When Your Tarot Reading Sucks

When Your Tarot Reading Sucks Fails Pug TarotPugs Pugs Psychic Mediumship

Recently, I did a tarot reading and the client didn’t resonate with it at all.

I’d never experienced having a reading that was completely off the mark before. I knew it was inevitable one day, but I wasn’t really ready for it.

In that instance, I offered to redo the reading after a few days had passed.

But, before I did the reading again, I decided to do a little forensic CSI on the reading and find out what went wrong.

When your tarot reading sucks (or fails) there can be a few factors that come into play.

For instance, the day that I did that reading was probably a bad week for me.

It was just after a powerful full moon and just as I was preparing for the reading and shuffling the cards, I completely forgot the name of my spirit guide that assists me with connecting with my client’s spirit guides!

In addition to that my energy levels were lower than normal.

I couldn’t maintain a higher vibration and strangely enough as the following three to four days passed, I fell more into a depression.

Since I’ve had depression in the past, I knew the early warning signs and worked to turn it around to prevent it from getting worse.

Once I realised that my energy levels were affecting the reading, which my lower energy levels were separating me from channelling, I worked on myself to slowly get back to raising my vibration again.


Why Does a Tarot Reading Fail?


There can be many reasons why a tarot reading can suck and completely fail. Continue reading

Ace of Pentacles & Manifestation

International Tarot Day Blog Hop Tarot Pugs Pug TarotPugs

Welcome to our contribution to the celebration of International Tarot Day!

I trust you enjoyed Jillian C. Wilde’s article on Queen of Wands, and now, we’re tackling another challenging Tarot card: Ace of Pentacles.

It’s great to be part of this epic blog hop, organized by Bree at Nym’s Divination. Thanks, Bree!

TarotPugs has been gifted with the opportunity to blog about the Ace of Pentacles, which of itself is the very epitome of a gift in the tarot.

Here we’re going to discuss about the Ace of Pentacles and manifestation, which the Ace of Pentacles seems to say, “ask and you shall receive.”

The Ace of Pentacles in the Rider Waite Smith Tarot has a hand extended from a cloud, holding a gold coin with a pentacle on it. Continue reading

Tarot & Spirituality

Tarot Pugs TarotPugs Spirituality

Tarot is known for enhancing our spiritual connections and exploring our innermost thoughts, feelings, patterns, behaviours and habits.

Tarot can be a spiritual experience where you can connect with the Divine, the Universe, Spirit, spirit guides and loved ones in spirit.

If you read tarot or have had a tarot reading, have you ever felt a spiritual connection with a message that was received or delivered?

Has a reading moved you immensely or evoked an awakening?


Tarot can be a spiritual tool that can deal with anything from every day matters to the esoteric.


It doesn’t have to be a spiritual experience to make it valid, but adding spirituality to tarot can allow for deeper meanings to enter the mind.


Tarot & Spirituality

When I read tarot, I often attune to spirit guides to assist me with finding the messages that I need to hear or deliver, especially when doing readings for others.

Tarot has created a foundation or basis for me to center myself, and really has become a part of who I am.


So, how can tarot enhance or deepen spirituality?


The first question to ask perhaps is, “how do you define spirituality for yourself?

Is spirituality something that you incorporate into your daily life?

Do you have beliefs that relate or adhere to a specific religion or is it more an eclectic mix that is suited more personally for yourself?

If you’ve defined your spirituality as either religious or something bigger than religion itself, tarot can help to narrow it down as to what you’re seeking in spirituality.

You may have questions about what you should study in spirituality, what you should learn that may enhance it, which deities you should work with or even how a ritual or spell may work out.


Beyond the Basics

If you’ve studied spirituality and/or religion for a few years, you may feel that you’ve read just about every book on the market. (I went for years without reading new material as there were few books that weren’t intended for beginners.)

The internet can a valuable resource, especially now in the 2010s, as times have definitely changed from my novice days 20 years ago.

Yet, finding valuable and reliable information online can be tricky in and of itself, as sources and information can be conflicting.

