Reading with the Animal Tarot by Diane Wilkes
Normally, I don't do sample readings with Major Arcana-only decks, but the querent was so taken with this particular deck that I made an exception.
The querent has been working in a toxic environment for several years, and has spoken often of obtaining new employment. While she is highly educated and quite brilliant, she isn't quite sure what to do next. We did a reading to look at her desire to move on from her present employment situation and what she needed to know about it.
We drew three cards:
Card One: Best Case Scenario - The Star
While the word "hope" frequently springs to mind with "The Star" card, "beautification" is another that I associate with it, particularly in this deck. It looks as if the graceful, snowy white heron is looking at a flower arrangement (in the shape of a star) that she, herself, created. The best case scenario for the querent is to use her considerable skills and talents to create the job she wants, concentrating on an environment that will be aesthetically pleasing to her. Her present job is not. She needs to create a situation that will give her pleasure and satisfaction when she considers it, and when she is doing it. Her new job needs to feed her pride in herself, which, to some extent, her present job does, but only because she succeeds against great odds.
Card Two: Worst Case Scenario - The Wheel of Fortune
In the Star card, the animal actively develops and tends her goals. In the Wheel of Fortune, slow animals like the elephant and camel tread a well-worn circular path, again and again. They are in lockstep, in thrall to the great white cat that controls their every movement. The querent needs to become pro-active, and not continue to walk in a pattern that gives her no satisfaction. She must recognize that she is the one who is in control of her own movements.
This card also contains a role model for her to emulate in the form of a rooster who chooses his own path. He struts to his own tune in his own time in a pair of sneakers. Perhaps they are made by Nike, the company whose slogan is "Just do it." He isn't conventionally dressed, and he's no pack animal--the querent should own and embrace her striking individuality as she looks for a job that suits her needs and unique personality.
Both this card and the Star speak to the querent finding something off the common path, something rare and inimitable, like the querent herself. This is harder than just finding "any old job," and calls for a concerted effort on her part.
Card Three: Most Likely Scenario - The Devil
We both laughed when this card turned up. In the first place, it's a very funny card--I defy anyone to look at the faces of those donkeys and not at least chuckle.
The other reason for laughter was that the card so perfectly encapsulates what has gone on in the past. Her co-workers are jackasses who do as little as possible and sing in their chains, as they try to tease and taunt the querent into doing the same. She identified one person in authority as the smoking baboon, who gives her more work than anyone else just because he can--and she also related all too well to the man who is enmeshed in the sticky spider web, trying to move away but ensnared in the pattern just the same.
This card aptly describes the querent's last few years with her present job situation. This is not the first reading we have done together on this particular subject. The querent was not happy with the Devil card turning up in the Most Likely Scenario, even though she understood that the cards show the situation of the querent at the time of the reading. If she doesn't like the "photograph of her situation," she can make the choice to change her approach to that situation. We pulled a fourth card, one to give her insight into how she can avoid the most likely scenario warned of by the Devil.
The Hermit turned up. While the image amusingly depicts an ostrich with its head buried in ice, we decided it would be self-defeating to interpret it by saying that, to avoid the most likely scenario, she should stick her head in the sand and practice denial, since that is exactly what the querent has, in essence, done for the last few years. While denial has served as a coping mechanism, she is now determined to thrive, not just exist. The background of this card suggests it's a magical place--we don't know what mysterious, miraculous things the ostrich is viewing under there!
The querent needs to dig deep and find the light (The Star) in herself, the truest part of herself. She needs to make the connections that lie within her, probe until she finds the part of herself that has been in cold storage all this time. Even if she chooses to take a temporary job to simply remove herself from the (literally) dangerous environment she finds herself in now, she needs to do it with a clear goal and plan to move into a career that most expresses her truest internal desires.
See a review of this deck here.
See all the images in this deck here.
Images © 2001 Paula Gibby
Reading and page © 2001 Diane Wilkes