Why Tarot is Magical: Because it Reveals Your True Self

Tarot is magical because it gives images and a language to describe the things we all experience but can’t always explain. 

 

Like the Strength card. The woman leans down, her arms around a lion, lovingly holding a beast that could kill her.

The lion is the things we want but that terrify us.Strength is a picture of how we could look if we were willing to be real with ourselves about what we want. Leaning down to embrace the lion of our own desires. 

Or the Tower. It’s how we feel when things don’t work out. Everything is crashing down. In real life, we feel it crashing down, but thankfully, most of the time, there’s no fire, no debris, no people falling from the sky. The Tower gives us an image of that internal experience. It says, “Yes, this is really devastating. You’re not imagining it.”

I read tarot at fairs and events. 

At one event, in the beginning of January, they kept the door propped open and I could feel the frigid cold for hours. Everyone was packing up early so I took a stroll through the fair to look at the other booths. 

A man stopped me and showed me a device that looked like it could hypnotize you. He told me, “You could use this to hypnotize people so they believe that what you tell them is true.” When I said that wasn’t very nice, he seemed genuinely confused. 

What he didn’t understand is that I have never needed to convince anyone that a reading is true. Because the cards reveal what my clients already know in their bodies. So often I hear, “I already know all of this. But I needed it reflected back to me.”

The cards are a projector. They validate your experience. 

We so often doubt ourselves and our truth. We feel a subtle pull. Or we feel that something isn’t right. Or a deep hunger, opening us to a new layer of life. 

And a lot of the time, we tell ourselves that we’re wrong. That we shouldn’t want what we want. That everything is fine. The cards take our inner experience into the light where we can see it and know that it’s real. And then we can choose to do something about it or not. 

The 78 cards are archetypes of our own experience. Nothing in the deck doesn’t belong to us. Every single card is a piece of our lives and a part of what it means to be a human.

 

Who hasn’t started a new journey like The Fool, holding a nearly empty bag on our backs because we don’t know what we need quite yet. But we know we will figure it out on the way.

Every one of us has a deep intuition like the High Priestess, that sees beyond the black and white columns on either side of her, that feels like the pomegranates on the curtains behind her, with countless seeds, if only we had the time and the patience to listen, picking the seeds out and sucking their wisdom. 

There’s no one who hasn’t felt the deep pain of the Three of Swords, a primal wounding that we can’t quite name and that drives our inner stories and actions. 

Sometimes, when I’m reading at a fair, I’ll have someone stop in front of my booth, look at my sign, and stop walking. I lean forward, ask, “Do you want a tarot reading?”

“No,” they tell me. “I’m too scared.”

“I don’t tell the future,” I tell them, “Every card in the deck is here to help you understand yourself.”

But maybe that is scary for some people. Maybe going within feels like a risk, because they don’t know what they will find. Maybe they are afraid of knowing themselves better. 

Maybe to them, getting a tarot pull is like holding the lion in the Strength card, terrifying but magnetizing. Maybe their intuition is pulling them to my booth, but they aren’t ready to cut open that pomegranate and taste the seeds within. 

I don’t try to convince them to do a pull. I let them continue on, spending their cash on candles, ceramics, and freeze dried candy. It’s not my place to pull cards for those who don’t want, or aren’t ready for their messages. 

But for me, and maybe for you, the cards unlock a doorway to a magical room. One in which your thoughts, feelings, needs, and experiences are reflected back to you. One in which you can deeply know yourself and be utterly transformed. 

 

4 Ways to Pick Your Tarot Card of the Year

Every year, I choose a tarot card, or a few, to focus on throughout the year. This helps me bring their energies into my life and become more of the person I want to be.

While there is no “right” way to pick a card for the year, I want to share four ways you can pick a card to connect with throughout the year. (And one bonus way I’ll share at the end, so stay tuned!)

1. Connect to the Universal “Card of the Year”

Each year, there’s a card from the Major Arcana that corresponds to the numbers in that year.

This year, that card is Strength, because it’s number 8 in the Major Arcana. ( 2024 = 2+2+4 = 8)

This card is incredibly deep and beautiful. My tarot teacher, Lindsay Mack, explains that the lion is something scary and important in your life, and this card shows up as an invitation to hold that “lion” with love and inner strength, knowing that you are up to the challenge.

