Word on a Whim

Archive for the category “Tarot”

The energy of a Tarot deck – the Leeds Tarot

I was born in Leeds and grew up there. I grew up hating the place. I have a lovely, loving family in Leeds, and lived there for my first twenty-three years, so it seemed odd that the place always depressed me, and I couldn’t accept it as ‘home’. I had a dream of a country cottage, out in the sticks, that I somehow managed to meet half way with a small house in a semi-rural location where commuting is as easy as it can be on England’s congested roads.

It was when I got to know and love the small market town where my dad was born, and the remote scenic hamlet where his ancestors came from that the penny dropped that my abhorrence of the large town and craving for the countryside might be genetic. I feel at home in dad’s homeland.

I still visit family in Leeds regularly, but always with a feeling of unease, with ‘pre-Leeds tension’ in the lead-up. The claustrophobia of the massive network of roads – all with either potholes or speed bumps. Looking at it on google maps, you zoom in to a spider’s web.

Things don’t flow for me in Leeds.

For example, I had to deliver something to a place near a shopping centre, so I followed a signpost to the nearest car park. The entrance barrier was down, and there was a car in front of me waiting. I sat and waited too, but didn’t know what we were waiting for. All became clear when the exit barrier lifted and a car came out, then the guy in front of me took a ticket from a machine, the barrier went up and he drove in. I got it. The carpark was full, so we had to wait for someone to come out before we could go in. Thankfully, this happened quite soon, as there was no way of turning round. There was another car behind me and I was trapped. So, I pressed the button for a ticket, and drove in. Next problem, the only space available, presumably vacated by the car that just left, was a disabled space, so I had to wait for a normal space. Meanwhile, I was looking for the payment meter, but could only see numerous signs threatening a large fine for non-payment of parking charges.

Eventually, I parked the car and had a quick wander round but still could find no meter or any indication of where it was. I had to ask someone in the designated smoking area if they knew, and they told me it was inside the shopping centre. I found the meter and dithered over the various tariff options. I only wanted to drop something off, but had already been in the carpark ages … I selected the button for the ‘pre-payment’ option and it told me how much to put in. I paid, and went off puzzled as to why I didn’t have a choice of how much time to pay for.

Later, my brother laughed and said I should have paid on the way out. Maybe I’m a wally and should have worked it out, without needing instructions. In Leeds, I feel like Crocodile Dundee in New York, but without his charm!

Anyway, when I saw the “Leeds Tarot” on a pre-loved Tarot Facebook page, I was reluctantly compelled to buy it. I don’t collect Tarot cards, but do have a few decks that I cherish. This one is described as “a community focused art project unifying both established and aspiring artists through the intriguing imagery of tarot”. I bought it with the similar sense of duty with which I buy a poppy each year, then didn’t give it much thought, until the guy selling it messaged me apologising for the delay in posting it. I assured him there was no hurry, and we exchanged jokey messages about my love-hate relationship with Leeds.

Judging by the time it took to get here, I think me and the “Leeds Tarot” must have had similar reservations about connecting with each other! Julz, in the front room, saw one of our neighbours coming up the drive doing that awkward looking down at feet demeanour that indicates they are about to shove something through your letter box. Luckily, we have a porch, so he was able to chuck it in there and make a swift exit, without having to knock the door.

The “Leeds Tarot” had finally arrived, but had been wrongly delivered. It had taken a bumpy ride to get here … as if I wasn’t meant to have it. Until now, I hadn’t realised that the ‘connection’ with a Tarot deck worked both ways. Me and the deck were acting as negative magnets. No wonder its journey here wasn’t great.

 As I opened the package, I reflected that if I could nurture my bond with my home town, instead of dreading the journey, then maybe my visits might flow a bit more smoothly.

I took in the colours of the box and the emblem with a pang of nostalgia, as they are so reminiscent of a Leeds United emblem, but instead of a football in the centre, there’s an eye dropping a tear. Leeds United was always there at home … the radio on in the background if Leeds were playing.