New books that are geared towards more experienced practitioners aren’t easy to come by and the wisdom isn’t often shared readily unless you find a trusted mentor or tutor.


So, how do you go beyond the basics?


This is where trusting your intuition becomes the most valuable.

Spirit speaks through intuition.

When you get a nagging feeling about something or someone, then check on it or someone and find out you where right, that’s Spirit letting you know.

Spirit can be loved ones in spirit who have crossed over, angels or archangels, spirit guides, faeries, the God/Goddess, a deity.

Spirit is always there to help and wants to maintain that connection with us.


Tarot helps to link our cognitive mind with the unconscious and subconscious, which is where Spirit speaks to us.


Simply asking the tarot how you can deepen or enhance your spirituality can open new possibilities that you may not have considered.

It may not necessarily mean studying, learning or practicing something.

Spirit could suggest letting go of something that is blocking you or holding you back, preventing you from hearing Spirit or moving forward in your life to receive what Spirit has to offer you.

Tarot can be an amazing spiritual tool to go beyond the daily card of the day, week or month, which are still good to have for preparing us for what may happen in the physical world.

(Don’t get me wrong about that one; I still love to draw daily/weekly/monthly cards!)

Yet, tarot can help us connect to the Divine and feel connected to Spirit and deepen our spiritual practice that can go beyond the basics, even when we can’t find a tutor, mentor or advanced book.

Spirit is always there to guide us in ways to further our spiritual development; we just have to listen.


Interested in a Spiritual Tarot Reading?

No matter if you’re new age, follow the old ways or define spirituality on your own terms, a Spiritual Tarot Reading is designed to help you connect to the Divine and how Spirit seeks to connect with you.

Find details and request a Spiritual Tarot Reading (also available on Etsy here) to discover and deepen your own spiritual practice.


Blessings & #PugLove,
Stacey & the Tarot Pugs

Title image designed in Canva.



Tarot & Math: Learn the Major Arcana

Tarot TarotPugs Major Arcana Learn Math

There are several ways to study and learn the major arcana.

You can study for years and still find a new perspective and understanding of the cards.

Here’s one way that I learned the major arcana that I’m sharing here with you.

Many people learn a new subject with flash cards which are commonly used in mathematics, most often addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

At some point in our elementary curriculum, most of us have used flash cards.

Some people use this method to learn tarot using a few keywords to recite while turning over random shuffled tarot cards.

Can math be used in tarot? Continue reading

Gender, Sexuality & Tarot

Gender Sexuality TarotPugs LGBTQ LGBT Queer Tarot

Please Note: Some links in this post may be NSFW + intended for 18+.

As more people begin to explore different aspects of themselves, the tarot has always been an amazing mirror to scry further into the depths of our own psyches, personas, orientations and personalities.

Tarot allows us to explore these aspects, all the way from the shadow self to the bright shadow, our feelings, desires, our pain and disappointments, hopes and fears.

We can explore our humanity and base natures, our needs and our wants all through the help of tarot and the insight gained.

The tarot can expose parts innate to who we are, but sometimes we rarely think of it or question why we are that way.

These studies are becoming more predominant as people begin to explore and question more acutely about these topics and how we fit in compared to society and relationships.

Exploring these aspects, whether the shadow self, our gender identity and sexuality.

It can be liberating, but at the same time, raw and intense.

Continue reading

Internal Alchemy & Tarot


This year, the word that I chose for what I hope to achieve by the end of the year personally was “INTEGRATION”.

As I thought more about this word, the tarot card that reminded me of “integration” was the card Temperance.

In the Rider Waite version of the card and many other depictions of Temperance (such as Black Cats Tarot and Tarot of the Cat People) show a figure pouring water or mixing liquids to form a new blend or mixture.

It can be a give and take, flowing back and forth, blending two mixtures to create something new, blending it as one. Continue reading

Happy New Year 2017 & Thank You!

happy new year thank you tarot pugs tarotpugs 2017

From myself, my family and the Pugs, I want to wish each and all of you a happy, healthy and prosperous new year in 2017.

May you reach your goals this year and beyond.

I would like to send out a special thank you to everyone who has followed TarotPugs this year and from the beginning.

