Discovering Your Psychic Spark with Tarot

I began to use Tarot cards many years ago as a tool for personal development; mainly because I received psychic hits sporadically and wanted to be able to control the flow of information. I became familiar with the cards and their meanings and read many books on the subject. That provided me with a strong foundation but the most valuable thing the Tarot taught me was this…

We think we know ourselves very well but the truth is most of us actually don’t! Hmmmm…

Have you ever met the person who harps on about themselves exclusively, ad nauseum; or the friend who always sees the negative in everything? Or perhaps you know someone who is so self-effacing that they get taken advantage of over and over? These people wouldn’t continue to behave like this if they truly knew how their actions impacted others. They seem to have little perception of the atmosphere surrounding their behavior, so how can they be expected to perceive the more subtle psychic energies?

Poor self-knowledge is not solely the province of extreme personality types, it really is something that affects all of us. After all, coming to know our soul’s desires is why we are here.

When you use Tarot cards to discover things about yourself, they serve as an unbiased critical eye. One that circumvents personal affront or hurt feelings. A Tarot Reading is like having a stranger point out honestly the details of your strengths and weaknesses.

Knowing yourself is the real key to tapping into intuitive and psychic abilities. Only then will you gain the ability to perform a real physic reading.

Once you begin to understand your own true nature, and feel comfortable being who you are, shadow side and all, your filters begin to drop away and you become aware of information that is unrelated to you.

During my journey of self-discovery through the Tarot, my reading skills grew and people began to ask for my advice through tarot readings. No one was more surprised than me! I guess the lesson here is that in doing something that benefits your personal growth, you, by default, benefit others. Now there’s a concept!

Many people come to me for readings specifically to explore the possibility of latent psychic abilities. Although I believe we all have the innate ability to pick up psychic impressions every now and again, the cards are very good at highlighting true psychic talent and the circumstances surrounding these abilities.

Here are some cards that may point to intuitive or psychic abilities:

2 High Priestess

Ahhh, the High Priestess. This enthroned woman symbolizes deep knowledge of the universe, celestial intelligence. She holds a book on her lap, the Torah, which is the direct connection to knowledge. The moon on her headdress refers to Isis who is the goddess of magic and the supernatural. The wearing of a headdress is a symbol of superior intelligence, supreme spiritual authority. The moon itself always speaks of the hidden and the unconscious. The High Priestess sits between two pillars, a black one, Boaz, which roughly translated means Completion and a white one, Jachin which means the Beginning. She sits between the end and the beginning, understanding the cycles of creation and is backed by pomegranates and palm leaves which symbolize fertility of the imagination which is not affected by earthly aspects of logic.

If she shows up centrally in a reading with the question, ‘Do I have psychic abilities?’ the answer is a resplendent yes!

Cups 13

The Queen of cups carries with her the caring and intuitive nature of the mother. She too sits upon a throne of authority. She holds in her hand a covered cup of spiritual knowledge and wears a crown of power and legitimacy. She is surrounded by water but does not touch it, meaning she helps others understand their emotions. Choosing the Queen of Cups denotes a connection to the higher self, a kind empathetic listener. She is a caring reminder of the value of seeking knowledge within.

9 Hermit

The Hermit does not necessarily denote psychic abilities per se, but he does epitomize an exceptionally wise teacher. He represents someone with a deep understanding of life which he has gained through inner contemplation and solitude. He carries a lantern to shine the light of knowledge for others.

Feathers are seen repeatedly in Tarot symbolism and represent an intimate connection with air and higher realms. They are a flourish that denotes authority won by receiving guidance from above, particularly if they are worn on the head. I always see feathers as an intuitive connection.

0 Fool 13 Death 19 The Sun Cups 12 Swords 12 Wands 11

Wands 12

Look to the cards for insights into your own intuitive and psychic abilities. You might be surprised what you find.

Corned Beef Hash with Kale and Golden Beets

Don’t Know A Thing About Arts And Crafts? These Tips Can Help!

A great way to feel better and lessen stress is to exercise creativity by making art projects. However, it’s not always that simple to figure out your favorite pastime. Read through these tips, and you’ll soon have some answers to help you.

Don’t come down on kids when they are doing crafts. Let them be creative and free. If you’re getting down on the kids, you are going to stifle any creativity they have.

Browsing the internet for new ideas is a great way to expand your arts and crafts skills. You can see what other crafters are creating and gain a new perspective on what you can create with your crafting skills. So go online to find new ways to expand your creativity when you are doing your favorite craft or hobby.

Get your kids involved in any kind of arts and crafts activity you take part in. Children who develop such interests tend to do better in school and other places than those who don’t. Teach your toddler to paint, or your teenager to sculpt, and you should see a noticeable difference in attention span and creativity.