I love that the inset card lists the names of all the artists against the card they created.

Looking through the cards, each style is so different. Some artists have thought hard about the meaning of the card and created an image that suits the meaning. Others appear to have supplied an image they like, and let the caption do the talking.

Most of all, I love that the deck is the result of the collective energy of everyone who collaborated in its creation. No wonder it feels powerful. Nice one Leeds!


Another review of The Lighthouse Tarot

Thank you Kayleigh for this lovely review 🙂

The Light Creatures Tarot – work in progress

I have no plans for a second print run of The Lighthouse Tarot – at least not for the foreseeable future.  Sales of The Lighthouse Tarot (there are still some left!) will be used to fund the printing of my current work in progress, The Light Creatures Tarot.  I started working on it before The Lighthouse Tarot was published and it won’t be finished for ages yet, but a few lovely people have expressed an interest in the current project, so I am sharing a preview here.

The Light Creatures Tarot” is a working title and might possibly change.  I feel that The Lighthouse Tarot has … a lightness about the whole deck, whereas some of my creatures so far have a bit of attitude about them. 

Here we have The Magician, The Hermit, Death & Rebirth, The Tower, The Moon and The Sun:

Love and Light 🙂


Video review of The Lighthouse Tarot

When I put a copy of the deck in the post to wing its way across the Atlantic to Jennifer, I had no idea this lovely lady has a YouTube channel, and was delighted to discover this review of The Lighthouse Tarot.

I love Jennifer’s warmth, humour and insightfulness – and the ironic connection with the Ten of Swords!  I also love the interaction with Baker the cat who appears to be able to count to seventy-eight and took centre-stage right on cue 🙂

Thank you, Jennifer!

The Lighthouse Tarot in action!

Donna was one of the first to buy The Lighthouse Tarot and it made my day when I was queueing for a Covid jab today and she sent me this link to a video of the cards in action. I am so impressed with Donna’s intuitive readings and her lovely voice!

The Lighthouse Tarot – more photos

I have been asked for more photos of the cards, so here are a few of the sample pack that I am keeping and using:

This is the back of the cards with a ‘choppy sea’ effect:

Enjoy 🙂

The Lighthouse Tarot – available for purchase

My small print run of The Lighthouse Tarot has been delivered:

I am selling them for £22 per deck plus postage by Royal Mail:

Price including postage for a single pack/deck:

UK standard 1st class: £22.00 + £3.85 = £25.85

UK standard 2nd class:  £22.00 + £3.20 = £25.20

Europe no tracking:  £22.00 +  £5.95 = £27.95

Europe tracked:  £22.00 +  £10.25 = £32.25

USA no tracking:  £22.00 + £10.95 = £32.95

USA tracked:  £22.00 + £13.45 =  £35.45

Canada no tracking: £22.00 + £8.30 = £30.30

Canada tracked: £22.00 + £12.70 = £34.70

Australia no tracking: £22.00 + £9.60 = £31.60

Australia tracked: £22.00 + £13.85 = £35.85

Please use the Contact Form to order a deck or to enquire about other postage options or for multiple decks.

 The cards come in a cardboard tuck box.  There is no booklet but a list of definitions can be found by clicking on “Tarot Card Meanings” tab or menu option.

They are standard tarot-size 7cm x 12cm, printed in the UK on 320gsm card with smooth finish – very easy to shuffle and fan.

Thank you 🙂

Tarot Card key meanings

Since my first Tarot reading as a teenager, I’ve had a fascination for the mysticism and artwork of the Tarot.  I am not an intuitive Tarot reader – I simply interpret the meanings from traditional definitions, yet I am convinced that each deck of cards has its own energy.  For example, if I draw the cards for myself but don’t like what I see, I might take a frivolous ‘best of three’ attitude, shuffle them thoroughly then try again and it’s uncanny how many of the same cards reappear – sometimes even in the same position in the spread.

