Wednesday, October 19, 2022

My Favorite YouTube Tarot Readers

"See how easy it is to hook them? Stock reading. Fits anybody. Never misses. 
What's youth? Happy one minute, hungry and heart broken the next. Every boy has a dog.
Every boy has a beautiful old gray haired mother. Everybody, except maybe me."

–Stanton Carlisle (from the 1947 film)

I Want To Believe
I Want To Believe

A few days ago I started reading William Lindsay Gresham’s Nightmare Alley (full disclosure, I’m actually listening to the audiobook version). I read a lot, and my literary interests are very broad, but this isn’t the type of book I would typically pick up. However, I was motivated to give it a read (i.e., listen) because I just happened to come across the 1947 film-noir movie version a few days earlier while channel surfing. I like to watch vintage movies, and it turned out to be surprisingly good. Now, I have to qualify this by stating for the record that Nightmare Alley would probably not be on my radar at all if it wasn’t for two things: (1) my down the rabbit hole journey into the tarot/oracle that has unfolded over the past two and a half years; and (2), the Bradly Cooper and Cate Blanchett remake that was released at the very end of 2021. The previews for the 2021 version caught my attention at the time due to some of the plot elements. I was intrigued, but didn’t make it to the theater and kind of forgot about it–until I came across the 1947 movie version (as I mentioned above).

I’m emphasizing this because obviously a significant portion of the world’s population is highly skeptical of anything that can be considered to fall within the extremely broad spectrum of what I’ll very generally refer to as things out of the ordinary. And being skeptical is absolutely warranted given there are plenty of charlatans out there trying to scam people. Stanton Carlisle, the main protagonist of Nightmare Alley, makes it abundantly clear how easy it is to deceive gullible people who “want to believe.” My profession is in the field of IT and computers, and I’m a very logical and scientific individual. However, I’m also open minded and willing to think outside the box when it comes to reality, the Universe, and the world we live in. The existence of scammers, con artists, and fakers doesn’t preclude the existence of extraordinary phenomena. It just means that the observer needs to view things very carefully and logically, without jumping to conclusions, while also being intuitively perceptive and openly observant.

Which is how I approached YouTube “pick a card” tarot readings. There appear to be literally thousands of users on YouTube doing readings. I came across this when I started searching for “walk through” videos of tarot and oracle decks that I was considering acquiring. This is a great way to see all the cards prior to making a purchase. Subsequently, it didn’t take long for the YouTube algorithm to start placing pick-a-card videos on my home page. Intrigued (again), I started watching some of the videos that caught my eye–with a healthy dose of skepticism. One of the readers I initially gravitated to had over 20,000 subscribers, and her videos were watched thousands of times. It didn’t seem very plausible that the same set of readings could be applicable to so many different people. However, I very much enjoyed watching these YouTube tarot readers pulling cards and interpreting them in the context of the spreads they were creating for the video. It was (and still is) educational.

Consequently, it didn’t take long (actually, it was kind of immediately) for cards that I was encountering in my own personal readings to start showing up in the pick-a-card videos. And it wasn’t just recurring cards, but also recurring symbols, signs, etc. (Yes–synchronicity.) So I started specifically picking videos that pertained to queries I was actively working on, and I soon realized that, contrary to my original perspective, there seemed to be a considerable amount of validity to pick-a-card readings. I’m not going to go into all the things that validated pick-a-card readings for me personally. I think this is something that anyone who is interested has to investigate on their own. Have your question in mind, find a reader (or readers) you like, and use your intuition to guide you to the most appropriate "piles." And then remember that energy is an ever evolving and fluid thing, so don’t be inclined to hang your hat on just one reading. Feel free to get a second opinion, third opinion, fourth opinion… Ahem… Well, actually it can be kind of addictive, so maybe be aware of the amount of time you’re spending watching pick-a-card videos.

