The War on Consciousness

   Since Graham Hancock put out Fingerprints of the Gods when I was 17, I have been a huge follower of his work. I really don’t think its an exaggeration to say that Hancock was one of the main inspirations to me in choosing my anthropology major in university – his explorations of civilization, consciousness and genius of mankind and educated, well-researched questioning of where we came from has opened doors of awe in my life.

In recent years, Hancock has delved more and more into studies in consciousness, and his work very often comes to parallel conclusions and complementary conclusions to those we draw from the study of Tarot. Tarot, like Hancock’s sacred ancient plants, can reveal realms of consciousness to us that we need to protect – as access to these realms is threatened by the war on consciousness that Hancock sees.

Enjoy this amazing 18 minute TED talk from Hancock :


- if you were as inspired by his words as much as I was, you may also appreciate that I loved his closing remarks so very much that I decided to transcribe them for you. here they are:

What it’s all about is a state of consciousness that’s designed to help us find balance – harmony. The Ancient Egyptians would have called it Maat with the Universe – and to remain mindful that what we’re here to undertake on Earth, while immersed in matter, is fundamentally a spiritual journey, and namely the growth or perfection of the soul: a journey that may go back to the very origins of what made us human in the first place.

So I stand here invoking the hard-won right of freedom of speech – to call for and demand another right to be recognized, and that is the right of adult sovereignty over consciousness. There’s a war on consciousness in our society, and if we as adults are not allowed to make sovereign decisions about what to experience with our own consciousness while doing no harm to others – including the decision to use responsibly ancient and sacred visionary plants then we cannot claim to be free in any way, and it’s useless for our society to go around the world imposing our form of democracy on others while we nourish this rot at the heart of society, and we do not allow individual freedom over consciousness. It may even be that we are denying ourselves the next vital step in our own evolution by allowing this state of affairs to continue, and who knows? Perhaps our immortal destiny as well.

– Graham Hancock: closing remarks, speaking on the War on Consciousness at TEDx Whitechapel
The War on Consciousness: Graham Hancock

Roar : a 7 of Swords-ish Day

Today, I called bullshit. It seems I have been calling bullshit all week. On lots of things.

Lots of people, behaviors, and situations that I used to tolerate, put up with, or even excuse, are suddenly all too much for me- this week has been like the proverbial straw that has broken the camel’s back with so, so much of the communication that has been surrounding me.

Of course, this morning, I pulled the 7 of Swords as my card of the day – and all of a sudden, it all made sense.

7s have come up for me a ton this year… and, the way I read 7s, they are all about refinement and tweaking of your experience of whatever suit’s energies are up… having enough maturity and experience, foundationally, with that suit’s energies to finally be at a point where you can make some refinements.

So, for the swords, I usually go about interpreting the “meaning” of the 7 of swords as doing some more mature refining of communication and how you experience your own truth. After all, we’re not just dealing with a 7 here, but also with swords- which I teach as the suit of  communication and truth – the ultimate suit of Air energy.

I’ll link to some of the articles that I am writing as I work through this card as I get them done… but, in a nutshell, right now, the theme for me seems to be “Tell it like it is” – just like the Tracy Chapman song. In fact, next time I do a tarot class, I think I’ll use that song as the theme song for the 7 of swords. Ha!

You want an example of the sort of stuff that I have been calling out?

here’s my last timeline status update from facebook, for instance:

“wow – the theme today was TOTAL calling of bullshit in the “community” of “live your passion”, “spiritual” woman entrepreneurs. After the interesting, enlightening experience that I wrote about here, I then got added, along with 3000 other

people, to a group of “enlightened” people- the purpose of the group as apparently centered around productivity, from what i could gather, but there was no “about”, and when several “members’ asked what the group’s focus was going to be, there was no answer. Cue the sound of crickets, etc etc. Nothing. 5 hours later there was still nothing. No word from either of the two “spiritual” marketers who had added all of us. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. I call bullshit on this “community”. – when it rains it pours, I guess. Massive confirmation leading me away from the fakers and to the real people.”
- I think that’s a pretty good example.
Until next time, Tarot lovers…
here’s Tracy and her 7 of swords anthem for you, too:

“oh, do I REALLY have to look at it?” – dealing with a reversed 7 of Pentacles

The 7 of Pentacles is one of my favorite cards to read for other people – I praise them to no end when this card comes up for them.

