, tend to be self-aware and tend to seek out commonality with others.
People sometimes choose costumes that are the opposite of what they are in real life. A serious person may dress as a clown, for instance.
Group costume choices, where friends or couples dress in a similar theme, such as the Mad Hatter and Alice, reveal the importance of relationships. Sometimes the group costume choices say something about the dynamic of the relationship as well. For instance a couple dressed as Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee may often battle with each other.
Costumes often reveal a person’s creativity and their true sense of self. What fashion would you wear if social acceptance weren’t an issue?
What's Up at the Psychic Café?
I was so happy to have Tarot Dactyl join me for an hour of “tag team” psychic readings this past Sunday. It was a real pleasure to have her on the show. The calls came in so fast we didn’t have time for much of an interview, but it was clear to see that Tarot Dactyl is a truly compassionate and accurate reader.
On November 3 at 9 pm Eastern please tune in for our Samhain Spectacular on the Psychic Café. We will have a panel of experts sharing stories, songs, poems, tarot spreads and thoughts about this special holiday. Our panel includes Alexian, Joanne Matthew, Amanda Lee, Helene Martz and Kim Wilborn.
Major Arcana Four, the Emperor, is related to Aries and the element of Fire. In numerology, four is the number of stability.
The Emperor is the leader and ruler of his community. He is the responsible father who has earned the respect of those around him. His nature as a “four” is to be dependable, reasonable and stable.
If you notice the Emperor’s feet in the traditional Waite image you will see they are armored. As a fiery Aries, the Emperor has the power and will to declare war if the need arises. His seated stance suggests he would rather use diplomacy, but he will do what it takes to protect his family and his community.
Often in a reading the Emperor will describe a situation or person as stable and reliable. Sometimes the Emperor can suggest the need to take a leadership position. Sometimes, however, the Emperor might describe a person who is overbearing or who hungers for control.
The Emperor may refer to a person’s father, and may even appear in a reading to show the presence of a person’s father in spirit.
The Emperor is a positive sign for business dealings and professional recognition. The Emperor reminds us to fulfill our responsibilities, but also to stand up for ourselves when the need arises.
Next week we will discuss another kind of community leader when we meet Major Arcana 5, the Hierophant.
October Global Tarot Circle Recap
Our October Global Tarot Circle webinar meeting was held on Tuesday, October 15th. We had a fabulous turnout, with people logging in from all over the world.
We shared readings and tarot information with each other, giving each person an opportunity to ask any “burning questions.”
Our topic, in honor of the Thinning of the Veil, was using tarot to communicate with those in spirit. We each shared techniques for this process, and each pulled cards to receive wisdom and information from our loved ones, ancestors, guides, angels and guardians.
Our next Global Tarot Circle will happen on November 4th at 7 pm.
You can’t make this stuff up. A few weeks ago I made a video about the Knight of Cups for my Answers to your Questions about Tarot series.
Last Sunday on Christiana’s Psychic Café our Card of the Week (pulled on air at random) was the Knight of Cups. Then Tarot Dactyl pulled the Knight of Cups in the first two readings we performed.
When I pulled the card for this week’s One Card Weekly Reading is was (you guessed it) the Knight of Cups.
So, your One Card Weekly Reading is the Knight of Cups. This card can indicate a suitor, or can encourage taking a step in the pursuit of romance.
That it has come up so frequently, and so publicly, recently causes me to interpret the Knight of Cups in a larger and more spiritual way.
The Knight of Cups is about the pursuit of love. At this time in our planet’s history we could all use a lot more love and a lot less hatred and fear. I believe the Knight of Cups is appearing so often to remind us that we are each able to bring love and light to the world.
This week let’s all be conscious of our actions and our energy. Let’s all try to be more loving toward each other, toward the planet and toward ourselves.
Sometimes one specific tarot card will come up repeatedly, stubbornly and insistently. When this happens, all you can do is pay attention and follow the instructions. The instructions given us by the Knight of Cups are very clear. Pursue love, bring love and be loving.
Sunday, November 3, 9 pm
Samhain Spectacular on the Psychic Café
Celebrate Halloween on the Psychic Café!
Traditionally known as Samhain, October 31 is the celebration of the final harvest, the Witch’s New Year and the time of the thinning veil.
We’ll check in with a panel of spiritual people to get their thoughts, stories and practices for this sacred time of year.
This class is designed for serious tarot students who want to develop their tarot skills. Self-reading is the best way to learn to understand the cards. It is also an important practice for personal and spiritual growth.
Christiana’s virtual classroom is accessible using your computer or your telephone.
This online presentation will teach you good practices for self reading. You will be able to identify and interpret your specific personal cards. You will be able to use self-reading to enhance your tarot studies. Christiana will help you explore specific techniques for self-reading that will help you derive all the information you need.
I am excited to announce that James Ricklef will be my guest.
James is a Los Angeles based Tarot professional with well over a decade of experience. He has presented workshops at major Tarot conferences such as the San Francisco Bay Area Tarot Symposium and the New York Readers Studio.
In addition, he is the creator of the Tarot of the Masters deck and the author of several books including the award-winning Tarot Tells the Tale, which he has re-released as a new edition with the title Tarot Reading Explained.
There are almost a thousand posts on his Tarot blog on subjects including card meanings, Tarot spreads, and how to do readings. Among those posts are over three hundred about Spirituality and the Tarot.
His upcoming book (“The Soul’s Journey: Finding Spiritual Messages in the Tarot”) is based on those Tarot Spirituality posts.
Christiana has been a full-time tarot professional for more than twenty years, and is the author of two books about tarot. In 2008, Christiana was granted the title of Tarot Grandmaster by the Tarot Certification Board of America. Christiana provides readings by phone, Skype, and in her office in Lutz, Florida.