Esotericist with particular interest in tarot and the underlying magical traditions/systems.

Learn Tarot – The Hermetic Qabalah (Tree of Life)

This is a difficult topic to cover as the terminology used can be unfamiliar and discouraging to newcomers. However, here I try to present this in an accessible form. If like me you struggle with the terminology, ignore the unfamiliar names and instead view the tree, numbers, associations and card positions. This will enable anyone to start drawing on the Hermetic Qabalah to deepen their understanding of Tarot.

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The Best Tarot Podcasts

Podcasts are incredibly popular nowadays. The ability to be heard has never been so accessible; anyone can become podcast star with little more than a mobile phone and an internet connection.

As a podcaster this accessibility is very welcome. However, as a listener it can be difficult to know where to begin and a challenge to find the gems amongst the sea of mediocrity.

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To Cleanse or Not to Cleanse

A question commonly asked online:-

“My tarot cards are no longer working.  I’ve been told I need to cleanse them – how do I do this?”

Answers typically range from smudging, to bathing in moonlight, covering in salt, covering in crystals, tapping (typically 3 times), ‘resetting’ (placing the cards back in original order) and even burying in the garden for several days.

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Learn Tarot – Example Reading

I considered constructing a spread with chosen cards to demonstrate how a reading may work in practice.  However, I then had a question of my own and the resultant cards seem so perfect I thought it a great opportunity to not only perform a simple reading but relate the cards to the querent/question.

Ready?  First some personal background…

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Learn Tarot – Reversals

Reading reversals (when cards are drawn from the deck inverted) can be traced back as far as the earliest days of Tarot’s use as a divinatory system.  The earliest reference to reversals I can find is from Antoine Court de Gebelin in 1781.  Antoine’s writings formed the basis of Eliphas Levi’s system, later adopted with modification by the Golden Dawn which ultimately led to Waite’s re-interpretation with Pamela Coleman-Smith (the RWS deck).

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Learn Tarot – The Major Arcana

The 22 Major Arcana represent archetypes, these are clear statements, patterns and ideas that represent the human life / story.  We start our journey as the fool (innocent, adventurous, perhaps naive) and progress through the major arcana until reaching our destination; enlightenment (The World).

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Learn Tarot – The Numbers (Revisited)

In a previous article we listed the basic number associations of the minor arcana.

To keep things simple we used the traditional RWS associations as reference.  It’s important to note that this is not the only system in use and it can be useful to cross reference the RWS and Tarot De Marseilles in order to gain further insight.   Additionally, the associated card from the major arcana is also worthy of study in reference to the minors.

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The Four Aces of RWS

Learn Tarot – Introduction

On the many Facebook groups and forums you’ll regularly see people recommending the study of each individual card, using a mix of artwork interpretation and other references, over many, many months.  With 78 cards this is a considerable challenge;  if others learnt the hard way then you should too!  Right?

Wrong!  Let us show you not only the easy way – but the best way to learn the underlying associations.

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From Sharon Day’s Blog

Stories by Sharon Day on Medium Stories by Sharon Day on Medium

  • Alexandrian Witchcraft: Vouching & Validity of Initiation — Reference vs. Recommendation
    by Sharon Day on July 21, 2023 at 4:48 pm

    Alexandrian Witchcraft: Vouching & Validity of Initiation — Reference vs. RecommendationWithin the esoteric strands of Alexandrian Witchcraft, the practice of vouching serves as a confirmation of an Initiate’s journey into the sacred realm. It is a declaration, a stamp of authenticity that states: Yes, I can confirm that this person has been initiated into the Craft.Nevertheless, this fundamental process is often misconstrued, leading to a convolution that the witchcraft community […]

  • How do you take your Wicca?
    by Sharon Day on October 24, 2018 at 10:34 am

    Either White or Dark, but please — with only one ‘Blessed Be’!We were in a London Black Cab on the way to Floris, the oldest bespoke perfumery in England when I was reading out a terse text exchange between a Priest and myself about goodness knows what but it seemed important at the time.Blessed Be, [snark] Blessed Be x;Blessed Be, [swipe] BBx;Blessed Be, [zing] Blessed Be xArgh, stop with the Blessed Be’s Sharon, what is all this Blessed Be, Blessed Be? my exasperated teacher […]

