Sasha Graham’s Tarot Blog – Bad Romance Spread inspired by Lady Gaga

Bad Romance Tarot Spread

Gaga-oh-la-la! A peek at Lady Gaga’s addictive song and video reveals obsessive love. Sigh, we’ve all been there . . .

Are you currently obsessed with a lover who is no good for you?

Are you obsessing over someone you can’t have?

Are you in a long term, commited relationship but harbor a dangerous crush on someone else?

If you answered yes, this spread is for you.

Shuffle your Tarot cards while thinking seriously about the situation at hand. When you feel the cards are mixed, select six cards and place in front of you. Look below to discover what each card stands for and glean some information about what you can do . . .

Card 1 – Your Bad Romance as It Stands.

Card 2 – What Should I Do?

Card 3 – How Long Will it Last?

Card 4 – What You are in Danger of Losing.

Card 5 – How to Temper Your Obsession.

Card 6 – What You Take Away from the Situation.

Good luck little monsters 🙂

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Sasha Graham’s Tarot Card a Day Blog – New Year, New Decade Tarot Spread

Icy December wind is shaking this old farmhouse to its foundations, the weather matching my mood . . . one minute sun peeks from behind a cloud, next minute, the sky spits snow. Mountain weather is as unpredictable as the emotions that play across my six-year old daughter’s face. The bizarre week suspending between Christmas and New Years Eve always makes me edgy and nervous, like the Death Tarot card. This week feels like a vague netherworld, stop motion animation, a moment’s pause before the wheels of time continue their relentless chugging and churning.

To combat my restlessness, or perhaps in a desperate act of self-preservation, I’ve created this New Years Tarot Spread/Exercise/Contemplation.

You will need:

The Wheel of Fortune

The Ten of Swords, Pentacles, Wands and Cups

The Four Aces

Eight Post It Notes or Small Pieces of Paper

Your Remaining Tarot Deck

In this spread you will be looking back at your last decade, picking four new goals for the approaching decade, and flipping cards on how to achieve those goals.

The Wheel of Fortune card comes to mind as the calendar flies to 2010, The Wheel of Fortune being the 10th Major Arcana card.

Stop and become very still. You may just hear the whirring and spinning of the wheel of time. Is that the Wheel of Fortune ball dropping amongst the revelers in Times Square at midnight? The Wheel reminds us of the trajectory of physical time upon our bodies and lives. Wasn’t it only yesterday you eagerly ripped and tore open the Christmas presents? Now, you calmly sip coffee while watching little ones tear through gifts. Thanks to the Wheel of Fortune, our souls remain eternal but the face reflected in the mirror changes . . . with the wrinkles, hopefully, comes wisdom.

1. Put The Wheel of Fortune in the center of your spread.

Let it remind you that there is a constant energy moving your life forward. Let the Wheel energy bring you luck and good things.

2. Place each Ten card at the corner of the Wheel of Fortune.

Tens in Tarot, on a very basic level, represent the end of a cycle.Think back to the beginning of this decade. Recall where you celebrated the Millennium. I was at a bonfire in Vermont and certain every computer would crash, plunging the modern world into chaos and darkness. What were you doing? Who you were at the turn of the Millennium? Were you you but I a little different? Were you a student? Working a different job? Living in a different place?

3. Write your decade’s accomplishments.

Take a moment to think of the events and accomplishments of the past ten years in the context of the four Tarot suits. Gazing at the Ten of Cups think about the events that have occurred in your emotional, artistic, romantic and family life. Write them on a post it and place on the card. Do the same with the rest of the Tens.

Gazing at the Ten of Pentacles think of the financial issues you have overcome, properties and things bought, changes within your body. Write these and place on top of a card.

Gazing at the Ten of Wands and think of where the passions, fire and energy of the last ten years have brought you. Ponder your career, your evolving sensuality, your increase or decrease of spirituality.

Gazing at the Ten of Swords and think of the hard decisions you’ve made, strong actions you’ve taken. You may even ponder some things you are sorry you have done. Write them down and place on card.

4. Take out the four Aces and place each Ace on the outer edge of the Tens.

5. New Goals:

On each Ace make a Post It note of something new or a goal you would like to invite into your life in the context of the suit. For instance, upon the Ace of Pentacles you may place a specific financial goal. Upon the Ace of Swords you may write the resolution to an issue that has been troubling you. Upon the Ace of Cups you may write the goal of a trip you expect would bring great happiness. Upon the Ace of Wands you may write an idea for your business. Sky is the limit here.

