Wednesday 30 January 2013

Being True To Myself

Being True To Myself

I feel like the Page of Swords, embracing new opportunities to learn more and hone my Tarot reading skills with every chance I get.  I would be signing up for courses, buying more books, registering for workshops, meeting up with my friends in my local Tarot community and discussing new ideas with my mentors, or friends from the international Tarot community.
However this is what gets to me and if I wasn’t the strong King of Wands type, being a typical Leo, I would have caved in and decide to spend my time knitting in my quiet corner instead.
A Continuous Learning Curve
As I have been through a very steep learning curve when I started out on my journey with Tarot, I made it my commitment to help novice Tarot readers who are still starting out on their journey with Tarot.  And the very basic advice I often give them is that no matter where you are at with Tarot and how experienced a reader you are, you can never claim to be the best Tarot reader than someone else.  Embracing Tarot is a spiritual journey; it’s not a material thing that you garner. It’s not a clothing you wear, it’s not a title on a  plaque you put on your desk, it’s not  So no one should ever stop learning along his or her journey.
Tarot Certifications
I have been personally attacked in conversations about my pride in having obtained the Certified Professional Tarot Reader (CPTR) qualification from the Tarot Certification Board of America (TCBA).  Someone said to me, “I have been a professional Tarot reader for the last 30 years, who are the TCBA to come and tell me whether I am a proficient reader or not?”  I wanted to get online to check the TCBA’s mission and vision and send it across to her.  Then, I stopped myself because I don’t need the mission and vision of anything to deal with someone who perhaps hasn’t the mind and grace to understand what they mean anyway.
Frankly, that’s the stupidest comment I have ever come across.  Some 25 years ago, when I applied for and got into my University of choice,  I was elated about the opportunity to learn something new, embrace a new life, make new friends, and perhaps “grow up”.  When I went to work and had the opportunity to hire a team, I hired a mix of wonderful people who were from different backgrounds.  Some had a university qualification, and some hadn’t.  However each of them brought a special skillset and personality to the table that helped contribute to the success of the company.  Ultimately, it didn’t matter which school they studied at, or whether they were University graduates or whether they had 30 years of experience in marketing.  The dynamics of a profession like mine as a marketeer required one who not only had experience and was technically trained.  Beyond these basic requisites, one had to have great soft skills to manage cross functional teamwork and leadership skills to manage a team with a view to meeting the company’s business goals.
So my point is this.  Within the Tarot community, some of us have certifications from different certification boards, some don’t. Some have more than 30 years of experience, and some don’t.  However it doesn’t matter.  As light workers, the Universe has equipped us with our different skills and abilities with one goal, to bring clarity and assurance to the people in our lives. 
I chose to pursue a certification as my personal ambition to always better myself.  It didn’t stop at the certification from the TCBA.  I am still doing my course work every day for several other courses I had signed up for.  And I am doing all these with the genuine intent to learn and be better in what I do.  Sometimes, my clients teach me what the certification exams don’t teach me.  I learn to deal with different scenarios, different personalities, and even nasty clients and skeptics.
In short, it doesn’t matter what you’ve studied, and how many years of experience you have.  I always believe that if the intent is pure, the Universe will present the opportunity to you in its own time and pace.  So there’s no need for that sabre-rattling on social media platforms dishing all that negative energy around whether one should get certified or not.  I think your energy is better spent on clients who need you most.  .   
Temperance And The Empress
This morning, I picked a Card du Jour which I usually do on a daily basis.  Temperance was picked and let me repeat in this blog post what I had posted on my Sun Goddess Tarot Facebook page as the interpretation for my Card Du Jour – “Temperance is an appropriate card du jour as we approach mid-week.  It advises you to manage challenges with a measure of moderation, patience, calm and control.”  It’s a great advice for me at the moment when I feel like taking off my shoes and throwing it at that cow.
Then I picked the Empress for further clarification.  It’s even clearer now.  The Empress has asked me to continue to do what I do which fulfills me, and manage such cows with a generous and understanding spirit.  I should be thankful that with that one “nay-sayer”, I am surrounded by so many more people who believe in me, love my work and encourage my continuous learning.  I am blessed.  
These cards were picked from Ciro Marchetti’s Gilded Tarot deck.

