Holly and the Oak Spread

From our Midwinter zine.

The Holly and Oak Kings are brothers, lovers, or mortal enemies locked in battle over the ruling halves of the year. At Midsummer, the Oak King is at the height of his power; at Midwinter, the Holly King rules. As such, the solstices are opportunities for us to look at the waxing and waning powers of the year, to honor what energies are currently holding court, but also to look ahead at what will be swiftly gaining power in the turn of the seasons. It is in understanding the ebb and flow of these powers that we understand the magic of the season and use it to best prepare ourselves for the remaining winter months.

 

holly and oak spread copy

  1. Center: You; Now
    • This card represents yourself, your current challenge, or the role you play, particularly as it hangs in balance at the moment of the solstice.
  2. Right: Waxing Energy (the Oak King)
    • This is the energy that is steadily gaining steam in your life. This is what will guide your decisions over the next six months, culminating in the Summer Solstice.
  3. Left: Waning Energy (the Holly King)
    • This is the energy that is most influencing your life at the moment, but also starting to ebb away. This is what you must prepare to give up as the light returns to the world.
  4. Below: Longest Night
    • What can the darkness of the solstice teach you? What hidden parts of yourself are germinating in the cold and the dark?
  5. Above: Dawning Light
    • What lessons can be learned from the return of the sun? What is starting to thaw in your heart? What can you embrace in the coming year?

 

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Midwinter Zine

Midwinter-Zine

Purchase on Gumroad for $2*

As the patterns of darkness and light chase each other across the sky, so too does the ever unfolding pattern of our own soul’s work and purpose in this world. We hope these spreads can bring you insight and guidance.

Guiding Star
to give direction, grounding you, placing you in time, and giving you much to think on as the year comes to a close and a new one dawns.

Holly and Oak
What can you learn from the waning light and waxing dark?

Gifts of the Magi
What lessons to the wise ones bring?

Halfway Through the Dark
Find hope and strength in the dark.

Holly Bushes
Find the bounties of the season.

*Email us at oakandsagetarot@gmail.com if you need to pay via another method and we can email you a PDF.

Midwinter Zine Delay/Sneak Peak

Hey folks! The intent had been to release the Midwinter Zine today, but life exploded in the Oak and Sage household this last two weeks, and it’s behind schedule. We have 2.5 of the 5 spreads done, and we hope to bang it out this weekend, but we’ve got a lot of personal chores to catch up on.

When we finally get it done we’re going to have the Guiding Star Spread, a nine card layout to help you see where you’re going in your life, and what you have supporting you. It’s a great spread for wrapping up the year and starting a new one. We’ll also have the Etienne developed Gifts of the Magi Spread, which is a simple three card spread to ask questions in regards to your faith, leadership, and personal growth. On the more Pagan side of things, we’ll  have another joint spread called the Holly and the Oak Spread, which is based around the mythology of the Holly and Oak kings. This five card  spread gives you an opportunity to ask what you can learn from the dawning light and the lasting dark.

We’re still working on naming the final two spreads, but they will be shorter two-four cards. All five spreads will be up on Gumroad when we’re done, for the very low price of $2.00. We’ll also take email orders, if you need to provide an alternative payment.

Here is a sneak peak of the Guiding Star Spread.

guiding star sneak peak

The Fool’s Dog Tarot App(s) Review

Last year I wanted to try out the Wildwood Tarot, but knowing it wasn’t a quite a traditional deck put me off from investing the money in the cards. So when I discovered that I could download a digital version from Fool’s Dog Tarot App Collection, I did. The Wildwood Tarot App priced at $4.99 in the Apple Store ended up not being a deck I would use on a regular basis. I was, however, hooked on the Fool’s Dog as a company. I purchased the Linestrider Tarot App shortly after, wanting a more traditional deck for daily cards and simple readings on the go.

Fool’s Dog is a series of apps on Android and iOS that allows full use of a digital Tarot deck, including a guidebook. All the art is high resolution and licensed from the creator of the decks. They have over 75 different decks, including Tarot, Lenormand, Oracle, and Kipper decks, and prices range from $1.99 to $6.99. They also have a free Tarot Sampler, a fully functional app with images from multiple different decks.

title screens

The home screen on each app is a simple, small menu In a single tap you can get to the guidebook, pull a single card, or use their Card of the Day feature for your daily reads.

The apps are customizable; for example, if you don’t read reversals, you can turn them off. You can change the background for your reading cloth and also have several options for digitally shuffling your card. For people who are blind, low vision, or have other reading and print disabilities, there are options for voice prompts, increasing font size in the guidebook, and magnifying card images. These features really impress me as a disabled person because I know how difficult it can be to find accommodations! (Edit: Although I am low vision or blind, so I can’t speak to how useful they are in this specific case.)