6. Shuffle your remaining cards.

7. Pull one random card for each Ace.

This is your advice card. The card you pull will help successfully bring this goal into your life in the new decade. Write down the first piece of advice this card evokes in you. Carry this advice with you into the New Year.

Good luck, a happy, cozy New Year to you all and always remember, the magic of the future rests in your hands!

Sasha Graham’s Tarot Card a Day Blog – When You Lose Your Cards

What to do when you lose your deck . . .

Halloween night. There I was draped in my Venetian Masquerade Costume, feather eyelashes, stiletto boots and black sparkling lips. I was off to read Tarot for fans at a Weezer concert in Hammerstein Ballroom and couldn’t have been more excited.

I reached for my Tarot bag only to find . . . I couldn’t find it. Panicking, I raced to my bookshelf for a suitable deck but not much of a deck collector, I had little to choose from. I settled for the Universal Tarot and made the best of my evening.

Still, I feel as if part of me is missing . . .

A Tarot deck is to a reader what the instrument is to the musician. The archetypes, themes and structure of Tarot is universal, can be found in any deck, yet the deck I lost was the one I learned to read with.

The Halloween deck, with its quirky ghosts and plump pumpkins, captured my imagination while honing my Tarot craft. Years ago, late into the night, I’d read for the girls I worked with after our shifts ended. Practice makes perfect and an army of waitresses and bartenders made for a lovely audience while I learned the art of Tarot. Tears shed, laughter shared, wishes, dreams foretold, as well as my own meditation and study cast upon these cards.

My friend, Sean Smith, suggested the cards were not lost. He said the cards left me because they held nothing left to teach me. He’s right.

I’m searching for a new deck and although it feels uncomfortable, I suppose growth and change is never very comfy cozy. If it were, none of us would have a problem adapting to the curveballs life tosses at us.

The weeks suspended between Halloween and Christmas hold the darkest hours of the year. I’ll light some candles and perform a ritual to thank my departed cards. Then, I’ll welcome the unknown deck coming my way. I’ll remember this whole experience is a greater metaphor for life. When we are able to let go of the things that feel so comfortable, so known, we are more capable of letting change in. And, like you, there is so much more I want to experience, manifest and create.

A wicked pack of cards is heading my way though I can’t quite see it. When it arrives, I’ll be waiting . . . with open arms.

 

Have you ever lost your deck? What did you do?

Sasha Graham’s Tarot Card a Day Blog – Judgement

Judgement

 20-Judgement

The Judgement card: A new awakening. A wake up call. Rising up. Rebirth.

You can examine the Judgement card in the context of this past Memorial Day – a holiday to honor those who have fought and or died in American wars. Look at those coffins opening up on the Judgement card as remembering the dead, the Angel’s trumpet as the soldier’s bugle revelry. Why, the red cross on the Angel’s flag even looks like the Red Cross!

I can’t reconcile my feelings about war or soldiers. My Vietnam vet stepfather waged a private subversive war on our family. My city crumbled on September 11th and pregnant with my daughter, I watched the invasion of Bagdad from the same couch from which I’d seen the towers fall. None of it made any logical sense. The only thing I knew for sure was that it was all wrong.

I’ve yet to explain to my daughter why we would stand at a parade and cheer for those who kill for us. I am grateful to our armed forces but don’t condone what we ask them to do. I want protection but without bloodshed and violence. Possible?

We celebrated Memorial weekend like many other Americans – ignoring moral dilemmas. We cooked, ate and played. Sunday night was a garden dinner party, fire pit roaring, fireflies flickering and tikki torches illuminating the dreamy nightscape. We are very, very fortunate and I know this.

You can look at the bodies rising up on Judgement card as flowers and summer lushness rising up like gangbusters to usher in the sun. We can also wrangle those coffins open with a crowbar, for ourselves, and peek at what crawls out.

What happens when the coffins open and we’ve awoken something we don’t understand?  What if we don’t recognize ourselves after we’ve been reborn? When the angel sounds his horn with a strange siren song and we can’t rectify our past? Our former self? What if, like a soldier returning home, you can’t express what you’ve seen? What if you can’t bear to tell your mother what you’ve done? There’s no turning back after the Judgement card.

Memorial Day, like many holidays, marks a passage of time. Summer has unofficially arrived and like the Judgement card, something feels different.