  • ‘I am, I am’ — or ‘was’. Death and Initiation via Winding Stairs & Contrasting Squares.
    by Sharon Day on October 9, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    ‘I am, I am’ — or ‘was’. Death and Initiation via Winding Stairs & Contrasting Squares.Perfect Love, Trust, and Ritual — just Perfect.Jeremy Storey ©2015‘I didn’t enjoy that one bit, that’s why I wanted to take my initiation alone, this was a disaster, we were all fighting with each other to respond, so in the end I just shut up’ lamented the Snowflake part way through the Rite.A smile curled at the corners of my mouth as I listened to her declare for about […]

  • The River Runs Through It; The Waters of Life Revive It — Alexandrian Witchcraft.
    by Sharon Day on August 30, 2018 at 10:30 am

    Beginning in New Orleans in ‘17; to Glastonbury; to Sintra, Portugal; to London; & by ’18 – to the Big Apple and back again.“The current of the river swept silently over them all — young and old, rich and poor, good and evil, the current going its own way, knowing only its own crystal self .”— Richard Bach, ‘Illusions’The Hudson River, NYC; Credit: Ryan LavenderThe Hudson River, Hell’s Kitchen, NYC – July ‘18The previous night’s thunderstorms had finally […]

  • Alexandrian Witchcraft & Wiccan Vouching: Ring of Truth or Ring of Fire?
    by Sharon Day on March 7, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    She was the third High Priesthood Finn to join us for an afternoon meeting to verify her lineage — in other words, to obtain a ‘vouch’ for the integrity of her initiatory status. Not, however, before Maxine extolled her utter disdain for this ‘vouching business’, as she often calls it.Indeed, I lose track of the times Maxine’s said ‘Alex and I could tell within five minutes if someone was initiated’; or, as another elder she likes to quote said ‘they smell right.’Back […]

From Maxine Sanders’ Blog

Stories by Maxine Sanders on Medium Stories by Maxine Sanders on Medium

  • Music in Alexandrian Witchcraft
    by Maxine Sanders on November 25, 2022 at 9:44 am

    ‘My first experience of circle music of sorts was at cakes and wine after my initiation; the wine was flowing, and the singing of the Witches became progressively, if not less joyously, out of tune.It was 1964 when the Manchester covenstead became the proud owners of a grand music cabinet, highly polished with sliding doors; impressively, it could stack ten records at a time.Sandy Shaw, Anthony Newley and Cilla Black would be playing at full blast as we regularly practised different scrying […]

  • Alexandrian Witchcraft: Battling the Scourge of Historical Inaccuracy — Fact by Fact . . .
    by Maxine Sanders on April 27, 2019 at 9:20 pm

    Alexandrian Witchcraft: Battling the Scourge of Historical Inaccuracy — Fact by Fact . . .‘Freedom of Fire’, Credit: Kanakcharyulu VelpuriRecently there have been a number of mistakes regarding the contents of the Alexandrian Book of Shadows and how certain Alexandrian practices came into being. I hope they are genuine mistakes as we all know how easy it is to change Occult history, which is a detriment to the pure workings of many a Tradition.I have been a practising Priestess in […]

  • The Joys of an Alexandrian Witch.
    by Maxine Sanders on January 14, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    In the sixties, Alex and I believed our work and joy as witches meant nothing and no one is too high or low including lords and beggars, the sick, the daft, demonic/angelic and the peculiar.We were mocked and derided by the then Witchcraft elite; of course, we took no notice and continued in the freedom of what was to become known as ‘The Alexandrian Tradition of Witchcraft.’For the past fifty-three years, all manner of humanity has passed over the threshold to my home. They are greeted […]

  • The Temple Pilgrimage to the Alexandrian Grand Sabbat
    by Maxine Sanders on December 18, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    Credit: Whitehorse StudioAn ‘Alexandrian Grand Sabbat’ was recently announced giving rise to questions about what a Grand Sabbat is. Conjectures and inaccurate responses abounded, ranging from ‘new agey fluffiness’ to heavy-duty partying with consequent hangovers to dressing-to-impress.Alexandrian priesthood as I have known it has always desired to experience the power of ritual and pure intent; and their quest for knowledge and fulfillment would not accord with the cursory presumptions […]

  • The Heartbreak of the Teacher
    by Maxine Sanders on October 10, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    Credit: Michael HemmingWhen the exceptional student comes along, there is an awakening within the teacher’s heart, a rejoicing that is incomparable. A flood of joyful anticipation flows through one’s being and then when the time is right, the work begins…First the groundwork: I, the teacher have feet of clay, my knowledge is limited; I am the student too.My intention is to enable the student to embrace a state of being that will eventually and worthily attract an advanced teacher that […]