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Tarot for Empaths

Tarot for Empaths

If you feel called to guide other people by reading tarot… and if you identify as an empath (or at least have some empathic tendencies) I’ve put together something useful and magical for you! It’s a workshop called Tarot for Empaths, which I’m teaching as part of the Tarot Reader Academy’s Tarot Summer School this year. 

Enrollment is open now and it’s only $28 for lifetime access. Click here for all the details and to sign up if it sounds like something you’d benefit from!

Here’s a breakdown of what we’ll cover:

Module One: Getting to know yourself as an empath and a healer

In this module you’ll learn:
• What it means for you to be an empath, and what it means for you to be a healer. 
• How to clearly define your individual strengths as an empath and as a healer.
• What core themes you are most capable of assisting others with through your readings. 

Module Two: Emotional intelligence, energetic protection and boundaries

In this module, you’ll learn:
• Several effective techniques to protect your energy.
• A system for differentiating YOUR emotions from OTHER PEOPLE’s emotions.
• How to develop boundaries, and why doing so is essential for empathic tarot readers. 

Module Three: Fostering non-reactive empathy

In this module, you’ll learn:
• The difference between reactive and non-reactive empathy.
• Why practicing non-reactive empathy is SO essential for empathic readers.
• A four step process for practicing non-reactive empathy.

Module Four: Reading tarot for others as an empath

In this module, you will learn:
• Helpful steps to follow before giving any reading.
• Best practices and tips to integrate into your readings.
• The outline of a transformative process that to incorporate into your tarot readings.

Module Five: Reading tarot for yourself as an empath & workshop wrap up

In this module you will learn:
• How to ensure you’re in the right emotional energy when you read for yourself. 
• How to identify tarot cards that correlate with your empathic tendencies.
• A few tarot spreads to try to integrate the lessons of this workshop.

This is a video workshop, allowing you to interact with the materials on your own schedule. I’m also incorporating a LOT of interactive exercises – it won’t just all be me talking at you! I’ll guide you through many activities designed to help you connect with the lessons on a personal level. There will also be two optional live virtual “campfire sessions” as part of Tarot Summer School. I’ll be hanging out there ready to chat if you have questions about anything you’re learning!

Enrollment is open now and access to this workshop will go live July 18th. There’s also loads of other amazing workshops being offered as part of Tarot Summer School. Check out the full roster of courses here, and considering purchasing a season pass to get access to all 15 workshops for $199. 

(If you’re not interested, no worries. I’m just really excited and wanted to tell you about it!)

Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions – I’d be honored to have you join us for Tarot Summer School 2017.

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Hi, I'm Carrie!

I'm a tarot reader and mentor.
My purpose is to encourage your expansion. If you're new, start here.

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Five tarot cards to meditate on for tough times

Five tarot cards to meditate on for tough times

Meditation is one of the outside the box ways that tarot can be really useful. The cards speak to ever facet of the human experience, and meditating on a card can be a powerful way to tap into various themes. Many of us are acutely aware of the tragedies in every corner of the world, and even if they do not “directly” hit us on a personal level, we are affected. Today, I’m thinking particularly about cards to meditate with as we navigate our responses to such tough times. 

There are many different ways to meditate with tarot cards, and I encourage you to find what works well for you. What I have found to be effective is to sit with your chosen card in a quiet space. As you would in a traditional meditation practice, take a few deep breaths. From here, you can either keep your eyes open and look at your card, or close your eyes if you prefer. As you continue breathing, invite the energy and lessons of the card to present themselves to you. It may take time and patience, but eventually you will find this a powerful way to experience the themes of the cards.

In this post, I’ll suggest five cards that could be useful as you process painful events either in your personal life or in the broader spectrum of society. 

The Empress

The Empress is an affirmer of life. She reminds you that even when times feel bleak, regeneration is always possible. Nodding to the idealized archetype of a mother, the Empress envelops you in unconditional love. In turn, she asks you to act out her nurturing energy yourself. As you meditate with this card, you may be led to ways that you can give of your own loving energy. She can also lead you to greater attunement with the natural rhythms of life. Just as seasons change, so does your inner landscape. Be gentle with yourself during difficult times, and trust the potential for shifts and new growth. 

The Star

The Star is a reminder that raw vulnerability is where healing is found. In many decks the human figure on this card is naked, suggesting that there is no need to be anything other than exactly what you are. You don’t need to be perfect, and you don’t need to respond to tragedy in any one right way. The Star asks you to let go of your shields and to let yourself be raw and real. The Star can also teach you to orient your focus towards gratitude and healing. This isn’t in an attempt to ignore or negate the reality of suffering, but rather to give you a broader perspective, one that tells a more complete story. 

