Many people find spiritual insight and wisdom by connecting with the natural world and its inhabitants. For this reason, animals play an important part in many spiritual paths and practices.
Connection with animals can happen when we observe them in nature, or when we spend time with our pets. Animals can appear in our dreams, or in symbols. Animals are often pictured in tarot and oracle decks. Animals are the icons in many systems of astrology. There are numerous decks of divination with animal themes. Many English names for yoga postures are named for animals.
We visualize ourselves as specific animals in order to nurture their characteristics within ourselves. We try to have the heart of a lion. We try to be like a duck and oil our feathers, or shed our skin like a snake.
When I was growing up, I was amazed that my cat could wake me up from across the room, simply by staring at me. It was clear that this animal had some psychic ability, (back then we called it ESP) or at least that the cat and I shared a psychic connection.
I feel the sighting of a wild animal is a portentous omen. I interpret the omen based on what the animal is, what it is doing, how I feel about it and how I feel it applies to what is going on in my life. There are also books and websites to help us understand traditional animal symbolism.
I take the presence of an animal in a dream as seriously as I do when I encounter one in real life. For me, the symbolism is what matters.
There are so many ways for us to find wisdom in our connection to animals. The more energy we devote to paying attention to the messages of the animals around us, the more profound insight we will receive.
Make Your Plans to See Me During My Northeastern Tour!
I will be in Connecticut March 27 through April 8. I am available for parties, groups and house calls in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York City.
I am also offering private readings by appointment at True Bikram Yoga in Madison.
To make your appointment, please call or text 561-655-1160.
I will be teaching two workshops while I am there.
In Madison, on Sunday, March 31 at 7 pm I am teaching ‘The Journey of Life: The Major Arcana of Tarot.
In New Haven, on Sunday, April 7 at 7 pm I am teaching ‘Oils, Intuition and Manifestation’. Learn more about these workshops, and register in advance!
What the Animals in Tarot Have to Say
While there are many animal-themed decks, there are also many animals pictured in most tarot decks.
For this exercise, use a Waite deck, or other fully-illustrated deck that isn’t specifically animal-themed. Look through the cards and find the following.
Which cards picture animals that are intrinsic to the card’s meaning? Here, look for animals like Strength’s lion and the Fool’s dog.
Which cards picture animals to depict the cards’ element? Here, I am look for the birds in the Swords cards, for example, and the lizards in the Wands cards.
Now look for imaginary animals. Are there griffins or dragons? What do those animals say to you about the cards on which they appear?
Now look for the rest of the animals. That is, animals that are not iconic for the cards’ meaning, and are not there specifically to symbolize an element.
How many animals how you found? What information do they give you about the card on which they appear?
Go back to the first animal cards you found, like Strength and the Fool. What do their animals tell you about each card?
How does considering the animals enhance your understanding of your cards?
The Week in Review
If you missed our February Global Tarot, you can watch the archive on YouTube. Our next Global Tarot Circle on Facebook Live will be March 18, so make plans to join us.
This week I posted on my personal blog some thoughts about tarot interpretations and keywords. How do you handle it when your take on a card is different from your friends’? Read When Tarot Keywords Diverge.
From Around the Web
Here’s an interesting article from The Daily Dot about our online tarot communities, and the role they may be playing in our society.
From Best Self Magazine, here is a piece about using tarot to increase mindfulness and self-awareness.
Check out this new animal deck-in-progress. The Major Barkana is a dog-themed tarot designed to raise money to provide service dogs to disabled folk.
Cards for Your Consideration
My favorite animal tarot deck is Lisa Hunt’s Animals Divine Tarot, now sadly out of print. Lisa Hunt’s art style is detailed, realistic and haunting. Over the years her contribution to the tarot has been intense and unique. Animals Divine Tarot, like many of Lisa Hunt’s decks, falls into the category that I call ‘archetypal assignment’. Hunt works with the archetype of each card and find a matching character within the body of her theme.
In Animals Divine Tarot, each suit is illustrated with animals associated with their element. The Swords suit is graced with winged creatures. The Cups suit features aquatic life. The Pentacles are land mammals, and the Wands are depicted by insects and reptiles.
The Court cards, and the Major Arcana, are deities associated with animals.
If you are lucky enough to own a copy of this out of print deck, enjoy it! If you happen to find an affordable used copy, consider adding it to your collection.
Psychic Gallery at ZeroPointe in Fort Lauderdale
Join me for an exciting event in Fort Lauderdale on the first day of Spring!
On Wednesday, March 20, 7 pm to 9 pm, I will present a psychic gallery at ZeroPointe Healing Foundation, formerly Center for Inner Wisdom, located at 4849 N Dixie Hwy, Suite 2, Oakland Park, FL 33334.
I love doing psychic galleries, because the energy of sacred space, and the energy of a group united for a single purpose, can create the perfect environment in which to receive powerful messages from Spirit.
In a psychic gallery with me, each person receives pertinent information and insight. Group members hold space and support each other, and benefit from hearing and witnessing every message.
The energy of the vernal equinox will add a powerful dimension to the readings on this special evening, bringing the opportunity for each of us to find balance and initiate new beginnings.
Tickets are $30, and seating is limited. Register now!
Special Class at Dream Angels - Your Journey Through the Minor Arcana
Join me at Dream Angels in Tequesta this week on Thursday, February 28, from 7 to 9pm for a class on the Minor Arcana of tarot.
In this class tarot enthusiasts of all levels of experience will learn simple-yet-profound techniques to remember, understand and interpret the Minor Arcana cards of the tarot.
This class is geared for all tarot enthusiasts. Even if you are brand new, this topic will be a great place to start!
This class is part of a monthly tarot group that meets the 4th Thursday of each month, hosted by Mary Ellen Collins and me.
Class fee is $25 at the door, $20 prepaid up until the day before. To prepay, please visit the Dream Angels website.
New Video Class Available: Christiana’s Eleven-Card Celtic Cross Spread
I am very excited to share a new tarot class with you, appropriate for tarotists of all levels of experience. In this class you will learn my eleven-card Celtic Cross tarot spread.
As many of you know, this is by far my favorite tarot spread. If I have every read for you, you’ve seen this powerful spread in action.
This class is designed to teach you to perform this spread, but also to teach you a great deal about working with tarot spreads in general. As you take the class you will perform this spread for yourself. Along the way you will add a number of important tools to your tarot toolbox.
The first one hundred students will receive a $10 discount on the $35 class fee, so sign up now!