Category Archives: just kicking it

Review: The Angel Tarot


Box, booklet, and deck

I recently started working with a new Tarot deck called the Angel Tarot, published by CICO Books. It’s a 78-card deck based on the Rider-Waite system. Included with the cards is a 64-page booklet written by clairvoyant Jayne Wallace.

The packaging has vibrant, bright colors and the artwork on the box drew me to this deck instantly. I felt a strong, compassionate, reassuring energy just by handling these cards. The card stock is good — just the right amount of sturdy and flexible.

Back of the cards

Angel-Like Characters
The images on the Major Arcana and Court cards feature characters with angel wings. The blurb on the box says that the cards are “angel-inspired.” There is no indication that these “angels” are necessarily associated with beings such as Archangel Michael, Raphael, or others from any of the various religious belief systems.   And to me, that is a strength of the cards — that they are not overly bogged down with a lot of preconceived ideas. As a result, the characters can be seen as angels, spirit guides, or any type of being that resonates with you.

Differences from the Rider-Waite Deck
If you are familiar with the traditional Rider Waite deck, you may know that the images have a lot of detail in them and there is a lot of symbolism from Christianity, astrology, Kabbalah, and more. By contrast, the images on the Angel Tarot are beautifully drawn but simpler. To give a hint at the cards’ meaning, the Angel Tarot cards include keywords that are close to the meaning of the corre

Fool card comparison

sponding card in the Rider-Waite deck.

For example, with the Rider-Waite Fool card, the color of the sky, the pattern on the Fool’s clothing, and the flower the person is carrying all have a significance, according to traditional interpretation. On the other hand, the image of the Angel Tarot Fool does not have that type of symbolism. Instead, the words “Angel of Innocence” are written on the bottom of the card. The idea of “innocence” is the bare bones meaning of the Fool card in the Rider-Waite deck.

The Moon, Rider-Waite
The Moon, The Angel Tarot

I like the simplicity of the Angel Tarot because to my mind, it doesn’t carry the tremendous weight of lore and tradition that the Rider-Waite deck carries with it. I find that some Tarot readers try to cram in every bit of symbolism of the Rider-Waite cards when they do a reading, even when it doesn’t really fit the situation. There is a danger of getting bogged down in tradition instead of really answering a person’s question. I believe that there is less chance of that happening with the Angel Tarot. The reader is better able to focus more on the question and channel a meaningful message, with the lighter energy of the Angel Tarot Deck serving to help guide the reader’s own intuition.

Major versus Minor Arcana

Images on the Minor Arcana are minimalist

The images in the Angel Tarot are most detailed with the Major Arcana cards and the Court cards in the Minor Arcana (Cups, Swords, Pentacles, and Wands). The number cards are like a regular deck of playing cards, with the pips drawn against the background of wings (no angels in them).  Again, on the bottom of each card is a descriptive word that matches with the concept of the traditional Rider-Waite card. So with the  Angel Tarot Four of Cups, for example, the word “Indifference” is written on the bottom of the card. But the image on the card of Four Cups doesn’t help to interpret the Angel Tarot card the way is does on the corresponding Rider-Waite card.

Rider-Waite Four of Cups full of symbolism

Some people may think that it would be hard to read the Angel Tarot without prior knowledge of Rider-Waite. But I’m not so sure about that. The key words definitely help. Also, the booklet gives a bit of guidance on how to interpret the cards. (It also suggests that the suits represent the four elements.)

Even with my knowledge of Rider-Waite, if I were doing a reading for someone with the Angel Tarot cards, I could look at the Four of Cups card to think about the word

“indifference,” and use it as a tool to channel a message from the Universe for the person. Without relying strictly on my memory of traditional card meanings,  I would draw on the idea that the suit of Cups relates to the element of water; I would use a similar concept of the elements when it comes to Swords (Air), Wands (Fire), and Pentacles (Earth).

In other words, I think a person using the Angel Tarot could draw on their knowledge of  Rider-Waite as much or as little as they feel comfortable. In fact, with the key words on the Angel Tarot cards, you could start reading the cards immediately with absolutely no knowledge of Rider-Waite or any other system. You could simply use free association based on the card and key word sitting in front of you.

Ethnic Diversity
One of my favorite  characteristics of the Angel Tarot deck is that there is a multicultural flavor to it. I truly appreciate that the “angels” seem to come from various ethnicities and some of them are racially ambiguous. I applaud this effort toward inclusiveness.

Conclusion
Although I am a huge fan of the Rider-Waite deck and I respect its rich traditional symbolism, it can be a challenge to interpret the cards freely based on modern thinking, modern culture, and individual spiritual guidance. When I use the Rider-Waite deck, I find myself tailoring the reading to resonate with my sensibilities and guidance, as I think everyone should.