And after that very lengthy introduction, the following is a list of my favorite YouTube tarot/oracle card readers…

Moon Moth Goddess

White Rose Guidance

White Feather Tarot

Kino Tarot


The Gem Goddess

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Some of My Autumn Season Tarot & Oracle Decks

Seasonal tarot & oracle decks
Seasonal Tarot & Oracle Decks

This is just a quick post to highlight a selection of what I consider to be autumn season appropriate tarot and oracle decks. I have some others aside from the ones in the photo, but it wasn’t convenient to try to include them all.

This also provides an opportunity to remind myself that my intention is to start listing all my tarot and oracle decks that are available for readings. I have over 100, so it will take a while to go through all of them. Since for the vast majority there are already people who have done reviews on YouTube, I don’t see much point in that. I figure I’ll just do something like a walkthrough reading. I haven’t yet done any YouTube readings, so I think this would be a good way to approach getting started.

Top row (from left):
  • Dark Fairytale Tarot
  • Teen Witch Tarot
  • Crow Tarot
  • Everyday Witch Oracle
  • Edgar Allan Poe Tarot
Bottom row:
  • The Witchy Way (oracle)
  • Dark Mirror Oracle
  • Horror Comic Tarot
  • Haunted House Tarot
  • Gothic Tarot of Vampires
  • Twin Flame Hunger: Vampire Edition (oracle)
Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 6, 2022

The King of Pentacles vs The Emperor (IV)

King of Pentacles & The Emperor
King of Pentacles versus The Emperor

I’ll start out by admitting that I utterly failed to follow through with my personal pledge to post at least one new blog entry per week. In my self-defense, at the time I predicted I was probably setting myself up for failure by being overly optimistic. I’m going with Universal Forgiveness because the main culprit is that apparently I was overdue for an extended break. I went on an out of town vacation back in mid-August, and upon returning, the energy to immediately delve back into my tarot/oracle journey just wasn’t there. At that point I had been working intensely on this endeavor for two and a half years straight, and it was clear that some down time was in order.

That said, I was concerned I had reached the end of the road. But then I felt compelled to do an extensive self-reading on September 10, and I immediately realized I was picking back up right where I had left off. And it was in this context that I encountered the King of Pentacles and the Emperor (IV) in relatively close proximity. Shortly thereafter, this led to a recognition of what I should write about for my next blog topic…

As will always be the case, my intention is not to provide a comprehensive meaning for the tarot and oracle cards I’m discussing. There’s a seemingly infinite number of other resources for such information (I’m actually planning to devote a future blog entry to highlighting some of my favorite resources), and the point here is to discuss unique characteristics of cards considered in certain contexts. Hence, for this entry I’m contemplating the similarities (and differences) between the King of Pentacles and the Emperor (IV), which is why I titled my article The King of Pentacles Versus The Emperor.

Of course, in regard to the pictorial content and their hierarchical positions in the Tarot, there is not much similarity. The Emperor is the “fourth” card (not including the number zero Fool) in the Major Arcana, and if Pentacles are (as considered by people much more knowledgeable and experienced than me) to be the last suit (by hierarchy), the King of Pentacles is, sequentially, the final (i.e., 78th) card in the deck. In other words, considered in a linear context there aren’t many cards that are further apart.

In regard to the appearance, there are some striking similarities. Both cards feature a regal gentleman seated on a very solid looking stone throne that is adorned with the symbol of Taurus on the top corners of the throne back and the front of the arms. Both men wear armor under their robes, and hold a rod in the right hand and a round object in the left. The Emperor is obviously the elder statesman, and although I haven’t encountered this elsewhere, I seriously doubt I’m the first person to view the Emperor as the father of the King of Pentacles. I’m just guessing that in the community of tarot traditionalists, the entire Royal Court of all four suits are ultimately considered to be the extended family of the Major Arcana's Emperor (IV) and Empress (III). Again, I haven’t come across this in my research, but I find it hard to believe that it wouldn’t be a known perspective.

