It’s not every day that you get to write a book, not one that gets published. And it’s not every day that you become friends with an eminent and highly respected Tarot reader and author. But that’s exactly what happened to me.
I met Paul Hughes-Barlow online through his Supertarot website and we wrote a book together – Beyond the Celtic Cross: Secret Techniques for Taking Tarot to an Exciting New Level.
Not wanting this to be your standard promo – I thought it would be a great idea to take you behind the scenes to the creation of our book. So instead of beyond it, I’m going to take you behind it, and back to February 14th – Valentines Day, 2008.
I had just been blown off by my ex. He had someone new in his life, and while I was happy for him, he was now suddenly unavailable to me even for a chat, at his request. I respected that, but this event got me thinking that perhaps it was time I too opened my mind to the thought of finding someone new. I vowed I never would after we broke up, as you do. I decided to ask the Tarot the scary question “Will I find the man of my dreams?”
Using the Celtic Cross spread, I quickly scanned the cards starting with the Final Outcome – yes! A knight! Good times. But oh, he’s reversed, and there’s another Knight in the Immediate Future. What did that mean? I was learning first hand that reading your own cards, about your love life, a very emotive subject, isn’t always the best move. I have to admit to being perplexed and I pondered the meaning of these two Knights for a couple of days with no clear indication of who, or what they represented. Time to call the cavalry.
Enter Paul Hughes-Barlow
I had been a frequent visitor to Paul’s website and had followed his lessons on Elemental Dignities, which I felt I had gained a handle on, though I knew I hadn’t learnt to fully apply the technique to my own tarot readings. Card Counting though was mystifying and I didn’t really get it. I knew there was magic going on with this technique, but I didn’t understand it all.
Suddenly, I had an idea, and a bold one for me at the time; ‘why didn’t I contact Paul and ask him to read my tarot spread?’ Eek, the idea was a little terrifying at the time, and Paul and I have since laughed at my patheticness back then!
Still, if anyone could help, he could. I had long admired his work and so I checked Supertarot to see how to contact him and how much it would cost. £30 for half an hour. Well, this wasn’t a telephone reading, but I presumed half an hour would be all he would need. I checked my bank balance online – £32 available. Isn’t life something? Damn, if ever I needed to take a risk, it was now. So I did – I boldly went where I never thought I would. I emailed Paul, extremely nervously, and asked him if he could re-read my cards.
I waited with bated breath until he confirmed he had received my payment and then for his assessment of my cards. I actually paced the floor for about 2 hours, checking my inbox every 5 minutes until his email came through. He predicted a new man in my life, but I wanted to know more. Bold as brass, I asked if it was possible to re-read these cards, this Celtic Cross spread and reading, using the techniques he taught on his website:
Moving Beyond the Celtic Cross
Paul will admit to not using the Celtic Cross for many years in his own tarot practice and felt a little bored by my original request. With his interest now pricked, we set about dissecting, counting, comparing, deciphering and re-reading my original tarot reading using all of the techniques he promotes. We did this through email and it took us about 10 days, by which time a friendship had taken root – which is a good job because I was a stroppy mare at times. I didn’t always understand everything and felt frustrated.
Paul though, is just Paul, unaffected by stroppy mares and waited patiently for the proverbial pennies to drop. When they did, it was a magical experience. I finally understood the methods and the techniques, it all just clicked into place.
Beyond the Celtic Cross: Secret Techniques for Taking Tarot to an Exciting New Level is the whole process of me learning to understand and apply Elemental Dignities, Card Counting and Pairing.
You get front row seats to all that deciphering, the dissecting and the penny dropping – but best of all, you get to do it too. Pull out your favourite Tarot deck and lay out the cards from my reading and follow what we did and watch your own penny drop. This is a step by step process, a walk through in understanding and applying these techniques.
You also get a decent look into my mind, my thoughts and the visions and dreams that occurred while working so closely with Paul. This was a life changing experience for me, it can also be one for your tarot practice too.