You Will Never Stop Me
I dislike “nay-sayers”.  I detest the negativity of people who are out to proof a point about nothing and hasn’t done much to look deeper into their inner being to drag their shadow of fear for competition out of the closet.  That’s basically what it was when I am confronted with a situation like this. 
I have no time for such negativity.  My clients need me particularly when they are under duress.  My protégés need me there to hold their hands and guide them through their respective journeys with Tarot.
Onward and upwards.
About The Writer:
The writer of this blog post is a marketeer by trade, and a tarot card reader by accident. She was awarded a Certified Professional Tarot Reader qualification from the Tarot Certification Board of America (TCBA) and was recently certified as a numerologist in Singapore. A member of the American Tarot Association (ATA) and the Tarot Association of the British Isles (TABI), she is also a reader for the Free Tarot Network and is a mentor for the ATA.   She can be contacted at or

Monday 28 January 2013

22 Ways To Awaken Your Inner Goddess

22 Ways To Awaken Your Inner Goddess

When you are saddled with the pressures of deadlines at work, the demands placed on you by the kids from guiding them through their homework to fetching them to and from classes right through to organizing that dinner with the in-laws and then remembering to turn up for your best friend’s birthday drinks, the last thing you’d feel like is a Goddess.
In my harangued state when I am juggling multiple projects at the same time or when I am faced with difficult issues, I will use the 22 Major Arcana cards in Tarot to find that inner space of divine peace and wisdom and reconnect with my higher consciousness.  
I do this by meditating on each of the cards, starting with the Fool Card and ending with the World Card., literally following the Fool’s journey as I reawaken my inner Goddess.  In my earlier blog posts, I had described how I read my Tarot cards intuitively by meditating and “walking” into the cards to have a “conversation” with the images in the cards.  So when I am doing this card by card, I would focus my objective on grounding and centering myself and reconnecting with my higher consciousness.  So here’s a sampler of my journey when I am under a lot of stress. I am using the Radiant Rider Waite Tarot deck for this purpose. Be warned, this is a rather long blog post but definitely worth every minute of your reading it.