The Moon

This card may at first seem like an odd fit, but I think it offers contrasting lessons that are of immense value. The Moon is sometimes associated with fears and confusion. After all, the Moon itself is a sort of illusion, it does not emit its own glow but reflects the light of the sun. But this is exactly why meditating with this card during tough times can be useful. When you are confronting tragedy, it becomes more difficult to see things as they really are. Loss, pain and confusion seem all encompassing, and we can be tricked into thinking those things are all there is. In a positive sense, the Moon offers you a chance to refocus the fear that naturally arises within you during difficult times. For example, if one person commits a senseless act of violence, fear can lead you to falsely assume this means large swathes of people are violent. The Moon warns us to to remember that the voice of fear can take us away from rationality and love. When we are aware of this, we can redirect ourselves towards a more comprehensive perspective.

Ace of Cups

Echoing some of the messages we talked about with the Star, meditating with the Ace of Cups can allow you to hold space for ALL of your feelings. It is okay to feel overwhelmed, anxious, sad, and depressed. Denying difficult emotions is quick way to allow them to become toxic. This card offers you an alternative, which is to let all of your feelings flow. Let them move through you, let yourself experience each feeling fully and completely. It is often this simple act of feeling your feelings that cleanses your soul and allows you to move forward refreshed.

Six of Pentacles

Meditating with the Six of Pentacles can help you consider what direct action you can take in response to tough times. One of the most difficult response you may have to bad things is a sense of powerlessness. This card asks you to open yourself to the power you do have to create positive change, even on a small scale. Let yourself be receptive to what useful actions this card ignites within you. It could be something as small as hugging a friend or smiling at a stranger. It’s a bit of a cliche to say so, but you never really do now how much these small actions can ripple out and make a real difference. 

That’s all for now, but I believe that nearly any card in the deck could offer you inspiration during challenging times. The next time you find your heart in need of a boost, I hope you will try sitting with a card and seeing what it brings up for you. As always, my thoughts on the card are only something to consider. You may find your own meditations with the cards bring up very different responses. I only hope you’ll feel guided to the messages that will be the most empowering and healing for you.

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Third Party Tarot Readings: Dos and Don’ts

Third Party Tarot Readings: Dos and Don’ts

Well, this morning I drew the Fool for my daily card, and thus I decided to try something a little different for today’s post. I got on Facebook and did a live broadcast, but even if you missed it live you can watch the replay. In this broadcast, I’m sharing my thoughts on third party tarot readings – that is, readings that focus on someone other than the seeker. For example, if you ask what someone else thinks of you or about someone else’s personality – that’s a third party reading.

I’m not going to lie, there was a bit of rambling in this broadcast! But not to worry, there are some valuable gems tucked in among the rambling. Watch the replay of the broadcast here and you’ll learn the dos and don’t of third party readings. In the video I also go into detail describing a tarot spread you can try. You’ll find an image of that spread below.

I’ll likely do more live broadcasts on Facebook in the future, so make sure you’re following me over there. If you have a tarot-related question you’d like my input on, feel free to leave a comment here and maybe I’ll talk about it in a future broadcast!

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Hi, I'm Carrie!

I'm a tarot reader and mentor.
My purpose is to encourage your expansion. If you're new, start here.

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Your inner world, your outer world (a spread + a collective reading)

Your inner world, your outer world (a spread + a collective reading)

In many readings that I do for clients, the cards want to talk about the energies at work in the person’s inner world, and the energies at work in the person’s outer world. It is interesting enough to look at these energies separately, but it’s entirely fascinating to consider how these factors together influence your current experience overall.

As I was thinking about this today, the concept for a simple three card spread came to me, and so I’m going to share it with you here. Here’s a visual of the spread – feel free to pin it!

I encourage you to try this spread for yourself and see what comes up for you personally, if you’d like. You’re also welcome to leave a comment and let me know how it goes for you!

I’m also going to try out this spread by offering a collective reading, with the hope that anyone who reads this can pick out the aspects that resonate for them right now. You’ll find that reading below!

A reading for the collective

I’ll be using the Dreaming Way Tarot for this reading. I’ve shuffled the cards while asking to be guided to the cards and messages that will be the most useful for us.

Considering your inner world, the Queen of Swords suggests that you have recently made some important shifts in how you perceive certain challenges. Things that have caused you a lot of worry over a long period of time might now be slowly seeming more manageable. It’s not that the problem does not persist, but that you have realized that you are more capable than you previously thought of solving the problem.