“good for YOU – this says you are REALLY taking a long, hard, analytical, truthful look at your work/ money/ home….” – I usually tell them something like that.

But it came up for me tonight -reversed. Ugh.

Ok, ok, tarot cards- you caught me. Yup, I’ll admit it – it really does look like I’ve had my head in the sand about a few things pentacular recently. (yup, I just made that word up. Like it?)

You see, when the 7 of pentacles comes up REVERSED – or, in my own languaging, “needing to be turned the right way around”, usually what is happening is that that close, detailed look at an earthly situation is being avoided like the plague.

I have been massively fortunate to have someone come into my life recently who seems, miracle of miracles, to be GOOD at this 7 of pentacles sort of stuff – in other words, good at looking at physical chaos and making sense of it. Dealing with stuff practically. I know – amazing, right?

We were talking this evening about how physical “stuff” can carry so much emotional weight for a person that sometimes it is just too much to deal with. That’s understandable, but I’m not letting myself off the hook because of that.

And yes- incase you haven’t realized it, the 7 of pentacles energy that I personally need to turn upright for myself seems very much to do with physical stuff at the moment.

The 7 of pentacles can address any number of physical course corrections for people depending on context- perhaps fine tuning matters of finance, or a move to improve one’s circumstances, diet, etc etc- but for me, this time around, it feels very much like just plain STUFF.

I remember, back in the day, when I was a free bird. At 20, 21 and 22 years’ old, I had a backpack and some books, and that was about it! It felt good to be able to put everything that I own in the back of my truck, on top of an old futon, and drive wherever the heck I wanted to go. I did a ton of traveling, both via highway and across oceans, hitting most of Europe, the Mediterranean, Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Mexico in a very deep way (think Chiapas, Oaxaca, etc) before my 22nd birthday. I took a Green Tortoise bus, hopped into an archaeological dig in Israel, was on a hijacked train in Egypt (really!), got run over by a motorcycle in my sleep outside of Carnac, France (yeah- that’s a good story. Hilarious too…), danced naked on top of a bus on the Sea of Cortez, and had several memorable hot springs adventures.. Oh, so many memories. And not a single regret. I loved that freedom.

I remember my Dad being so impacted by my freedom and wanderlust that on my 21st birthday he wrote me a song… I’ll have to try to track down all of the lyrics, but the one that really stood out at me was

“21- and she’s got keys – keys to the highway….”

- and that really did say it all. He knew me so well.

Now, 14 years, two children, one mortgage and one failed marriage later, I am again getting a bit of wanderlust back in my blood. I can feel it:  bubbles of yearning in the marrow. I want to share a backpack with my son before he gets so old that he doesn’t want to hang out with me anymore. I want to show my daughter the unrestrained abandon of paddling over a reef at sunrise before she is more concerned with how she looks in her swimsuit than she is in the kaleidosope of perfect life in the corals.

But settling down wasn’t the worst thing in the world, you know – in fact, I NEEDED to settle. And I did a fantastic job of settling. I own a house with an affordable mortgage in one of the most beautiful mountain towns in the United States, I have an amazing community of yoga teachers, waldorf parents, and generally conscious people around me, and I have time to enjoy it all. I talked about “putting down roots’ – which I was sorely lacking – when I came to Flagstaff in 1999… and put down roots I did.

Now, though, like with all things, balance is needed again. I needed to clear after the marriage… and am still clearing. Physically.

The nerves and emotions mainly come in because I am in overwhelm. There’s just so MUCH of it all. I’ve got about 4 of 6 rooms in the home cleared (which I continually pat myself on the back for doing ) but the two remaining rooms are more than daunting tasks looming on the horizon… and I very very clearly feel myself hiding from the responsibility of clearing them.

But, like anything that humans avoid doing, there’s usually a modicum of sabotage in that avoidance. My favorite explanation for why people sabotage themselves is always to point out this: That which we desire the most in life is often also that which we fear the most. – it always seems to be true to one extent or the other, doesn’t it?