The Fool
The Fool has a knack of looking smug and just irritatingly happy all the time.  So I asked him, “What gives? You don’t seem to have a care in the world when everything is crumbling around us and I can’t even cope with it.  Don’t you care?”   And his reply was this,” Look at these challenges as an unlimited potential to learn new things. Trust that the universe has a plan and it will present that opportunity in its own time and pace to help you make things better.  And if it doesn’t get better, or if it no longer serves you, let it go.”
The Magician
I call the Magician, the show-off.  He seems to be the only one with the lucky break because he is gifted with so many skills and talents.  So I told him off,” Of course you have nothing to worry about; you have every tool under your belt to get things done.  I am the one that lack resources, I need help and I can’t cope,” to which his reply was “You have been looking for resources in the wrong  places!  You can manifest your goals with the skills with which you already possess, they could be spiritual (Fire/Wand), emotional (Water/Cup), mental (Air/Sword), physical (Earth/Pentacles).  Just look within you and around you to tap on these skills.”
The High Priestess
The High Priestess is the quiet, serene one.  She doesn’t talk much but often gives me the knowing nod, or shakes her head in disapproval depending on the situation.  Sometimes I wished she could say “ Come on!  Just do xxx.”  So if I am not sharp enough or calm enough myself, I might miss her nodding or shaking her head.  From time to time, she may whisper to me to give me a nudge in the right direction, but I need to listen harder with a calmer mind.  However, she thought me to awaken my inner Goddess by trusting my gut instincts more and approach situations with calm awareness.  She also told me that quiet solitude is good from time to time, so I can think through solutions to issues.
The Empress
I like the Empress best.  Her approach is to allow me time and space to bitch about everything I am unhappy with, wiping tears off my face from time to time, and just holding my hands all the way.  She needn’t say anything.  She has all the time for me, like a mother.  When I arrive at her doorstep, it feels like I’ve come home.  Immediately, all my stress melts away when I see her. The Empress gave me a great advice the other day.  I tend to hop around like a rabid bunny when I get really pissed off with anything.  The ogre in me would take over and if I am not raising my voice to get some attention, I would be slamming doors and chairs to make my point.  So she told me to get a grip and be in touch with my feminity.  No one wants to deal with a “loud hard-nosed bitch spewing expletives as a punctuation” when in a difficult conversation.  I needed to approach these conversations with some flair for soft persuasion and a touch of genuine intent to turn the challenge around. To do so, the Empress advised me to go for a walk and just let nature cleanse me off my anger.
The Emperor
I like the Emperor, though not as much as the Empress.  While the Empress is softer, gentler and motherly, the Emperor is more matter-of-fact in approach. He is stern but fatherly.  When I am beside myself with anxiety, trying to deal with challenges, he would encourage me to put a structured plan together to deal with the issues constructively.    He once took hold of my shoulders, shook it and said “Get a grip woman, what steps have you taken to deal with the situation?”  At that point, I meekly replied, “nothing yet. But I will now.”
The Hierophant
The Hierophant is my tutor.  He’s a bit of an old fashioned dude, more of a fuddy duddy type.  However, his advice is never wrong. He seems to get it right all the time.  When I am about to fly off the handle in rage during a difficult situation, I will remember the Hierophant’s kind words, “Joanna, you need to use tried and tested methods to deal with the situation.  There are times you can do things differently and come up with off-the-wall solutions, but the time isn’t now.”
The Lovers
When I arrived at the Lovers Card, my focus is on the Angel above.  The impact of walking into this particular card becomes most powerful when I’ve had a fight with my husband,   I would tell the Angel, “I am so fed-up.  He isn’t helping me much, he’s messy and he thinks only of himself.”  The Angel then pointed to the passion between the couple to remind me of why I married my husband and he said, “Whatever situation you are in, think of the choices you are making, and make sure these choices are driven by love, generosity, compassion and a conviction to always stay true to yourself.”
When I stopped at the Chariot’s Card, I really don’t have much time because the charioteer in the card has to ride off in that minute.  So when I asked him for options to help me manage my stress, he shouted from behind him, “look ahead of you and stay focused on your goals.  You will get what you need with enough will and determination.”
I thought the Lion in the Strength card is the ultimate softie.  He must really lack balls, to allow that woman to conquer him!   The lady in the card disapproved of that judgmental perspective of the Lion, then whispered to me, “ Joanna, I sometimes fear for my life, because the Lion could turn on me anytime.  However, with patience, persistence and a sense of inner calm, I believe I can tame him.  You need to do the same with your challenges and approach them with the same patience.  Use your inner strength, and don’t fight volatility with a scattered mind and a impetuous heart”
The Hermit is like a guru in the cave.  And often, he just wants me to go find my own cave, sit down in it for a few days to think things over.  You’d think that’s simple but really it is so difficult for me because I am often quite impulsive and want to settle an issue there and then.  Somewhat like the High Priestess, he repeats her wise words by telling me to “Look within you and tap your inner wisdom for answers.”
Wheel of Fortune
I like the Wheel of Fortune.  The card often reminds me why I am a Tarot reader in the first place.  When I step into the card to play with the handles on that wheel, I am given to understand that only I have control over whatever I want the outcome to be.  When I am down  and the problems around me seems to be mounting, the Wheel of Fortune urges me to crank the handles upward by doing what I can to make the situation better or change my perspectives on the situation. It encouraged me not to just standby and accept what life dishes out to me.  I am indeed the master of my own destiny.
I like to step into the Justice card when I meditate.  She’s another matter-of-fact type.  She sits on her throne brandishing a sword and a balance, reminding me that fair decisions need to be made with a logical mind balanced with an intuitive heart.  When I approach her in my stressed out state, she would ask me “Are you being fair to yourself and others by taking on more than you can chew?” or “  Can you be honest with yourself about the actions you have taken?”
Hanged Man
The Hanged Man is the sorry sod.  I mean, how could you possibly be happy always in that mode of suspension?  When I arrived at the Hanged Man’s card, I would ask him,” You can’t even get yourself out of your situation, what makes you think you can help me get out of mine?”  The Hanged Man replied,” I am here to think about the sacrifices I have to make to achieve my goals.  Similarly, you should just stop to think about your goals and look at what needs to give so you can attain more.”  Also, sometimes in a stressful situation, the Hanged Man would advise me to stop restricting my perspectives and broaden my mind to think about what other options I may have.

