New Tarot card spread: Rising Star spread

I visited the lovely town of Cumberland, Maryland this weekend, where I participated in the Blue Star Expo.  I met a lot of nice and inspiring people and had a great time.  In honor of the expo, I designed a new tarot spread to help clients who are trying to understand their life purpose.  Here is the overview of the spread:

Designed by Zhenya Amditis

Rising Star Spread designed by Zhenya Amditis

I did a test reading of the spread for myself and came up with the following cards:

  1. Queen of Pentacles
  2. Nine of swords
  3. Five of cups
  4. Two of wands
  5. Judgement
  6. Three of swords

1. For my career choice, the foundation was my time as a college professor, learning how the world works and how to be pleasant and collegial toward everyone and how to mentor students.

2. The inspiration for me to take the career path of becoming an intuitive spiritual advisor was the pain and suffering I experienced in my own life and my frustration at not being able to find the right place in the academy.

3. In taking this path, I faced the challenges of not quite being able to find the right job to use all of my talents. I was partially happy with my responsibilities, but also disappointed in my duties.

4. The training I needed to transition into this career was how to learn to inspire and motivate people on their own path, how to counsel people one-on-one.

5. The polishing I needed to be able to really be successful as an advisor was in developing my judgement of how to approach different clients and learning how to sympathize with people so they would feel comfortable talking with me without fear of being judged. The judgement card also usually is a warning to stop judging yourself, and I needed to work on not being so hard on myself so that I could understand that I have a valuable service to offer others.

6. This card usually has a negative sense for many readers, but the way I read it is about getting the message out and communicating with lots of people.  My role is to help people see a new way of looking at themselves and their relationship with Spirit and to get people talking about these ideas.

Here is a picture of the actual cards:

IMG_20160723_152042075_HDR

If you would like to schedule a rising star reading for yourself, please contact me at zhenyatarot@gmail.com.  I also value suggestions/comments on the spread.

Faces of the Divine

KwanYin with Child

She who Hears the Cries of the World

I have been preparing some workshop offerings for the Changing Times Changing Worlds conference, a growing conference on metaphysical matters located in New England. This year, the conference will take place in Crowmwell, CT at the Radisson on Nov. 4-6. I am excited by the possibilities of this conference because, although the organizers are branching out, traditionally, it has been mainly a Pagan or Wiccan conference. The opportunity to participate has allowed me to think about different types of spirituality and the part of my spiritual practice that connects with different faces of the Divine.

I want to dedicate this writing to my mom, who taught me to value world culture, who loves children, and who tries to alleviate suffering where she can.

Today, I want to talk about KwanYin, who is thought to be a goddess, but who is actually the Boddhisatva of compassion, who hears the cries of the world and protects all of us, but especially mothers and children. One of the fascinating things about KwanYin is how a divine personality can change from one version in one tradition into a different one in another because of cultural influences.

KwanYin was originally a male personality from India called Avalokiteshvara, whose name loosely translates into “The lord who sees the cries of the world with compassion.”  The Chinese translation of this name is “Kwan Shih Yin.” In Buddhism, a boddhisatva is a person who could stop reincarnating and achieve nirvana, but who sacrifices their own release from human suffering because they are committed to doing all they can to alleviate the suffering of all humans everywhere.  In other words, even though they are super-enlightened souls, similar to saints or even deities in other religions, they won’t leave the planet until all the rest of us unenlightened people get our stuff together and free ourselves from the suffering of reincarnation.

In the traditions around Avalokiteshvara, he was thought to change his form and gender in order to more effectively teach, especially with children, so his form was flexible.  This is probably the origin of his association with children, which has become a large part of his “jurisdiction.”  In the 16th century, after Western missionaries came to China, images of the Virgin Mary with the baby Jesus influenced the way that Avalokiteshvara was presented, because the Christian iconography became popular.  After that point, in China KwanYin was predominantly depicted as female, even in those cases where the child is not present. In India, he remains as his original male form. KwanYin is one of the spirit people you seek out for help with pregnancy or children.