There’s still a tough road to walk from here. There’s still work to be done, and you might find yourself occasionally back in a fit of fretting. But you can sense on some level that you’ve transformed. You’ve become more aligned with your own wisdom, and from here perhaps you can experiment with really TRUSTING that wisdom. The important thing right now is to move forward into the ACTION phase once you sense you’re ready.

Right now you’re likely still coming to terms with things, still hatching the plan of how you can best proceed. That’s okay. Give yourself the space and time you need to think, plan and ponder. But when you know it’s the time to take direct action, don’t delay.

Regarding your outer world, The Star suggests you’re realizing you are not alone. Although your challenges might be acutely unique to you, you may now be starting to see how they tie into challenges faced on a wider scale. It might seem like all around you, you’re witnessing people rising up. If you look for them, you’ll see so many examples of people “being the change” they wish to see. And if you let it, witnessing this energy externally can inspire you as you continue navigating your own internal process.

For some time, you might have looked out at your external world with a focus on what was going wrong. This was likely not because you chose to do so, but rather something that happened subconsciously. During this phase, you may have found yourself intensely fixated on all the greed, suffering and selfishness in the world. But now, you have the chance to experience the phenomenal magic of shifting your perspective.

This doesn’t mean it’s now wise for you to IGNORE the negative realities around you. But the Page of Cups speaks to how you may now be finding that you are more capable of compassion and service when you place your INNER focus primarily on all of the healing and beauty at work in the OUTER world.

As mentioned earlier, you can see examples of generosity everywhere when you choose to perceive them. Now is a powerful time to consciously practice that shift in perspective. When you find that you are once again dwelling on the vastness of problems, ask yourself to shift to the vastness of solutions that are taking shape. This may continue to seem like a bit of a roller coaster ride for your emotions, but remind yourself that your sensitivity is a great asset. Your attunement to emotional undercurrents can supplement your rational mind in finding creative solutions.

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Hi, I'm Carrie!

I'm a tarot reader and mentor.
My purpose is to encourage your expansion. If you're new, start here.

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17 questions to ask yourself (and your cards) about success

17 questions to ask yourself (and your cards) about success

Alright, let me get this out of the way upfront. The word “success” sometimes makes me feel kind of icky. It’s one of those terms that manages to be both vague yet also tied to some very specific associations of money, status, and hierarchy. Because of this, I’ve been working on re-framing my relationship with the concept of success for a few years now.

Success does not have to be defined through a binary view of success vs failure, winning vs losing, having vs not having. Success does not have to mean climbing the corporate ladder or nailing every goal you set or having 100k social media followers. In fact, by unconsciously playing along with these kinds of unquestioned definitions of success you can easily find yourself despondent and uninspired.

These days, I’m a lot more fluid with how I define success for myself. It’s less about meeting rigidly defined standards and more about how I feel and the values that I live by. It’s less about pushing and forcing myself, and more about inspiring myself. Most of all, it’s about being authentic about what matters to me, and being compassionate to myself as I work towards those things.

If you think you could also benefit from taking a closer look at your relationship with the concept of success, grab a journal and some tarot cards ‘cuz this one’s for you! You can work with these questions however you’d like: perhaps just free write on each question, OR pull a card to prompt your answer for each question.

17 Questions to ask yourself
and your cards about success

• How does society define success?

• What parts of this definition resonate with me?

• Which parts of this definition do not resonate with me?

• What positive associations do I have with the concept of success?

• What unhealthy associations do I have with the concept of success?

• How do I define success for myself?

• Where might I need to re-evaluate my definition of success?

• What might I easily mistake for success?

• How attached am I to the idea of succeeding?

• How can I cultivate self-worth internally regardless of external success?

• What does authentic success feel like to me?

• How often do I feel successful?

• What personal successes have I overlooked?

• When and why did I last feel successful at a soul-level?

• What unhealthy ways might I sometimes gauge my success?

• What is the most healthy way for me to gauge my success?

• How can I cultivate an more inspiring and healthy relationship with the concept of success overall?

If you try this exercise, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. Did this bring up anything particularly illuminating or useful for you? Leave a comment and let me know.

Oh, and if you liked this post, you might also enjoy 14 questions to ask yourself (and your cards) about love.

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How To Read the Tarot Court Cards (the easiest way)

How To Read the Tarot Court Cards (the easiest way)

It’s a pretty common notion that the court cards are the hardest to grasp part of a tarot deck. That’s really saying something when you realize that many of us find the vast archetypes of a nuanced major arcana card like the Tower more accessible than an unassuming little card like the Page of Cups!

The Court cards throw many tarot readers for a loop, so today I’m going to share with you one pretty straightforward and easy way you can improve your understanding of the tarot’s court cards.

