Five of Swords

The Five of Swords Take on Achieving Goals

Today, I did a new moon tarot spread ritual. Being an Aries ♈︎ new moon, the first zodiac in the cycle with a new beginning theme attached to it, I did the spread focusing on the goals I set for myself this year. The last card on the spread was the “message from the Universe“, and I got the Five of Swords.

Five of Swords is about:

conflict resulting in winning but not really (winning at all costs) or being defeated.

Neither is a message I expected to get when asking about achieving my goals.

The card I pulled was from the Tarot of The Divine deck by Yoshi Yoshitani (yep, I finally got the deck after waiting for more than six months). Here, the card shows Anubis, the Egyptian god of the afterlife, holding five scythes while the fertility Goddess Isis is mourning near his feet.

Btw, I feel like it’s worth mentioning that looking at the card only and associating it with The Five of Swords‘ traditional meaning, one might interpret it as Anubis has defeated Iris in the duel. That’s not the case. In the Egyptian mythology, Anubis restored Iris’s husband, Orisis’s, chopped dead body parts, turning him into the first mummy. Therefore, Anubis is more of an ally instead of an opponent. It flipped Five of Swords’ classic deception, which is traditionally drawn as two opposing sides, one side winning and causing a grievance to the other side. Because of this and many other distorted links between the image on the cards and the mythologies behind each of them, I am not sure whether I want to celebrate this deck as the culture-themed tarot deck that I have been waiting for all my tarot-practicing life.

Five of Swords Tarot

Anyway, back to the Five of Swords and my achievement-focused Aries ♈︎ new moon tarot spread. After some mulling-over, I remembered a story from the mega-inspiring book that I read years ago: Happier by Tal Ben Shahar. He started the book with a story of being disappointed after winning a race he put so much effort into because he thought it would make him happy (the classic: I will be happy when *insert future achievements here*), but it didn’t, because achieving goals doesn’t equal being happy/happier.

I guess the Universe is trying to tell me the same thing:

Achieving all my 2021 goals won’t bring me happiness.

Both might work parallelly and possibly interlinked, but I’d be a fool to see them as the same things. This, though I don’t like to admit, is a good reminder for a goal-hungry Virgo like myself.

Now, how do I cultivate happiness, which is the ultimate goal?

Seven of Pentacles

Seven of Patience

These past few days, I have been feeling sad and defeated. The culprit: a personal project that I have been working on since last year, which should be finalized over the weekend, faced yet another sizeable hurdle.

It felt like I was back to square one, and this time instead of being excited and hopeful like I was at the start of this project, I felt cornered and deflated.

There goes hours and hours of time and energy spent on this project”, I thought, and I wasn’t sure I would be able to go through the whole process again.

I was just exhausted.

So, it was no surprise the Seven of Pentacles came up on my daily tarot draw this morning.

How fitting, this is exactly how I feel right now”, I mumbled to myself before putting the card back to the deck. I wasn’t ready to dissect its’ message just yet.

But I am now…

Seven of Pentacles in the classic Rider Waite Smith is depicted by a guy standing in his tended garden looking a bit tired and disconnected. Similar to the guy on the classic Rider Waite Smith deck, I, too, feel like pausing and taking a break. But that’s not the point, is it? It invites me to see my efforts as the seeds that I will reap one day, even though it’s not now and that I ought to practice patience.

Meanwhile, Charlie, the creator of the Fifth Spirit Tarot (the deck that I am currently using), said when this card appears, it’s because we might feel tired and run down, doubting our hard-work and investment. That’s me! Then they go on with:

“It tells us to value our sweat, labor and screw up because we are learning, growing and adapting.”

Lastly, Beth of Little Red Tarot had this to say about the card:

“If things aren’t feeling great – don’t give up, not just yet. Think about how you might do things differently from now on…”

Together with my own understanding of the card, their words brought plenty for me to digest.

To know that these setbacks don’t actually mean I was back to square one. That, I am still in the game. The project is still progressing, maybe just not as close to the end as I wanted it to be. But with the right mindset, some tweaks and perseverance, I am going to tick this one off too ━ as I had for past goals that I have set for myself.