Depiction with obvious influence from the "Tenderness" icon style

Depiction with obvious influence from the “Tenderness” icon style in Christianity

KwanYin is often depicted as seated on the lotus, which shows her enlightened state, and her mantra is “Behold the Jewel in the Lotus/ Om Mani Padme Hum.”  She is usually depicted as pouring the waters of compassion and healing from a vessel in her hand, and holding the pearl of enightenment in the other.  Sometimes, she is shown as standing on the dragons or sea of the world, representing her ability to give peace that overcomes the turbulence of life.

If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed, worn out, or sad, ponder Kwan Yin and her gifts of compassion to soothe your spirit.

Kwan Yin Dragon

For more information, check out: http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/history/kuanyin-txt.htm

Queen of Night, Queen Mab of the Fae

The Fairies have inspired many stories and pieces of art.  Sometimes, the words and images seem to write and compose themselves.  This is one such poem, written by myself, accompanied by a lovely portrait from the talented Angelica Jonni, the creative mind behind Whimsickal Creations.  You can find her work at: Angelica Jonni Creations.

“Rest for the Weary”

Queen of Night unfolds her wings

of raven sparkling with dew.

Night searches for those who toil.

She’s been looking for you.

You have earned the respite.

You have finished the score.

You’ve endured the labor.

Right now, there is no more.

The seed will ripen,

the ripe bud will burst.

All in perfect time,

but rest must come first.

Let spirit drift the moats

of silken velvet night.

Surrender. Take rest for

labor’s relentless light.

Let the Queen take her due.

Let morning glory fall

in favor of vining

moon flowers’ graceful pall.

Sink into your pillow.

Surrender your glance

to the fairy-like orbs

of the moths’ floating dance.

Sail your mattress into

the world of Night’s deep ink.

The Moon waves as you pass,

gives you a saucy wink.

She’s in a hurry—
on her way to a tryst,
cannot do a thing with
her hair of silver mist.

Let the stars’ serenade

now soothe your weary ears.

Release to each of them

all your worldly fears.

For in her dark realm the

Queen always has her way.

We all get peace from Night

and strength for dawning Day.

Original Art by Angelica Jonni at Whimsickal Creations

Original Art by Angelica Jonni at Whimsickal Creations

 

Hey! Where’s My Soulmate?!

I hear that question pretty often.  And, yes, I often can answer it, especially if Cupid throws me a bone, that is to say, if it’s God’s will that I receive the information. There are a few spreads that can help to clarify love relationships.  The very cleverly named “Soulmate reading” or the “Karmic Connection” are good places to start. They help to shed light on some of the patterns and obstacles we might face in trying to find a partner.

Before going too far into technical details, it might be helpful to consider some of the possible options for the spiritual levels of romantic relationships.  The question of love, where to find it, when to find, and who to find it with comes up again and again in client readings.  It is possibly the most common subject people want to discuss with me, regardless of whether the client is 18, 81, a man, a woman, rich, poor, . . . well, you get the idea. All of us, except the very most independent, ruggedly individualistic, or anti-establishment people in our midst, have wondered about affairs of the heart. Our more optimistic, “Kumbaya,” spiritually-oriented friends remind us that “Our soulmate is out there, because nothing is lost in the eyes of God,” and we just have to wait for everything to come to fruition, after all, “a human lifetime is only a blink of the eye of God.” (By the way, despite all the higher consciousness stuff, they get lonely, and even horny, sometimes, too.) My other favorite piece of advice is that maybe it’s just not meant to be in this lifetime, and I’ll have children and get married in the next lifetime. (This was from a woman with three children, who was on her 4th marriage, so I have to wonder how much she knew about living decades of your life alone, trying to create a family and getting nowhere.)

The when, why, how, and who of love are of great concern for many of us who wish that God would hurry up because we have careers to plan, dream weddings to organize, babies to have, and happily-ever-after to design, and we aren’t getting any younger, dammit! The frustration can lead even the most optimistic lonely heart to get snarky and display cheeky posters with statements such as my personal favorite from www.ephemera-inc.com: “Soulmate sounds like something Satan puts in his coffee.”  Griping can help to blow off some steam. Who wouldn’t get fed up with their love life from time to time?  Who hasn’t wanted to throw their beloved Snuggwy-Bunny, Pookie, or Luv-bug out the window from time to time, followed by two footlockers full of their favorite crap and all their high school sports trophies?

The term “soulmate” gets thrown around a lot, but people use it in many different ways, ranging from the pretty mundane to the cosmic. Here are the ones I have encountered while reading about love in everything from New Age books to the Bible to philosophers to sociologists to psychologists.