Before I get into the heart of this lesson, I want to say that just like with anything else in tarot studies there are many, many different approaches to the court cards. I’m firmly in the camp that there’s no right or wrong way to read tarot. My approach to pretty much anything with tarot is to take some traditional knowledge and blend it with my own personal style, and I think it’s useful to give yourself permission to do the same thing.

That said, when I first started learning tarot, I came across a simple yet really effective framework to understand the court cards. This mainly comes from Joan Bunning’s Learn Tarot course (the entire course is available for free online at learntarot.com). Much of what I’m going to share with you today is based on the framework I learned from Joan’s course.

By reading this article, you’ll gain a greater understanding of how to interpret the court cards in your own way. For additional practice, make sure to download the free worksheet included at the end of this post.

The Whats and Whys of the Court Cards

Let’s start by considering what the court cards really are. Why do they exist, and what do they contribute to the deck as a whole? Put simply, court cards can be thought of as representing either specific people, specific personality traits, or specific approaches to life. Just like real life people, each court card has its own quirks and characteristics – for example, some court cards are outgoing, some are reserved. Some process information analytically, some intuitively.

Psychologists have come up with many different ways of categorizing different personality types – think of the court cards as the tarot deck’s way of doing the same thing. In fact, the popular Myers-Briggs personality indicator defines 16 personality types, and it just so happens there are 16 court cards. Many people have linked up the tarot courts to Meyers-Briggs types, but we won’t go into that here! For now, just consider that when you draw a court card, it can be useful to consider how a specific type of person, or a specific aspect of your own personality, is currently effecting your situation.

How to Interpret the Court Cards

Now that we’ve given some consideration to what the court cards are, let’s dive into a framework for understanding and interpreting them. This framework is based off a simple premise: each court card has a RANK – in most decks the ranks are Page, Knight, Queen and King; and each court card has a SUIT – usually Cups, Pentacles, Wands and Swords. Each rank has its own set of characteristics, as does each suit.

To get a basic understanding of all 16 court cards, you really just need to get a basic understanding of each rank and each suit. Then, to interpret any particular court card, you use your intuition to combine your understanding of these factors. So to put it plainly, COURT CARD RANK + COURT CARD SUIT + YOUR INTUITION = COURT CARD INTERPRETATION. Make sense? Let’s go deeper into how that might work.

The Four Suits

I’m assuming you’ve already got some tarot studies under your belt, and you probably already have some understanding of the four suits. But I’ll give a simple breakdown of them here to serve as a reference:

Swords: associated with the mental realm. Rationality, logic, communication. Useful thoughts as well as anxieties and fears.

Pentacles: associated with the material realm. Physicality, the body, work, environment. Abundance as well as scarcity and greed.

Wands: associated with gusto and life force. Excitement, exploration, creative pursuits. Passion as well as grandiosity and impulsiveness.

Cups: associated with the emotional realm. Connection, love, dreams and wishes. Happiness as well as sorrow and vulnerability.

The Four Ranks

A caveat before we jump in here: try not to let age and gender dilute your relationship with the court cards. When we talk about age and gender in the courts, they are only useful as metaphors. For example, a page has a childlike approach to life but does always represent a literal child. A queen can be biologically male, and a king can be biologically female. Even though in most decks the court cards are given gender binary names, the court cards do not have to be interpreted through a gender binary perspective. It would work just fine to replace every instance of “she” or “he” with “they” or “them.”

There’s a lot more that could be said about gender in the courts – but that’ll have to be a different post for a different day! For now, let’s move on to a general framework for understanding the court ranks.

Page: the “youngest” of the courts. Has an explorative, playful relationship with the suit’s energies. May still have a lot to learn about the suit, but on the other hand often interacts with the suit in fresh and unbiased ways.

Knight: the “teenager.” Prone to shift erratically within the suit’s energy – sometimes showcasing that energy in proactive ways, the next moment in unbalanced ways.

Queen: the “inwardly mature adult.” The queen embodies the traits of her suit and radiates that energy from the inside out. She leads by example, through her intentions and beliefs.

King: the “outwardly mature adult.” Projects the energy of his suit outwards, imposing it upon the world. He leads through action and by setting external guidelines.

Intuitively Combining SUIT Plus RANK to Interpret the Courts: Examples

Just with the above descriptions of the suits and ranks, you have the skeleton you need to understand and interpret all 16 court cards. Exactly how you do this is up to you, but let’s look at a few examples of how this could work. Say you draw the Queen of Swords. How might you interpret this card within the framework of RANK + SUIT + INTUITION? Take a look at the reference charts again to get started.