Oh boy, what an ugly card.  The guy has no clothes!  However, he is such an optimistic bloke.  Death, represented by a skeleton on a horse bearing a flag with the sun shining high up in the sky promised me that things will get better tomorrow and all I needed to do was to let go of  a major period in my life that no longer served.
The angel in the Temperance card has such a calm and serene aura about him.  The angel reminds me that to awaken the inner Goddess within me, I needed to approach all matters with a measure of balance and harmony.  Life is about balance, and the universe promises us abundance when we can understand the basic principles that it will provide what we need and not what we want.  So the angel in the Temperance card asks me to be calm, patient and measured when I seek for anything.  If it is meant for me, it would be a gift from the Universe given with the intent for me to help and do something good. If it’s not meant for me, move on, because probably it’s not something that I need.
The Devil
The Devil is a scary card to me because he makes me question my intent a lot whenever I arrived at his doorstep.  He would remind me of the folly of being too attached or obsessed with material gains, and forces me to confront my fears by opening my mind to other options in my life if my attachments to certain things start to do my head in.  He’s a bit of a cool dude though quite ugly.  I asked him once “Why are you entrapping these 2 people?  Can’t you let them go?”  He replied me quite calmly, “It may be a short leash Joanna, but their collars are loosely fastened.  They have the free choice to remove these chains and leave if they want to.”  Cool, ugly but wise too.
The Tower
Every time I meet the Tower, I am filled with dread, worry and trepidation. I feel so disheartened when I see the distress in their faces as they watch the walls of the Tower crumbling before them. In fact, they looked pretty much like I did when major unexpected changes happened in my life, like my divorce some 15 years ago.  However the guys in the Tower card advised me that when such challenges happened, I would need to let go and allow the existing structures of that Tower break down so that a new one can be built. One of them said to me, “You see, Jo, you’ve been sitting comfortably there in your ivory tower for way too long, blinded by that comfort zone and your mind is so restricted to preconceived notions of what’s to be expected of a situation that you sometimes fail to see that there are other possibilities in the horizon.”  I’ve learnt to let go when I am faced with unexpected changes some times.  I don’t always remember though, so this card is a great reminder to me that I need to learn to push the envelope sometimes, and steer outside my comfort zone with some courage.  Yes, I need to be courageous, and full of confidence to be a Goddess right?
The Star
I love the lady in the Star card because to me, she’s a symbol of fertility.  She takes water from the pool to nourish the ground before her, sustaining the earth and contributing to the lush greenery.  She symbolizes hope and the blessings of the universe. When I asked her how I can have hope and how I would know the universe would bless me with what I need, she said,” My one foot on the ground is a reflection of the advice to you to be pragmatic and well-grounded always.  The water before me asks you to be in tune with your inner wisdom or deeper consciousness.  I am the 17th card amongst the Major Arcana which makes up the number 8, the number associated with strength, courage and determination, which are skills most needed to help you manage your challenges and  guide you towards the light at the end of the tunnel.”
The Moon
I had a chat with the dog and the wolf in the Moon card the other day when I heard some gossips within the office.   I was quite angry yet worried and I succumbed to my over-active imagination, thinking that some people were just trying to rock my turf.  The wolf and the dog started howling to the moon as if in warning of a negative situation coming my way.  However, when I started to chat to them, I was given to understand that they were warning me against myself and advised me to confront my fears and anxieties head on.  They told me that I had to dig further to find out the full facts before making erroneous judgments about a situation. They also taught me to keep the source of my anxiety close, extend the olive branch and garner more information so that I don’t jump into conclusions but instead, find constructive ways to resolve these issues.
The Sun
If the Star card is one of my favorite cards, the Sun card is even more so.  It’s full of energy, positivity, vitality and lifts my spirits when I am feeling down.  The image in the card depicts a child playing happily while riding on a horse.  Nothing needs to be uttered for me to get what the Sun card is trying to tell me when I want to awaken my inner Goddess.  The child in the card urged me to explore my inner childhood full of innocence and love for life.
In my moments of stress, I often pull at my hair, head in my hands, whilst asking the universe for reasons why these negative situations are happening to me.  The angel in the Judgment card advised me to take a step back to meditate on what had happened, and how I could create a positive outcome with each of these situations.  These are just examples of what the angel in the card had said to me before as he knocks my head with his trumpet, “Joanna, awaken yourself to the need to change the course of your direction.  Why are you taking the straight road up to your goals, when the winding road provides you more enriching opportunities to learn?”  And here’s another one, “Joanna, if you keep looking at your feet as you walk towards your goals, you will miss the kisses from the sun.”  Incidentally, I stopped by the Judgment card right after the Sun card when he told me this.
The World
The dancer in the World card seems to be dancing and celebrating a joyful moment.  What a positive card.  It never fails to make me sound a sigh of relief when I stop at this card because there is a sense of finality or accomplishment I asked the dancer what’s she so smug about particularly when I have been through a ton of challenges.  She said quite chirpily that I ought to smile too because after having been through a difficult period, and having put in every effort to try to turn things around, I am now very close to attaining my goals. She added, “ …and don’t forget Jo, that once you have achieved your goals, do pay it forward.”
If The Major Arcana Hasn’t Awakened Your Inner Goddess Yet…
…you clearly haven’t understood that the Universe have purposely laid these cards before you to mirror a typical journey that you may walk through your life and it wants you to know that you will never walk it alone without someone to hold your hand.
If awakening my inner Goddess means that I need to face each challenge with courage and determination of a warrior and manage them with tenderness, patience and persistence of a mother, these cards have taught me more than any course or teacher could.
About The Writer:
The writer of this blog post is a marketeer by trade, and a tarot card reader by accident. She was awarded a Certified Professional Tarot Reader qualification from the Tarot Certification Board of America (TCBA) and was recently certified as a numerologist in Singapore. A member of the American Tarot Association (ATA) and the Tarot Association of the British Isles (TABI), she is also a reader for the Free Tarot Network and is a mentor for the ATA.   She can be contacted at or