Thank you to everyone who has supported TarotPugs, each of you who read and share these posts.

Thank you to everyone that has requested readings in this year and the previous who help me to become a better tarot and oracle reader through each new reading and experience.

Thank you to everyone who indulges me and the Pugs by following on social media for welcoming us and allowing us to share hundreds of photos of the pugs and cards.

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of our journey that was 2016.

From near-boycotting on tarot publishers due to copyrights to presidential elections, it’s been an adventure. (At least the tarot-thing was a victory, right?)

It’s been one heck of a ride.

I look forward to sharing and connecting with you all again in the new year.

With love,
Stacey & the Tarot Pugs

Card image from Rider Waite Tarot ©1971 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
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Crossroads Tarot Spread


This tarot spread can be altered and rearranged if you have more than one option or choice to make, or can be rearranged into a cross-shape to make it a four-way crossroad.

The one below has been arranged into the shape of a three-way crossroad which Hecate rules, which this tarot spread looks at two possible options “A” and “B”.

If the spread is arranged in a equal arm cross as a four-way crossroad, you can work with the energies of Hermes who rules four way crossroads.

Before laying the cards for this spread, select one of your options or choices to be “A” or “B” (the order or choice of letter isn’t important.)

Keep in mind which option is for which selection (A or B) in the reading.

If you are unsure of which path to take, what decision to make, or what you need to do next between two options or more, this tarot spread can look at what the challenges are, the past influences, the pros and cons of both options and potential outcomes for each option.



Crossroads Tarot Spread

1. Present – This is where you are and what is happening at the present time

2. Obstacles / Challenges (crosses over first card)– This is what is opposing you, blocking you, causing confusion or preventing you from making the decision you want to make or is making it difficult, or even the reason why you need to make this decision or choice.

3. Past Influences – This may be what has been influencing your decision or choice, which you may or may not be aware of.

4. Option A Pro’s – These are the “pro’s” or good points of “Option A”:

5. Option B Pro’s – These are the “pro’s” or good points of “Option B”; the other choice or decision.

6. Option A Con’s – These are the “con’s” of bad points of “Option A”.

7. Option B Con’s – These are the “con’s” of the bad points of “Option B”.

8. Outcome for Option A – This is the alternative future if Option A is chosen.

9. Outcome for Option B – This is the alternative future if Option B is chosen.

More information on crossroads and magick can be found on my other posts here on the blog: Crossroads Magick and Crossroads Spell for Prosperity.

Stacey & the Tarot Pugs

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Connecting with a New Tarot Deck


The connection between a tarot or oracle reader and their deck is almost a sacred bond. It’s like a relationship, a part of themselves, an extension of the self and psyche, a partner and confident. A tarot or oracle deck can be comparable to a mentor, a guide, a modern day oracle of Delphi.

A well-loved deck becomes a beloved and sometimes cherished to many of us. Some readers might not have a deep connection with a particular deck or any of them and may see the deck more as a tool to be used and might not form attachments to them. For others, there can be this attachment and sentiment to decks that are owned and used.

After some time, we come to know our favourite deck like the back of our hands (you know, from all that shuffling) and after spending hours upon hours with a deck, it becomes familiar to hold and use that deck without struggling for interpretations or meanings that can frequently happen with a new deck (such as drawing blank when a new image on a tarot card in a new deck – happens to me.)

We become more confident with a well-known deck and using the same deck again and again builds that confidence.

Yet, sometimes we want change.

We want to expand our knowledge and tarot vocabulary; expand our psychic borders and try something new.

Perhaps we see a deck online posted on Instagram or Pinterest and we fall in love with a few images of the deck.

Tarot is so visual and speaks to the inner workings of the psyche and soul, which our minds work to put these flashes of insight into words and sentences to convey the messages we interpret or feel intuitively,

Each deck is unique in and of itself, just like people.

The artists that create them have a vision that they bring into manifestation and to share with the rest of the world.

Personally, I feel that each tarot and oracle deck has a energy or personality of its own. Perhaps this is why sometimes a reader and a deck can’t connect, whether it’s the imagery or just the “feel” of the deck.