Ms. Joyce holding the World card

With that being said, it’s nice to have so many other decks to choose from, including the Angel Tarot,  to offer a fresh perspective on traditional interpretations and to help the mind expand to new horizons.

Long story short,  I really love the Angel Tarot deck and I would encourage anyone to give these cards a try.

Any comments? Have you had experience with this deck? Let me know!

Tarot Talk: The Suit of Wands


When a card in the suit of Wands turns up for the Daily Card or in a personal reading, we’re dealing with a strong urge to perform an action and get things moving. We could call that urge “passion” or the need to express how you feel through your deeds. You can be passionate about many things, but the most common areas with the Wands are work/career and sexual feelings.

Many times, the energy of the Wands has to do with ambition, wanting to achieve success, and taking the necessary steps to get what you want. You may have to take a leadership role to get what you want and thus organize people to help you reach a goal. The Wands also indicates having good ideas and coming up with ways to bring these ideas to light. They symbolize the creative spark.

When it comes to sex, the Wands represent desire, attraction, and the ability to express these feelings. The Wands can also be a symbol of fertility, which ties into the idea of creativity.

The King and Queen of Wands represent examples of how the masculine and feminine energy can each use leadership, charisma, and sexuality in the most balanced way possible. (In fact, the King and Queen of each suit represent mastery of their particular element.)

The Wands represent fiery energy, which means being passionate, taking action, and taking charge. When related to astrology, the Wands are associated with the fire signs — namely Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius.

In a personal reading, the position of the card in the spread, the question, and intuition, among other things, help determine what each card means specifically. For the daily card, I clear my head and ask the Universe to show me what message the group as a collective needs to hear. I allow the card to pop out of of the deck as I shuffle. Then I interpret the card based on intuition and channeling.

As a result, any card can have an infinite number of interpretations, depending on the circumstance. But when I see a Wand, I have my first clue as to which general direction I’m going in.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Comments are welcome.

(If you would like a personal email reading, take a look at the options available at my Etsy shop. )

Tarot Talk: The Suit of Cups


When a card in the suit of Cups turns up for the Daily Tarot Card or in a personal reading, the interpretation of it will touch upon the emotions in some way or form.  Generally speaking, the emotion that the Cups leans heavily toward is love. Some would say, myself included, that love — or feeling the lack of love — is the basis of every other emotion there is. In the Tarot, very often, the Cups give a clue as to how to gain emotional stability so that you feel safe and loved, as well as how to give love to others.

The King and Queen of Cups represent examples of how the masculine and feminine energy, respectively, use emotional energy to its best advantage. (In fact, King and Queen of each suit represent mastery of their particular element.)

The Cups represent watery energy, which means being receptive, intuitive, creative, and fluid. When related to astrology, the Cups are associated with the water signs — namely Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces.

In a personal reading, the position of the card in the spread, the question, and intuition, among other things, help determine what each card means specifically. For the daily card, I clear my head and ask the Universe to show me what message the group as a collective needs to hear. I allow the card to pop out of of the deck as I shuffle. Then I interpret the card based on intuition and channeling.

As a result, any card can have an infinite number of interpretations, depending on the circumstance. But when I see a Cup, at least I know which general direction I’m going in.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Comments are welcome.

(If you would like a personal email reading, take a look at the options available at my Etsy shop. )

How I Do My 3-Card Email Tarot Readings


My 3-card Tarot readings are a little different from the traditional spread. For many readers, the first card represents the past, the second card is for the present, and the third card is for the future. I used to do my readings this way but it never sat right with me. Over time, I realized that I did not resonate with this type of spread because I don’t see time as moving from point A to point B. Time is more fluid than that.

For example, when you think about things that happened in your “past,” if often doesn’t matter if it happened 20 years ago or last week. It can feel like it’s happening now. In fact, if you are thinking about the past, the moment doesn’t stay in the past. It’s here with you today.

So when a person asks a question for me as a Tarot reader and gives me the background story, all of the information paints the picture of what the situation is now. Does that make sense?

Also, I do not consider myself to be a fortune teller who can see the future. When I draw cards, I use my intuition to interpret the impressions I get from the question and the questioner, and to help me channel guidance from the Universe. So here is how I do my 3-card spread:

  1. The first card I pull is for the heart of the current situation, meaning “What is happening right now?” When you ask a question, that’s our starting point. The first card sheds light on the question and some of the deeper underlying issues.
  2. Once we discover what’s happening currently, the second card I pull shows a solution to the problem. Because that is what we really want to know: What can be done to solve the problem? The second card not only indicates what can be done literally and physically, but it also shows a way to approach the problem that can give you more peace of mind.
  3. The third card I pull shows the best possible outcome that can be gained based on the current energy. It’s not always what the questioner wants to hear but sometimes we have to accept that if things don’t go the way we want them to, there is still be a valuable lesson to be learned.