In a family tree kind of scenario, I find myself contemplating what is really distinctly different about the Emperor compared with the King of Pentacles? On an obvious level, the Emperor represents the “universal” aspects of life and existence, whereas the King of Pentacles is more grounded in the day-to-day affairs of the material realm. However, this is not the philosophical perspective from which I’m making the comparison. Fundamentally, they both speak to authority, discipline, rules, strength, and solid foundations (among other things). Are there primary keywords for the King of Pentacles that aren’t applicable to the Emperor (and vice versa)?

I suppose this question represents the heart of what intrigues me about such a comparison. For an extended period of time I was very focused on memorizing every pictorial element of Pamela Colman Smith’s artistic depictions for the RWS tarot. While obsessed with my endeavor, I settled on specific titles for each Minor Arcana and Royal Court card that were unique for me. For example, I can’t look at the Knight of Wands without thinking, “Charge!”

For the longest time I struggled to come up with an appropriate personal moniker for the King of Pentacles, being extremely dissatisfied with “The Banker.” Annoyingly, that is the title that popped into my head early on, derived (in my opinion) from the typical “text book” assertion that he is a man who possesses great wealth. This led me to imagine a king who spent most of his time pondering accounting ledgers, endlessly pouring over the details of how every coin in the kingdom was parsed out. I get it that the suit of Pentacles, which is also known as “Coins,” has a lot to do with money on our earthly plane of existence. Economic principles are fundamental to our existence in daily life. I imagine the Emperor, having once upon a time been the King of Pentacles, was formerly obsessed with maintaining the treasury. Now in his later years, he has left the bean counting to his son. This is because as the Emperor, he must focus on the bigger structural issues of the entire world, rather than the financials of just one particular kingdom.

While all of this seems relevant, none of it felt quite right, and I disliked my “Banker” title for the King of Pentacles. Despite his presumably underlying preoccupation with monetary concerns, he looks very relaxed and benevolent sitting on this throne. Conversely, his father the Emperor looks quite staunch and preoccupied. I think this recognition is what finally led me to a keyword title that I like. Sure, Pentacles represent “wealth,” but I do get a bit weary of equating “wealth” to monetary value. Early on it appeared to me that the Queen of Pentacles’ wealth wasn’t so much represented by the money her family had sacked away in the treasure vault. Rather, it was the prosperity and abundance of the natural world in which she had immersed herself. She is surrounded by the beauty of Nature. I could see that the King of Pentacles was immersed in his natural surroundings in a similar manner, but it was in a more practical and masculine sense. Instead of residing in a lush garden like the Queen, where she is most at home, the King’s throne is closer to the castle, where he is most comfortable–and that is when I found the word I was looking for. The King of Pentacles is very calm and relaxed in regard to his prosperity and domain of authority. In fact, he appears to be so well-situated on his throne that he looks like he’s about to fall asleep.

And with that recognition, I had finally settled on my own title for the King of Pentacles: Comfort.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

A Card for Today -- The Empress (III)

The Empress (III)

When I started this blog back in 2017, I decided to use Blogger because it was already integrated with my Google account. I also made the decision to force myself to use Google Sites out of the same "convenience" (and it's the platform we are using at my work, so it had practical applications toward further educating myself on Google's apps). My objective in "simplifying things" (as opposed to third party hosting, paying for more robust developer shit, and so on), was to just focus on self-publishing my various creative writing projects and not get caught up in coding/scripting. Despite my good intentions that were very logical and sensible, things didn't pan out the way I imagined, life moved on, and several years later I had accomplished nothing in regard to self-publishing--however, I did discover tarot/oracle. (Incidentally, this coincided with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.) A co-worker and friend led me to this path, and I'm very appreciative for the synchronicity that resulted in my new found interest. 

I haven't really delved into this topic yet. As I explained in my "A New Beginning" (7/30/22) blog entry, this is the starting point, so I haven't had much time to "officially launch" a bunch of pre-prepared content. And honestly, I think that would be counter to the energy I'm working with this time around. It's more about development and growth as I make my way on this journey, so this kind of raw, unpolished inception point seems to make sense. 