The first idea is that of the perfect match for us in this lifetime.  It does not stretch into past lives.  People use this term to mean a happy marriage.  They exaggerate to the extent that they want to create a deeper connection than just one that is built in this lifetime.  It feels cosmic and spiritual, so they use the term; although they have only known their partner from this lifetime. With this belief comes the idea that there is only one match for us, and part of the idea is that if you miss that person, then you are out of luck for the rest of your life.  As best I can tell from experience and from working with clients, there are many possible good matches out there for us.  It really comes down to what kind of life we want to live and how we want to relate to another person. If you fear you have missed your “soulmate,” don’t worry, another good person, another potential mate, with a kind heart and a nice ass, will turn up when you are ready.

Next, there’s the idea of someone who has incarnated with us many times, with whom we have a strong tie, a “fellow traveler” if you will, whom we recognize as a long lost friend on some level, and with whom we feel a strong connection. This phenomenon is the source of the notion of “love at first sight” in its mildly familiar form, because you and your friend from a past life plan how and when you will meet and what you will be “wearing” at the time. (This goes something like, “You’ll recognize me because I will be the girl with 60s retro glasses and wildly curly ash-blonde hair, and you will be the chubby redhead with the spiky hair and the broad shoulders.”) These are the people who feel like family or old friends from the very first time we meet them.  According to people who share this view, like Michael Newton, Ph.D. or Charles Richards, Ph.D., people with this relationship may be part of the same soul group “family” or may have incarnated with each other many times in the past. In a sense, we already have a long-term relationship with these people, because we have known each other for several lifetimes, even though we only met them in this body a few minutes ago. This works with both platonic and romantic relationships.  I have heard other intuitive readers use the term “soulmate” to refer to this type of relationship.  In truth, we will meet many people who are in this category throughout the course of our lives, because we have met thousands and thousands of people during our past lives, any of whom could appear right now in 2015 at any moment.

The third type of “soulmate” describes someone from the previous group who is supposed to be one of your major relationships in this lifetime.  This connection can feel very intense, possibly with a feeling of “love at first sight” that is something akin to being struck by lightning. You could also possibly have a very strong “type” that you are always attracted to who always turns your head when you first walk into the room.  (Do gap-toothed red heads drive you wild?  Is it Englishmen with green eyes and brown hair? Do you love ladies with dreadlocks? If many of us think about it, we can probably come up with the particulars of our own “type.”) Freud tells us that sexual attraction is based on our desire to be close to one of our parents, which seems to be a plausible explanation if the type is similar to your actual parent.  He also reminds us that things we experience as children can be powerful influences on adult feelings and behavior. However, what if the type you like bears no resemblance either physically or psychologically to your family members or to the people you knew as a child?  Where could such a strong attraction come from, and what shapes it? Regardless of the source, these can be the relationships where people knew each other for a week, then astonished everyone by getting married immediately, then continually astounded people with the next 30 years of their wedded bliss. The combination of a past life connection and a pre-programmed physical attraction to the other person can exert a huge influence on us, but if the relationship is not working or causes problems in our lives, it can be extremely difficult to turn away from that pull. This type of connection can be the source of unhealthy relationships that we find almost impossible to shake no matter how much therapy, self-criticism, or moral pep-talks we throw at ourselves. These are the relationships that make people wonder “How can he let her treat him like that?  He’s so level headed otherwise.” It’s because there is more going on than we can see from the history in this lifetime.

The last and most cosmic type is the eternal soul mate. (Insert thunder and lightning here!!) According to this view, the soul is split into two halves and our partner is actually someone that we can reunite with and with whom we spend a lot of time on the other side.  This idea is laid out in detail by Sylvia Browne, who explains that basically any of the three previous versions of the soul mate are not actually the true soul mate, who seldom incarnates at the same time we do.  Usually, he or she is at home on the other side waiting for us to complete our lifetime here on earth, almost as if we have gone to Maine to attend a special camp, and our partner is waiting until we get back. For the vast majority of the time, we have people we are attracted to, people we love, even people we have incarnated with before, but they are not truly the other half of us, just people who mean a lot to us and for whom we feel a great deal.