Each app comes with a few predefined spreads that allow you to conduct a full reading. All cards pulled are decided based on a truly random process. I’ve tapped on the “Today’s Card” menu feature on both my phone and my tablet to make sure it was a different card on each device, and it is!

reading page

Spread options, including deck specific readings. As you can see, it’s a little different from deck to deck.

And as the Fool’s Dog is a Pagan owned company, The Wild Hunt reports that there are spells built into the code to help with intuition. While I sometimes struggle to really connect to large readings on a small screen, I’ve found that I frequently turn to my apps to pull together 3-4 card readings on the subway ride home.

The apps also save a history of your readings and daily cards along with a journal that allows you to take notes. I find this log to be very useful for seeing a theme or repeated cards in your daily pulls. It doesn’t, however, give you an option to have an account so you can save and send your journal to another device. You can share these journal entries on social media, to email, and several other options.

I’m in love with my apps, while I don’t always draw a daily card (my anxiety simply doesn’t let me, which is a post for another day), I use the Wildwood and Linestrider apps on a regular basis and have plans to purchase the Shadowscapes version as well. I really can’t recommend this company enough. There is a deck for everyone in their offerings.

I’ve placed a few more images under the read more.

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Sagittarius and the Tarot

sagittarius-2288323_1280From the intense and emotional personality of Scorpio we journey with the Sun into an altogether brighter sign with the fiery Sagittarius leading us into the wild unknown. While Scorpio is introverted, moody, and personal, Sagittarius encourages us to expand greatly beyond ourselves and to boldly go where no one has gone before. Freedom and defiant joy are hallmarks of Sagittarian energy, which can be exhausting if one expects anything as mundane as a roadmap or itinerary on this voyage. And while Sagittarius may be unable to finish much of what it starts, it is also a straightforward and optimistic sign that at least gets us started on the right track. Symbolized by Chiron, the mentor of many a Greek hero, and summarized by the phrase I seek, Sagittarius invites us to rediscover the wonder and exuberance we had when first learning to read the Tarot.

Sagittarius is a mutable fire sign ruled by Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system named after the king of the Greek gods – a fact Sagittarian energy, with its expressive confidence and self-aggrandizing tendencies, will never let you forget. The flipside to this get-up-and-go attitude is that Sagittarian energy invites isolation and recklessness, both of which distract us from seeing our brilliant new ideas through to completion. If we’re willing to go along for the ride, however, we’re treated to brand new vistas and a reserve of childlike wonder we may have thought lost forever.

How can you incorporate Sagittarian energy into your Tarot practice? You can:

  • Indulge your curiosity by starting new books, classes, or workshops that offer a different approach to Tarot than what you’re familiar with.
  • Anticipate heightened feelings of boredom or frustration from regular habits that have thus far carried you through learning Tarot.
  • Connect with people, ideas, and places beyond your normal scope of Tarot practice. If you don’t usually read cold for strangers, give it a go. If you’ve never tried mixing Tarot with your other passions from herbalism to writing to anime fandom, what’s stopping you?
  • Meditate on cards like the Chariot, the Knight of Wands, and Temperance.
  • Keep a massive to-do list of all the projects you want to start right now and be patient with yourself if you can’t seem to commit to any single one.

How do I Choose a Deck?

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Etienne & Sage’s Decks

I recently taught a Tarot class at my workplace, and the biggest question was “how do I pick my deck?” It’s different for everyone, but here are some guiding principles I came up with on the spot:

  • Don’t be afraid to just pick up a deck and go, some times impulses can be for a great reason.
  • What kind of images do you want to see on your deck? I knew when I started I didn’t want to deal with people on my cards, in large part because I didn’t want to deal with gender on my cards. There is a deck for everyone out there, from the twee cat decks, to the abstract and geometric.
  • Do the research online, check out images and reviews of decks that you like. If you are looking at images or videos of people handling the deck and you can’t connect with the images? That deck isn’t for you.
  • If the cards you pick deviate from the traditional suites of wands/pentacles/swords/cups, make sure you’re comfortable with the deviations and you understand how that will affect your reading. A lot of deck advice suggests that new tarot users go straight for a traditional Rider-Waite style deck, but if that feels wrong to you, disregard it! Just understand how your deck is different. Make sure you get the guidebook with any decks that are different from your average deck.

Whatever you decide, remember you can always pass on the wrong deck to someone who might find it useful. Or repurpose the deck for art, spells, or teaching. I recently purchased an art nouveau deck and realized I hated it. It wasn’t remotely anything I would feel comfortable with in anything more than very simple readings. So I made it my teaching deck, a deck that I’d be comfortable letting people sort and touch when I’m teaching a program or showing people something about the cards that I think they need to see/touch to understand.

November Specials!