I like to call the little things that commonly happen with a deck to be “quirks” and every deck that I have, has little things about that makes it unique, other than the differences in styles and pictures.

Maybe it’s a peculiar or crazy notion, but maybe you might find that your decks have a personality of their own, too.



Do you sense a difference in feel, energy or even the way a deck shuffles in comparison to other decks that you own?

Do you find the meanings differ between certain decks or that perhaps “jumper” cards are more frequent with one deck than other decks?

These little habits of decks can be unique to every deck. For example, my copy of Les Vampires by Lucy Cavendish (an oracle deck) is mostly only read with jumper cards.

Although the little book with the deck shows to shuffle and cut the deck in three (just like every tarot deck), this deck prefers to use “jumpers” about 99% of the time and the “jumpers” are always on point and accurate.

Perhaps it’s the awkward size of the cards which are bigger than usual oracle cards, but this is something that I’ve noticed with that deck.

Do you feel that certain decks like to shuffled a certain way or that you select cards different with certain decks?

Perhaps cutting one deck or fanning another deck or selecting cards from the deck intuitively?

I find that my angel oracle decks are shuffled and selected intuitively much differently than my usual tarot decks.

These habits can be preferences of the reader, but perhaps we’re intuitively connecting to the inner workings of that deck and how it will best work for us.



When we get a new deck, many readers immediately write and say about clearing the deck of any residual energy that may have imprinted on the deck prior to you purchasing or receiving it.

There are many ways to clear the energy from saging, incense, candles, praying over them, etc. I won’t go into detail about how to clear the energy from a new deck here, but there are probably lots of ways already listed online if a search is done.

The suggestions below are how to really connect with your deck and feel a intuitive connection with your deck in ways that you feel a strong bond with it.

Familiarity of a tarot or oracle deck is like coming home every time that you use it.

Connecting with it so that it feels as though it is a part of you.

Here are a few ways that you can use for connecting with a new deck:

  • Carry it everywhere:

Remember when you were a kid and you carried your favourite new toy everywhere you went? You can do that with you new tarot or oracle deck. If you have a backpack, purse or tote bag, you can carry your deck with you everywhere.

Not only is it great to just have it with you, you can do readings anywhere you want if you have the chance. Some readers can suggest always having a deck with you ‘cause you never know when you could be asked to do a reading on the fly (if you’re up for it.)

  • Sleep with it (but not like that):

I’ve read and heard that sleeping with your deck near your bed or under your pillow can help form a connection, but if you’re sensitive to dreaming and receiving messages intuitively at night, this method may keep you up at night or cause you to have a very light sleep making you more tired in the morning.

Again this is similar to carrying the deck everywhere you go, which can include also bed. You could also use the tarot or oracle deck in bed before you go to sleep to get quick messages and get acquainted with it.

  • Practice everyday:

If you really want to get connected with a new tarot or oracle deck, practice with it every single day. Just like when you were learning tarot in the beginning and studying every day (if you were like me), connecting with a new tarot deck is similar to learning a new language or at least a dialect of that language.

Practice, practice, practice. Remember to have fun and remember why you chose that deck and what you love about it.

  • Interview your deck:

Spreads can help you to get to know your deck and how it can work for you and what kind of questions or messages does it like to relay. Spreads like the ones found on Angelorum and Little Red Tarot can be helpful.

Some questions that you can ask and formulate into spreads could be:

– How can this deck help me?
– Is this deck ideal for: Mediumship, Shadow work, Soul work, Past life readings, Relationships / Love, Career, Everyday life?

  • Study each card carefully:

Analyse each card thoroughly, even though you may have quickly wanted to look at all the cards right away and dive right in, spend time looking at each card carefully and jot down your first impressions of each card. You may find you’ll look at the Eight of Pentacles or the Judgement card in a whole new light.

As much as I’ve been comfortable with my Rider Waite Smith tarot deck, I wanted to branch out and find a new deck to become my primary deck. I settled on The Wild Unknown Tarot which I’m trying to become more familiar with every day.

