Friday, August 29, 2008

Asking Tarot Questions

In crafting a Tarot question, I agree with Joan Bunning (“Learning the Tarot”). In three of her key points, she stresses to (1) accept responsibility, (2) keep your options open, and (3) be positive. For me, by remembering these particular “rules“, I receive the guidance of the Tarot more effectively.

A story of my family illustrates what happens when you are sloppy in creating your question. As a young man, my grandfather had to decide whether to return to Nova Scotia (Canada) or move to British Columbia. At the time, he was living in Manitoba. He asked the trains: “Should I go west or east?” When he arrived at the station, the west-bound train had just pulled out. The east-bound train was due shortly, so he took it. Years afterwards, he blamed the trains for his resulting bad luck and misery.

My grandfather did not accept responsibility for his situation. By asking a yes or no question, he ceded his authority to the trains. In my grandfather’s case, he did not wish to make the decision. Instead, he preferred to blame the trains. In accepting responsibility, you decide on your terms what to decide from the many choices that the Tarot presents.

In keeping your options open, you allow for multiple possibilities in solving your problem. In his question, my grandfather already knew the answer. He merely wanted the train to confirm it. If he had asked “why” instead of “should“, he would have had an array of choices. By limiting your options, you will receive an answer that is wrong for you.

Phrase your question in a confident manner, and you will set up a positive framework for your choices. Asking a negative question sets you up for failure. By being positive, you will have an attractive array of choices. Remember that the Tarot is a tool, that offers you its wisdom.


Copyright: Virginia Carper, Animal Teachers, 2008
Contact me for readings: animalteachers @

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tribes of Mythic Animals (1)

THE TRIBES OF THE FIRE: Immortal Guardians of Truth and Beauty

The Tribes of Fire are usually birds who are bound by fire. To be immortal like the Phoenix, Many will immolate Themselves. Because of their beauty and glorious song, the Tribes of Fire live in lonely isolated places. Alone, They spend their days honoring the Sun.

Friendly towards people, the Tribes of Fire will heal those who seek them with a loving heart. If you are kind, They may give you one of their feathers of flame. Use it when confronted by evil.


As a rule, the Tribes of the Heavens and Earth do not associate with people, and do not care what anyone thinks. When They choose to, a Member may aid a person in their task. However these Tribes remind always humans what the limits are. Facing a Member of the Tribes of the Heavens and Earth tests the depths of a person’s character. Some folks do not survive the meeting.

When we work with mythic animals, we widen our realm of possibilities and develop a new sense of worth. Our friendship with them will nurture our hopes and dreams, as well as, give us a greater reverence for all life. When we embrace their energy, we become conscious of the mystical in our lives. Finally, we align ourselves with the mythical world. We bring magick back into our lives.


Purchase my book "Mythic Animals!" from for $12.00 hardcover.

Copyright: Virginia Carper, 2008 Animal Teachers

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Working with the Tarot: Major Arcana and the Court Cards

(XII. Hanged Woman: Spider Woman)

For a month, I drew two cards each day from the “Animal Divine” Tarot deck. The cards I chose were from the Major Arcana and the Court Cards. I added the Court Cards to become better acquainted with them.

The King of Wands (Gama Sennin, Japanese) appeared at least four times a week. When I thought about this card, I focused on the toad sitting on His shoulder. Although the author said that the animal was a frog, I saw a toad, which is a predictor of future financial gains. My late father-in-law, an accountant, was known as “The Toad”. I see the King of Wands as him speaking to me about my finances.

For me, it was difficult to read traditional meanings for each card in this deck. Before I could understand the author’s meanings, I had to study each card. To read this Tarot deck, a grounding mythology is needed.

For example, The Tower (XVI) has Thunderbirds flying about. No tower was crashing. However, in mythology, Thunderbirds bring fierce winds and storms, tearing things apart. The Thunderbirds represented destruction.

The Chariot (VII) has Freya, the Norse Goddess, riding a boar. Again, this seems to be a departure from the traditional Chariot card. As a Goddess of passion and fertility, She moves people forward.

Copyright: Virginia Carper, Animal Teachers, 2008. Contact me at animalteachers @

Monday, August 18, 2008

Moby Dick: Whale Avenger

"Moby Dick p510 illustration" by A. Burnham Shute - Moby-Dick edition - C. H. Simonds Co. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons -
I was watching the movie "Moby Dick" starring Gregory Peck the other day. I was rooting for the whale. I kept thinking, "This whale is mad as Hell, and he's not taking it anymore. Enough with the whale killing. This White Whale is the Whale Avenger for all the murdered whales."

One of the most famous of Whales is Moby Dick of Herman Melville’s novel, “Moby Dick”. Besides being white, Moby Dick has a wrinkled forehead, large hump on his back, and a curved jaw with crooked teeth. This giant white Sperm Whale took revenge on the whalers, who hunted him.

Harpoons did not seem to hurt him. One of Moby Dick’s favorite tricks was to swim away as if he was fleeing, then suddenly turn on the whalers, and smash their boats. Moby Dick was based on an actual white Sperm Whale who lived near the island of Mocha off of Chile. Mocha Dick, the White Whale of the Pacific, had become known in the 1800s for his violent attacks on whaling ships. When He was finally killed in the 1850s, sixty year old Mocha Dick was toothless, blind, and had eighteen harpoons sticking out of his body.