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We’re going to be a bit quiet here in November as we get ready for our Midwinter Tarot zine. In lieu of posts we’re offering some specials! Including gift cards for all your winter gifting needs. All readings purchased under the special are redeemable immediately or in the future as a gift card*. If you are gifting and need images to print to give to friends, please let us know and we will provide you with .png files!

Personal Roadmap Readings – $25

3×3 Pack – $15
Purchase a pack of 3, 3 card readings. Readings may be split and given as gifts or redeemed by the same person.

Buy $50 worth of readings/gifts, get a free $10 credit to keep or give as a gift!

Email oakandsagetarot@gmail.com to purchase

Oak & Sage Tarot

Gift Cards!

*Gift Card Terms & Conditions: Gift cards and readings do not expire. The person wishing to redeem the gift must have the unique code given upon purchase. If gifted a specific reading a person may exchange it for the price paid, ie, if you are gifted a Personal Compass reading purchased for $25 you may exchange it for any other 25 dollar reading. Gift cards may not be combined with any other deals or specials. By booking a reading with Oak and Sage Tarot you agree to our terms and conditions.

 

Real Readings: Moving Across Country

Etienne here, bringing you all an actual reading (our client consented to their query being shared). This is both so people can get a sense for how readings from Sage and I work, but also so you can see how spreads and meanings interplay. Sage helped me with this one, when I got a bit stuck on the reversals.

Our querent today is about to make big move and there are a lot of changes happening in their life and wanted to know what they should focus on during this time of upheaval.

After consulting and clarifying the needs of our client, I selected the TAZ Spread Sage & I created. I used the Ostara Tarot.

  1. Temperance (Reversed)
  2. The Sun
  3. Chariot (Reversed)
  4. Judgement (Reversed)
  5. Nine of Cups (Reversed) 

Four Major Arcana cards bracketing the driving force in your life made me laugh out loud, but having moved cross country myself, only seems fitting. It’s a wild ride, and a big change. There are so many outside forces and energies demanding time and attention from you. And you, at your center (Nine of Cups) are seeking rest and an end to be proud of.

Read more below the cut! As a side note, you can book a reading like this for $20!

kpreading

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Review: The Modern Witchcraft Book of Tarot

Title: The Modern Witchcraft Book of Tarot

Author: Skye Alexander

Pub date: May 9, 2017

Reviewer: Sage

Verdict: Pass

The Modern Witchcraft Book of Tarot is the latest in the Modern Witchcraft series by Skye Alexander and the first Tarot book we’re reviewing here at Oak & Sage. In reviews we use the phrases Buy, Borrow, or Pass rather than a starred system to indicate our final opinion.

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Scorpio and the Tarot

Shifting out of Libra and into Scorpio, the Sun moves from a very sociable and appeasing sign to one best known for its emotional intensity and privacy bordering on isolation. Scorpio gets perhaps the worst rap of the Zodiac signs, known for being moody, dramatic, and obsessive – and as someone whose Moon is in Scorpio, I don’t think these accusations are completely unfounded! However, Scorpian energy teaches us the value of ourselves: what we want, what we don’t want, and what we are willing to do to enforce our boundaries. Scorpio is the sign that says I desire, and it’s by delving into these desires with sometimes painful, but always necessary, honesty and deliberation that we confront our strengths and weaknesses to tackle anything in life with open eyes and an open heart.

Scorpio is a fixed water sign ruled by Pluto, but used to be ruled by Mars before we knew Pluto was a thing. This means that Scorpio is introverted and stubborn, emotional and intuitive, and ruled by times and spaces defined by liminality and transformation. Death/rebirth and sex are perhaps the most well-known of these situations,  but in a modern context I also see Scorpian energy associated with coming out, gender transitions, living beyond traditional categories, and even social justice work as a whole. All this means that the Sun in Scorpio values truth and integrity (because how can you embrace transformation if you don’t know what it is being transformed?), trusting instinct and gut feelings above all. On the fail-state side of things, Scorpio can also encourage overly suspicious, volatile, and moody qualities no matter which planet she visits.

How can you incorporate Scorpian energy into your Tarot practice? You can:

  • Explore introspective spreads that encourage self-examination.
  • Meditate on cards such as the Moon, Death, and 8 of Cups.
  • Anticipate Scorpio’s urge to mistake intense emotions for hard truth when reading cards. If you get a reading that feels too bad to be true, consider if you’re truly taking the time to interpret the images before you or merely knee-jerk reacting.
  • Mindfully choose to share or not share details of your Tarot practice; if you usually share everything, consider taking a short hiatus from social media to reflect on what the cards have told you. Only share with others when you feel you’ve spent enough time sifting through meanings on your own.
  • Start a Tarot journal for your eyes only. Make special note of your emotions when reading the cards.