Friday, 24 June 2011

Beneath the Oak signature spread

Introducing the Beneath the Oak signature spread

              3                   5
              2                                    6


1. Issue
2. Conscious
3. Unconscious
4. What to keep hold of
5. What to let go of
6. Direction to take

This is my signature spread of six tarot cards which gives a comprehensive view of your question and thoroughly explores the energies surrounding you at this time. Why not book yours today at

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Its a kind of magic

Many clients ask me how the tarot works, usually after a reading when they are pleasantly shocked at the accuracy of it. My honest answer is that I don't know. There are many theories of course but to me its a kind of magic.

A case in point was a client who recently returned to me for a further three card reading. I laid the cards and two were the same as they had been in her first reading. The cards had not been listened to and here they were again to reiterate their message. The client advised me that she had not wanted to accept the message from the cards as to let go of a damaging relationship was still painful to her. With the cards coming up again she felt more confident in feeling strong enough to make the break that was best for her.

How does this work? The same two cards in two separate readings despite extensive shuffling of the deck? A kind of magic indeed and it will never cease to amaze me how accurate (and persistent!) the cards are.

Monday, 20 June 2011

How much information should you give a tarot reader?

This is something I have been pondering in recent times. I do not believe that the Tarot can predict the future. Humans are such dynamic creatures that one decision can change the life path and thus the future. I do believe that the tarot can thoroughly explore the issues surrounding a querent and assist them to make informed and considered decisions.

Many tarot readers pride themselves on asking just for a name and a question. Sometimes they may also ask for a birth date. Querents also tend to expect only to give this very basic information. It’s as if the tarot reader needs to ‘prove’ their fortune telling ability (assumed or otherwise) by having as little information about the querent as possible. I am asking myself now how helpful this really is.

Can you imagine going for therapy and just giving your name and birth date? Or going to a solicitor, doctor or citizens advice bureau etc and just giving this small amount of information? It wouldn’t work and it is my belief that it hampers tarot readings when the reader does not have more information. If a querent wants to get the most out of a reading then at the very least I believe that a summary of their situation is helpful to the reader. This enables the reader and querent to work closer together and more in depth.

Come and join the debate at or post a comment here! I would be very interested to hear what others have to say about this. 

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Lines and Squares

 I came across this old favourite today and it really made me smile. How wonderful is the imagination of a child? Does anyone else remember avoiding the lines when walking on the pavement?

Lines and Squares by A A Milne

Whenever I walk in a London street,
I'm ever so careful to watch my feet;
And I keep in the squares,
And the masses of bears,
Who wait at the corners all ready to eat
The sillies who tread on the lines of the street
Go back to their lairs,
And I say to them, "Bears,
Just look how I'm walking in all the squares!"

And the little bears growl to each other, "He's mine,
As soon as he's silly and steps on a line."
And some of the bigger bears try to pretend
That they came round the corner to look for a friend;
And they try to pretend that nobody cares
Whether you walk on the lines or squares.
But only the sillies believe their talk;
It's ever so portant how you walk.
And it's ever so jolly to call out, "Bears,
Just watch me walking in all the squares!"

Fairy Tales and Tarot

One of my favourite decks is Lisa Hunts Fairy Tale tarot. I remember well my compendiums of fairy stories from when I was a child. I loved the rich illustrations that enabled my imagination to run wild alongside the words.

I am writing an article at the moment for inclusion in to TABI’s (Tarot Association of the British Isles) magazine regarding how Fairy Tales can inform and empower tarot readings. I hope that readers will find the subject as fascinating as I do!

Friday, 17 June 2011


My Tree Oracle Card for the day is Oak. This is a stunning card that I can really enter in to. The colours are the muted greens and browns of the depth of the forest. In the branches we see the head of the green man with his proud antlers beckoning you to come forward. His smile is enigmatic and mysterious. 

The message of the Oak card is:

The source of the life force
Nourishes your deepest roots
With vitality, will and power
Make the world your own!
But soft, hear the secret of success
Care for those in need
Bring tenderness where emptiness once ruled.

Oak brings us confidence and strength in body and mind. We can fight if we need to and also protect those whom we love. With the blessing of Oak we can do this with great integrity. Without the blessing of oak we are help hostage by fear, lethargy and exhaustion. If we are totally cut off from Oak, darkness and depression ensue: lies and betrayal follow.

Thursday, 16 June 2011


This is the first time I have used this deck and the card I pulled was Rowan.

Habit threatens
Social masks and routines paralyse
The River Dries up.
Listen! Do you hear the call?
Follow your inspiration
And day by day you will
Step in to the flow of creation.