The lion could be building a business, being vulnerable in a new relationship, stepping into a new job, moving, or anything else that feels scary but essential.

 

 

2. Connect to the card of the year based on your birthday.

This is similar to the universal card of the year, but you add your birth month and day to it. My birthday is June 3rd, so I can determine my card of the year with this equation: 6+3+8 = 17

The 17th card in the Major Arcana is The Star, so that’s my card of the year. I’m definitely looking forward to a year of hope and healing!

Your card will be different based on your birthday! Just add up the numbers and see what you get. If the number is larger than 21, keep adding the digits together until you get a lower number.

For example, if your birthday is September 29th, it would look like this:

9+29+8=46, 4+6 = 10


3. Choose a card that resonates with you.

If you know enough about the tarot, you can intentionally choose a card that you want to embody. I called this Befriending the Tarot.

For example, if you know you want to build community, pick the 3 of Cups. If you know you want to work on being visible, pick The Sun. If you just want to let go and have fun, the 4 of Wands is your card!

(If you don’t know a ton about tarot, but still want a card (or a few) picked for you, I have an opportunity you’ll love coming up in January, so read to the end of this email!)


4. Do a tarot pull.

The final way to pick a card for 2024 is to just…do a tarot pull! Shuffle your deck a few times (or use my Notion tarot deck), take a deep breath, and then pick your card! Trust that the universe has presented you with the card you need this year.

Of course, you can do all four methods and come away with four different cards for your year!

I did, and my cards are…

As I mentioned, Strength is the Universal Card of the Year and The Star is my birthday card. The Empress is the card I’ve chosen for myself, because I want to connect to my inner abundance everyday. And I picked The Tower Reversed from the deck. I am taking it to mean that this year will be about creating stable foundations.


One more way to start your year with tarot and astrology…

For the month of January, I am offering special year ahead readings. In your reading, we will:

  • Choose your card of the year based on what you want to embody this year.
  • Do a guided visualization in which you will integrate the energies of the card into your heart, soul, mind, and body.
  • Dive deep into your birthday card for the year and talk about what it means for you.
  • Pick a tarot card ally for each month of the year
  • Look at the major astrological transits for your year so that you’re ready for what’s coming up.

These readings will be 75 minutes long, and set you up for a heart-centered, intuition-led year.

Sessions are limited so sign up now if you know you want one!

5 Ways to Forge a Deep Personal Relationship with the Zodiac Signs

Astrology is most often approached like reading a map.

Astrologers like me can look at your birth chart and better understand who you are based on where your planets, houses, and signs fall and how they interact.

You have Neptune conjunct your Sun? You must be dreamy and connected to a higher power.

You have Venus in Scorpio? You value depth in relationships, and you’re probably not great at casual dating, despite the fact that you love sex.

Astrologers can also look at the current planetary transits and tell you how they may impact your feelings and experiences on any given day.

Jupiter is moving into your 2nd house? Expect luck in creating financial stability.

Saturn is squaring your Moon? You might feel like things are harder than usual.

This traditional approach to astrology can feel deeply supportive, because it helps you understand yourself. At its best, it can give you permission to be more of who you are, while providing a path for you to evolve into the best version of yourself.

However, it can also be limiting.

You are given a chart and told, This is who you are. Respond as you will. Or, This is what’s going on in the cosmos, so be prepared.

In my astrology practice, I do look at birth charts, transits, and progressed charts to help my clients better understand themselves and their experiences. But I believe that the signs, planets and houses are so much more than markers on a map or fated parts of your personality.

Astrology can feel like yet another force in the world that’s happening to you. But I view it as a set of tools that you can use to support your multifaceted self and business.

I believe that the signs and planets live within each of us. We can therefore befriend them and create personal relationships with them. This process of befriending the zodiac turns the signs from forces beyond our control into supportive allies.

Befriending the zodiac empowers us to:

  • Draw on the strengths of the signs and planets to help us in our lives and businesses. This also applies to the signs that aren’t prominent in our specific birth charts or activated by a current transit.
  • Understand our multifaceted natures with our whole beings, including our bodies and spirits, rather than just intellectually.
  • Create our own definitions for how the signs and planets work in our lives.

Well, that sounds great (I hope), but how does it work? How do you “befriend” the zodiac?

Here are a few ways to forge deep personal relationships with the signs:

1. Understand the elements and modalities and how they work together.

Did you know that each sign has a modality and an element?