Normally I do a Celtic Cross spread – just for an overview of past, present and future in general and the cards tend to reflect my mood.  If I’m feeling low I draw cards associated with separation and misery – but this has happened often enough for me to realise nothing bad is about to happen and the spread is simply a manifestation of my own fears and negativity.  I guess it must be similar for dowsers trying to remain objective to get a yes/no answer from the pendulum when the outcome is important to them. 

Occasionally I ask a specific question of the cards and the answer can be surprising. For example, last weekend my son had arranged to go and look at a car advertised for sale.  I was particularly hoping it would go well and he would buy the car because I worry about him riding a motorbike on country lanes in the dark when you can’t see debris on the road until the last minute – and for all the other reasons why mothers worry about sons on motorbikes.  This car was more or less what he’s looking for and close to where he lives.  Whilst waiting to hear how he got on, I drew the cards asking specifically how this viewing would go and got the ten of swords at the root of it and swords generally everywhere except for a couple of knights or kings.  None of it made sense.  I put the cards away and decided to do something useful with my time – then when I messaged to see how he got on my son said the guy had cancelled because he’d had a busy day and wanted to watch the footy so please could they rearrange for another day.  So the reading did make sense after all.  Whilst the cards appeared overly dramatic for something as minor as a car viewing, they were responding to my question. Whether I’m asking a trivial question or looking for guidance on a life-changing matter, it’s the same seventy-eight cards I’m playing with!

In my list of key meanings I have included the reverse meanings (i.e. if the card is drawn upside down).  Personally, I don’t use reverse meanings and keep my cards all the same way up – there are enough interpretations already for my mind to handle, without the added complexity of reverse meanings.  These key meanings are the ones that have grown on me over many years of shuffling and spreading.  I have kept them as brief as possible for ease of reference as there are many books available that go into the meaning of each card in great depth.

If you click on the link “Tarot card meanings” on the site menu (also up above “Word on a Whim” if you’re on a computer) you will see my list of key interpretations.

Apologies for presenting the list in this weird way but I only have so many spare hours to spend trying to coax WordPress into loading a PDF document from a simple link within this post.  I get the impression they want me to upgrade to the paid version that allows use of  “plug-in” tools that appear to be available in this version until I click and get invited to upgrade.  I’m not convinced upgrading would be the answer.  Even with a fancy button to click I suspect if browsers are set to download PDFs there will be a conflict if WordPress tries to open them first.  Sorry to digress, just venting my frustration 😉

The Lighthouse Tarot

My latest project, “The Lighthouse Tarot” is ready to go to print.

I had intended to print the cards myself but when I used a whole ink cartridge to print a single deck, I decided it would be cost effective to have a small print-run done next year.  

Here is taster of the seventy-eight card deck – followed by some blurb.

My love of lighthouses started at an early age in Withernsea on the North East Coast of England.  My auntie had a holiday chalet and we went every year.  I remember that first night I noticed the huge spotlight sweeping rhythmically across the beach and reaching out to sea … eerie and compelling.

“It’s a lighthouse,” they told me.  “It protects the ships and keeps them safe by warning them of rocks and other hazards along the way.”

I was drawn to seek the source of this benevolent beam and it was some surprise to find it was on an ordinary residential street with houses either side – in reality far removed from the romantic images evoked when it came to life each night – although I still gazed in awe at its solid, reassuring mass.  I must have been about twelve when it was decommissioned and the seascape at night lost an important part of its magic.

As my interest in art developed, seascapes with lighthouses became a favourite theme – not just the reaching out across the sky and reflecting on the water but also the strength of these imposing structures that could withstand a battering from nature at its most unforgiving. When I decided to design tarot cards, “The Lighthouse Tarot” was a natural choice.  Just as the lighthouse provides a guiding light to help sailors avoid the rocks along the way, these cards aim to unlock the reader’s insight into past present and future events in the questioner’s life and provide support in this life’s journey.  Always bear in mind that we have free will, so if the reader suggests that your destiny is not what you were hoping for, you can make choices that will alter the course of events.  The ship’s wheel is in your hands and you are empowered to navigate your own path.

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