Moby Dick’s Teachings Also Include: “Nor was it his unwonted magnitude, nor his remarkable hue, nor yet his deformed lower jaw, that so much invested the whale with natural terror, as that unexampled, intelligent malignity which, according to specific accounts, he had over and over again evinced in his assaults. More than all, his treacherous retreats struck more of dismay than perhaps aught else. ” – Copyright: “Moby Dick”, Herman Melville  

Moby Dick’s Wisdom Includes:
 Lessons of Aggression and Obsession
Taking the Initiative
For the teachings of Sperm Whales: Sperm Whale (opens in new window)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Wisdom of the Toothed Whales (Dolphins too!): Stable Relationships

Stable Relationships

One of the two groups of living Whales is Toothed Whales (Odontoceti). (The other group is Baleen Whales (Mysticeti).) Toothed Whales can be found in diverse environments ranging from deep oceans to muddy tropical rivers. This highly sophisticated group of Mammals includes Sperm Whales, Ocean Dolphins, and Porpoises. Beluga and Narwhal, the White Whales of the North, are also Odontoceti. The least known of Toothed Whales, Beaked Whales live in the deep oceans, where few people see Them. River Dolphins, another lesser-known Group, have colonized major river systems of Asia and South America.

Although most Toothed Whales have good vision, They all rely on echolocation (sending out sound signals and interpreting the echoes.) In their foreheads, Toothed Whales possess an organ called a melon, which acts as a sonar lens to focus sound. For example, Boto (Amazon River Dolphin) uses echolocation to find prey and to navigate in the murky Amazon River.

Unlike Baleen Whales, Toothed Whales live in stable social groups. They cooperate in hunts and help the sick Members of their Pod. Most live in matrilineal Pods, ruled by an old Matriarch. When They are grown, Male Toothed Whales will leave their Nursery Pod and join a different Pod. (However, Sperm Whale Bachelors travel in their own all-male Pod.) In their Pods, Toothed Whales learn hunting and language from their Mothers. Each Orca (Killer Whale) Pod has their own dialect that Orca Mothers teach their Calves. Meanwhile, Dolphin Mothers teach their Calves how to hunt with Sponges.

Using their click languages, Toothed Whales coordinate group activities, and plan hunts. A Pod of Bottlenose Dolphins will encircle a School of Fish, and herd Them to the shore. Sperm Whales will protect an injured Companion by gathering around Them in a flower formation known as “Marguerite”. An Orca at Marineland taught his pool Mates how to hunt Sea Gulls that fly in the area.

Because Toothed Whales live in stable families, They will support a sick Friend or defend a threatened Companion. Mothers pass their pod’s culture on to their Calves. Traveling and foraging, Toothed Whales form close bonds to hunt and play with. We can learn much about building and maintaining stable relationships from Toothed Whales.

Toothed Whale Family’s Wisdom Also Includes:
Helping Those in Need
Home Schooling
Mother-Child Love
Navigating in the Dark

Copyright: Virginia Carper, Animal Teachers, 2008

Monday, August 04, 2008

Whale Family: Nexus of Heaven and Earth

Nexus of Heaven and Earth

For thousands of years, Whales have captured people’s imagination. People have regarded Whales to be gods, guardians, sea monsters, sources of food, and living islands. From classical Greek mythology to modern day movies, the Family of Whales (Cetaceans) has played a major part in many stories. According to Christians, God sent a Whale to swallow Jonah. Narwhal and his long tusk became the basis of Unicorn legends of the Middle Ages. In the Amazon River basin, people speak of River Dolphins disguising Themselves as men to woo the local girls. Meanwhile, Herman Melville’s novel, “Moby Dick” describes Sperm Whale as the Lord of Demons and Chaos. In the modern era, people see Whales as friends like Flipper (a Bottlenose Dolphin) of movie and TV fame. And, other people regard Cetaceans as mystical representatives from earth’s ancient days or from distant star systems.

Alien yet familiar Animals, Whales are Mammals who have totally adapted to the ocean, which is a hostile environment to air breathers. Scientists believe that the ancestor for Whales was a fish-eating land Mammal, related to modern hoofed Mammals. Further DNA tests show that Whales are actually related to Cows and Camels.

Although people regard Whales as one generic creature, They are divided into two groups, that are not closely related to each other – Baleen (Mysticeti) and Toothed (Odontoceti). To grasp the difference between the two Groups of Living Whales, think of how closely Cows are related to Camels. Baleen Whales, the largest animals on earth, filter food through their baleen. Famous for their singing, Baleen Whales’ songs have been popular as music recordings. More social than Baleen Whales, Toothed Whales live in larger groups called Pods. Unlike Baleen Whales, Toothed Whales use echolocation to find their prey.

Individual Whale Species differ greatly from each other as well. Among Baleen Whales, Right Whales resemble big boats, while Fin Whales are shaped like cruisers. With their square heads, Sperm Whales (who are Toothed Whales) look like submarines. Baleen Whales have two blowholes, while Toothed Whales only have one. Right Whales produce a distinctive V Shape blow, and Sperm Whales’ blows slant forward and to the left.

Living in the ocean, which is both fatal and vital to people, Whales have become intermediaries between people and other worlds. With their forceful leaps to the sky and dives to the ocean’s depths, Whales become the nexus between heaven and earth. If you want to go between worlds, let Whales be your guide.

Whales’ Teachings Also Include:

"Oh, the rare old Whale, mid storm and gale
In his ocean home will be
A giant in might, where might is right,
And King of the boundless sea." --WHALE SONG.

“With a frigate's anchors for my bridle-bitts and fasces of harpoons for spurs, would I could mount that whale and leap the topmost skies, to see whether the fabled heavens with all their countless tents really lie encamped beyond my mortal sight!” – Copyright: “Moby Dick”, Herman Melville

Whales’ Wisdom Includes:
Holding a Vastness of Knowing, Feeling, and Remembering
Realizing the Magnificence in All Things
Nomads of the Sea
Being at Home in Hostile Environments
Dreaming Large
Rulers of the Boundless Seas
Providing Wonder in an Ordinary World

Copyright: Virginia Carper, Animal Teachers, 2008