The Fifth Spirit Tarot deck

Tarot Decks Update

Here is a list of the tarot decks I own or once owned. It’s in order of the frequency I use it, which also means how much I adore it. I bought most of these decks myself, while some are gifted to me.

The Fifth Spirit Tarot

I have been using this deck for more than a couple of months now and absolutely love it. Having the book also elevates the whole experience of using the deck. Highly recommend it.

The creator, Charlie Claire Burgess, is currently working on an oracle deck, which I plan to pick up the minute it’s dropped on Kickstarter.

Best use for: learning tarot, spring season and self discovery.

Moon Void Tarot

A surviving-Covid support deck which I got as an early Christmas gift for myself. This was the first deck I bought together with the book. One of the best tarot decisions I have ever made and will continue making.

I have a feeling Moon Void Tarot is going to be one of my forever decks.

The creator, Stefani is coming up with the 3rd edition of the deck. Instead of just black and white, she is infusing the latest edition with a soft pink. Some of the cards have been modified as well, which might just be enough of an incentive for me to get the latest edition.

Best use for: self-empowerment (there is only one archetype on the whole deck, a long haired woman), winter season, self discovery and learning tarot.

Read the deck interview here.

 The Spacious Tarot

It’s a birthday gift from Fafa in September 2020. Making it the first tarot deck I have ever gotten as a gift. The cards are beautiful, gentle and kind. I recently downloaded the $5 guide audio that I have been listening to during my runs. Read The Spacious Tarot deck interview here.

Best use for: self-care days and summer season.

The Gentle Tarot

The latest deck that joined the family. I am currently working through journaling the 78 tarot cards in sequence; starting the first minor arcana card tomorrow, so tbh I am not 100% sure how much I like this deck just yet. Please come back later for an update.

Best use for: self-care days, in nature and spring season.

This Might Hurt Tarot

I got it to celebrate starting a new job in the new company in the early 2020. Read the This Might Hurt deck interview here.

Best use for: socialising and party.

The Numinous Tarot

I tried so much to like this indie deck. It’s colourful. It features candles instead of wands, bells instead of swords, pentacles instead of books – making it much more relatable. But I just am not a fan of it. Happy to it trade off.

The Light Seer’s Tarot

An impulse purchase during lockdown. Happy to barter it.

The Cat Tarot

I bought this deck recently, just because it’s a cat themed tarot deck. Unfortunately, I was unable to connect, let alone learn from it. Happy to pass it to anyone who is into both cat and tarot.

I will keep updating the list. I used to have a few more decks which I donated to a witch during the great-Covid-purge. I am keen to exchange some of these decks, especially with the hard to find tarot decks, do check out if you are keen too. Thanks.

Culture Themed Tarot Decks

There are only a handful of things in life that I am more obsessed with compared to tarot. One of it is culture (check out my other blog: KultureKween).

Eventually, researching the interconnection between traditions and tarot, which started as a curiosity, grew into an obsession and has now turned into a life goal.

I also must admit that I have spent an embarrassing amount of hours researching tarot decks with the two cultures that I associate the most with, Indonesian and Indian.

Though there are more than a few Indian culture themed tarot decks out there, I didn’t find any that I liked nor could relate to as of now.

As for the Indonesian themed tarot deck, first of all, I was surprised that it existed to begin with. It’s called Tarot of Nusantara but it didn’t call out to me either. Instead, I found some other culture themed decks that I absolutely adore. Here they are, sorted by my liking from top to bottom*.

1. Tarot of Divine – $22

With rich, vibrant art and a keen understanding of traditional tarot archetypes, illustrator Yoshi Yoshitani infuses Tarot of the Divine with worldly insight and an intriguing selection of fables and folktales from cultures across the globe. With fables from more than forty countries, this spiritual journey is a worldly experience like no other.

This is a dream deck for a culture-geek such as myself. That combined with the price and zero shipping fee made it too easy for me to click pre-order sometime last year. I am still waiting patiently for it to arrive at my doorstep.

2. Yokai Yochi Tarot – $53

There are plenty of Japanese culture themed tarot decks in the market. From the traditional art of Ukiye to the pop-culture Manga deck but none of it spoke to me as much as Yokai Yochi did. The deck portrays ghosts, folklore, and traditional Japanese artwork. This is the second time I have mentioned this deck on my tarot deck list. Maybe it’s time to bite the bullet and order it.

