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Have you been looking for an opportunity to study in-depth Tarot with me? I’m very excited to announce I’ll be teaching for three days in Kingston ON, Canada in October: “Unmasking Your Intuitive Side: A Weekend of Wisdom with Mary K. Greer”. There’ll also be a touch of Lenormand with me or crystal ball reading with Marilyn Shannon.

Three Days: Three Terrific Tools to Unmask your Intuitive Side presented in five workshops by world renowned instructor Mary K. Greer and Kingston’s own Marilyn Shannon. Join the magic in Kingston, Ontario on the beautiful shores of Lake Ontario October 24, 25 & 26, 2014. You’ll learn how to discern what card meanings are most relevant to a querent and their questions and how to integrate the card meanings. Then get the significance and function of the court cards down once and for all!

I hope to see everyone there!

http://unmaskyourintuitiveside.weebly.com/

Don’t miss The Tarosophy Tarot Convention 2012

Dallas, October 20th-21st 2012

Barbara MooreSteampunk Tarot, Tarot Spreads, Tarot for Beginners

Mary K. Greer21 Ways to Read a Tarot CardWomen of the Golden Dawn

Carrie ParisSanta Fe Tarot & incredible teacher of Tarot

Ellen Lorenzi-PrinceTarot of the Crone

Robert M. Place, Alchemical Tarot, Tarot: History, Symbolism & Divination

Marcus KatzTarosophy, Around the Tarot in 78 Days (with Tali Goodwin), Tarot Professionals

with even more – we will be offering many additional evening Tarot workshops by:

*NEW* Rana George on Lenormand Card Reading

Enrique Enriquez

Katrina Wynne

Paul Nagy

Dr. Art Rosengarten

Jaymi Elford

Mike Hernandez

and others …

and deck presentations/classes by many Tarot artists

Beth Seilenon

GUEST M.C. Dan Donche (“Inappropriate Tarot” & new Darkana Deck)

After-Dinner Speaker James Wells!

Information Here.

me in front of the Sforza Castle, Milan

I’m working on an overview of the Italy Tarot Tour, but with nearly 2,000 photos and an unbelievable number of wonderful experiences, it’s hard to know what to select. I want to mention a few things that have come up in the meantime and I’m trying out the BlogPress app on my iPad (all mistakes are due to this).

Check out Destined: A Novel of the Tarot, a book-in-progress by Gail Cleare at authonomy.com. The story is built around the 22 Major Arcana of the Payen Tarot (an early Marseilles-style deck) and her encounter with an esoteric scholar who owns an old curio shop. It can be read directly online for free, and you can offer suggestions to the author, so get in your helpful criticisms before the book is finished.

I’ve come across several novels recently that include some tarot in them.

First is the 4th and 5th books of Sara Donati’s Wilderness series:
Fire Along the Sky and Queen of Swords. These books are epic, romantic melodramas that may or may not be to your taste. The use of tarot is a little anachronistic, even given that it is post-de Gébelin, but I’m not really complaining – it’s lite fiction.

Mystery writer Martha Grimes includes a little tarot in two books in her Emma Graham series:
Belle Ruin and its follow-up Fadeaway Girl. Both contain a fortune-teller who reads tarot cards. In the second book, the 5 of Pentacles is described as “Orphans in the Snow” and the Hanged Man shows up as a ‘good’ card, reflecting the twists and turns of the plot and the main character’s indirect way of questioning people, or, perhaps, one of the book’s themes – about the difference between fiction and reality. I enjoyed the “fadeaway” motif.

I understand that the new book, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, has a little tarot in it.

In an earlier post I talked about the Daily Tarot Journal, pointing out Quirkeries – a Personal Tarot Book of Days as one model for using a blog to record your readings. While you can set a blog to private, you may not feel comfortable with an internet format. A much more private option is available FREE for the iPhone, iPad and Android. It is Moment Diary, also known simply as MD. Simplicity is its theme. It provides a handy format for keeping daily records and allows you to include a photo or video of your cards. The video is really great if you’d rather speak instead of typing your card observations. I recommend starting out with a consistent system for naming your daily tarot card(s) so you can search on all appearances of any card. I believe you can use hashtags as a quick way of listing them. The only real failings are limited design/font options and not being able to send the entries to your social media – but Moment Diary is designed to be private and elegantly simple within a calendrical format.

