Monthly Archives: September 2020

Review: Twelve-House Tarot Spreads – Uses and Variations

Twelve-House Tarot Spreads – Uses and Variations

Author: Elizabeth Hazel
Kosmic Kitchen Press
ISBN#: 978-1-73537701-8

I am thrilled to see a book coming out, from someone I trust, combining Tarot and astrology. I have a very basic understanding of astrology, at best, so it means a lot to me to have astrology-based Tarot spreads that someone at my level can work with.

In her introduction, Hazel talks about new ways to use the basic twelve-house spread, and how digital publishing allows authors to add “copious amounts” of images to their written work. (I think this makes a huge difference in all fields of writing and adds a sense of panache to any work.)

One sentence stands out for me from the introduction (probably because I have spent the morning reading about our current president, and how he plans to contest a loss in the upcoming election): “Uncertain times drive people to seek knowledge of the future in any way they can get it.”

From the very beginning, you will see why I admire Elizabeth Hazel. She has an in-depth understanding of both Tarot and Astrology,  combined with a true “take no prisoners” sense of humor.

Hazel begins by explaining the construction of the twelve-house chart form. She explains the symbolism of the circle, along with the horizontal division of the circle into two hemispheres – the upper hemisphere being an individual’s public life, while the lower hemisphere is the individual’s interior life. She then goes on to explain the vertical division of the circle, resulting in self (left hemisphere) and others (right hemisphere).

These two-axis intersect to form the Cosmic Cross, with the Future on top, the Past on the bottom, Self to the left and Other to the right. Explanations are given for the four axis points: the Ascendant, the Descendant, the Nadir, and the mid-heaven.

Chapter Two provides an explanation of each of the twelve houses and their relationship to each other. There is a listing of meanings for each of the twelve houses, describing the energy that is covered by that house. For instance, the First House covers the self, the body, the identity, as well as the condition of the self and the body.

Spreads in this book include The Cosmic Cross Spread, The Sequential 12-House Spread, The Polarity 12-House Spread, The Spiral 12-House Spread, The Vala Cross, The Expanded Cosmic Axis Spread, and the Etteilla 12-House Spread.

At the end of the book, there is a list of suggested reading, and an appendix with blank spread forms.

Each chapter in this book is written for ease of understanding, with a review of the information provided at the end of the chapter. Sample spreads are included for each spread, which I find to be a huge benefit! Included in the chapter on the Expanded Cosmic Cross Spread is a delightful eight-card spread entitled the Eight-Fold Path (Sabbats) Spread. I am going to use this spread on October 31st for Samhain, the Wiccan New Year.

I am impressed with the professionalism shown in this work, including the note to print shops on the back of each blank spread form that the owner of the book has permission to make copies for personal use only. The forms are not for resale, or to be shared on the Internet in any form. This is a book that all levels of astrologers and tarotists will appreciate and be able to work with.

© September 2020 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.

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Posted by on September 24, 2020 in Tarot


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The Notorious RBG

It was an incredible shock to hear of the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In a year turned upside down by the COVID pandemic, and by the continued misbehavior of the current occupant of the White House, we are now faced with the GOP wanting to force a replacement vote before the election (which is just over a month away!). Please know that the title The Notorious RBG was gifted to Justice Ginsburg in good faith, and as an honor. The title was the brainchild of NYU law student Shana Knizhnik, and was intended as a riff on the iconic rapper The Notorious B.I.G. Both the rapper and Justice Ginsburg hail from Brooklyn and respectively carry great power. The humor comes in when you put the two side by side – the large, rather imposing B.I.G., and the 90-pound Jewish grandmother.

What I am going to attempt to do here is to take a look at the energy that Justice Ginsburg’s passing carry’s overall (a reflection of who she was/is), what it means for me personally, and what it means for the populace in general. I choose to use images from Joanna Powell Colbert’s “Gaian Tarot” (majors only, self-published, 2004). The images were deliberately chosen, for what appealed to me, for what seemed to be the right card for each section.