3. The Gentle Tarot – $60

The Gentle Tarot is an indigenous-made, hand-drawn tarot deck filled with imagery influenced by life in remote Alaska. Mariza, the artist behind Mari in the Sky and The Gentle Tarot deck, is a nature-inspired illustrator, grew with ceremony and daily rituals that connect us with the elements, songs that ancestors sang with words and sounds that speak to this connection. She is inspired to share the love, honor, and respect that the planet is due.

Best part: 10% of all proceeds from the deck sale are donated to ocean and climate change research.

4. The Delta Enduring Tarot – $50

I mentioned above that I couldn’t relate much with the Indian tarot decks out there, but then I could relate so much to some of the cards from The Delta Enduring Tarot deck.

It’s an illustrated tarot deck centering on the natural beauty and struggles of life in the Mississippi Delta. The Delta Enduring Tarot pays tribute to these ebbs and flows, and to the lives of those that continue to make the deep south a more verdant, just, and enduring landscape–despite the storm of oppression always on the horizon. Egan, the artist, is an illustrator born and raised in the arms of the Mississippi Delta. They practice medicine and the esoteric arts of magic, with a predilection for the healing of communal ritual.

This deck has been sold-out, therefore very hard to find. I am not sure whether it will ever be reproduced but I surely hope so.

5. The Hoodoo Tarot – $33

Celebrating the complex American Rootwork tradition, The Hoodoo Tarot integrates esoteric and botanical knowledge from Hoodoo with the divination system of the tarot. The cards features full-color paintings by magical-realist artist Katelan Foisy and elegantly interprets the classical tarot imagery through depictions of legendary rootworkers past and present as well as important Hoodoo symbolism. In the accompanying guidebook, Tayannah Lee McQuillar provides a history of Hoodoo and its complex heritage, including its roots in multiple African and Indigenous American ethnic groups as well as its European influences.

Read the interview with the artist here.

6. The Magical Nordic Tarot – $20

I almost got this deck a few times. I am into Nordic culture and lifestyle and it’s pretty affordable (it’s the cheapest deck on this list), but knowing the majority of the deck (all the minor arcana cards) is not illustrated left a lot to be desired.

*Prices are in USD, excluding shipping.

Justice Fifth Spirit Tarot

Justice in Love

Admittedly, I “huh?“-ed when I pulled the Justice card as a part of my self-love tarot spread last week. My question was:

“What is the one kind thing I can do as an act of love for myself?”

Alas, I let them take the lead and braced myself to explore together.

The Justice in the Fifth Spirit Tarot deck is drawn as a bad ass person. I love everything about them from the expression, attitude, the down to the outfit. Did they appear to remind me of my own bad-ass-ness? To bring it out more often as an act of self-love?

I also noticed that on the scale, unlike on other Justice tarot cards I have seen ━ including the classic Rider Waite Smith, the heart weighed more than the feather. (I can’t wait for the guidebook to arrive to read the artist, Maria’s, reasoning behind this).

Justice Fifth Spirit Tarot

Are they trying to convey that heart matters more than the mind? Is it asking me to listen more to my heart instead of my mind when it comes to self-love? Or is it reminding me to balance it out since I tend to operate the other way around?

Wille of A Little Spark of Joy tarot blog said this about the Justice card in relation to love:

(it) represents decision and choices. Do you know your worth? settling for far less than you deserve, whether single or committed, is never an option.

Well said!

Back to the card I pulled, my attention kept going to the tattoos covering their upper body. Maybe my self-love act can be of getting the evil-eye tattoo on the same part of my body. And that my friends, is what I call wishful thinking.

Lockdown Diary: Day 2

Happy Valentine‘s Day! It’s the second day of the third lockdown. Gah! As soon as I typed it, I realised how polarising those two first two sentences were. Alas, both are valid.

My morning routine stays the same ━ bed coffee, morning journal and tarot cards.

Today’s card was The Hermit. I also pulled another card to honour Valentine’s day and wrote a semi-lengthy journal about it. I continued with yoga, short exercise and a 5km run at the Albert Park, which thankfully is still within the 5km limit set by the government.

