The Power of Transformation

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

Welcome to the Tarot Blog Hop!

An international group of tarotists 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. You can leave my blog and hop back to Gary Ormond of The Seer’s Cave. Or read ahead here and then hop forward!

The Power of Transformation

Like many tarot readers, I was taught to record all my readings. I have journals full of tarot notes going back twenty years, and once every year or so I glance through them.

One day a few years ago I was engaging in this periodic review, and it really struck home that I was reading on the same questions, time after time. I realized I needed something different in my approach to my readings. I needed more than insight. I needed transformation.

I knew then that there had to be a way to take the insight from my tarot readings and use it to create actual change in myself and my life. It took several more years for my ideas to coalesce around this, but eventually I developed a system called Empyrean Key Transformational Guidance, which I initially taught as a part of my Denver Tarot Geeks meetup. You can read about it in my blog post, “Nessus and the Hierosgamos: My Journey with the Empyrean Key.”

The system is designed to take the insight from a reading, develop an energetic augmentation or archetypal expansion by finding the highest expression of the cards, then crystallize that visionary experience of the reading into a symbol that can be implanted prayerfully or playfully in the subconscious, where the true work of transformation is done. Then as the symbol puts down roots deep within us, the change in our lives happens naturally, without the resistance, interference, or doubt of the conscious mind.

I worked out the final details of the Empyrean Key system on May 23, 2010. Fifteen days later I was fired from my job.

The annihilation of the ego through losing a representation of who we are (such as a job, a relationship, a prized possession), is necessary to the process. In alchemy, it is called the stage of nigredo, representing the decomposition and putrefaction of the gross material into its most primal form, revealing its inalterable essence. A different but similar principle holds true in qabalistic philosophy: The Divine light was without limit, but in order to create the universe, the Infinite Being needed to withdraw and create a space of emptiness. Joseph Campbell calls this experience of loss “the belly of the whale,” in which we shed the dust and ash of our secular nature and enter the temple of our own immortality, the womb of the world, where we formulate our higher nature.

It’s tempting when we arrive at this uncomfortable place to try to ease our distress by repeating a mantra of “true essence, higher nature.” But Joseph Campbell knows that if we shift our mind away from the immediate morass towards the proceeding step of clarity, we lose the immersion that is necessary for a complete transformation. This chapter in The Hero with a Thousand Faces enumerates the repulsive details of the blood-spattered myth of ritual sacrifice. To sugarcoat this destructive force disables its power to change us.

For me, after I was fired from my job two and a half years ago, the card that came up to represent my destruction was the 10 of Swords. It was frustrating because I was familiar with the process and really would have been quite happy to embrace my true essence and jump into the next step. So why was this dismal bloody scene being shoved in front of my nose?

I spent some time quietly listening to that card, trusting that it represented for me a profound shift. Then I remembered that the 10 of Swords has the astrological correspondence of Sun in Gemini. The midpoint of my Sun, or self, and Moon, or soul—the integration of my Aries Sun, the fiery warrior, and my Cancer Moon, the dreamy intuitive, these highly incompatible elements of self—is at four and a half degrees Gemini. I have Gemini on the cusp of the twelfth house, which represents what we cannot see. What resides here is overwhelmed by the dawning sun whose blinding light obscures all else. What resides here we trust will be born out of the formlessness of the void into the uniqueness of self. But for now it waits, it broods.

The Sun was in Gemini transiting my sun-moon midpoint the day I started Tarot Geeks. The Sun was in Gemini transiting my sun-moon midpoint the day I formalized the Empyrean Key.

One of the most common of my oft-repeated questions recorded in my journals was, will I make money doing this? Although some of the earliest readings were on whether I’d make money from my sewing and crafts, not tarot itself, there was always a desire to earn my living from my original creative work.

The 10 of Swords gave me my answer, at long last. Despite the violent imagery of the card, I could not have received a more powerful reassurance that I was on the right track. I had a unique ability to understand that which is normally obscured, to bring light into the emptiness, and with the development of my Empyrean Key system, I could share that power of transformation with anyone.

Explore the Empyrean Key

If you would like to try out the Empyrean Key process, this introduction, The Empyrean Key: Unlock Your Personal Symbol, is a good place to start for people with less tarot experience. It helps you explore your highest expression of your Sun Sign (your horoscope sign) as a blueprint of your highest self.

If you are ready to dive into the deep end, I have created an Empyrean Key process around the current Uranus Pluto square that is affecting everyone’s energy. The second of seven exact squares happened this week. See how you can launch your own personal transformation with my spread, “Ignite Your Transformation.” To make this spread available to anyone, I have included a simpler “no-astrology needed” version as well as an in-depth version that lets you examine how these transits affect your natal chart.

These links will open in a new window, so you can come back and look at them later. For now, there are still many wonderful tarot blogs to hop through!

The Empyrean Way

Your Goals. Inspired by Spirit. Created by You. This program is for creatives and anyone who wants to discover and understand their natural process for Getting Things Done. But the practical depends on the spiritual. This program is ultimately about connecting to Spirit to create yourself.
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Your Next Stop

Hop off my blog and onto Elinor Predota’s, “A New Adventure Every Day: the musings of a priestess-scholar-poet at large,” or visit the master list of all the blogs.

Joy Vernon is a Certified Professional Tarot Reader and Reiki Teacher in Denver, Colorado. Her specialty is the Empyrean Key Transformational Guidance, which combines energetic and esoteric modalities to help her clients break through blocks and align themselves with their higher purpose. For information on upcoming classes or to schedule an appointment, please visit

© 2012 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

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  1. Sounds like a wonderful transformation system. It’s true that we can accumulate journals of readings that simply repeat themes and never really take them to heart to make changes. Looks like you triggered some major changes by giving intent to use the Tarot differently. Sounds like an awesome program!

    • Thank you, Joanne! Yes, it’s a great system and the people here in Denver who work with it regularly all report wonderful effects with it. Yes, setting intentions can open a person up to receive all kinds of great stuff!

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