Keeping your arts and crafts supplies organized can lead to a more pleasant experience when working on projects. Invest in good storage boxes, organizers and cases especially for smaller items. Supplies like beads and glitter can easily be spilled or lost. When you bring home new supplies, immediately transfer them into storage or organizational boxes.

Keep an eye out for straight sticks while you are outdoors. Sticks make for some excellent arts and crafts materials. You can build a foundation with them. You can use them for flags. You can even whittle them down so that you can paint them unique colors. They make for fun supplies to get creative with.

Does some of your arts and crafts projects involve painting? Do you sometimes have difficulty painting straight lines? Masking tape can help with this problem. Stick the tape on the craft that you are painting and paint a little over the edge of the tape. When the paint has thoroughly dried, pull it off. Now, you will have a perfectly straight line!

Keep your glass jars from things like tomato sauces to the side. These small jars make for excellent containers for small arts and crafts items like buttons, marbles, and pebbles. You can see through the glass to know what’s exactly inside. And don’t throw away the lids either. They make for extra protection that your craft items stay all together.

If you are looking for different types of materials to do projects with and you don’t want to spend a lot of money on them, you should check out garage sales in your local area. Things like old, cracked vases and used curtains are great art materials, so go to as many yard sales as you can to glean new materials.

When you’ve reached a creative standstill with your ability to paint, start using new tools. You can paint with virtually anything, from a toothbrush to a Brillo pad, and each different object gives a new dimension to your work. Mix up the paint on the palette as usual, and let your imagination guide you!

When teaching a child about arts and crafts, make sure you also teach them about organization and cleanup. Arts and crafts isn’t just about the act of making. It’s about the entire process, and that includes the less fun aspects too. Never let your child walk away from a project without having picked up beforehand.

Be mindful of weather conditions when it comes to arts and crafts. A rainy day might seem like the perfect time to do arts and crafts indoors, either alone or with the kids. However, if there are steps like spray painting involved, those are usually better done outside unless you have a well-ventilated garage.

To give your children an introduction to the painting process, start with watercolors. The paints don’t leave lasting stains on clothes, if you treat them quickly enough, and it’s just about impossible to ruin a work surface with them if you cover them correctly. After your kids have mastered this, it’s time to move on to the more advanced paints.

There can be little argument regarding the fact that hordes of folks across the globe love to do arts and crafts. It might be hard to know which craft to pursue. Hopefully this article has helped you pick one.

Learn more:

Gin and Ginger with Blood Orange


Sun in Seattle in March can make people do crazy crazy things. Like sit on the deck and drink cocktails as if it were summer.

Not that we’ve had that much sun. Just a hint.

Last week there was a sunny afternoon that I got to enjoy all by myself, on the way to the Joy the Baker book signing over at Book Larder (I’m totally the blonde in the front row, BTW). I even had the windows down while I blasted lcd soundsystem all the way there.

And there was another one the Very. Next. Day. So sunny and warm we let Lilli play outside in next to nothing while we sipped spring time cocktails on the deck.

It’s days like those that help us gather the courage (liquid or no) to give March the pep talk it needs to shape up it’s act and start acting a little more lamb-like.

In Like a Lion
makes 1

1 1/2 oz of your favorite Gin or Whiskey
1 glass of ice
1 good quality Ginger Ale, such as Boylan’s
1/8 of a Blood Orange (regular oranges are fine too)
Mint, optional

Squeeze the juice out of one section of orange into a glass with as much or as little ice as you like. If using mint, crush a few leaves between your fingers and add to the glass. Top with alcohol of choice and fill with ginger ale. Garnish with the same orange wedge.

I encourage you to try it both ways at least once–we originally thought the gin would be better but ended up preferring the whiskey.

Photo by Richie Graham on Flickr.

Hamentashen Purim

I have a huge stash of things in jars.

Sometimes I go to pull one thing out of the stash and I find something else entirely and I’m all like “Yeah! This is gonna be sooo good.”

I did that yesterday when I was looking for some sort of jam to put into the cookies the kids and I were making. I found a jar of curry pickled green tomatoes that I had completely forgotten about. I still have an open jar of a different kind of tomato pickle in the fridge so I restrained myself and didn’t pull the new jar out of the bench.

I’ll just have to find an excuse to use up the other pickles so I can eat the new ones.

But in the meantime I’m also restraining myself from eating all those cookies we made.

It’s Purim this week–a Jewish holiday marking the saving of the Jewish people of the city of Shushan by their secretly Jewish queen, Esther. It’s traditional to give gifts of food to neighbors and loved ones. Actually, pretty much anybody. This is a tradition I have no trouble getting behind, because I am really good at making huge batches of things for the sole purpose of giving them away. Usually one of the things that is included in the goodie bag is a few hamentashen.