The modalities are:

Cardinal – Initiating
Fixed – Maintaining
Mutable – Transforming

The elements are:
Fire – Creativity, energy, inspiration, heat, alchemy
Earth – Sustenance, solidity, physical resources, practicality, presence
Air – Relationships, ideas, thoughts, stories, communication
Water – Emotions, the past, spirituality, psychology

If you put these modalities and elements together, you can begin to feel into each sign intuitively.

Here’s a list of the signs with their elements and modalities:

Aries: Cardinal Fire
Taurus: Fixed Earth
Gemini: Mutable Air
Cancer: Cardinal Water
Leo: Fixed Fire
Virgo: Mutable Earth
Libra: Cardinal Air
Scorpio: Fixed Water
Sagittarius: Mutable Fire
Capricorn: Cardinal Earth
Aquarius: Fixed Air
Pisces: Mutable Water

Try this: Write down your Sun sign (what most people think of as their sign) and then feel into the modality and element.

For example, I’m a Gemini. Mutable air. Changeable relationships. Changing thoughts. Transforming ideas. I am constantly thinking and exploring new things.

Getting down to the bones of each sign helps strip away the thoughts and ideas surrounding it and helps you connect to the sign directly.

2. Create a mental image about what each sign and planet might look like. Then draw it or create a collage or Pinterest board of it.

Let’s take Taurus. Fixed Earth. Slow, loves nature, practical, frugal. Wants to luxuriate in the physical world.

What might Taurus look like? How might it move?

You can use a person you know who is a Taurus and then go from there. My mom is a Taurus. She has a huge garden, full of tomato plants, strawberries, herbs, and flowers. She is annoyingly practical and frugal. She loves sitting in the sun with her eyes closed.

Those are some Taurus qualities that can help me create a mental image of a Taurus character.

So I envision Taurus as a woman with long, thick dirty blonde hair in braids. I imagine her barefoot in the soil, digging a hole in the dirt to plant some tomatoes. She doesn’t want to go anywhere – just to stay here in her garden. She wants to smell the flowers and taste the sweet peas. She is present and immovable.

Now it’s your turn. Choose a sign and create a character from it. This can be based on yourself or a person you know, but it should be a separate character that you can get to know on its own.

3. Go on a date with the sign.

Steven Forrest wrote in The Book of Earth that the instinctual animal of Taurus helps us choose which goals to pursue. As a business owner, a deep relationship with Taurus means I can connect to that intuitive animal inside when making the myriad of decisions that face me on a daily basis.

Last week, I decided to plant tomatoes in my garden, both because I love homegrown tomatoes and because I have been wanting to better understand Taurus. I weeded, dug in the dirt, took the rocks out, created deep holes in the rich soil, and put handfuls of mushroom compost into the holes. Then I gently placed the plants into the dirt before covering them again.

Taurus is planting things and patiently tending to them. In my date with the tomatoes, I wasn’t trying to understand Taurus – I was doing Taurus.

This embodied practice of Taurus helped me bring grounding, present energy into my life, which is supportive when my Gemini brain just wants to live in ideas and thoughts. Taurus also reminds me to stop and savor my life when my inner taskmaster is yelling at me that I’m never productive enough.

Just like you forge closer relationships with your friends by spending time with them, you can befriend the zodiac by having experiences with the signs – not learning about them, but doing them. If you want to get to know a sign better, do things that connect to that sign. The more you experience the energies of a sign, the more you can draw on it for support.

4. Have a conversation with the sign.

You can also get to know a sign better by having a conversation. Ask them questions. Listen for the answers. Find out what that sign feels like and means for you.

When I do this, I write my question, then close my eyes and listen for the answer. Here’s my conversation with Taurus.

Me: Hi Taurus! What do you want me to know about you?

Taurus: I am the part of you that wants to be barefoot in a garden, to feel the wet soil on your feet. The part of you that thanks the worms for aerating the soil to grow the plants. The part of you that recognizes that the world was built to help you grow things, so you don’t need to make it happen yourself.

Me: How can I trust that the world will collaborate with me, that I don’t need to make it happen?

Taurus: Till the soil, make sure it’s rich in nutrients, and then water and wait.

Me: How does this apply to other areas in my life, not just gardening?

