Sasha Graham’s Tarot Card a Day Blog – The World and a Little Unsolicited New Year’s Advice

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The World Tarot card represents success, completion, euphoria and travel. The World is the end of the Major Arcana. If tens in Tarot represent the end of a cycle, The World evokes the grand finale. When you reach the World, you are completely transformed.

My daughter poked me awake this morning, “Mom, is the earth moving? Is it floating? Cause, I don’t feel it.” Sometimes, the World spirals, shakes and shudders. We feel we’ve lost our footing, may slip into gaping chasms, open to swallow us whole. Other times, tectonic plates shift and move beneath us, we don’t feel the slightest tremor. After the fact, we look up and notice something has changed. Startled, we wonder who that is looking at us in the mirror.

The most obvious symbol on The World card is the circle, representing the flow of cycles. I’ve been making circular foods without even realizing it! Last night, round little Meatballs, garlicky Stuffed Mushrooms and Toffee Oatmeal Cookies.  Chock full of circles.

Circles have made their way in to our New Years supper too! Our wish for 2009 is a trip to France. I have a sudden, unexplained urge to truffle hunt and wander the forests of southern Europe. In honor of our wish, our meal is completely French inspired. Onions (circles within circles) and thyme will fill the farmhouse with their sweet aroma as I prepare French Onion Soup, salty Gruyere oozing down the side of round crocks. Perfectly round filets for peppery Steak Au Poivre will pair with little potato disks for the Pommes De Terre Gourmandes.

A gorgeous morning snowstorm sets the scene as the curtain comes down, as the lights dim on 2008. I’m feeling wildly optimistic as I ponder my New Years advice to you . . .

Screw the New Year’s resolutions!

Make yourself a list of New Years wishes instead!

Then set about making your fantasies come true! Your desires, your aspirations are the spark, the ignition of your existence. So much magic lives inside of you! The faster you follow your instincts, the truer you are to yourself, the more delightful your life becomes. When you blaze your own unique path, you shine like The World dancer and become a beacon to all. The world responds in turn, revolving around you in perfect balance!

In 2009, ignite your intuition, nurture yourself and dazzle the world!!!!

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Sasha Graham’s Tarot Card a Day Blog – A Very Tarot Christmas

The farmhouse if filled with the scent of fresh pine . . .

I can’t sleep so I creep downstairs and put a vintage record on the turntable. Handel’s music floats upwards to the airy corners of the room. I turn my sleepy eyes to our Christmas tree and notice a strange, uncanny thing. We’ve erected our tree in the very same spot I’d happened upon our Thanksgiving ghost. My mysterious visitor has now been transformed into a Christmas tree.

If my ghost was just a glimmer, a gasping momentary spirit passing, our Christmas tree is very real, full of magic. Spirits of the season, little fiery imps carrying Wands hop from branch to branch. Pentacled ornaments droop on heaving bows. Pentacles fall with soft thuds each time an imp lands too hard on a limb.

The Star glimmers precariously on top of the tree. The Star reminds me she’ll always be there to guide and provide comfort, even in my darkest hours. The Sun’s infernal warmth radiates out of the tree, an evergreen symbol of life. The strings of colored lights sway, each a tiny refraction of the warmth coursing in our veins. The Hanged Man breaks face, offers me a quick wink and moves back into solemn meditation amidst the soft needles.

The Tower is suspended high above me in clouds responsible for the snow rapidly piling up outside the ancient glass windows. Suddenly there is a thumping upon my door. A stranded motorist? I answer, shocked when I realize who beckons.

I fall to my hands and knees and offer a tearful prayer of thanks to my Hierophant. He gently pulls me up and plants me on his lap like Santa. He strokes my cheek, tucks my hair behind my ears and tells me that we are but one and the same. He whispers of the many wonderful lessons to come and I can’t help but giggle. His neck smells like cinnamon and apples.

The Empress’s dewy face glows, flush with excitement and illuminated by embers of the fireplace as she wraps gifts for me. She’ll do things with scotch tape and tissue paper to blow your mind. When Martha Stewart made her pact, it wasn’t with the Devil but with the Empress! Speaking of the Devil, he’s in the basement scaring off little critters that’ve decided this old house might be fun to nest in. I let the Devil upstairs every now and then – but only in moderation.

I can hear Temperance banging pots in my kitchen. Temperance has moved in with me for the next few months. She will make sure I don’t spread myself too thin. Temperance is great to have around but always begs for fast food on road trips.

Strength reclines gracefully on the couch and says if I want any, I’d better get back to bed. Heading her advice, I head up the stairs. I peak on my Ace of Wands, my little girl’s sleeping face. Ah, to be five years old at Christmas! I tuck her one last time for good measure and retire to my room.

My darling husband, the Magician, sleeps soundly beside me. He has put his tools away. He’s performed enough miracles this year, pulled a hundred rabbits out of hats and ignited our deck over and over again. Now, is time for him to rest.