So if I desire the freedom to up and leave my home, to take myself on wild, untamed adventures again but I’m having trouble getting my head out of the sand on a simple thing like clearing stuff away, what’s really going on? Am I unconsciously worried that becoming an adventuring single mama would isolate me from other people? Leave me lonely? Cut off? Probably. Am I dreading the red tape that is waiting for me when I need to figure out how to take a sabbatical and school my kiddos from a beach instead of easily dropping them with their wonderful teachers? Definitely. That’s a tall order. Am I petrified that if I ask for help with this mess of property that people will judge me, think of me as lazy or chaotic? Yup. Terrified of others’ opinions of me. Absolutely.

Most of all, the thought of clearing everything blocking this flow is scary, I think, because I so desperately want to ensure that freedom will not leave me unhinged. Is it possible to become a kite, dancing, and still know unequivocally that you are tethered? That you will not blow away? That you will always, always have a home to come root to?

I hope so. I think somewhere in that reassuring, balancing knowing of home, my freedom awaits, and my garage will get cleared out ;)

My Top Ten Tarot Spreads (your New Year’s gift from me)

read the top ten tarot layouts

Happy New Year, LearnTarotEasily readers! Winter is so naturally a season of looking in, reflection, and restoration… and my tarot readings at this time of year – both those that I do for others and those I do for myself- seem to reflect this inward- approach.

I love reading AND inventing new spreads at this time of year, so I have put together a complimentary mini training course to teach you my favorite ten tarot spreads :)

I am going to link to trainings of ten of my favorite different tarot spreads and layouts here for you over the next ten days…

each of the ten mini trainings will focus on one of these tarot spreads/ layouts for you in video format.

If you’d like to, go ahead and opt in over on the top right hand side ( >>>) and I will email you each of the tarot spread training videos as I release them!

Here’s the hotlist of my personal top ten all-time favorite tarot card spreads and layouts,which is also the menu of what to expect from my free trainings over the next week if you opt in (I’ll email you a link to a video training for each of these spreads as my gift to you over the next week):


Laura’s Top Ten Tarot Card Layouts/ Spreads:

1. The Celtic Cross Tarot Spread

2. “Two Paths” Choice Tarot Spread

3. Relationship tarot spread : The Meeting

4. “Mud to Lotus” Tarot Spread (how to grow something of beauty from a challenge)

5.  Past-Present-Future 3- card tarot spread

6. Body-Mind-Spirit 3-card tarot spread

7.  Simple Yes – or – No tarot spread

8. Zodiac Tarot layout- a tarot horoscope spread

9. Daily Tarot : the best ways to use 1 card spreads for yourself every day

10.  for the New Year: a Wheel of the Year tarot spread for 2012 (or anytime!)


…again, go ahead and put your email address in over on the top right, and I’ll email you the training videos for each of these spreads as I release them this week.

Happy New Year,

Laura :)

Can the 5 of Cups have a “good” meaning? Ever?!

You know, every tarot card contains a good lesson to learn…

…and the five of cups cannot possibly be some sort of strange exception to that rule, just because it looks “sad”, now, can it? Nope. In fact, when this card has come up for me in the last year or so, I can truly say that I actually breathe a sigh of relief. Why? Because usually… not always, but usually, this card gives me permission: permission to feel a bit lousy about something that I was perhaps trying to gloss over or “look on the bright side” of. Now don’t get me wrong… I am all for positive thinking and consider myself to be one of the most proactive and resourceful people I know when it comes to “making lemonade” from life’s proverbial lemons. BUT… here’s the rub: in 2011, for some reason, we are all about putting a happy face on things that might actually, when looked at thoroughly, actually deserve a bit of grieving from us before we “let go”, “move on”, or “think positive” about it all.

Let’s face it: sometimes life deals us some hard knocks. Sometimes we try to gloss over how we feel about it all. My mum used to tell me that she saw me “bottling things up inside”… and yes, when I did this, inevitably and eventually the feelings would come through anyway… often in less than ideal or appropriate ways, of course!

It’s no good burying emotions and feelings that, in reality, when we are really honest and authentic with ourselves, we do indeed have.