That said, considering I've decided to branch out and offer to do readings outside of the close knit circle of family, friends and co-workers, it would certainly be useful to provide some details regarding how this works. I don't have time to do that right here and now, but I promise I will be following up with this information. In the meantime, my contact email is on the home page, and you can use that to contact me if you have questions about obtaining a tarot/oracle reading. 

And this brings me to the tarot card I pulled in relation to this blog entry. At this point I've been collecting tarot and oracle decks for two years, and as a result I have a fairly robust collection of decks that I actively use and select from. Sometimes I know what deck I want to work with, but often I like to leave it up to The Universe to make a recommendation. One of the ways I typically do this is by rolling dice. This resulted in the Centennial Smith-Waite Tarot, which is now a US Games product that features the tarot created by A.E. Waite and Pamela Colman Smith way back in 1909. What is notable about this particular deck is it is a thicker, higher quality cardstock than the standard "yellow box" Rider Tarot (has the Magician on the box) that is very well known (also US Games).

In regard to card selection, again this varies significantly depending on the situation. Impromptu cards, top/bottom cards, etc. etc.--there are many ways that cards present themselves, but most typically it's just a matter of shuffling and "feeling" them surface. For example, The Empress card separated itself as I was cutting the deck with the intention of rifle shuffling once again. I sensed it was the card that was meant to come out, and was thrilled to see the Empress when I flipped it over and placed it on the table.

I'm not goin provide an in-depth analysis of the Empress here because that would be beyond the scope of this brief blog entry. There are literally hundreds (probably thousands) of other websites out there with information about the Empress (I personally like to use The Empress is the third card in the Major Arcana, and as Smith has portrayed, she is the quintessential Queen of the Universe. She is the Goddess of Nature, and carries the energy of Venus/Aphrodite. There's all kinds of astrological significance here, but that isn't my area, so I'll leave that to the experts who focus on that side of the tarot. I am personally much more comfortable with numerology, and this number three card speaks to things like the blooming energy of new beginnings. This is a card of emotional flow and creative energy, and all of this is extremely relevant to exactly what I'm doing right now. In other words, in a way this is Spirit giving me a high five for actually following through with working on this project by writing another blog entry that probably nobody will read. Now I just need to keep holding up my end of the  bargain...

Monday, August 8, 2022

Minimal Progress... But at Least a Forward Step

PROGRESS UPDATE -- Not much. This is basically the first opportunity I've had to return here since 7/30/22. It has been a busy month so far, and I don't see that changing anytime soon considering all the filled-in spots on my work and personal calendars. I've spent a lot of time thinking about what needs to be done, but actually doing it is another matter. Admittedly, it's a bit overwhelming if I think in terms of everything that needs to be addressed--starting with creating a new template for my Google Sites home page (in the meantime, I did implement an update to a temporary banner that is a slight improvement). Then there are the external media sites, such as Twitter. I actually kind of like Twitter (everybody else seems to hate it), but I'm terrible at staying tuned in (to any social media, not just Twitter), so my account is sadly out of date and basically useless for promotional efforts at this time. I created a Wattpad account (apparently way back in 2015), and subsequently did absolutely nothing with it. The worst part is I have literally thousands of pages of fiction and poetry that I could be self-publishing, but realistically, "self-publishing" takes a considerable amount of time (I think a lot of people don't realize just how time consuming it actually is). This is also particularly true if you like to endlessly scrutinize the editorial side of things, and are perpetually dissatisfied with how "finished" a literary work actually is. My writing portfolio is in a perpetual state of "near final draft". Besides, I have a real job during the day, so it's not like I can spend all my time occupying myself with hobbies. But, I guess this is just excuses. Maybe I should be doing a better job of time management in the evenings and on the weekends? That seems straightforward, but the grass isn't getting any shorter, and the dog is shedding all over the house (domestic chores don't just do themselves). Anyway, the main this is now I have this desire to start creating tarot/oracle content, and this is something I'm currently actively engaged in--but again, creating pick-a-pile videos and informational blog entries is time consuming. This represents something I really want to do, but when do I have time? It's a vicious cycle. Regardless of my difficulty with moving forward, the bottom line is I need to get some relevant content added to my media channels. And in this regard, I felt compelled to follow through with my promise to myself to at least post a blog entry every week. I don't think this is asking too much of myself. If nothing else, it serves as a good reminder of the things that need to be addressed. And, I can count this as an effort. ;-) I guess the main thing is just taking a step forward--even if it is a very feeble, short one that only gets me a tiny bit further down the road after an entire week (a week-plus--if I'm being completely honest). If I keep chipping away at it with a little effort here and there, I'm certain that at some point in the distant future I'll be able to look back in satisfaction on all that I've completed.

