Tarot Treasures at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

On October 14th, I organized a very special Tarot event. A small group of Tarotists, scholar Robert Place and I were swept behind the scenes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to glimpse at their Tarot collection.

Robert Place, creator of the newly released, “Vampire Tarot” http://thealchemicalegg.com/VampTarot.html led us through the Met’s collection. The collection included three sheets of Italian woodcut cards. These sheets are, essentially, uncut sheets of Tarot cards made for widespread distribution in the 16th Century. We looked at a deck of the Tarot of Marseilles from the 18th Century and a 16th Century deck of Minchiate cards. The Minchiate cards are a close relative of Tarot, which contains 40 trump cards! They include Trumps for every sign of the zodiac, the elements and additional virtues. After Robert’s lecture and close inspection of these items, the curators let us look through a box of random cards, including fantastic fortune telling cards from the 18th Century. Sadly, photos were not permitted but it was a glorious afternoon!

I gave each attendee a gift bag that included a Tarot activity and Tarot spread I’d created based on our day. I would like to share this with you, dear Tarot lover . . .

Tarot Treasures at The Met

On this blustery, windswept October month we venture into The Metropolitan Museum, one of the world’s great institutions, to peek at Tarot’s past. Art collections, more than artifacts, paint on canvas, sculpted clay . . . are treasures bestowed on us from those who have gone before. More than a mere psychic impression, the artist leaves behind a tangible piece of psyche, point of view, lesson, and experience. Don’t believe me? Wander through an echoing gallery near closing time. Feel the energy reverberating from the canvases.

Message from the Artist Activity

Armed with this knowledge, we may freely converse with Van Gogh, Matisse or Picasso. I challenge you to take your Tarot deck and pick a painting. Sit before it, quietly observing, for at least fifteen minutes. Focus only on the painting. When you feel ready, randomly pick a Tarot card. This card holds a message for you from the artist. What are they whispering to you?

Secrets and Passages Spread

The Print Study room at the Met is a hidden space, not available to the general public. Today you were whisked behind the scenes. Secret passages are available to Tarot readers on a daily basis because a Tarotist is constantly piercing the veil into their subconscious, into other worlds, into murkiness, so we can illuminate what was once muddled and dark.

Secrets lie scattered around us like crunchy autumn leaves. A secret, after all, is only something hidden from knowledge or view. We need only acknowledge them. Once you recognize a fact or thing, it is a secret no longer . . .

Let’s use the metaphor of today’s museum trip to discover a hidden passage, a secret hiding within our own psyche. The secret you uncover may be predictive or it may be a new way of experiencing your reality.

Shuffle your deck while acknowledging there are worlds of possibility you are not yet aware of.

Select five cards to answer the following questions.

Place the cards face down, turning them over as you answer each question.

1. What secret must be revealed to me?

2. How do I integrate this secret into my life?

3. What can I do now that I know this?

4. How will this secret help me resolve conflicts?

5. What will happen know that I know this?

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

three-of-cups  three-of-swords1  three-of-wands  three-of-pentacles

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 – The Recession Spread and Random Acts of Optimism.

09-the-hermit

*recession (ri-sesh-uhn) – The act of receding or withdrawing.

A dear client sent an email this morning asking when I might fix the economy. A tongue in cheek question, yet, one not taken lightly. How could I, a Tarot Card Reader, fix the economy?

A reporter phoned recently and inquired, “What impact is the financial crisis having on the questions your clients are asking you as a Tarot Card Reader?” Certainly, the crisis is reflected in client questions. Tarot acts as a mirror first and foremost. And people don’t usually book appointments with Tarot Readers when their lives are looking bright and sunny.

Tarot Card Reading offers solutions, answers and pathways. I always strive to put myself to the Tarot Test. What is the Tarot Test? My Tarot Test is built upon the theory that people come to Tarot Readers in an effort to gain insight, guidance, and knowledge of future events to help themselves. If I use my skills to help others, I’d better damn well use Tarot to help myself. Otherwise, I’d be one big hypocrite. And no one likes a hypocrite. Besides, what good’s an oracle if you don’t listen to it?

Here is how I’m using Tarot to help weather the current crisis.

I’m asking questions!

Reading Tarot, the true power resides in the questions you ask. Ask better questions. Get better results. It’s as simple as that.

What does recession mean?

It means to recede or withdraw.

Who withdraws in the world of Tarot?

The Hermit. The Hermit withdraws and journeys within himself and gains greater wisdom. Once, wisdom is gained, The Hermit emerges and stands on a mountaintop, shining his newfound knowledge for all those below to see. The Hermit is a beacon.

The recession is an opportunity to become a beacon for those around us. That is, if we are willing to take a journey inwards.

A good friend offered a marvelous piece of advice back in November when I got frightened by all the recession talk. Elizabeth Genco Purvis said, “Sasha, if everyone else is shrinking and pulling back don’t you think you can help heal the world by pushing forward?” Hmmm, that sounds like a very good question to me.

How do I expand?

Elizabeth didn’t mean go shopping and spend money, as George Junior urged us all to do a couple years back. She meant take what you do with for a living, what you do with passion and expand it! Extend it. Don’t shrink your biz back. Expand your passion in the face of recession. I took her advice and wouldn’t you know it? I had a season in which I had more clients and booked more parties than ever before!

In taking Elizabeth’s advice I began teaching Tarot classes. Empowering people with the tools to read their own Tarot cards. This is infinitely more helpful to the world than just telling clients what I see in the cards.

How can a recession be helpful?

The true gift of being a poor child is that I know to the core of my bones, as long as I have my health and my family’s health, I will be okay. I’ve had nothing. I’ve eaten the welfare cheese. I was moved from house, to house, to house. I’ve been told “No!” a million times over. I understand that a country house, divine Manhattan lunches and trips abroad are all very, very fortunate icing on the cake. But if you scrape off the icing, what lies beneath is pretty good cake. In my case, vanilla! What flavor is your cake?

I cursed my childhood at the time. I look back as an adult ever so thankfully. You see, recessions hold good, true and valuable lessons.

When will the recession stop?

Common sense dictates, like the Big Bang, everything that recedes will eventually expand again. The solutions you come up during your journey inward will make your expansion that much better.

How can I fix the economy?

We can all fix it.

We can begin by ask ourselves the right questions and then act accordingly. We can arrive at our answers in a way that is healthy, authentic and true. This is how the world will be come a better place. When this financial crisis gets tucked away into the history books, perhaps, we will look back and say, “I learned something.”

Here’s a recession spread to try at home. Lay ten cards in a row and read left to right. One card for each question.

Recession Spread

  1. What do I have that needs protection?
  2. How can I best protect it while expanding forward?
  3. How can I attract more money?
  4. What good will come from the turmoil?
  5. What is the most important thing to remember through the ups and downs?
  6. How can I expand in a time of recession?
  7. What wisdom do I gain when I withdraw?
  8. What is the most unbelievable, exciting change that occurs as a result of the turmoil?
  9. How can I stay balanced and optimistic?
  10. How can I help others around me?

 

What is a Random Act of Optimism?

An act where you behave in defiance of all the doom, gloom and fear that is running wild. A specific, optimistic act. Example – I’m going with my five-year-old to open a bank account in her name this afternoon. We’ll empty her piggy banks and chore money right into an account, paving the way for more money to replace it!

PS – Thanks to my Tarot students who helped me come up with some of the questions!