When I first got the deck, I was happy to get it (since I waited over two months), I found myself looking over at my RWS and feeling like I wanted to slip back into familiarity. Change can be scary and exciting at the same time.

Yet, as tarot readers, often we need to grow and expand and strengthen those intuitive muscles and look at something completely different; otherwise we may reach a plateau.

Forming a personal connection with your tarot or oracle deck can unlock and open your intuition deeply, to go deeper into the meanings of the cards and ourselves.

Some readers say that tarot is nothing more than paper and ink, that it’s the reader that gives it power, gives it “magick”, brings them to life to weave the past, present, future and the stories around it.

A connection with a tarot or oracle deck is a unique experience and for that, I’m thankful to be a part of it.


Card images from The Wild Unknown Tarot (box set – first edition) by Kim Krans, HarperElixir ©2016.
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The Shadow Self & Tarot



This blog post was inspired by a few things including how I’ve been evolving and growing on my spiritual path.

I recently read a post on The Numinous titled “Be the Dark: How to Embrace Your Shadow Side” which really made me agree with it and helped to articulate what I’ve been trying to word these past few months.  The author of the post talks about embracing her inner “dark worker,” a play on the word “lightworker” that is seen everywhere.

Another good post on this subject of Shadow Self is on Loner Wolf titled “Shadow Self: Embracing Your Inner Darkness,” which there is a test on Loner Wolf to see about your Shadow Self: How Dominant Is Your Dark Side? An interesting, fun and quick test to try.

As much as “light work” is needed in these troubled times and many people find comfort and security in the realm and discussion of angels, angel cards and angel tarot, there can be a shift in focus away from the shadow aspect that distracts us from the root of what we genuinely feel, say and do unconsciously, instictively and irrationally.

Sometimes we need to look into the shadow aspect: what really lies underneath everything can give us a better understanding what we think, say and do and why we do these things.

Another inspiration for this post was the Biz Goddess Quiz by Starlit Strategies. I took the test a few weeks ago and turns out that my Business Goddess is Hecate, the same as my matron goddess.

The more that I align myself with Hecate, the more that I needed to explore and accept the shadow self.

If you haven’t taken this quiz yet, try it out and see for yourself. The Biz Goddess Quiz helps you to align your business with the energy that you identify most with that is connected with a goddess.

Combining the previous mentioned posts, my personal study of Hecate and as the days grow shorter and darker as we progress further into autumn, I turn more inward to explore what goes on in the undercurrents that I’ve struggled to resolve over the years, only to have scratched the surface of my shadow self.


Lately, my husband has reminded me of my shadow self that comes out often. I’m not sure he really realises that’s what it is even though we’ve known each other for many, many years.

After many years together in a relationship and marriage, you let more and more of yourself come out because you feel comfortable with each other.

Yet, the side my husband sees of me is not a side many other people see of myself in real life – unless I’m pushed to a limit, then it comes as a surprise to others who least expect it from me.

This can be common for many people as we try to keep our shadow sides hidden.

This is why it’s called “the shadow” – we work really hard sometimes to keep it hidden and other times, we don’t even realise what it is.

The shadow self can be raw, dark and unbearably real and often remains as an unconscious aspect as we rather not look at why we do or say things irrationally or instinctively.

When I read from the blog post on The Numinous and Loner Wolf, I could relate to the feeling that most of the time we have to supress this “dark aspect” of ourselves in order to be more “light”. (However, just because you might not be dancing in sparkles and sunshine doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and a wry, wicked sense of humour.)

This feeling of supressing our darker aspects to be more “light” can be comparable to watching Animal from The Muppets trying to drum to a slow song then he can’t take it anymore, he goes “bananas” on the drums – and totally feels better afterwards.

Sometimes, you just have to feel your moods instead of trying to be what others expect you to be and be wild when secure to do so.

the moon tarotpugs pug tarot shadow self shadow side shadow aspect


Shadows thrive in the darkness, yet where there is light in one place, there must be darkness in another place.

Light can cast shadows, but can also illuminate the shadows. The unknown can lie in shadows, but can be discovered and brought into light.