The Judgement Tarot card is operating in you right now whether you realize it or not. In the coming summer months, you’ll grow, evolve and adapt. You’ll slather sun block at the beach, eat pickles at a picnic, bask in the sun, blast your favorite music and enjoy extra hours of golden sunlight.

And when those coffins creak open, perhaps, you’ll let a little more light in . . .

Sasha Graham’s Tarot Card a Day Blog – The Five of Cups

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Fives in Tarot are the roughest numbers to wrestle with. I think of the Five of Cups as the addiction card. The gentleman in the black cloak on the Five of Cups looks so dejected. So sad!

The theory of the Five of Cups as representing addiction is easily viewed in the picture. We can understand the three cups that have spilled as the addiction – be it drugs, cigarettes, sex, negative thought patterns, booze, food – take your pick. Sadly, there are so many to choose from. Human nature is nothing is not short of dark and muddy issues to battle with. Look at the two cups behind him as more of the same vile fluid. This card represents the point at which you make a decision.

Choice time.

If the fellow (you) turns back to drink what is left in the two full cups – the addiction has won. If he chooses to walk away and cross the distant bridge you prevail over the addiction.

You can understand the castle/home in the distance as all of the comforts and happiness you can imagine – the life you wish for, long for, hope for . . .

My sister runs a rehab center in California. The first thing she will tell you about any issue/addiction is that the root is emotion. Cups in Tarot are filled with emotion. Feelings. She’ll tell you emotions can’t hurt you by themselves. They are just emotions. Feel them.

Don a black cloak and place yourself inside of this card . . .

What is your number one addiction?

What non-helpful behavior could you give up?

What stands in the way of having the life you imagine for yourself?
What bridge do you still need to cross?

Is this moment a turning point of your life?

When have you said enough is enough?

Sasha Graham’s Tarot Card a Day Blog – The Shamrock Spread and the Three’s of Tarot

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Green people are stumbling around New York City with beers hidden in brown paper bags. St. Patrick’s Day must be upon us . . . A million questions race through my mind. I wonder what this booze fest is all about anyway? What are the roots of St. Paddy’s? Will I accidentally step in pile of puke?

I called up my sensible Irish friend, Jillian Dougherty. Jillian grew up in Ireland. I listened to her soft Irish lilt as she said, “I’ll give ya the short version Sasha. Saint Patrick was a sheepherder. Whilst out with the sheep, he got to be very religious and spiritual. Probably all that time in nature.  Becoming a devout Catholic in England, Patrick went back to Ireland and converted all the Pagans (who were living like the American Indians) to Christianity. Then, for good measure, banned all snakes in Ireland.” I suppose killing off all the snakes was meant to banish evil?

I asked Jillian what was behind the symbolism of the Shamrock, “Oh, the Shamrock is a three leaf clover – not a four leaf like many people think. It is an allegory for the Cross. The Father, Son and Holy Ghost.”

Wow! She mentioned the Shamrock as the Cross and I thought about the power of a triad and the number Three and how it all relates to Tarot. Father, Son Holy Ghost/Mother, Maiden, Crone/Mind, Body, Spirit/Three Pillars of the Tree of Life.

I teach my Tarot students that all Threes in Tarot suggest creativity. Three is the result, the offspring, of the Twos that have come before. The Empress, who represents complete and utter creativity, is numbered Three.

Think about a creative project you are or will be embarking on. The Shamrock Spread will tap into and examine your inner creative process.

 

     3

 

1         2     

 

    4.

 

1. Your conception of creative work (passive).

2. The actions you take (active).

3. The result of your creative efforts (the child, offspring).

4. A negative aspect you can expel, like St Patty did with the snakes. What hinders your creative process? What can you get rid of?

 


Take out all the Threes in your Tarot deck. What do they have in common? How are they different?

Notice the difference between the Three of Cups and the Three of Swords?  Why do you think this is?

Notice the difference between the Three of Wands and the Three of Pentacles?

Why do you think these are so different?

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 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 . . .

Sasha Graham’s Tarot Card a Day Blog – The Queen of Cups

The Queen of Cups

 queen-of-cups

The Queen of Cups represents the spiritual, artistic and psychic side of yourself. She can also be a person in your life. The Queen of Cups is an artist, a poet, a Tarot card reader. Cups represent the moist, damp element of water. Water can transform into elusive haze, fog, vapor or mist. The Queen of Cups appeared tonight as something entirely different. She was a phantom, a spirit, a specter.

I’m staying up late with the ghosts of Thanksgivings past . . .