Statue of Columbia Pacific Cemetery

Finally, you might want to look into what’s going on with DC 40 and the 51 Days of Reformation Intercession organized by the New Apostolic Reformation movement, a group that presidential hopeful, Rick Perry, has claimed as an inspiration. They believe that God’s word should be the legal and governmental authority in the United States, and that Christians should acknowledge no other. Compromise is ungodly and any form of feminine Goddess is demonic. This includes, if course, Columbia (patron Goddess of the United States, i.e., District of Columbia) and Lady Liberty. Read about their prayer initiative at PNC-Minnesota Bureau and The Wild Hunt. They may sound like a fringe group, but with people like Rick Perry taking them seriously, we need to be aware of their influence. Personally, I am erecting an altar to Goddess Columbia to send her my share of positive juice. Perhaps she needs a tarot deck dedicated to her . . .

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad. Follow-up note: BlogPress crashed when I was trying to save, but I was able to recover most of my material in the iTunes backup.

Amnesty International has called on the King of Saudi Arabia to halt the execution of a Lebanese national, who was sentenced to death for charges relating to “sorcery.”

Ali Hussain Sibat is the former host of a popular call-in talk show on the radio station Sheherazade in Beirut, where he would predict the future and offer advice to his audience. One report said “he gave counsel and encouragement to troubled callers by “predicting” good things would happen to them.” He was arrested by the Mutawa’een (religious police) in May 2008 while he was in Saudi Arabia to perform a form of Muslim pilgrimage, the ‘umra. Last week his appeal was denied and he could be executed at any time.

Amnesty International called on the authorities to release Ali Hussain Sibat and another unidentified man immediately and unconditionally if they have been convicted solely for the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression. Information is also available at CNN. NPR reports that sorcery charges are on the rise in Saudi Arabia.

This is only one example of the epidemic of witchcraft and sorcery prosecutions and murders of witches taking place around the world. It has become so rampant that the United Nations Human Rights Council is finally seeking to do something about it. According to the International Humanist and Ethical Union, “Accusations of witchcraft [in Africa], targeting mainly the old, the weak and the most disadvantaged in society is a world-wide scourge. And horrific though the actual practice of witchcraft may be [in some cases children are killed for their body parts for use in spells] the number of these victims is exceeded many-fold by the number of children tortured and killed after having been falsely accused of being witches. The problem is indeed worldwide. We heard at a seminar organized by the High Commission for Human Rights of abuse of those accused of witchcraft from Nepal to Tanzania. And from Papua/New Guinea to the United Kingdom. The UN High Commission for Refugees has published a report highlighting the scale of the problem in refugee camps.”

In Nigeria it was found that unscrupulous pastors, many linked to Pentecostal churches, have a lucrative trade in making unfounded accusations of witchcraft against young children and then agreeing to “cure” the witches for a substantial fee.  In her book ‘Unveiling the Mysteries of Witchcraft,’ Helen Ukpabio, the leader of Liberty Foundation Gospel Ministries, states that a child under the age of two that cries at night and has poor health is ‘an agent of Satan’. More information at MSNBC.

Is the Constitutional right to protection of “freedom of religion” about to go down the drain in the United States? See update below! Check out this tarot reading on the subject by Donnaleigh.

Did you know that freedom of religion actually functions on a two-tier basis in California? And that some religions do not have the same rights as others? That’s correct. Not all religions have equal rights in California and the situation may be about to set a legal precedent.

In the on-going case of Patrick M. McCollum, et al., v. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, et al., the CDCR, other related defendants, and the Assistant Attorneys General of California, in one of their first arguments to the court said that certain “traditional” faiths are first tier faiths and that those faiths were meant to have equal rights and  protections under the United States Constitution, but that all of the other faiths were second tier faiths, and were not meant to have the same equal rights and protections under the United States Constitution as the first tier faiths.”

This “two tiers” argument was echoed by a recently filed amicus brief by the WallBuilders’, which claims that modern Pagans have no expectation of Constitutional protection under the religion clauses.

“The true historic meaning of “religion” excludes paganism and witchcraft, and thus, does not compel a conclusion that McCollum has state taxpayer standing … paganism and witchcraft were never intended to receive the protections of the Religion Clauses. Thus, in the present case there can be no violation of those clauses … Should this Court conclude that McCollum has taxpayer standing … this Court should at least acknowledge that its conclusion is compelled by Supreme Court precedent, not by history or the intent of the Framers.”

This is not about paganism and witchcraft. It’s about people of one set of religious beliefs getting to dictate which other religions get rights under the law and which ones do not, here in the United States. Although the court case itself is about overcoming what McCollum has called an “endemic” level of religious discrimination against minority faiths in our prison system, the results of the case can set legal precedents affecting our Constitutional protection of “freedom of religion” throughout the legal system.