Tuesday 22 January 2013

The Relationship Advice Tarot Spread

Creating An Advice-Centric Tarot Spread For Relationship Issues

Ok, let’s get this right.  I really am not the “Doctor of Love”.  Far from it in fact.  However, I keep getting asked to do Tarot readings for relationship issues and I have been customizing Tarot spreads to these issues so often that amongst the lot, there’s one I particularly liked which I would like to share. 
This Tarot spread is quite clean, and most importantly it doesn’t just consider one person’s view on the issue, but explores both party’s perspectives on it so as to constructively find ways to resolve these issues. It sets rules of engagement between couples, so that they could operate within a framework that allows them to have a safe space to communicate and take their relationship forward. So here’s an example of the Tarot spread used in response to a client, Vivian’s question on “Should we continue with this relationship?”  I have changed my client’s name within this blog post to protect her privacy.  For this reading, I had used the Morgan Greer Tarot deck.
 The Relationship Advice Tarot Spread
  1. What’s the state of their relationship now (3-card spread)?
  2. What is she thinking about the relationship?
  3. What does she ultimately want out of the relationship?
  4. What is he thinking about the relationship?
  5. What does he ultimately want out of the relationship?
  6. What is the outcome of the relationship?
  7. What is the advice from the cards to move forward with the relationship (3-card spread)?

The Spread In Practice

1) What is the state of their relationship now? – Justice + 3 of Swords Reversed + Queen of Cups Reversed
For this particular question, I did a 3-card spread to establish the state of their relationship, the influences impacting it and their current emotions surrounding it.   This was like a mini spread within the spread, so I read the 3-cards in an integrated manner to create a vision of the couple within my mind.  The spread indicated to me that an incident causing hurt and disappointment had occurred in the immediate past but the couple is having problems dealing with it in the present as they weren’t able to get past that disappointment perhaps because they haven’t communicated enough about it.  Vivian was in fact the one who had been repressing her feelings quite a bit because she was at a lost as to what to do and was worried that should she voice out her anger and bitterness, it might hasten the split between the couple.  By repressing her emotions and dealing with the hurt all alone, she had gradually sunk deeper into a spiral of emotional mood swings and prolonged depression.   This was made worse by that internal struggle within herself with the decision of whether to leave him or to stay and work at the relationship.  She had sought legal advice to ascertain her options should she decide to file for a divorce but because they have been married for the last 9 years, Vivian had been dithering on this option, and instead continued to try to manage her issues alone and allowing the hurt to fester within her.