We then stopped by the South Melbourne Market where I got free-range eggs, honey-lemon potion, pumpkin-seed bread, and other things to make a typical Aussie brunch menu: chill scrambled eggs on toasts with smashed-avo on the side.

I quickly prep the food back home, declaring it as Valentine’s day meal made with lots of love when I served it to Fafa. He got me a bunch of gorgeous pink tulips and pre-ordered a tarot deck (I KNOW!) for Valentine, the least I could do was to cook the man a warm meal.

After lunch, Fafa went to study to read up on his upcoming project while I did a bit of reading. Then I started watching Contagion and dozed off half-way before waking up to Fafa sitting beside me, watching the finale of Your Honor.

There is nothing much to share about the lockdown nor my feelings about it, except maybe it looks like it’s going to last more than five days which gives me a bit of anxiety. But I have decided no point in dwelling about it today and ruin my restful Sunday.

Before I leave for the day, let me share one of my favourite poetry about love by one of my favourite poet, Bianca Sparacino:

My god, I hope you find love. And I don’t just mean that in regards to someone you wrap your tired bones around at night. I mean that I hope you find love in every aspect of your life. I hope you find it tucked into early morning sunrises, and the smell of your favourite places. I hope you find it strung between the laughter you share with your friends, I hope it bounces off of you when you hug the people you care for,  I hope it swells within your ribcage whenever you hear your favourite song, or discover something that moves you. I hope you fall in love with growth, and change, and the messiness and the beauty of fucking up, and making mistakes, and becoming exactly who you want to be. I hope you find love in places that were once void of it, in places within yourself that you could have been softer to, kinder to, in the past. Because if there is one thing I have learned, it is that love is so much more than a boy, or a girl, who holds your heart. Love is everything around you. It is everything.

I truly hope you had a love filled Valentine day. Sending you virtual blessings and love 💌.

 ❥K

The Fifth Spirit Tarot deck

Tarot Decks I Am Lusting Over in 2021

Here are some tarot decks I am lusting over — and willing to part with my a portion of my pay-check in exchange for, in 2021 (I updated the list hence the repost).

Sorted by my level of obsession from top to bottom. Prices are in USD, excluding shipping.

1. Fifth Spirit Tarot – $55

A queer and inclusive deck for a world beyond binaries, Fifth Spirit Tarot, by Charlie Claire Burgess. It will be my next purchase once the Australia stockist, Seeker Tarot, has it.

Update: I bought it! It’s here, I have been practicing with it and absolutely enjoying the artwork and the card quality. Highly recommend it.

2. Yokai Yochi Tarot – $53

This deck portrays ghosts, folklore, and traditional Japanese artwork. All things that I am drawn to. I hesitated a bit to when I saw the cards, because it’s grey and well.. creepy, but I can’t think of a better deck to accompany me on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage I have been planning for.

You can pre-order now to be shipped in July 2021.

3. Mother Tarot – $69

A colourful, beautifully drawn, square-shaped deck, by the same creator who created The Dark Days Tarot, Wren McMurdo Brignac.

You can pre-order now until July to be shipped latest by September 2021.

4. Tarot Visions of Life – $60

This deck uses humour to illuminate different life situation and with a keyword written on the bottom of the image, it has a bit of oracle vibes. But the illustrations are colourful, light and funny. Feels like a deck we all could use to navigate during this period of uncertainty. Also free shipping to Australia. Yes pls!

5. The Ink Witch Tarot – $40

I am surprised this deck hasn’t got a cult following. The beautifully hand-illustrated cards have subtle shades of grey, making it the third grey-dominated deck on this list. It might just be the the theme of my deck choice for this year.

6. CoronaTarot – $40

Finally, the deck that fits our current life collectively. If you tend to lean against dark humour to navigate through life’s woes, as do I at times, maybe this is the best deck to get this year.

7. The Future Ancestors Tarot – $65

Created by Filipina-American artist and tarot reader, Alexa Villanueva. Read her inspiring story in full here.

8. Cosmic Cycles Tarot – $40

Created by Martina Razo and illustrated by Miriam E.G. This deck has been on my list for more than a year. I almost bought it last year but it was cancelled at the last minute by the seller due to international shipment issue no-thanks to Covid.

It’s currently sold-out.