It is four nights until Thanksgiving. We are at our farmhouse prepping for the holiday. We’ll return to the city for school and work before returning here to cook for twelve hungry Italians – all of them my husband’s family. It will be a very good holiday this year. I can feel it.

Crunchy snow covered the ground when we arrived last night. I awoke this morning, blessedly late, and peeked outside. Giant snowflakes whizzed by. I had forgotten how quickly winter comes in the mountains.

We’ve gone ahead and set the Thanksgiving table, complete with his grandmother’s vintage English china. At midnight, I walk past the table, to my favorite Saturday night ritual, bubble bath in the claw foot tub. Something peculiar caught my attention. Past the glimmering crystal glasses and pressed linen napkins, sat a person. Posture erect and completely at ease. A ghost!

Did my Queen of Cups once live in this farmhouse? Was she attached to the heirloom china I’ve set out? Was she a wandering soul who decided to take a break at my table? Who she could be? I haven’t the slightest. But I’m happy she is here.

The months between Halloween and New Years are so haunted. The Northeast’s landscape transforms in the blink of an eye. Fiery orange and red leaves wash from trees in chilly rains and the landscape becomes gothic and barren. The nights are long and cold. The holidays pack massive expectation and oodles of emotion. We take stock and reassess our lives – where we’ve been and where we hope we are going. We turn inward.

We get visited by lots of old ghosties when we make significant changes in our lives. I’ve been doing a lot of reassessing and changing as of late. So, I’m not surprised at all to see a visitor at my table.

I figure the Queen of Cups will be my guest of honor this year. If I stress out while entertaining, I’ll think of her. She’ll remind me cooking is a simple way to share pleasure with those I love. I’ll stay open to any advice she may have and look for her when we all join to say grace. We’ll stuff ourselves silly with cheeses, pasta, turkey, side dishes and way, way too much food. When dessert comes, I’ll be sure to make my Queen of Cups a sweet offering.

This year, I am grateful for my unexpected guest.

Who visits you this time of year? Do you ever have ghostly visitors? When you move inward who shares in your intimate thoughts? If you could summon any guest to your Thanksgiving table, who would it be?

Sasha Graham’s Tarot Card a Day Blog – The Seven of Cups

The Seven of Cups

seven-of-cups

Possibilities, possibilities! The marvelous Seven of Cups Tarot card reminds us that there are wonderful options available all of the time. Take a closer look at our conjurer’s cups. Why, is that the High Priestess hidden beneath a veil, a ghostly skull lurking within the victory wreath cup? Which cups will the conjurer choose? Which will you grab? Do you crave money, knowledge, danger, beauty, sex, adventure, psychic power? Do you want it all and want it delivered? I do.

If you are anything like me, choice overwhelms you. One reason I adore the Tarot is that it serves me when struggling through my indecisiveness. If I can’t decide, I’ll let the Tarot give me an answer, knowing my intuition is really what underlies my reading of the cards.

Situations exist, however, when Tarot won’t come to the rescue. You can get overwhelmed and frustrated or give yourself an advantage. Stepping back and readjusting your approach slightly, will provide exactly results you need.

I was shopping for an outfit for my high school reunion. I’m standing in Macy’s Herald Square amidst hundreds of designer duds on the 65% off racks. God knows, I can’t spend 10 hours trying to match up separates. I needed a slammin outfit, I won’t pay retail and I’m no fashionista! I need a stylist! How can I get a bored salesperson to really hook me up?

Suddenly, I remember something my marketing coach, Elizabeth Genco Purvis said, “People love to be asked their opinion, they love to be asked their advice.”

I look at the closest sales associate. She doesn’t look like she wants to help anyone – least of all me. I walk over, “Hi. Are there any clothes on the sales racks that you really love?” She got totally excited pulling out her favorite stuff for me to try on. I had found my stylist!

The reason she jumped to help me was that I took the weight off of my problem – desperate outfit help – and made the situation all about her. What did she think? What did she like? What sale items were exciting to her? I walked out of Macy’s saving over $600, outfit to die for, in less than two hours!

Take a moment to think about situations where you become overwhelmed. You may get beleaguered by clothes shopping, multitasking or by really important decisions like what direction you want your life path to take.

Think of one small way you can approach the same situation in a different way. What one thing can you do next time you tackle your choice that is different? How can you shift your approach in a small, yet solid way?

Often, the most important adjustments we make in life are the teeny tiny ones. Then, you can reach out and claim the exact cup you want!

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