2) What is Vivian thinking about the relationship now? – 4 of Cups
The 4 of Cups is a reflection of Vivian’s desire to have more time on her own now.  She thought that some time apart may do the couple some good.  ”I think we need to give each other space”, she said. As she is an author by profession, she was toying with the idea of scheduling her book tour at that time which allowed her the excuse of travelling on her own without her husband.  She was also thinking of a trial separation which may allow her time to figure out what to do next.

3) What does Vivian ultimately want out of the relationship? – 10 of Cups
Vivian really wanted that quintessential young girl’s dream of a happy home, a blissful family life filled with plenty of laughter and love.  She wanted a long-lasting relationship with her husband, and it had to be a relationship that could provide her with security, fulfillment and a sense of deep connectivity borne from trust and open communication.

4) What is he thinking about the relationship – 7 of Wands Reversed
Vivian’s husband had been feeling increasingly isolated from Vivian and the marriage.  As the communication between them had broken down almost irretrievably, he was almost on the brink of giving up.  He also felt that she was always pointing an accusatory finger at him for the cause of the break-up and began to think that they were both almost on the point of no return with regard to the break-up.  The pressure of the decision to reconcile or to formally file for a divorce seemed to be unfairly put on his shoulders.  His late nights had become even more frequent thus driving Vivian even further away. She started letting her imagination get carried away, often accusing him of continuing his affair.  (You would remember the Queen of Cups reversed picked up earlier to the question on the state of the relationship currently.  This card was a manifestation of her letting her imagination run wild because of her husband’s late nights.)

5)    What does he ultimately want out of the relationship? – Ace of Cups
Vivian’s husband was hoping for a chance to start afresh and create a new beginning of emotional connection at another level with her.  He wanted to constructively express and convey his emotions and perhaps create a safe place to express those raw emotions sitting underneath.  While she was blocking him emotionally and tuning him out, he was desperately trying to reach out to her but didn’t know how to do so.  He wanted more than reconciliation.  He wanted to write a new chapter in their marriage, make up for past mistakes and re-chart a new direction towards a more meaningful relationship with Vivian.

6) What is the outcome of their relationship? – King of Pentacles

The outcome is really positive.  The King of Pentacles assured me that both Vivian and her husband will be working slowly and steadily towards building a beautiful relationship and home life based on long term commitment.  In spite of all the negative thoughts about divorce, separation, and affairs, eventually, they will take a practical view to constructively making their marriage even stronger.  They might even decide after recovering from this period to start a family because they haven’t any kids.  The King of Pentacles promised that they will be working their way to even more connectedness. Whatever had happened only is going to make them stronger and closer.

7) What is the advice of the cards to move forward with their relationship? – 6 of Swords + 9 of Wands + King of Cups
Just as I had created a 3-card spread within this spread to establish the current state of Vivian’s relationship with her husband, I had decided to do the same to close this spread with an advice.  I also read the 3-cards in an integrated manner to provide her with a more meaningful and constructive advice.
The 3 cards: 6 of Swords, 9 of Wands and King of Cups advised Vivian and her husband to be prepared to put all the bitterness, anger and hurt behind them and move forward with a view to creating a stronger bond and brighter future together.  While they are carrying the scars from that unpleasant episode in their lives, they need to learn to trust each other again, while at the same time giving each other room to heal.  Marriage is never easy as its success depends on both parties having a certain amount of emotional maturity and a genuine sense of responsibility for their individual actions.  They need to learn to manage issues with calm and composure, and treat each other with love, compassion, and sensitivity. 
The King of Cups will never give up that easily.  Instead, he draws a lot of strength and wisdom from his intuition to work at things he believes in.  So Vivian and her husband have to harness the energy of the King, to give each other a chance and work at the relationship to make it even stronger.