Queen: the “inwardly mature adult.” The queen embodies the traits of her suit and radiates that energy from the inside out. She leads by example, through her intentions and beliefs.

Swords: associated with the mental realm. Rationality, logic, communication. Useful thoughts as well as anxieties and fears.

Using the above outlines as well as your intuition, you might determine the following about this card.

QUEEN + SWORDS = This is someone who has a good amount of life experience. She’s developed mental astuteness and is not easily deceived. She understands the power of the mind and has the ability to influence others with wit, not force. Even when she doesn’t speak, she is always inwardly observing and making assessments about what she perceives.

Let’s look at another example, the Knight of Pentacles. Here again are our guidelines for rank and suit.

Knight: the “teenager.” Prone to shift erratically within the suit’s energy – sometimes showcasing that energy in proactive ways, the next moment in unbalanced ways.

Pentacles: associated with the material realm. Physicality, the body, work, environment. Abundance as well as scarcity and greed.

Combining these guidelines of RANK + SUIT while also drawing upon your own intuition, you might come up with something like this:

KNIGHT + PENTACLES = He is a hard worker, but sometimes he doesn’t know when to give it a rest. He values accomplishment, but can get fixated on a single detail instead of seeing the big picture. He can give great care to the task at hand but might be unwilling to upset his routine.

As we’re looking at these examples, keep in mind that your interpretations might not look like mine, and that’s okay. I’m giving these just to give you an idea of how this might work, not to say that my interpretations are the end all, be all. Let’s look at a couple more, just to cover a broad array of combinations.

How might we interpret the Page of Cups?

Page: the “youngest” of the courts. Has an explorative, playful relationship with the suit’s energies. May still have a lot to learn about the suit, but on the other hand often interacts with the suit in fresh and unbiased ways.

Cups: associated with the emotional realm. Connection, love, dreams and wishes. Happiness as well as sorrow and vulnerability.

PAGE + CUPS = She has an open-heart and doesn’t carry a fear of being emotionally hurt. She sees the glass as half-full. She is in tune with her inner realm. Trusting and loving, but perhaps at times too naïve and may get her feelings hurt easily.

Let’s look at one last example, the King of Wands.

King: the “outwardly mature adult.” Projects the energy of his suit outwards, imposing it upon the world. He leads through action and by setting external guidelines.

Wands: associated with gusto and life force. Excitement, exploration, creative pursuits. Passion as well as grandiosity and impulsiveness.

KING + WANDS = He is a charismatic person who is always on the go. His enthusiasm is contagious, others want to do what he’s doing. He is willing to take bold action in order to create whatever it is that he desires.

Homework: A Free Worksheet

If this framework seems useful to you, try going through and interpreting each of the 16 court cards this way. I’ve made a free worksheet you can use for this exercise. It’s a PDF and you can either print it out or type right into the document! Right click here to download.

Once again, it’s important to remember that there aren’t wrong or right answers. Especially if you are somewhat new to tarot, think of this exercise as a way to bond with the cards and form your own relationship with your deck. The sample interpretations I’ve gone through in this post have been pretty brief, but you might find you have a lot to say about certain cards, but other cards might throw you for a loop. Be patient with yourself and approach this exercise with curiosity.

You might be surprised how much you can get to know the court cards just by intuitively combining their rank and suit. This is a really powerful way to understand who the court cards are and how they can lend depth to your readings. As you get better acquainted with these court personalities, you’ll probably even see that the court cards remind you of real people you know, or of characters from books and movies.

So, what do you think? Does this method of interpreting court cards work for you, or do you have another brilliant way to read the courts? I would love to hear your thoughts, so leave a comment if you’d like.

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Hi, I'm Carrie!

I'm a tarot reader and mentor.
My purpose is to encourage your expansion. If you're new, start here.

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How (and why) to make blackout poetry

How (and why) to make blackout poetry

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I’ve recently dived headfirst into the blackout poetry rabbit hole. Why? Because making blackout poetry is a psyche-healing activity. There’s something about this process that is quiet and exciting and sacred and transformative. Like any other good creative undertaking does, making blackout poetry keeps leads you to discoveries about yourself.

Blackout poetry is one of those phenomenons that spiderwebs it’s way out through the world: I was inspired by the Instagram account @makeblackoutpoetry who was inspired by Austin Kleon and from there the inspiration goes back further and further and further, on and on and on. Suffice it to say people have been doing similar artwork for many years.

Since I’ve started sharing my blackout poems, I’ve had a few people message me and ask questions about the materials I use and how they can get started making their own blackout poetry. This makes me really excited because creating blackout poetry has really ‘clicked’ something within me, and I’d love to see others have that magical experience. Obviously I’m not an expert – I’ve only been doing this for a month or so – but I’ll share my process with you here. Listening to your curiosity will rarely lead you astray, so if this idea beckons to you, heed the call!

