Tarot Blog Hop: The Joy Of Gifting

Estimated Reading Time: 9 minutes

Welcome to the Tarot Blog Hop!

An international group of tarotists (check out the master list) are all writing on the same topic and then linking to each other so that the reader can hop from one blog to the next, seeing all the permutations and facets that the topic inspired in different writers.


The Joy Of Gifting

Our topic for this blog hop is proposed by wrangler Arwen Lynch of Tarot by Arwen. Very simply, she gave us a five position spread to explore the idea of sharing gifts with family and friends.

I decided to use the Sacred Isle Tarot. I like working with card pairs, so I’m going to pull two cards for each question.

What gift would I give the world if I could?

The 5 of Cups and Ace of Pentacles from the Sacred Isle Tarot, by David Higgins, self-published 2014.

5 of Cups and Ace of Pentacles

To see the gift of new opportunities in our losses.

In my meditation practice, I have been working with waka, Japanese poetry, and my recent meditations have been on this poem:

Watch and learn from the stone that has been hollowed by raindrops.
Discard the idea that achieving a task is too difficult.
Nothing is impossible.

My personal mantra lately is “drip drip drip” as I try to chip away slowly at the not-entirely impossible tasks before me.

I think my gift to the world would be to see those spilled cups –the things that go wrong in our life–as the first tiny drips that carve out the foundation in stone of what eventually becomes a vast castle, a legacy of achievement.

What gift would I want from the world?

The Star and Knight of Wands from the Sacred Isle Tarot, by David Higgins, self-published 2014.

The Star and the Knight of Wands

Spiritually inspired action.

This is not a fantasy deck, and all the artwork is pretty realistic, but this Star card has weird tree-sized mushrooms in the background and the lovely lady in the pool has pointed elf ears. To me, that says to find the fantastic in everyday life, the unreal in the mundane, the creative in the created, and allow that guiding principle to spur me in the actions I take. The guiding star becomes the flaming torch, idealism leads the charge.

When I was making jewelry, I called my business Silmarill: Inspiring Art. I meant that my art was inspiring, but more importantly that it inspired art in others. That each creation inspires creativity. Perhaps I want to take this gift back, to reclaim my ability to create. Or not to reclaim it; I’ve never lost it. Maybe I’m not sewing or making jewelry now, but I am knitting a lot, and designing some tarot bag patterns (basically, no one who knows me would let me get away with saying I’m not creative!); but to go deeper than that and find the unreal, that fantasy world, my very unique and slightly distorted take on life, and allow my work to emanate from that most personal part of me. I have signed up for a writing class on the lyric essay that starts in January–I wonder if this will be my gift from the world.

What gift have I gotten that has brought me joy?

The Queen of Cups and the Fool from the Sacred Isle Tarot, by David Higgins, self-published 2014.

The Queen of Cups and the Fool

Ok, I have a confession. I started to do this assignment twice in the past week, even grabbed a deck, but then didn’t do it. Then Thursday a miracle happened–I got a call from a nearby animal shelter telling me that someone had turned in my cat who ran away back in July. He’d been gone for over five months, and I felt pure joy when he was back with me. After bringing him home, I had lunch with a tarot friend and said, I wish I had done that spread when I first thought to do it–I wonder if it would have shown me my cat coming home as my greatest gift.

Pulling these cards together–the Queen of Cups, the sign of Cancer, the mother, the nurturer, the home; and the Fool, reckless adventure, does indeed seem to address me and my cat. (He’s the reckless one! What stories he must keep!)

But as I look at it, I am reminded of perhaps a deeper lesson and its resulting gift. When I finally began following my intuition–when I let those nonsensical, irrational thoughts lead me off those cliffs, I received my greatest joy: finding ever deepening layers of creativity and daring to share my unique visions with others in a way that they can be inspired into their uniqueness. (In some ways, that seems to be surfacing as the theme of this spread.)
Learning to follow my intuition is an on-going process. I didn’t follow it early in the week when I had the notion to do this spread. But I do follow it much more than I used to. And that is a gift.

What gift have I given that has brought me joy?

The Page of Swords and King of Wands from the Sacred Isle Tarot, by David Higgins, self-published 2014.

The Page of Swords and the King of Wands

The Page of Swords in relevé, yellow bodice, skirt flared like a tutu, head tilted, holding her glinting sword above her, a scroll in the other hand, graceful arm that gently crosses her body. She dances on a tuft of flowers at the tip-top of a mountain, a vast panorama of mountain peaks and glacial lakes curving out behind her. A man, direct, secure, swathed in a green cloak, seated on his throne, leaning ever so slightly forward, staff held in front of him across his body. He is inside, raised on a dais, an arched window behind him opening onto nearby trees and in the distance a castle.

The images resolve, dissolve into me as a child, performing in the annual ballet recital presented at Young Auditorium by the Madeleine Murphy School of Ballet, my father, seated in the audience, watching intently to see his daughter on stage.