When It’s Meant To Be, Work At It

Amongst the cards within the spread, 5 out of 11 cards, that is, the majority, are Cups. This tells me the entire issue between them are emotionally -charged and will require a lot of open communication to deal with. The Ace and 10 of Cups underpinning their relationship goals really were an affirmation for me that this relationship, with time will get even better. All they need is time and space for emotional healing to start with. This story of Vivian and her husband is definitely not over yet.  It’s in fact, just the beginning of a very long journey for them.  However, I went away happy after that Tarot reading appointment, because the cards were able to help provide the right advice which could not only turn their marriage around but make it even stronger. 
I feel so blessed.
About The Writer:The writer of this blog post is a marketeer by trade, and a tarot card reader by accident. She was awarded a Certified Professional Tarot Reader qualification from the Tarot Certification Board of America (TCBA) and is also a certified numerologist. A member of the American Tarot Association (ATA) and the Tarot Association of the British Isles (TABI), she is also a reader for the Free Tarot Network and is a mentor for the ATA.   She can be contacted at or

Monday 7 January 2013

The Workplace Relationship Spread

Managing Relationships With Colleagues At Work

In the first week of the New Year, I was inundated by Tarot reading appointments with the bulk of the questions heavily weighted on career and workplace relationships.  Questions range from “Should I look for a new job in the new year?”, “What’s my new boss like?”, “How will my role in this job pan out this year?” 
However, the most interesting question I got yesterday was, “What’s the outcome of my working relationship with a colleague in the New Year?”  It was interesting to me because my client sought advice from my Tarot cards in a bid to proactively find ways to improve her relationship with her colleague this New Year.
To me, interpersonal relationships between colleagues are hardest to manage.  A work environment is often made more challenging by differences in personalities, attitudes, goals and personal agendas amongst colleagues.  The relationship dynamics that govern day-to-day interactions may be even more volatile when they are driven by an undercurrent of misperceptions, prejudices and lack of trust and communication.
So I created a spread to help her through her situation and I call this, “The Workplace Relationship Spread”. Please don’t be mistaken.  This spread is not suitable for questions with regard to romantic relationships in the workplace.  When you use this spread, the intent has to be purely focused on work-related relationships between colleagues.

The Workplace Relationship Spread
1) How was my relationship with my colleague last year?
2) What factors, internal or external, influenced my relationship with him/her last year?
3)  How will my relationship with my colleague pan out this year?
4) What factors, internal or external, will influence my relationship with him/her this year?
5) What is he/she thinking about this relationship?
6) What can I do to help foster a better working relationship?
7) What would be the outcome of the relationship throughout the year?
8)  Advice