The five of cups is probably one of the most important tarot cards to understand the deeper lessons and meanings of the tarot through.

the most difficult cards are usually the ones that we have the most to learn from, of course! Sometimes, for me it seems like the most difficult thing in the world to acknowledge how we are truly feeling, find a way to face those feelings properly and fully, and THEN move through them into letting go. It’s pretty easy to either get stuck not feeling them, or to get stuck feeling them over and over again! The trick is in feeling fully and authentically and then facilitating yourself moving through those emotions to a point where you can fully and completely let them go.

It ends up feeling a bit like an emotional feng shui session when you really confront this card: the five of cups asks us to detox our emotions: bringing them up to clear them out… so that, after emptying ourselves, we will perhaps have room to fill our spilled cups up with something new.

Will we ever feel excited when the five of cups shows up in a tarot reading?

maybe not… but perhaps we can face and meet the five of cups with at least some equanimity, and perhaps a touch of grace. If we can do that efficiently, deeply and completely enough, perhaps we’ll make some progress. At the end of the day, it is perhaps important to see that probably those three spilled cups in the Rider Waite’s 5 of cups have spilled for a reason: what they contained was no longer serving us, whether we wanted it to or not. They’ve emptied now… so that they can be filled up with something new and more appropriate for us in the future.


Honestly, there will come a time when the figure in the classic five of cups card will be ready to move on from his sadness and turn arouund to see the remaining upright cups behind him… but he may have to spend a bit of time crying first, that’s all! That’s not always such a bad thing.

You know what I always wondered about when I was a mom of young children? When I and other mothers would be holding one of our crying children, and for all the right reasons we would say something like “shhhh! It’s okay! there there….” … now of course we were only trying to help our children feel better of course, but when you really look at that, I wonder sometimes: who were we to say that ‘everything was okay”? I mean, how did we know? Maybe everything wasn’t okay… until they’d had a good cry! And that was probably ok.

Culturally, many of us seem all too ready to console someone who is hurting… which is good, because we are trying to help and we are being empathetic, etc etc… but maybe we also need to consider if we have a deeper, more unconscious reason for being so quick to console. It is probable that witnessing someone else working through a “negative emotion” just might make us personally a bit uncomfortable. It makes us uneasy when someone expresses something negative. We’ve got to be careful, then, not to inadvertantly wash over the importance of their grief or sadness simply because it makes us uncomfortable. Grief is often healthy…as long as it doesn’t become depression, in fact, it is necessary.

Stifled emotions fester like an infected wound. Better to allow some things to air to clean them out properly before moving on, however uncomfortable that makes us feel.

Tarot TLC : a Spread for when you need to Love Yourself

I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of my readers gave up on me over the last few months: after all, I’ve been a slacker here at! Sure, I could make loads of excuses for why I haven’t blogged as often as I thought I was going to, but here’s the reality: I’m going through one of the toughest years of my life. I have enough perspective to know that tough transition years always happen for a reason, and that, yes, I will in all likelihood be able to look back on this year in 5 years and say something like “ah! THAT’s why I had to go through all of that crud!” and so on and so forth… and yes, day to day, I am very very good at steering myself toward positive, inspiring experiences even in the middle of everything, which helps a lot… but still… a tough year is a tough year.

I’ve read a lot of cards for myself this year, often through tears, often curled up in layers of comforters on my bed, and always alone. I’m a really social person, but it’s always been hard for me to openly share painful things with others… I like to be a support for others, and give myself a hard time if I feel like I am using my friends as crutches, even though I have some awesome friends. So reading about tough stuff for myself? yup- I’ve chosen to do that alone, for the most part.

But here’s the thing: I’ve realized that sometimes it is better to share. (no, duh! you say..) Even if I don’t have an answer for anyone, it is often great for me to feel supported and listened to, and who knows? Maybe others might be going through similar stuff and will feel less alone if I am brave enough to share. So while I was doing a particularly powerful personal reading (again, on my bed) yesterday, I decided that i wasn’t going to be quiet about it all anymore. I got brave and decided to share.