As you’re reading these steps, keep in mind that the only thing you really need to know about how to make blackout poetry is to do it however the hell you want to do it. Aside from seeing some examples online, I didn’t do any “research” when I started, I just started. Have fun and unleash your creativity! 

How to make blackout poetry

1. Gather some old written materials (books, magazines, newspapers, whatever).

If you have some books languishing around that you’ve been meaning to donate, grab them. Those are the PERFECT candidates for blackout poetry. Any type of book (fiction, non-fiction, whatevs) will do but the thicker the pages, the better. I’ve tried to use some flimsy mass-market paperback books and that thin paper tends to fall apart.

If you don’t have any books like this already on hand, check your local thrift store and spend a few bucks on a couple of random books. You could also use free printed materials you were going to recycle anyway, such as newspapers, junk mail, old magazines…you get the idea. 

2. Select a blackout medium.

I had some old acrylic paint gathering dust in a closet, so that’s what I’ve been using to redact text. There’s something very satisfying about smearing paint across an old book page, but you could also use a sharpie, a crayon, a pencil, a pen, or anything else you damn well please. I mainly use just black and white paint, and many blackout poets stick to a monochromatic aesthetic. But if color floats your boat, get colorful! I just started experimenting with watercolor in my blackout poetry and I’m excited to keep playing around with various mediums.

3. Get any other optional materials ready: varying sizes of paintbrushes, pens, scissors, paper towels, pencils, and a hair dryer (to dry paint).

Written material and a blackout medium are really the core materials you need, but I’ve found my blackout poetry supply kit quickly expanding. I now keep all of the stuff listed above on hand. You might also want some newspaper or an old towel to throw down on your working surface just to keep unwanted messes to a minimum. I now have a growing pile of supplies, I keep them on my bookshelf so that I can grab them whenever the poetry whim strikes. 

4. Choose a page and find the words that stick out to you.

In a strange way, blackout poetry pushes some of the same buttons as reading tarot. Try to trust synchronicity, flip to a random page and see what words you’re drawn to. I try to avoid reading the entire page straight through, instead looking at the page in a more abstract way, as though it is a kind of word farm. Let your eyes focus on various words until one sparks something within you. Then using that word as a base, jump to other random words and see how they connect. Before you know it, you’ll have fished out your own unique phrase.

Sometimes I “find” my poem right away. Other times I spend a while staring at the page, trying to puzzle something together. And other times still, I can’t seem to farm out the right words and so I turn to a new page. If you find yourself getting too frustrated, wait and come back later. Creating blackout poetry should be fun and feel natural. If it’s stressing you out, it’s defeating the purpose!

Your poem can be as short or as long as you want. You might want to fuss about aligning your words so the poem is easier to read, or you might choose words from all over the page. Don’t overthink it, trust what feels right. When you’ve selected the words that will make up your poem, circle them with a pencil.

5. Blackout the words that aren’t part of your poem, then add optional artistic flourishes.

Now you get to be really brave and start transforming your page. Rip the page out of the book so it’s easier to handle. Get your paint (or marker, or whatever else) and cover up the excess words. I have had the unfortunate incident of accidentally painting over words that I DID want in my poem more than once, so now I start by highlighting the words I want to keep. Then I cover everything else. If you want, you can then use a hair dryer to dry your paint.

Congratulations, you’ve now made a blackout poem! It’s as simple as that. Of course, there are all sorts of flourishes you can do from here. I like to add some type of drawing or embellishment to my poem. This adds a new dimension of creativity to your work, and it can also be another way to express the theme of your piece. In the example pictured above, the words of my poem say “the moment disappeared, space lost; unfinished.” I decided to add a clock, tying into the theme of fleeting moments. If I’m using black paint to blackout, I add my flourishes with white paint. If I’m using white paint to blackout, I use a ballpoint pen to add flourishes. In this example, the finished product looks like this:

A few additional thoughts

When you’re done with a piece, you might want to write the date on the back. This way if you’re like me and go on a huge blackout poetry making expedition, you can look back on them almost like you would old journal entries. As with any other creative outlet, try not to fixate on how “good” your poems are or what other people will think about them. It can be really fun to share your pieces and I encourage you to do so if you want to (there’s a lovely blackout poetry community on Instagram). But it’s also totally cool to just have these be something you do purely to keep to yourself.

You’ll be amazed what you can glean about your current mental and spiritual state from your blackout poetry. Your unconscious mind is as influential in this process as your conscious mind. Above all else, blackout poetry is another adventurous way to explore the themes currently influencing your inner world. Try it!