The Spread In Practice

For the purpose of explaining the interpretation of this spread without revealing the real names involved in this spread, my client shall be addressed as Brenda and her colleague shall be addressed as Corinne. For this spread, I used the Morgan Greer deck.
1) How was my relationship with my colleague last year? – Knight of Swords
The Knight of Swords is a manifestation of my client’s colleague, Corinne, who was newly hired into the team last year, to help manage a rather big and complex project.  She brought with her a lot of enthusiasm and ambition to get the project off the ground, and not allowing anything or anyone to stand in her way of progress.  She’s very assertive about how she wants the project to be run, sometimes to the point of cutting my client, Brenda, out of the whole discussion process.  Corinne is so determined to achieve her goals and targets with this project that she had unwittingly trampled on many colleagues along the way, including Brenda, creating a measure of gradually increasing tension between them throughout last year.
2) What factors, internal or external, influenced my relationship with him/her last year? – 4 of Swords Reversed
The 4 of Swords Reversed is an interesting card to pick for this question because I gleaned more than 1 insight with it.  When Corinne first joined the team, she was so enthusiastic about the project that she wanted to do everything all at once.  She wanted to take on every aspect of the project regardless of whether she had skills and expertise to manage it.   She wanted full control of how the project was to be run even when there were multiple interdependencies within the project that required the cross-functional expertise of several team members within the company.
At the same time, the 4 of Swords Reversed is also a reflection of the frustrations everyone in the team felt due to the delays and stagnation of some aspects of that project.  The project proved very difficult to get off the ground, and the tension between team members mounted.
3)  How will my relationship with my colleague pan out this year? – 7 of Swords Reversed
Both Brenda and Corinne are very strong-headed.  This year, their relationship might prove equally challenging as they aren’t prepared to steer the relationship in a new direction. There is a lot of mistrust between them, and they are trying to absolve themselves from responsibility for any negative outcomes that may emerge along the way as they work on that project together.  If this state of affairs isn’t arrested, the situation might end up ultimately with exasperation, blame, finger-pointing, and unnecessary politicking.
 4) What factors, internal or external, will influence my relationship with him/her this year? – The Moon
Every time I pick the Moon in a reading, it brings out the topic of Carl Jung’s “Shadow Self” which I wrote a blog post about in . The Moon represents our shadow selves, an aspect of us that we often try to hide in the closet, out of fear of the negative opinions of others perhaps.  So between Brenda and Corinne, the Moon represents a murky situation made even murkier by both their attempts to suppress their shadow selves, be it their lack of confidence, their lack of skill sets in certain areas of their work, or their fear of being judged.
With these fears, they will always consciously put up a wall between themselves and not allow the relationship to steer to a better place through mutual understanding, support and opened communication.
5) What is he/she thinking about this relationship? – The Devil
The Devil is a representation of Corinne and her fear in letting go.  She is obsessed about controlling the project and she wants to be seen as having the expertise to manage this project just because she was specially hired for it.  There are hidden forces of negativity influencing Corinne’s thoughts about the relationship and restricting her from being more openly communicative. Corinne’s shadow self is her lack of confidence and her fear of showing it.  She’s not completely sure she can achieve her targets for the project on her own, yet she daren’t ask for help.  For one, Corinne thought of Brenda as a team member with an army of support while she hadn’t and  that started her off with the project at a disadvantaged position anyway.  She thought Brenda’s experience over the years made her arrogant and uncooperative.  She felt Brenda wanted to assert her role over the project and claim ownership of it.  Corinne feared that by openly sharing too much information about the project with Brenda, the latter might use it to jeopardize Corinne’s position. As the saying goes, “What a web we weave!”
6) What can I do to help foster a better working relationship? – Page of Swords Reversed
When Brenda sought advice from me, she had a genuine desire to make things work this year.  I picked the Page of Swords Reversed which advised Brenda to walk the talk on her desire to help with the project, and don’t be too hasty to judge Corinne and her capabilities.  Brenda knew she was good at what she did and that she could play an invaluable part in shaping the success of the project.  Instead of standing aside as a spectator criticizing everything about the project and everything Corinne did for the project, perhaps Brenda could step up and proactively volunteer to help push the project forward. Yes, she should step up and truly work with Brenda together as a team, leveraging off each other’s strengths.
The card also advised Brenda to not make decisions hastily or not be too curt and say anything offensive without thinking. The relationship is tenuous and required a lot of sensitivity in managing it.  Any negative opinions expressed in haste, would be taken wrongly by Corinne.
7) What would be the outcome of the relationship throughout the year when I deploy efforts to help foster a closer working relationship? – 5 of Wands
The 5 of Wands is a reflection of the differences in opinions, attitudes, and approaches to the project that will add to the tension between both parties.   They are nothing an opened and honest discussion couldn’t solve.  If there is need to lock the both of them in a room to resolve their differences, then perhaps that should be something they should consider doing to move the relationship forward in a more productive manner.
8)  Advice - Temperance
Temperance is a great advice equally for Brenda as it is for Corinne.  It’s a card advising them to manage each other’s differences with patience and persistence.   Brenda needs to aim to bring some harmonious balance back into the relationship with Corinne and ensure that she manages her with a measure of calm and collected disposition.  Brenda needs to accept that the work environment now has a new team armed with their own unique expertise and tasked to run a new project.  She needs to adapt to that new situation, and find some synergies with the new team, and work together towards delivering the project goals successfully.

It Takes Two Hands To Clap

Like all relationships, interpersonal relationships between colleagues can get quite tricky.  Communicating openly and honestly with one another helps the day to day interaction at work, but more importantly, it’s okay to accept that trust takes time and trust needs to be earned.  And it’s necessary to give others a chance to earn that trust.

About The Writer:
The writer of this blog post is a marketeer by trade, and a tarot card reader by accident. She was awarded a Certified Professional Tarot Reader qualification from the Tarot Certification Board of America (TCBA) and was recently certified as a numerologist in Singapore. A member of the American Tarot Association (ATA) and the Tarot Association of the British Isles (TABI), she is also a reader for the Free Tarot Network and is a mentor for the ATA.   She can be contacted at or