This article was written as a proposal for one of my courses, so its tone is academic. Enjoy!

About three years ago, I was introduced to a young woman, here fictionally named Merida, for a Tarot reading. A friend of mine had met Merida at work, and by listening to her troubles had decided a reading would do her good. Since Merida was a friend of a friend, it felt right to give the reading informally and for free. This ended up being a good choice, since Merida was young and poor, and would never have considered consulting a professional of any kind for help, let alone be able to afford such help. We ended up becoming friends and having several readings over the year, where I found her troubles to be surprisingly difficult and complex. Over the time we met, she realized a lot about her circumstances and made many brave choices to improve her life. Read the rest of this entry »


Yesterday was the last day of April, and a warm day in Ontario. I had just come up from North Carolina, where I saw the above flowers (Along with a stunning bonsai collection) in the North Carolina Arboretum. Driving north was a regression from summer to late winter, as skies grayed and leaves retracted into buds, like slow motion in reverse.

Upon arriving,  the friend I am visiting got me a gig reading Tarot at their bakery the next day. Given that it was May eve, we celebrated Beltane with a feast, a bonfire, and plenty of wine and cider. I rarely come up with specific Tarot spreads, but I was inspired by the bonfire to create a simple spread for today so I could read quickly for many people at the bakery. The reading I came up with is a short and sweet Beltane themed card spread.

The spread is a kind of past-present-future spread, with the first card going to the center. This spread can be easily read for yourself, and is very easily extended. I like to challenge myself by trying to see where the answer to any additional questions is in a spread already before drawing more cards. Feel free to leave comments with your additions and comments.

1. The Spring Bonfire

Burning away the grimness of winter and igniting our inner fire for a new spring and summer, the bonfire is a cherished tradition. Passion and high spirits overwhelm and can burn away what isn’t needed, so this card is the Fire in your life this spring, what to be unafraid of and allow through your life uninhibited to do its work. In some senses, this position is where to get out of your own way.

Cards here might be exaggerated to a high intensity, even becoming overwhelming. Try allowing the card’s meaning to ‘burn you up’, maybe visualize the card’s meaning in your life to become bigger and brighter, letting any resistance you may feel be penetrated by it completely. This energy enveloping you can ignite fresh passion, while burning away old grief, cleaning you out and allowing energy to flow uninhibited.

2. The Past Winter

Though winter is technically behind us, the cold tends to creep well into spring. This position is to reflect on the winter and what it was like. A negative card is difficulties that are melting away, while brighter cards might be lessons learned to carry with you, and good luck to be thankful for. As a card representing the past, this is what you’ve been through and what you’ve gained – important experience to carry with you through the rest of the reading.

3. The Coming Summer

I just left North Carolina, where spring seems to already have given way to summer. This card is about what summertime might have for us, and specifically what we will manage to accomplish or achieve with the passion ignited by springtime.

So, examine the Spring and Winter cards and see this Summer card as the new direction gained; Something like the Death card might be finally letting go of something that had to be let go of, while a 6 of Cups is a blessing of community, friendship, and love. Allow this card to be a positive message of how the fiery, creative Spring energy can best be realized and applied.

I am writing this in Vienna’s tenth district, sitting inside a good friend’s combined studio/guestroom. A week ago I came to Austria from visiting family in Germany, and a week before that I was in Egypt touring ancient temples. Each place I’ve gone, I’ve arrived deck in hand, ready to read for whoever I might meet. This is how I’ve made so many friends so quickly during my time abroad.

I was shy at first. I was afraid of language preventing me from accurately reading, superstition and religion throwing brick walls against my offers to read for new friends, and cultural differences leaving me embarrassed and out of touch with the people I intended to help and become closer to.

Luckily, it really wasn’t that big a deal. In fact, all of the tips below are important at home or abroad, though I do believe its important to be more conscious of yourself when out of your element. While there is always more to learn, here is what I’ve figured out so far about reading Tarot while on the move…

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