And if you do share on Instagram, tag me (@carriemallon) so I can cheer you on. 

Happy word farming, 

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Hi, I'm Carrie!

I'm a tarot reader and mentor.
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It wasn’t easy – and it didn’t need to be.

It wasn’t easy – and it didn’t need to be.

Hi there,

I BUILT MYSELF A NEW WEBSITE! AND IT’S NOW LIVE! YOU CAN LOOK AT IT RIGHT NOW!

I wish I could say that this project was full of serendipity and the universe supporting me…but it just wasn’t. It was really damn hard at times. And that’s okay. I’m going to talk more about that here.

I really loved my old website – but it had been more or less the same since 2014 – and in internet time, that’s more like ten years than three. The old site wasn’t particularly mobile friendly, and that really bothered me (and maybe you, if you ever tried to visit on your phone). This new site is compatible with any phone or tablet or new-fangled device!

I thought about hiring someone to build a site for me, but I gradually (and begrudgingly) realized the Universe wanted me to build it myself. I had a lot of resistance to this project at times. I would complain about working on the site. I would procrastinate working on the site. I would resent working on the site. I would set deadlines for myself and then fail to meet them.

Eventually, my resistance got so bad that I had to sit myself
the fuck down and say, “Carrie…my love…what is going on?
What’s the REAL root of all this resistance?”

As I sat with that question, I realized that I was resisting because this project wasn’t full of EASE. In fact, this project was often a royal pain in the behind. So many things went wrong: one time I spent a good hour getting something just the way I wanted it, only to realize none of my changes were saved. Another time, I spent hours and HOURS researching how to do something and NONE of the suggestions I tried worked.

At one point, I drew a couple of cards for myself about this project.
Out popped the Eight of Swords and the Moon, of course! 

So yeah – this project wasn’t full of ease. It was often full of the opposite of ease – stress, frustration, and confusion. 

The obstacles inherent in this endeavor were leading to my resistance, because I was telling myself a story that a lot of creative people tell themselves. It’s the story that goes “when you do what you’re meant to be doing, doors will open. The process will flow. You’ll be in the zone.”

This can be a useful story, to an extent. I certainly have had the experience of feeling that the Universe is supporting my projects and that things are flowing with magic and synchronicity.

But if you really devote to living a creative life, there will be times that a project nearly makes you punch a wall. Even the most meaningful creative projects can at times be difficult and trying. Even the project you most need to be working on – the project that has the potential to expand your soul – can seem at times like every freakin’ thing is going wrong.

I think this is one of the reason the Universe wanted me to build this site myself. I needed to be reminded of this truth. It’s something I already know, but I tend to forget:

Doing meaningful things does not guarantee that the road will be smooth at all times.

Sometimes we absolutely NEED the challenges and setbacks that pop up along the way, because that’s how we grow. Yeah, I get it, Universe. You don’t wanna let me just cruise through some things – you want to give me interesting puzzles to work through. Well played!

Now that my new site is live, I really could not be happier with how things turned out. Getting over the learning curve was brutal, but I now have a whole new web design skill set. When I look at this site, I feel like my energy, my love and my fingerprints are everywhere. I don’t know if I’d feel that so strongly if I’d hired someone else to build the site.

And perhaps the most valuable thing I’ve gained from this project is that reminder that doing meaningful, creative things is challenging. Growing pains are part of the process. If you only continue with projects that always feel easy and full of grace, you will definitely avoid some frustration – but you’ll also miss out on a lot of adventure.

That’s it for now – thank you so much for being here. I have soooo many things I want to create now that the new site is up. I feel like I’ve burst through to a new level of creative autonomy through this project, and I’m excited to continue to share things with you in this new energetic space.

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Psycho-spiritual Spring Cleaning: journal prompts

Psycho-spiritual Spring Cleaning: journal prompts

There’s something so compelling about organizing and prioritizing. As far as I’m concerned, ANY time life starts to feel clogged is a good time to do some (literal OR metaphorical) sweeping. And there’s something about spring – this season of renewal and rebirth and fresh starts – that lends itself particularly well to cleaning.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what needs refreshing in my own life. Just like our physical environment gets dusty and needs regular attention, so do the other dimensions of our lives. With this esoteric thought in mind, I’ve created a set of prompts you can use to do some psycho-spiritual spring cleaning for yourself. Of course because I’m me and tarot is life, there are four sections here, inspired by the four tarot suits.

I hope that these prompts will help you shine a light on some areas of your life that could use some sprucing up. I would recommend using these as journal prompts, if you’re into that kind of thing. This isn’t just about cleaning and purging – although there’s a bit of that thrown in! This is mostly about clearing away what is dusty so that you can really focus on what’s important.