If none of the above is your deck-of-tea, here are others that I also like: The Not So Mystical Tarot Deck $47, The Shuffle Tarot, Tarot Mood by Natalie Meraki – $40, Kaleidadope Tarot: A Dope Deck – $55, Hungry Demon Tarot – $48, The Quirky Creatives Tarot – $39, Third Eye Tarot – $48.

Ace of Swords The Fifth Spirit Tarot Deck

Ace of Clarity

I pulled Ace of Swords from the Fifth Spirit Tarot deck today. Ace of Swords is about clarity, and my mind is anything but that.

My un-caffeinated brain (Fafa was out so no bed coffee for me this morning) is riddled with period haze, pending work-tasks, impending lockdown announcement, the messy desk, the even messier cupboards, and the ever-growing to-do list seems out of control, the floating-in-the-air goals and sans travel plans in the horizon.

So yeah, I feel anything but clear right now, but maybe that’s precisely why the Ace of Swords made an appearance. As in I am invited to bring clarity into my mind, my list and my life.

My hand is being offered the knife (Sword). Therefore, it’s my choice to grab it — or not. And if I do, what to do with it. Maybe it’s for me to use it to sort through things mentally first, before tending to the rest.

🖋️ K

Cat Themed Tarot Decks

After one heck of a work-week, I decided to have a quiet Friday night. The blind is closed, and the socks are on. The TV is playing Ritual on the background, and I am here on my laptop, accompanied by a glass of chilled red wine, browsing cat-themed tarot decks. Exactly, my kind of self-care.

Here are some of my favourite in order based on my liking:

1. Considerate Cat Tarot $80

A tarot deck inspired by rescue cats, how lovely! It’s beautiful and gentle.

2. Cat Tarot $10
3.Tarot of Pagan Cats Mini Deck $13

It’s witchy and affordable.

4. The Weird Cat Tarot Deck $50

Created by Gabrielle Kash, a cat-loving NY based illustrator. The illustrations are pretty cute, all drawn with a black background.

5. Mini Cat Tarot $60

Super cute square-shaped tarot cards.

The Chariot Moon Void Tarot The Spacious Tarot

Flights, Chariot, Action!

I pulled the Eight of Wands and The Chariot (Cancer) as the cards of the day. It wasn’t a surprise. It has been a tradition of mine to travel on the 26 January; even before I moved to Australia, which has it as the first public holiday of the year.

This time though, what caught my attention was The Chariot card.

Along with The Magician, The Chariot was one of the first few tarot cards that I liked and understood. Or so I thought.

When I first started learning tarot based on the images, I associated The Chariot with travelling. Obviously, as the guy on the classic Rider Waite Smith tarot deck is riding a chariot. He is on the move or about to move. So is the witch who is riding the bike on the Everyday Witch Tarot deck.

But the Chariot on the deck I used for the reading today, the Moon Void Tarot, shows pages and pages of papers. Each one dated by month. July 2016, August 2016 and so on. There is a hand holding a pen writing on one of those pages. As if the person is scheduling and making plans. I don’t see anything that resembles travelling, which ironically fitted my situation of being unable to travel this time.

Alas, it got me curious about the artist’s interpretation of the card, and I dug through my piles of to-read books and found the guide book for the deck which I bought separately (one of the best tarot related decision I made so far: When in doubt, get the guide book). It says:

“…connect with our momentum, as we develop a clear vision, we begin to take action. …daily practice becomes the structure that takes us from one phase of life to the next. Small steps in physical reality will be met by large leaps from the Universe, but first, (you) must begin.”

I then went through The Spacious Tarot deck wondering how The Chariot is depicted there as I don’t think I have ever pulled this card from that deck. The image on the card itself reminded me of the Milford Sound in New Zealand South Island. Again travel related. But the mini-guide book offered an explanation closer to one given by the Moon Void above:

“…define exactly what is it that you want to do. What hard things do you need to do at this time? Affirm that you are capable and go do what you need to do.”

Wow. Reading it was like peeling another layer of The Chariot card.

The one that I didn’t even know existed.

The one about taking inspired actions.

I love it when that happens. That is also why I am love learning about tarot. The more I understand, the more interesting it becomes.

🛒 ❥K