As always, view your reading as guidance based on your current energy and my current impressions of the cards. The Tarot is never the last word on what will happen. Nothing is written in stone. Every day, we as humans have the power to change our condition through our actions.

My 3-card email Tarot reading is $10. If you would like more information about it or to check out the other types of readings I offer, visit my Etsy shop.

New Email Tarot Readings


Hi, Everyone! I just wanted to let your know that I  added 3 new types of email Tarot reading to my offerings!

“Should I Take a Risk” ($17.00)
Are you thinking about trying something different? How can you make the most of a risky situation? This reading focuses on the energy of the Fool card, which is all about taking a leap of faith and landing safely on your feet. Tell me about the risk or new direction you are thinking about taking I will draw 5 cards to help determine possible risks, gains, and outcome.

Month Ahead ($30.00)
Do you want to know what’s in store for you during the next 4 weeks? Tell me what area of your life you would like the reading to focus on (relationships, career, or other topic). I will draw 11 cards — 2 for each of the 4 weeks, and one card each for the theme of the month, possible challenges, and possible outcome.

3-Month ($50.00)
How can you best handle the energies of the next 3 months? Tell me what area of your life you would like the reading to focus on (relationships, career, or other topic). I will draw 15 cards, 5 for each of the next 3 months, with a new shuffle of the cards for each month.

Visit Ms. Joyce Tarot on Etsy for all the details. If you decide to book a reading, use the code BLOGREADER at checkout for 15% off. The code is good for all of the readings, not just the new ones. The sale ends on December 15.

The Star Card in Tarot – My Favorite Card


Last week, I drew the Star card for one of the daily readings. In my post, I mentioned that the Star Card is my favorite card in the Tarot deck.

The Star card is associated with the sign of Aquarius.  In my own astrological chart, I have important 11th house placements in personal planets. So maybe that is why i feel a connection with the Star.

But I am most affected by what I see on the card and what it means to me personally.

First of all, to be perfectly honest, I am drawn to the cards that feature people in a state of undress, to put is delicately. (One day soon I’ll write a post about nakedness in the the Tarot deck.) For me, nakedness symbolizes freedom, and that’s a quality and feeling I value — and downright crave.

I’m also drawn to the water. I love the water — the feel of it, the flow, and what it symbolizes (I’m a Cancer rising, by the way, and Cancer is a water sign).

Last but not least, I have always been fascinated with the stars and the sky. The sky depicted in the Star card is glorious, full of starbursts.  Somehow, no matter how often life brings disappointment, the stars  always remind me that my dreams may be delayed but the possibility for magic always exists.

Full Moon in Capricorn (poem)


This poem was inspired by today’s full moon. The full moon is said to help release negative energy and to move on. So this is my way of setting my intention to do just that.

This poem also appears on my poetry blog A.D. Joyce, Poetry and the Butterfly Psyche, as well as on my Ms. Joyce Tarot Facebook page.

the moon in its fullness
at the height
of my fears and doubts

already they begin to wane

from full to gibbous
to half to quarter to new
to the beginning of dreams

a blank sky to write upon
afraid and doubtful no more

Photo by A.D. Joyce

©A. D. Joyce, 2017

Introducing Ms. Joyce Tarot


Hi, All. This is my first post on my brand new shiny blog and I couldn’t be more excited! Getting to this point has been a long time coming.

To make a long story short, I’ve been reading Tarot professionally for nearly two years but my interest in spirituality and the esoteric arts began when I was a child. Some people are early bloomers. As for me, I have had to live a few before I could climb out of the matrix and truly come into my own. Better late than never? There are no truer words. I feel great.

I want to keep my posts short and sweet, so here’s my plan for how this blog is going to work:

  1. Starting next week (July 3), I will do a daily reading for all by pulling one Tarot card a day Monday through Thursday and writing a post about the energy of the day based on the card.
  2. On Friday, I will pull one card that will represent the energy for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
  3. On either Saturday or Sunday, I will write a post just kicking it on random topics, telling you more about my life and my thoughts on Tarot and spirituality in general.
  4. The weeks after that, wash, rinse, and repeat. I want you all to feel free to leave comments.

At any time, if you would like to get a reading from me, email me at crysell99@gmail.com or else visit my Etsy shop, Ms. Joyce Tarot,  to arrange a reading.

I hope to see you on Monday, July 3, when I’ll pull the first card.

Love and peace to you all.