I hope you will find this exercise useful!

Cups

Write down one word that describes the most prominent emotion you’ve had so far this year. Now write down one word that describes the emotion you’d most like to be feeling. Do they line up? If not, how might you bridge the gap?

Who have you been missing? Name at least one person. Reach out to them. Challenge yourself to be a little vulnerable and let them know how much they mean to you.

Whenever you have a memorable or powerful dream this season, write it down. At the end of the season, reflect back upon these records. What lessons are your dreams presenting?

As you go about your days, look for “unexpected gratitudes.” Each day, take note of at least one “weird” things you are most thankful for.

Wands

List three near-by places you’ve been meaning to explore; such as parks, cafes, bookshops, forests, lakes etc. Now make a plan to actually visit those places this season.

What are four things you’ve done this year that made you really happy? Can you do them again soon?

What is one errand, chore or task that you’ve been meaning to do but haven’t gotten around to yet? Make a plan to JUST DO THIS and just get it out of the way ASAP.

What creative acts have been calling to you? For the next month, try to set aside at least one hour per week for creative play time. Remember that this is for YOU, not to create things to show to other people – just creating for yourself.

Pentacles

List three items you own that are taking up unnecessary energetic and physical space. Where can you recycle, donate, or purge these items this season?

How can you be more attentive to the wonders of your five senses this season? Can you further incorporate some of your favorite smells, sights, textures, tastes and sounds into your daily routine?

What is one concrete action you can take to make life better for someone else this season? Can you help a friend in need, donate to a cause you care about, volunteer your time, or help the world in some other way?

Describe one simple action that improves your quality of life. This might be eating vegetables, walking, writing, reading, laughing, etc. Each day this season, try to make space for that action in your life (even if it’s only for ten minutes).

Swords

Where in your life have you been avoiding making a firm decision? Make time this season to give this situation full consideration and make a proper choice.

Take note of which situations in your life currently make you the most stressed and frazzled. How can you quit, rework, or reframe your perspective on these situations?

Under what circumstances do you feel the most calm and collected? For example: meditation, being in nature, etc. Are you doing these things regularly? If not, how can you start?

Start a “release jar” for your worries: whenever you experience fearful, anxious, harmful thoughts or worries, write them down and place them in a mason jar with the word “Release” written on it. This is a way to symbolically liberate your energy by releasing your worries to the Universe.

Happy spring cleaning,

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Reversed cards, Flash Fiction and more: Best of the Blog Year 3

Reversed cards, Flash Fiction and more: Best of the Blog Year 3

As I’m writing this, it’s the spring equinox here in the northern hemisphere – and I am FEELING IT. Sometimes the energy in mid-March feels even more ripe with potential than the new year in January does, don’t you think? This time of year has grown a particular importance to me because it’s my blog and biz anniversary! I have now officially been doing this whole tarot reading and writing thing for three years!

Since I put up blog posts almost every week, making your way through archived posts can be quite the adventure. Each year when I hit my blogiversary, I go through all the posts from the last year and put together a “best of” list; a collection of posts that seemed particularly well-received by some of you guys.

If you’re new to my blog or if you just wanna check out some interesting stuff you might’ve missed this year, here are the best posts from year 3!

***

The healing process: pain is required
The Devil, The Tower and the Star launch a discussion about emotional and spiritual healing.

One tip for intuitively connecting with your tarot cards
Seriously, THE number one way to strengthen your intuitive understanding of tarot cards.

Unpacking the “I’m not good enough” fear in business
For current or aspiring business owners: let’s deconstruct any notions that you’re not good enough to do this.

How to read reversed tarot cards
To reverse, or not to reverse? Plus a few key ways to interpret reversed cards.

Refer to this when you need reminders of what’s important
Crucial reminders for anyone wanting to live more authentically and creatively.

How to create your own Memento Mori with tarot
Remember, you will die!

How to get the most magic from an email reading
Before you purchase another email reading, read this and you’ll get the most goodness possible from the experience.

Write your own tarot flash fiction
There are so many unique ways to use tarot. Here’s one of my faves that combines introspection and fiction writing.

***

If you’re so inclined, take a peek at the best of the blog year one and year two, as well.

Thank you so much for spending any amount of time with the stuff I create. It really means a lot to me.

Book a private reading with me here.

Sign up for fresh blog posts weekly + my free ebook ‘The Tarot Reader’s Daily Companion’.


 


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Carrie Mallon

Header art by Annie Ruygt

All site content © Carrie Mallon LLC 2017 

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