For the energy of who Justice Ginsburg was/is as an individual, and as a judge, I chose The High Priestess. Judge Ginsburg lead a very open life, and yet she remains a woman of mystery. How deeply did she have to go within herself to see the larger picture on issues that came before her – even though she may not have even though about the concept of ancestors, she had to have held the thought, in some manner, of seven generations down. In other words, she had to understand how things came to be as they were, she had to recognize what was unfolding in the present, and she had to have the vision to see (a) what would happen if things continued on in the direction they were going, and (b) what would happen if change were brought into play. IMHO, she listened to the voices in her dreams (paraphrasing Joanna Powell Colbert from the book that accompanies this deck). She reflects the wisdom of age, the openness of youth, and walks the fine line between both.

She is a lady for all ages.

I choose The Hermit to represent what her passing means to me personally. I have always loved this card, and it is one of my birth cards. Justice Ginsburg’s death threw me into a tailspin, not only because I knew that in our current state of political upheaval in this country that Trump would rush to appoint a new Supreme Court Judge, which would alter the balance of the court in a negative manner. I don’t blame the Republican party for this – the more astute Republicans are saying that no appointment should be made until after the election. I also feel that there is no one that can fill her shoes. It will be hard for anyone to carry on her legacy, but someone must attempt to do so. In the past (almost) four years women’s rights have eroded at warp speed – not just reproductive rights, but all of our rights. I grew up under Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s influence – I hope that my actions reflect this, and will continue to reflect it. I need to go into the darkness to find my truth. I need to walk with spirit.

To represent what Justice Ginsburg’s passing means to the general populace, I choose The Teacher/Hierophant. Dignity and peace abound in this card. The Teacher is asking all to walk with spirit. In another way, we are being reminded that Justice Ginsburg herself is a teacher. Take what she has taught you over the years, and in turn, teach it to others. This is how we keep her legacy alive. Recognize what you are being called to do at this time.

(c) September 2020 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.


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Posted by on September 20, 2020 in Tarot


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Review: Mindful Tarot – Bring a Peace-Filled, Compassionate Practice to the 78 Cards

Mindful Tarot
Bring a Peace-Filled, Compassionate Practice to the 78 Cards

Author: Lisa Freinkel Tishman, PhD
Llewellyn Publications
ISBN #978-0-7387-5844-2

In “Mindful Tarot” Tishman combines the modalities of mindfulness, meditation, and the Tarot archetypes to assist the reader in actively placing compassion into their lives. The focus is on developing skills on three levels: (1) mindful awareness of yourself and your querant, (2) a deeper relationship with your cards, and (3) a transformed understanding of the Tarot system.

In her preface, Tishman talks about living in the present with joy and generosity. She defines a complete Tarot practice as about learning to live a more abundant and joyful life, in addition to deepening the readers connection to the 78 Archetypes of the Tarot.

The first several chapters of this book help the reader to define mindfulness in the present moment, and that the present moment is all there is. (Very Eckhart Tolle.) It is best to treat these chapters as what they are – rather a stream of consciousness writing, and one that wanders and rambles at times. One good take from this is that in mindful Tarot nothing is hidden, and nothing is broken.

Throughout the book Tishman has included her own life experiences, examples of Tarot spreads (such as the Wheel of Life and the Chariot), and exercises to help the reader put the information presented ot work in their lives.

Tishman associates the four suits with what she terms as “abodes”. Wands are the abode of compassion, Cups are the abode of Cheer, Swords are the abode of calm, and Pentacles are the abode of Care.

In Part Two each of the 78 cards of the Tarot is presented with a black and white scan, the energy of the card, and a short explanation. For example, The Fool carries the energy of Beginner’s Mind, with the thought that when it appears in a reading, the reader is being asked to lean into the present of the present moment. I found it interesting that Tishman refers to The Fool as “she”.

While the concept of mindfulness and the Tarot lends itself to endless possibilities, I found it to be a bit sketchy to put together from this book. I found the book interesting, but what I would say is that the reader is best served by taking away what works for them and leaving the rest behind. It also comes to mind that revisiting this work from time to time will bring the reader fresh insight.

© September 2020 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written consent of the author.


Posted by on September 16, 2020 in Tarot


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