Now, thirty-odd years later, I dance a different dance high in the mountains, my father back in the land of deciduous trees, in his new home, removed from the old castles, and still he admires me and the work that I do.
I never would have guessed this.

What is one last thing I would like to share about this season?

The 9 of Cups and 7 of Wands from the Sacred Isle Tarot, by David Higgins, self-published 2014.

9 of Cups and 7 of Wands.

Smirk. I was thinking, I have nothing else to say. No other particular thoughts about the season, at least none that I’d care to share. And so after such a series of beautiful cards, I get two smug ones, two go-away-and-leave-me-alone ones. But the thing is, I almost didn’t sign up for this BlogHop. I’m not much of a gift giver (although I very much enjoy making things for people) and I really have to work hard to be gracious when receiving gifts; I always feel like I don’t ring true in my expression of appreciation. I didn’t think I’d enjoy this hop. Kind of like how I toss presents in the back of a closet thinking I’ll probably just regift them.

Like the 9 of Cups, I’m happy enough where I am, little dreams rise like glittery stars from my scheming brain, but I stay on this plateau instead of rising to the perfection of the 10. The man fighting off the other six wands stands in front of a great hollow tree, entrance to the lower world. I used to write short stories when I was 9 or 10, always discovering doors in trees that led me into fantasy worlds of adventure.

As much as I pursue my gifts, as we have seen in the previous cards, I ask myself now, in what way do I guard against them; stay smug and stuck; spend too much time defending my private passageway rather than turning my back on my attackers, my detractors, climbing into that tree and seeing what adventures I and the Fuzzy Kitten can go on. I can’t just rest on my laurels and be happy with last year’s gifts this year; it is my gift not to have reached my potential.


Joy Vernon has been studying and teaching energetic and esoteric modalities for more than twenty years. She is the organizer of the Denver Tarot Geeks, Denver Tarot Meetup and Denver Traditional Reiki Meetup, and she served on the faculty of Avalon Center for Druidic Studies. She is one of the psychics at Isis Books and has been featured at SpiritWays, the Mercury Café and psychic fairs throughout the Denver Metro and Northern Colorado. She is a Certified Professional Tarot Reader and a member of the American Tarot Association and Tarosophy Tarot Association. Joy also teaches Traditional Japanese Reiki. For information on upcoming classes or to schedule an appointment, please visit JoyVernon.com.

© 2014 by Joy Vernon. All rights reserved.

Joy Vernon
Joy Vernon

Joy Vernon is widely recognized as an expert tarot teacher and respected community leader. With over twenty-five years’ experience teaching energetic and esoteric modalities, Joy brings expertise and practiced familiarity to her specialty of esoteric tarot, which layers astrological and qabalistic symbolism onto the traditional tarot structure. Under her leadership, the Denver Tarot Meetup grew into one of the largest and most active tarot-specific meetups in the world. Now Joy runs the Greater Seattle Tarot Meetup. Joy works as a tarot reader, astrologer, and teacher in Burien, Washington. To learn more, please visit JoyVernon.com.

Articles: 471

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    • Thank you, Machelle. I had been so heartbroken, and I am so blessed to have him back. Two kitties sleeping in my bed at night! Just like it used to be.

    • Thank you, Karen. I’ve had a very long, busy December culminating in a big tarot meetup party this afternoon. Which went very well, but I came home exhausted and this was the first email I saw and somehow it just completely made my day, that someone would smile and reread my random thoughts. Thank you so much for letting me know! I hope your holidays are fabulous!

    • Thank you Alison! The mantra has certainly helped me this month. I hope it works wonders for you too! The Fuzzy Cat has been sleeping a lot, but despite his extended period of homelessness, things are pretty much back to normal!

  1. Beautiful readings, all of them. The first one spoke to me especially, as someone with big dreams and can bite of more than I can chew often. “Drip, drip, drip” is a fabulous mantra to keep you going on the path to achieve the impossible 🙂

  2. You have a lovely way with words, and I love how you say that it’s your gift not to have reached your potential. So true, we’re always striving upward, that is a true gift.

  3. Some amazing gifts there, Joy, for someone who doesn’t like them 😀 A wonderful, insightful post. So glad your cat found his way home, and I hope that the writing course proves inspiring 🙂

    • Hi Chloe! Thank you very much! The Fuzzy Kitten is back to all his old tricks–he’s the brattiest cat but so soft when he sits still long enough for some petting. As to the writing course–I am loving it! I wrote in this post that I wanted to go deeper and “find the unreal, that fantasy world, my very unique and slightly distorted take on life, and allow my work to emanate from that most personal part of me.” This class is doing precisely that! It is amazing and creating a powerful way for me to integrate my disparate studies and interests from the past 20+ years. I’ll certainly post the resulting lyric essay on my blog, so watch for it!

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