~ Jay

Friday, July 29, 2022

A New Beginning

Although it has nothing to do with this, the title of my blog entry reminds me of the movie Friday the 13th Part V, which has the subtitle "A New Beginning". This is actually my favorite movie in the series for various reasons that aren't relevant here.

Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning
Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985)

A "New Beginning" reflects the reality that my original conception (in the realm of online self-publishing) was not something I was motivated to sustain indefinitely. In fact, it was short lived. I considered deleting the entries from 2017 (five years ago as I'm writing this), but then I realized it serves as a reminder of what I started and then abandoned. Clearly, it wasn't meant to be.

As I look at this blog, I'm thinking about things to change (update, whatever), such as the logo that I spent so much time "perfecting" five years ago--and now looks not quite right for what I want to convey in terms of "branding." I even considered whether or not a blog is relevant? I quickly answered that with the realization that it is necessary for the same reasons I originally set it up--for example, this very entry. Technically speaking, a blog does serve well as a central communication point for various Web/Internet based "channels" (such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., etc.).

I originally tagged this blog with the description: "Random thoughts, opinions and commentary on science, computers, technology in general, superhero comics, fiction, literature, philosophy, creative writing--and anything else I feel like publishing here." As it turns out, despite being knowledgeable on all these subjects, I didn't really feel inclined to write about them extensively. So while I continued to actively cultivate my hobbies--while also working at the day job as a "computer guy" (a necessary evil for survival)--I wasn't motivated to write about this on a daily (or even weekly or monthly) basis.

So what brings me to this point now?

Two years ago a friend inadvertently introduced me to oracle cards (specifically, Colette Baron-Reid's Wisdom of the Hidden Realms). I have a lifelong, natural interest in things that generally fall into the area of esoteric, occult, etc. I had even purchased a tarot deck (the Ancient Egyptian Tarot by Clive Barrett) back in the mid-90s, but at the time it wasn't what I had imagined, and I didn't pursue it. Apparently, I simply wasn't ready yet (The Universe knew it). As it turns out, this act represented the inception point of a long-term synchronicity that would take a quarter of a century to play out. Hence, the Ancient Egyptian Tarot sat in a box of books during that entire time--until I retrieved it in March of 2020, prompted by my new friend (at the time) and unplanned free-time created by the pandemic.

Skipping over two-plus years of active self-education, I'm at a point where I'm interested in "branching out" with my spiritual pursuits. (I know people attached a lot of baggage to the term "spiritual", but this is how I personally think of it.)

So, this officially represents a New Beginning in this regard. 

If you're reading this, it probably stems from my effort to reach out to people and offer my... expertise? I'm still not settled on how to refer to myself, and "gifts" is an awkward word from my perspective. I'm definitely not comfortable with common stereotypes such as "psychic" or "fortune teller" because these words inaccurately convey what this "expertise" actually represents. 

In the meantime, one thing I learned with my earlier endeavors into online publishing is to not place too high of expectations on myself. Attempting to hold me accountable to a certain level of productivity will most likely have adverse results. Therefore, my objective is going to simply be to post "updates", "notifications", random comments--whatever--on a regular basis. What is "regular"? I guess more often than never.

As it stands, I feel compelled to be relatively consistent with this, so we'll see where it leads. Spirit suggests (Thank You!) that this is an important aspect of my journey to the summit of the Sacred Mountain, so I intend to fulfill my side of the bargain.

~ Jay