Take for example, the Moon card in the Rider Waite Smith tarot. A wolf and dog howl at the moon, while a crayfish crawls from the murky waters. Some believe that the water is what lies behind the curtain of the High Priestess symbolic of the unconsciousness.

The crayfish (the shadow) emerging from the waters (the unconsciousness) is coming into the light of the moon between the wolf and dog, the wild and tame sides of ourselves.

The moon has always been associated with lunacy (the word derives from the Latin word “Luna” for “moon”) and the crayfish coming from the shadow aspect of the unconscious (the murky waters) can be seen as crazy, lunacy, irrationality and bewilderment.

The Moon card can be a symbol for the shadow aspect of the self emerging into the consciousness, creating confusion for ourselves and others around us, walking the fine line between our wild and tame selves.

I’ve seen books and cards making tarot less “scary”, which makes me wonder if we’re trying to lessen what is really underneath our shadows by not looking at them more closely.

Angel cards are beautiful to get positive, reaffirming messages, but if you really want to “get dirty” and “dig deep”, you’ll probably need a deck that will look at these issues. This can mean not getting the “sugar coated” treatment.

There are thousands of tarot and oracle decks for every type of reader and readings, finding the right deck for shadow work is just as important as asking the right questions to do shadow readings for yourself or others.

Readings on the shadow aspect isn’t easy, since many of us don’t want to admit our own faults and flaws. Most of the time we do things without realising we’re doing them; even when someone points out a flaw of ours, we may deny it since we don’t realise that it’s that bad or often.

Tarot can reflect this mirror image back to us, but we have to take a good look at ourselves and not deflect what we see.

Here’s some tarot and oracle decks (yes, a bit Halloween themed still) that I particularly like for the imagery and the feel of them that can be used to explore the shadow self with shadow work:

  • The Tarot of Vampyres by Ian Daniels – I saw this deck first on a Periscope by Diana at Modern Witchy Woman, but haven’t had the chance to get it myself yet. The messages that this tarot deck can be a bit more intense if you really read into it, but it can help to get to the bottom of matters that some may not want to look at.
  • Bohemian Gothic Tarot – I really like the imagery on this deck, however the prices on Amazon are really expensive for this deck, which I think is now out of print. Information on the deck can be found on the website for the deck (note: the website plays music automatically – I was wondering why when Spotify was playing “This is a Call” by Foo Fighters, it sounded weird like two different songs playing. Now I know.) Regardless, a beautiful deck.
les vampires tarotpugs oracle cards lucy cavendish pug tarot

Les Vampires by Lucy Cavendish oracle cards


It can be a healing moment to find out why we do what we do, say what we say, and think what we think. It’s about making peace with our shadow side, not ignoring this part of ourselves or shaming it.

If we can pinpoint what is unresolved or needing to be healed in the shadow self, why we do what we do, say what we say or think what we think, we can move forward more consciously about our actions and thoughts instead of reacting irrationally or blindly.

The shadow self can be misunderstood as well as dark goddesses, such as Cerridwen and Hecate, who depict these aspects of ourselves and humanity.

Some of us may shy away from these natural aspects of ourselves because we may feel they are “unnatural”, yet these are as natural as any other part of ourselves and in nature.

Tarot can be a divination tool to help explore the underlying causes and roots of our shadow self and understand ourselves better in order to bring more happiness, healthier relationships and career and much more to remove self-made barriers and blockages that we may be putting in our own way.

Working on the shadow self and tarot can be a long process that isn’t an easy one to go down that path and ask the questions that we may not want to hear the answers.

This is where the light side of ourselves needs to have the compassion and understanding to help us face these parts of ourselves and not ignore them.

Jungians caution that acknowledgement of the shadow aspect of oneself is a continuous process throughout life. This can be journey that digs deeper into the murky waters of our unconsciousness, yet the revelations of shadow work and tarot combined can be enlightening and life changing.

Much #puglove,
Stacey & the Tarot Pugs

Card images from Rider Waite Tarot ©1971 by U.S. Games System, Inc. All rights reserved.
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