So here goes: you’ll not only get a rundown of a beautiful deck’s use and a nice personal example of how the energies of these cards are manifesting for me, but you also get a nice new spread to work with if you want to. These days, I usually make up my own spreads when I sit down to read, just by feeling out what will serve me in the moment… I illustrated this one for you and outlined what I was doing with it and why… maybe you’d like to try using it for yourself! ok, so here goes:

A Tarot Spread for TLC

this year, like I said, has been tough. Let me try to summarize for you, in a sentence or two, so you have a bit of context: my husband of ten years, along with me, decided it was best if he move out in February. We’d been having difficulty for a long time, and I had taken a plunge in August 2010 and admitted to him that I didn’t think it was going anywhere positive. It had been a really tricky fall, where we tried to live together as friends to ease the kids into the transition… prove to them that we both loved them and cared for them and that it was going to be ok even though Mom and Dad might not be married anymore. But that was a really tough Fall. I basically lived in one room of the house, because the rest of the house started feeling too uncomfortable for me to cohabit with my husband. We were both emotionally in a state of near-paralysis in our marriage, where it felt like a bomb had gone off inside and we couldn’t muster the strength or desire to put anything back together properly. He nosedived into a massive depression that I felt incredibly responsible for, and we both tried to keep our own emotional noses above water while being good parents.

But that was just the start.

Because he was in such a dire depression, and I wasn’t doing much better, we racked up an incredible debt last year. Neither of us could really pull off much work in our states… it was just too much… but of course that didn’t stop the bills and mortgage from having to be paid. Consequentially, by January 2011, we found ourselves ear deep in 100k of debt, with no way of paying it off. We couldn’t even make the monthly minimum payments.

So… husband moves out in February, and I have been surviving the emotional turmoil of that, the stress and fear and desperation of the financial crisis… and many even deeper emotional and life pattern earthquakes that naturally become a part of such a year. Met some demons in my soul? sure. Jumped off some emotional cliffs? absolutely. Got crushed emotionally more than I ever thought possible? yup. Wondering if there is any more left in this shell of a human I sometimes feel I have become? roger that.Attempted to be a good mother, an adept large event runner and marketer in spite of it all? YES. And I did a fantastic job, if I do say so myself, all things considered. AND… time for some tarot therapy now.

So there you have it… all the context you probably need to relate to the crux of this reading.

As is so often the case in the last few years, when I am reading about something deeply moving and emotional for myself, I chose to use Lisa Hunt’s Animals Divine Tarot for this reading. For some reason, Lisa’s stunning artwork, the sweetness of the animals’ natures, and the love that is evoked in me for our planet’s soul companions helps tremendously to




Tarot Spreads!

Ever wanted to get a fresh perspective on how to use and read with tarot cards? Perhaps you need a new tarot spread idea! Check out my most recent radio show… a thirty minute primer tarot lesson all about different ways to read cards, and different tarot spreads and layouts to play with. There was only so much I could cover in thirty minutes, but hopefully you’ll find this useful. You can listen to the show by clicking on the play button below. Enjoy!!
If you enjoyed the show, let me know by “liking” this post. Thanks!!

Listen to internet radio with LearnTarot on Blog Talk Radio

you can find a link to the Mystic Faerie Tarot book that I reference so much in the show, along with a link to Mary Greer’s book that I mention, on the tarot books page of my website. Click here to go to that page.

The Fool in Tarot

here’s a 20 minute lecture that I gave on The Fool in Tarot as part of my most recent Tarot for Beginners class. You’ll learn a fair bit about all of the symbolism of this card from various different decks along with a lot about the myriad of potential meanings of Fool’s tarot card.

A quick Earth Hour Tarot idea for you: click “like” if you’ll participate!

So tonight we are all supposed to be switching off our electricity and utilities btwn 8:30 and 9:30 pm to show our support for Earth Hour. I just realized…. what a great excuse to enjoy a candlelit tarot reading! This is what I’ll be doing between 8:30 and 9:30, personally! I wonder how many other people will decide to spend their hour this way? If you’re IN, click the facebook “like” button … and share with your friends! Let me know what you think!
cheers, and happy candlelit-readings, everyone!

p.s… also just created a facebook event for this which you are welcome to invite your friends to :) here’s the link…:

Laura :)

Learn to Read the Cosmic Gypsy Tarot Spread in 7 minutes!

hi there everyone! here’s a quick 7 minute video that we made for you all about how to read my new Cosmic Gypsy tarot spread. I hope you like it! feel free to share with friends and let me know what you think. it’s a pretty in-depth tarot spread for you. Enjoy!
Laura :)

Learning Tarot spreads