Taurus: Before you try to grow something, ask what it needs to thrive. Create fertile ground and then plant it.

Me: What does that mean for my business?

Taurus: Trust that you don’t need to make it grow. It will grow if you plant it in the fertile ground of your values. It will grow if you can be patient and present. It will grow if you create a business that’s built to thrive in the environment of your needs and lifestyle. 

By writing to Taurus, I got deeper into the gifts of the sign. Now I can use its wisdom in my business. Because we all have all 12 signs in our birth charts, bodies, and lives, you can do this with any sign if you want to be supported by its energies. It just takes a bit of imagination and trusting your intuition.

 

5. Connect to the sign by writing your own stories.

One of the best ways to connect with the signs is to write personal stories that connect with their energies.

What’s a time you were courageous? Writing that story will help you connect to Aries energy.

What’s a time you were fully present, luxuriating in an experience? That will help you connect to Taurus energy.

When you connect your memories with the zodiac signs, you will better understand how they’ve functioned in your life. Then when you ask the signs for support, you can also ask your past self – the version of you that embodied the sign – for help as well.

Learning astrology, at its core, is learning about yourself.

Learning astrology is learning how courage, presence, curiosity, and emotional resilience (among many other qualities) show up in your life. It’s understanding and embracing all of your complex and exquisite parts.

That’s why I take a full-bodied, holistic approach to understanding the signs.

Don’t just learn what the signs mean with your mind.

Instead, befriend the zodiac.

For more information on all of the signs, including their modality, element, myth, needs, and so much more, click the button below to download my Notion zodiac signs template. 

5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About The Moon Phases

There’s something so majestic about the moon. We’re instinctively drawn to it.

Even my 4 year old daughter has loved the moon for years. As a baby, one of her first words was “moon”!

Looking up at the moon on a clear night reminds us that the universe is vast and incomprehensible. Even though we understand why the moon phases happen, there’s still so much mystery as to how they connect to us.

What can the moon phases teach us about who we are and what we’re here to do? Read on to find out.

1. The new moon will impact you differently based on where it falls in your natal chart.

The New Moon falls in the same zodiac sign for everyone every month. But the house, or area of your life that is impacted, changes based on your birth chart.

That means there’s a unique opportunity for you to make an intention based on where the New Moon is happening in your chart.

For example, if the New Moon falls in your 1st house, it is an opportunity for you to refresh something about how you present yourself to the world. If it falls in your 2nd house, it’s a chance for you to focus on how you acquire resources. If it falls in your 3rd house, you can set an intention about learning and communication. And so on.

Knowing where the New Moon falls in your birth chart can help you hone in on an intention that is most powerfully supported by the current moon cycle.

2. During the waxing crescent moon, you’re supposed to struggle.

The waxing crescent moon phase is right after the new moon, and it’s all about struggling to let go of what’s holding you back.

When you decide to shift something in your life, the first thing you have to do is confront the reasons you haven’t made that shift yet. And the waxing crescent moon phase is here to support you in doing that hard work.

And let’s be real, this is where so many people get stuck. This is why so many new years resolutions don’t make it past January 14th.

So on the next crescent moon, you may feel totally excited and motivated to go after your intention….and then you may feel completely stuck. If that happens, don’t worry. It’s supposed to be like that.

Instead of trying to push forward and make it happen, be present with what’s coming up for you. Get curious about why you feel stuck. Check in with your inner child. Instead of berating yourself, give yourself a dose of self-compassion. That’s how you will get through this phase.

3. There are 2 points during the moon cycle when conflict leads to change.

During the moon cycle, the sun and the moon make every possible aspect to each other, from 0 degrees (the New Moon) to 180 degrees (the Full Moon) and back. These aspects are what make up the different challenges and opportunities of the moon cycle.

One of the most challenging aspects is the square. If planets are square, they form a 90 degree angle to each other. The theme of a square is change through conflict.

You will know the moon and sun are square if the moon looks like a half-circle in the sky.

This happens twice in the moon cycle – once halfway between the new moon and full moon – one quarter into the moon cycle, and the next time, halfway between the full moon and the next new moon, 3 quarters into the moon cycle. That’s why these 2 phases are known as the First-Quarter Moon and the Last-Quarter Moon phases.

(It used to confuse me that they’re called quarter moon phases because you can see half of the moon, not a quarter of the moon. Hopefully this explanation clears up that confusion for you, too.)