Yesterday I was home with all three little Goldbergs while Joe did a 70 mile ride with his bike team. We went to the park and did some other stuff, but the best part of the day was the cookies. We made the dough in the morning and once Lilli was down for the count after lunch, Isaac and I (Aaron was out with a friend) rolled out the dough and got them into the oven.

We used kumquat marmalade and crab apple jelly to fill them. They’re not exactly traditional Jewish fillings, but whatever. I’m not exactly a traditional Jew.

The last couple of years I have tried different recipes for hamentashen and not been happy with any of them. I’m not really sure why it took me so long to figure it out. It’s basically a sugar cookie dough, sometimes parve (no dairy or meat ingredients) or sometimes not, and then you fold it up into little three cornered treasure boxes of fruit or poppyseed filling. They’re pretty basic as far as technical skill goes.

This year I think I finally got them right. The trick is to use a solid fat instead of oil, which is what some recipes call for. The oil makes them parve, but you can just as easily use vegetable shortening, or I guess margarine, if you need them to not have any dairy. A recipe I got from a friend had a substitution to make them vegan even.

If you’re looking for a basic recipe this is the one. I based it on a recipe I got out of a cookbook that I think came from my mother-in-law, a cookbook called “Daf Yummy.” I tweaked some parts of it to meet in the middle with the recipe my friend swears by, and ended up with a dough I can finally be proud to call “my hamentashen recipe.” You could add orange zest in addition to the orange juice, you can switch up half of the flour for whole wheat, you can add a tsp of cinnamon or another spice to the dough. You could even make them chocolate by substituting about 1/4 cup of the flour for cocoa powder.

Now, when you’re eating all those cookies, you might need something to wash them down with.

Another Purim tradition, one that is actually commanded by the Talmud according to some Rabbis, is to drink. Heavily. There’s a lot of drinking in the story–it pretty much saved the day. So, you are supposed to drink until you are perfumed with wine and can’t tell the Hamens (bad guys) from the Mordechais (good guys). To help you along I worked out a recipe for a cocktail that is the perfect embodiment of the heroine in this Purim story: Queen Esther.

She’s strong and sweet. She’s bold, but knows exactly when to play her cards. She’s everything a heroine needs to be–just like this cocktail. It’s smooth and sweet and comes on slowly, building up to end each sip with a little fire.

There’s a long tradition of sweetened citrus drinks in the Middle East, dating back centuries, to the time of Esther and her kin. The grapefruit is a new twist on that idea, playing against the herbal notes of the thyme perfectly. I like to think that Her Highness would have approved of this refreshing mix, and would have gladly served it to her King. Maybe she wouldn’t have used good bourbon for old Hamen though.

makes about 36 cookies

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar, depending on how sweet your filling will be
2 cups all purpose flour
1 large egg, broken up with a fork
2 Tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice (or lemon)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cup all purpose flour

Filling of choice such as jam, ganache, or a more traditional filling such as prune or poppy seed

In a food processor, blend the sugar and butter until well combined. Add the egg, orange juice, vanilla extract, baking soda, and salt. Pulse just until everything looks mixed in. Add in the flour and blend until the dough comes together in a ball. Wrap in plastic or parchment paper and refrigerate for several hours.

When you are ready to bake your cookies, preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line 2 (or 3 if you have them) cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Working with 1/2 batch at a time, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8″ thick. Cut out circles about 2 1/2″ in diameter, using a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass dipped in flour. You can do the work on this large cutting board. You can re-roll the dough, but you might need to chill it a bit longer depending on how cold it was to begin with.

Line the circles up on the trays and place about 1 Tbsp of filling in each cookie. I like to use a small ice cream style scoop for this job, it makes it slightly less messy. Fold up the edges of the cookies on three sides, making a nice little triangle around the filling. Be sure to let some of the filling show in the center. If the corners won’t stick together on their own, use a wet finger to trace a circle around each piece of dough, then fold them up.

Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until the corners are a nice golden brown. Cool completely on wire racks before eating these cookies, or you run the risk of burning your mouth on the filling. Just take my word on this.

The Queen Esther
makes 1 cocktail

2 oz good bourbon
1/6 Ruby grapefruit
1 large sprig thyme
1 Tbsp simple syrup
3-4 dashes grapefruit bitters, I like Fee Brothers

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the grapefruit and the thyme, squeezing as much juice out of the grapefruit as you can. Add the bourbon, syrup, and bitters. Put in a handful of ice, put on the top, and shake it up. Pour over fresh ice and garnish with grapefruit and more thyme, if desired.