Visions of this strange, wonderful year pass before me. Shadows in the corner of the darkened room appear moving, rearranging themselves. Merging they become one and blackness becomes deep purple draped over a feminine figure white, like the moon. It is the High Priestess come to wish me goodnight!

The High Priestess and I gaze at each other, nose to nose, for what seems an eternity. Her eyes appear violet and dissect every fiber of my being. Saying nothing, a faint smile graces her lips. As silently as she appeared, she slips back into the shadows. Morning light sweeps across the floorboards.

“Mommy, wake up!!! Its Christmas . . . “

Sasha Graham’s Tarot Card a Day Blog – The Visconti Spread

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The marvelous thing about New York City is that hidden gems await you if you know where to look . . .

One of my favorite under the radar spots in New York is The Pierpont Morgan Library, the home and private library of financier J.P. Morgan.

I adore tracing the footsteps of the robber barons of the 19th Century, imagining that I am one! You’ll find me strolling through Central Park pretending it my private family grounds. You may spot me looking approvingly at the celestial works above Grand Central Station, as if to tell the artists they’ve carried out my plans to perfection!

Delusions of grandeur yes – but that is why living in the city is so marvelous. I can venture into The Frick and pretend that the Rembrandt’s painting, teasing me with light and shadow, has been in my family for generations . . .

On Friday, December 12th, I arranged for a group of Tarot lovers to visit The Pierpont Morgan Library for a private viewing of the oldest Tarot deck in existence, The Visconti-Sforza Tarot. An intimate and extraordinary afternoon! The curator of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts, William Voelkle, guided us through the Hogwart like museum  (see pic above) for a tour, showed us a secret passage, into a private room, wowed us with an Egyptian Book of the Dead and proceeded pull out seven cards from the deck including: The Magician, The Chariot, The Hermit, The Queen of Swords, and The Hanged Man!

I created the following Tarot spread in honor of our very special afternoon.

Try it at home and see if the ghosts of Tarot past might inform the ghosts of your very own future!

The Visconti Tarot Spread

December 12th, 2008

The Visconti deck is the oldest known Tarot deck on record. The surviving originals are spread between The Pierpont Morgan Library (35 cards), the Carrara Academy of Bergamo (26 cards) and Colleioni family of Bergamo (13 cards).

Among the originals, four cards remain missing . . .

The Devil

The Tower

3 of Swords

Knight of Pentacles

Today we peeked into Tarot’s past. Now is an opportunity to peek into your psyche.

Let the mysterious missing Visconti cards give us inspiration for this spread. We will take the issues suggested by the missing Visconti cards and let those issues create our questions.

Pull a random Tarot card to answer each question. Enjoy!

1.    Devil issues – How you can invite more daring, delicious, devilish fun into your life?

 

2.      Tower issues – What inside you can be released in order to reach your authentic, fabulous self?

 

3.       Three of Swords issues – What you can cut out of your life in 2009 that no longer aids you?

 

4.  Knight of Pentacles issues – A plan you should think about putting into action in 2009 . . .

 

Sasha Graham’s Tarot Card a Day Blog – The High Priestess

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December has begun.

A delicious crescent moon kicked off the month. It appeared the High Priestess had reached down into the folds of her dress, grabbed the moon and flung it into the night sky.

The month of December belongs to the High Priestess. She represents the deepest parts of yourself, your psyche and your inner state.

December is the darkest month of the year. December is also a moment of revolution. Winter Solstice occurs and the days bend back towards summer. So, we reach our darkest point and then, like clockwork, just when we need it, in the nick of time, new light is offered.

The High Priestess tends nighttime fires. She watches as Santa slips down your chimney. The song placed Mommy kissing Santa but I think it was High Priestess. She stays up long after you’ve gone to bed.

I once sat on Virgin Airlines. It was midnight and we were halfway between New York and London.  I peered out the window below. The endless expanse of the Atlantic Ocean spread out beneath me. I’d never seen anything so dark. I’d never felt so small, so scared. The High Priestess was there, caressing every rolling black wave.

The High Priestess hides in a gaping vampire mouth, in the yawning expanse of a freshly dug grave. She creeps around a child’s closet, and might be lurking under your bed. If your fears reside in the darkness, it is the High Priestess who presides over your fears. It is she who dares you to face them.

You see, The High Priestess knows, when you face the unknown, when you challenge yourself, when you confront what scares you – you grow. You grow in ways that can hardly be imagined. You are, in fact, born again.

And that’s what December’s Christmas story is all about. Out of the shadows, a new life and new miracles are born. Miracles with the power to illuminate, even change the world.

You, my dear, harbor that same light. It resides right next to your darkness.

Tonight, be brave. Turn out all the lights. Sit in the shadows. Welcome December with all of its mystery, emotion and exquisiteness.

And welcome your High Priestess. She’s waiting for you . . .