The theme of the first quarter moon is inner change. After the hard work of confronting what’s holding you back during the Waxing Crescent Moon phase, the First-Quarter Moon phase is that pivotal moment when you make the shift needed to move forward with your intention. Something shifts inside of you that allows you to be the person you need to be to make the change you want.

However, it may feel hard or confronting, because it requires that you fully let go of whatever was holding you back. And what was holding you back was doing so for a reason – whether it was making you feel safe of comfortable, or it was a part of your identity.

The theme of the Last-Quarter Moon phase is making an outer shift. Whereas in the First-Quarter Moon Phase, you need to shift internally to make change, in this phase, your inner shift moves to the outer world. This progression shows so beautifully how important it is to shift internally before you can make any external changes.

4. The moon cycle allows for redirection and changing your intention.

As I mentioned, the moon cycle is made up of many different aspects between the sun and the moon. In the waxing gibbous phases, one of the aspects is the Inconjunct. This happens when the moon and sun form a 150 degree angle to each other.

The theme of the Inconjunct is distraction and obstacles. Yep, you read that right. In your pursuit of your intention, part of your path is getting distracted and coming up against obstacles. And that’s a good thing.

At this moment, I wouldn’t blame you if you were sitting there thinking, “Geez Daniela, I thought the moon cycle was here to support me in making my intention a reality. But you’re telling me that first I have to let go of something that’s comforting but holding me back, then I have to make a change in my inner world, and after all that, I’m going to face an obstacle to my goals? Wtf?”

Yup. If you want to make your intentions real, it’s going to be challenging. The moon cycle isn’t here to make it easy for you, it’s here to help you move through the challenges that arise so that you can evolve into the person you need to be in order to make your intentions a reality.

And when you encounter obstacles and distractions in pursuit of your intentions, they may actually be there to help you.

The key in this phase is to pay attention to what’s happening so that you can decide whether to move forward with your intention or whether you want to pivot or change what you’re doing.

If you’ve ever started to work towards a goal only to realize that it’s not what you really want, or to be inspired by something and end up moving in an entirely new direction, that was an Inconjunct moment.

You may decide to keep moving forward in the same direction, which is great, too! In that case, overcoming some obstacles just reinforces how important it is to keep going with your intention.

5. There’s a big shift during the full moon – and it has nothing to do with manifesting.

Everyone wants to manifest on the full moon. It’s big and beautiful and inspiring.

But that’s just one part of what’s possible with the full moon.

The full moon provides the opportunity to integrate the missing pieces into your intention, because during the full moon, the moon and the sun are in opposite signs in the zodiac.

Opposite signs are like the white and black parts of a yin yang symbol – they need to come together to create wholeness.

Let’s take Capricorn and Cancer as an example.

Capricorn is focused on outer success, career, and following the rules. Capricorn wants to scale all the mountains and do all the things to achieve greatness. Capricorn is also associated with the father – the masculine protector and structure holder. (The “father” is a part of you – not necessarily your father. You have a strong protector and structure holder inside of you. This role could also be your mom, or another person in your life.)

On the other hand, Cancer is focused on emotional security. Cancer wants to create a welcoming home, to feel deeply and to nurture the inner world. Cancer is associated with the mother – the feminine caregiver and loving nurturer. (Again, the “mother” is part of you, and doesn’t have to refer to your actual mother.)

Capricorn needs Cancer, because without emotional security and a soft place to land, it’s hard to have the fortitude to go out into the world and do great things. And Cancer needs Capricorn, because without accomplishing what you want to do in the world, it’s hard to feel secure emotionally.

The full moon is a time when the sun and the moon can bring together these opposite energies in order to achieve wholeness.

It’s also a time when the moon cycle shifts from being about the inner world – which is where all things must begin – to the outer world.

It’s not the pinnacle of goal achievement, but the moment when you begin doing the things to make your intention real, when all of your inner work begins to come into your external world.

The next time there’s a full moon, spend some time reflecting on the other side of your intention. If you have an outer intention, what can you do internally? And vice-versa.

If your intention is to make more money doing work you love, what inner work must you do for that to happen? If your intention is to attract a loving partner, what can you do to love yourself first? Or maybe your intention is to develop self-trust. What do you need to do externally to show yourself that you can trust yourself?                                                                                                                                          

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