Keep up with the case and find out what you can do at WildHunt.org.

Hear a podcast interview of Wiccan priest, Patrick McCollum by Anne Hill on Beliefnet. McCollum discusses many things that won’t be found in the text articles.

See ReligiousTolerance.org for their assessment that, based on percentage, Wicca is the fastest growing religion in the United States and Canada. Other websites differ, however most analyses do not include Wicca at all in their comparisons.

UPDATE CHANGED: I have seen an explanation that the WallBuilders’ amicus brief is based on McCreary County v. ACLU, 545 U.S. 844, 885-90 (2005)—during which there was an attempt to say that the Framers intended “religion” to mean either Christianity or monotheism. Stephen G. has just sent me the following correction:

I’m *very* happy to reassure you: the Supreme Court did *not* declare that the Framers intended “religion” to have a limited meaning; certainly, its meaning was not limited to Christianity or monotheism.

There were three opinions in the McCreary case; taking them in reverse order: (3) the dissent — written by Scalia, fully joined by then-Chief-Justice Rehnquist and Thomas, and only partially joined by Kennedy — included the language you’re understandably concerned about. But keep in mind this was a dissenting opinion, so it has no force of law. And fwiw, Kennedy did not join the offensive material in the opinion, which was confined to Part I; his joinder was limited to Parts II and III. (2) In a concurring opinion, O’Connor joined the majority, while adding some comments that didn’t go directly to the problem you’ve identified. (1) The majority opinion — written by Souter; joined by Stevens, O’Connor, Ginsburg, and Breyer — very pointedly slammed Scalia’s dissent for insisting the Framers endorsed monotheism/Christianity.

Bottom line: as of McCreary, the score was 5 to 3 in favor of a non-exclusive reading of “religion” for purposes of the Establishment Clause. And the 5 made constitutional law binding all courts in the US. I checked a USSC database for “monotheis*”; no cases since McCreary. So it looks solid. Of course, if you remove Rehnquist and O’Connor, the score becomes 4 to 2. But even if Roberts and Alito took the dark side on this issue, it’s also clear that Kennedy wouldn’t; he refused to endorse Scalia’s endorsement of monotheism.

Charles VI - Hanged ManThere are thousands of good causes and I don’t want to make this a forum that addresses them. However, in the spirit of the Hanged Man in its original intention of a shame portrait, I want the 30 senators who voted against the anti-rape law to explain why they did so, and I’m willing to hang them in effigy until they produce some good reasons. The bags in the hands of the Hanged Man in the Charles VI Tarot (see right) are there as the mark of Judas and indicate the selling out of trust, honor and goodness. Who is hurt in this case? Hundreds or even thousands of women who work for American companies overseas. Their contracts prohibit them from  suing or speaking out. Instead, they are forced into secret arbitration and most of the perpetrators are never punished. More insidiously rape becomes a practice that “should be expected.” Company arbitration has not been effective at deterring rape among overseas workers. Laws have to be enforced and the consequences severe enough to protect the women. The companies have proved themselves unwilling to do this. This is explained in the video of Rachel Maddow interviewing Jamie Leigh Jones and her attorneyhere. You’ll find Jon Stewart’s commentary here, in which he points out that the Republican’ claim that it’s “political,” and that government should have no say regarding the company contracts of those hired by the government, is directly opposite to Republican arguments regarding other companies. By the way, the link to “Republicans for Rape” that pictures and names the 30 senators—with their phone numbers—is a spoof site, designed to show just how outrageous this situation actually is and to make it easy for you to contact the senators and tell them what you think.

Jim Carroll 1bJim Carroll 3bJim Carroll 2bJim Carroll (1949 – Sept. 11, 2009), author of the book/film, The Basketball Diaries, as I knew him—poet, friend: Bolinas, California, 1976-78. Read the rest of this entry »

lovers

Warning: the following is a political, social commentary by Keith Olbermann prompted by the passage of Prop.8 in California, which rescinded the right of same sex couples to marry.  I found it a beautiful and impassioned plea for humanity’s honoring of the deepest meaning of the Lovers card. The title above is a line from the poet Omar Khayyam quoted by Olbermann.

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Mary K. Greer has made tarot her life work. Check here for reports of goings-on in the world of tarot and cartomancy, articles on the history and practice of tarot, and materials on other cartomancy decks. Sorry, I no longer write reviews. Contact me HERE.

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