I have a Rowan tree in my garden. I saw it on eBay years ago and when it arrived I did not think it would survive. I potted it up and took care of it. It is now over 6ft tall and thrives at the bottom of my garden. I always smile when I see it, my little waif tree.

I love the message of this card and it fits how I feel at the moment perfectly.

New Tree Angel Oracle

Its raining here thankfully - the garden was getting rather desperate and I know the farmers will be glad of it. So am sitting in my little office and the postman has just delivered the Tree Angel Oracle.

It consists of 36 illustrated cards, with written guidance, in book form, to accompany the cards. Each card depicts a particular species of tree. From a look through of the cards they are truly beautiful. The colours are vibrant and the images are powerful. I will look forward to getting to know this deck! 

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

The Hermit and 'standing in stone'

The tarot card I drew for today is The Hermit from my Tarot of Trees deck.

The card can appear at first to be very stark. The tree stands alone in a barren landscape. But to be alone is not the same as being lonely. This card reminds me of the need to step back inside myself and reflect on what it happening in my life. It reminds me to take time out to sort through my thoughts, feelings and emotions. The Hermit is a card that often comes out in a reading for me and I am not usually surprised to see it. It shows me that however confused things may seem that there is always a way forwards as signified by the lantern hanging from the tree. This enables us to value the wisdom of solitude when needed and to achieve ‘illumination’ regarding our situation.

So if you feel the need for some time alone, don't be afraid to take it. This could be anything from a quiet half hour in your garden or local park to a more significant stepping back for a period of time. You should find that having stood still for a while you will emerge refreshed and rejuvenated. A friend once referred to it as ‘standing in stone’ and I think this describes it perfectly. How about you?

The trees have faces!

One thing I love to do as I walk in the forest is to look for faces!

Some trees are just so full of faces and characters, with every expression you could ever hope to imagine. And not just faces but whole body forms, be it human or animal or sometimes even both!

Next time you walk among the trees see how many faces you can see. Children particularly love this game and will often win as their imaginations are not constrained by adulthood.

Happy spotting!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The night I saw a Dryad

I saw a Dryad once. That may seem quite an outrageous statement but it is true. It may be worth noting that I have been an engineer all my adult life and so have been trained to see only the ‘rational’, ‘explainable’ and ‘logical’.

Whilst on a working one night by an Oak tree I looked up and there she was looking at us loftily from the top of the trunk. She was not spiteful or threatening but she looked like one of those women who would meet with 'girlie' friends and say “Can you believe what she was wearing?!” Not contemptuous but direct and to the point. She was amazing and totally unfazed by our presence there. Its so hard to explain if you hadn't seen her.

I wish I could put in to words how I felt after this. I remember walking away from the working down the hill. Looking behind this oak tree was lit up from root to tip and yet no other light shone on nearby trees nor were there roads of houses anywhere nearby.

Of course after the event I tried to convince myself that I had imagined it, that llights must have been shining from a distant road or house. Yet I cant explain her no matter how hard I try. I know she was real.

It was an encounter I will never  forget for the rest of my life.

The Magic of Trees

I have loved trees since I can first remember. I grew up in Cambridge and we would often go and visit ‘The Gogs’ and Cherry Hinton Hall. The trees fascinated me and I well remember tracing my fingers over the bark wondering what they would say if only knew how to listen. I am now lucky enough to live near Weald park in Essex and there are some truly amazing trees there. My favourite is a stately old ok which was once struck by lightning. The trunk is almost hollow where it burned and yet the tree flourishes. You can stand inside it and just feel the power it emanates.

I have many tarot decks (yes, you could call it an addiction!) but if I had to pick one deck to take to a desert island it would be my Tarot of Trees. For those who love lots of symbols and detailed layers this may not be the deck for them. Its colours are simple as are the card designs themselves. Yet whenever I look at the cards they convey a profound message and some of my best readings are done with this deck. It is certainly the simplest deck I own and yet it speaks to me in a way that I have not encountered with any other deck.

I used to think “If only trees could talk” but now I am a little wiser I think “If only we could stop and listen to what they have to say”.

A new beginning

Just when I think I have got the hang of all this technical stuff I find I am wrong. This is my first blog post in the whole world ever!

Tarot reading is a passion of mine which is why I started Beneath the Oak ( As well as reading for other people I use the tarot as a self development tool and a very effective one it is too!

I will be posting my musings on tarot and life here as often as I can think of something to say! I hope that you enjoy my blog and thank you for visiting :-)