Any of these types of relationships are a blessing and help us in our own spiritual progress, and we should not be overly hung up on the title we assign to someone. Are they your soulmate or not? It doesn’t matter, it only matters that there is the connection between you. Love, when it is experienced in its most sincere and selfless form ultimately helps us to progress on our path through life.  As it is written in 1 John 4:7, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”

If you would like to find out more about the role of love in your own life, I will be happy to schedule an appointment for a Soulmate or Karmic reading.  Please drop me a line at zhenyatarot@gmail.com or Zhenya Tarot Consulting on FB.

Photo Credit Gurbz

Dalai Lama Boy

 

Spring is Finally Here– Celebration of Daffodils

Finally, it seems that spring is here, and we got the chance to pull out the sunscreen and an occasional floppy hat this weekend.  There was even some sunburn to be found!  After all the cold, the burn felt good.  Today isn’t exactly the picture of the spring warmth here in the NYC area, but I’m sure it will be back soon. Since the daffies have made their appearance, it seems like the perfect time to share their most famous poem:

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

by William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
1804
sunny-daffodil-bill-wakeleyDaffodil fairy

 

Waiting for the Magic of Spring

Soon enough the last bits of winter will fade, and nature will offer the enchantment of spring beauty.  I wanted to share the following poem by a pretty unknown turn-of-the-century Russian poet that really captures that sense of magic.

Konstantin Balmont “Spirit of the Winds”

Дух ветров, Зефир игривый         The Spirit of the Winds, a playful Zephyr
Прошумел среди листов,             whispered among the leaves,
Прикоснулся шаловливый           Playfully caressed the
К нежным чашечкам цветов.       Tender bells of the flowers.

И шепнул неуловимый,                And he elusively whispered,
И волною шевельнул,                  Stirring a surge upon
К арфе звучной и незримой         The sweet, unseen harp,
Дланью быстрою прильнул.        With a nimble hand.

И с беспечностью ребёнка,         And with the ease of a child,
Не заботясь ни о чём,                   Without a single concern,
Он играл легко и звонко               He played lightly and audibly
В ясном воздухе ночном.             In the clear evening air.

И влюблённые наяды                  His beloved Nymphs
Показались из волны,                  Revealed themselves on the waves
И к нему кидали взгляды            and threw longing glances at him
В свете гаснущей Луны.              In the light of the fading moon.

Нимфа с нимфою шепталась,    The nymphs whispered to each other
О блаженстве говоря.                  Speaking of blessed enchantments,
А за Морем пробуждалась          As the Rosy-hued dawn
Розоперстая заря.                        Stepped out above the Sea.

Translation by Zhenya Amditis

Aurora is the feminine embodiment of the dawn, and Zephyr is her lover, the summer wind.

Aurora is the feminine embodiment of the dawn, and Zephyr is her lover, the summer wind.

The Material Culture of Spirit

This is the reading for week three of my upcoming course “The Occult in Victorian Culture.” This article is a fascinating, well-illustrated piece about the material culture of spiritualism in Victorian England: It includes pictures of mediums, seances, spirit photos, ouija boards, etc.

http://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/ghosts-in-the-machines-the-devices-and-defiant-mediums-that-spoke-for-the-spirits/

 

Alleged Spirit Pictures from the 1880s (from Wikimedia Commons)

Alleged Spirit Pictures from the 1880s (from Wikimedia Commons)

Tarot Workshop in Stamford 5/20/15

I will be conducting a free tarot workshop from 6:30 – 8:00 PM at the Harry Bennett Branch of the Ferguson Library at 115 Vine Road in Stamford, CT on Wednesday, May 20, 2015.

Here is the promotional description for the event:

Join a professional psychic for an intriguing exploration of the tarot. This 1 1/2 hour workshop will delve into the process of choosing a tarot deck, formulating your own questions, completing the Celtic Cross spread, and interpreting the cards. Guests will have the opportunity to look at several tarot decks and ask questions about divination and metaphysical topics. Feel free to bring your own tarot deck if you have one. During the workshop, several volunteers will be randomly chosen for a free reading (a $25 value). This workshop is free to the public.

The Magician card from the original tarot deck, the Visconti-Sforza, part of which is currently held in the Pierpont-Morgan Library.

The Magician card from the original tarot deck, the Visconti-Sforza, part of which is currently held in the Pierpont-Morgan Library.