8 Great Books for Tarot 

Personal Tarot Book Recommendations

I have selected my favorite books for tarot. If you are just beginning to learn the tarot,
I suggest you start with the first on the list, and make your way down.

Every Day Tarot: A Choice Centered Book by Gail Fairfield
Level: Beginning to Advanced

“Every Day Tarot” is the new (in print) version of my favorite tarot book, “Choice Centered Tarot”. In my humble opinion, you can’t find better information in a tarot book anywhere. It’s my favorite tarot book and has been for many years. I like the different approach it takes, stressing intuition & addressing symbolism and numerology, rather than just rote meanings of the cards. One of my most valued tarot books, I use it for my classes, and after twenty years, I still pull this book out as a trusted reference.

Tarot for Yourself: A Workbook for Personal Transformation by Mary Greer
Level: Beginning

I recently added this book onto my list. I can’t say it’s one of my favorite books, but I do like the workbook aspect of it for people who are just beginning. It’s not a book I would recommend for intermediate or advanced readers (who have probably already read it anyway.)

“Tarot Spreads and Layouts” by Jeanne Fiorini
Level: Beginning to Advanced

I’ve always heard, `you can’t tell a book by it’s cover,’ and this book is indeed, evidence of that. When I first received it, it didn’t `pop out’ to me. With not a lot of contrast, some of the text even got a little lost to me.

The text on the inside, however, is a far different story. This book has, by far, some of the best information on tarot I’ve ever laid my hands on. I do have to admit that I have a slight bias towards the author only because in reading her book, it seems as though she and I have very similar reading styles and values, but that aside, what impresses me most about “Tarot: Spreads and Layouts” is the fact that the content is not the common information you find in most books on the topic.

Since the book is essentially broken into two sections: the informational section and the spread section, let’s start with the informational section, which packs a punch in it’s short, first 33 pages of the book.

It’s the type of information and insight that you usually get in a class rather than a book. Ms. Fiorini clearly has taught a few classes in her time and has cleanly and clearly translated that into the content of this work in a way that is easy to read and easy to understand. Most importantly, it is the type of information that we all should have learned when we were beginners, but most of us have only learned through practicing the craft for decades.

In that, this book is ideal for semi-beginners, intermediate and advanced readers alike. This is not a beginning book that starts with the bare bones of deck structure and suits, but it is one in which beginners will learn the right way to read, from the ground up. Intermediate students will excel more quickly. And even though the sub-title indicates otherwise, I believe advanced practitioners can find useful information that they, themselves, can apply not only in their readings but in classes that they may teach, as well.

The spreads section is also unique. It doesn’t just give a list of the same spreads you see in every tarot book, it gives a multitude of questions, insights and options about simple spreads that even long time readers may not have thought about.

In a day and age when there are a million and one books on tarot out there, one has to find a new angle for a book on the topic to be worthwhile. Ms. Fiorini has done so, and given us a great resource in the process.

Tarot Journaling by Corrine Kenner
Level: Beginning to Advanced

This is a wonderful book. Inspired by the book “The Artist’s Way,” Kenner has some wonderful ideas for all different types of journaling. I think it’s a must have for tarot readers of all levels of experience.

While “Tarot for Yourself” took you through the cards in a workshop experience, Tarot Journaling, opens you up to your own insights and impressions.

Pictures from the Heart: A Tarot Dictionary by Sandra A. Thomson
Level: Beginning to Advanced

This book is a must have for any person who is serious about learning the Tarot. While I traditionally eschew books which simply list of meanings of the cards, this book is so much more with respect to symbolism and understanding.

I would just caution beginners, however, to not become reliant on the information in this book. Learn how to read first. Then use this as a reference only.

Power Tarot: More Than 100 Spreads That Give Specific Answers to Your Most Important Question by Trish Macgregor
Level: Beginning to Advanced

This book has got a lot of good spreads in it, categorized by number of cards used. It has the card interpretations for each card, which normally I don’t find useful, but I like the way it separates it into how to interpret the cards for different situations in a reading: ie, work, relationships, etc. It also has some really good general tarot information interspersed throughout the chapter headings. Well worth it.

“Designing Your Own Tarot Spreads” by Teresa Michelsen
Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Sometimes we, or a querent, has a question that is a little more specific than many of the spreads we use on a daily basis. This is a great book if you are ready to start designing your own spreads for those occasions. It also has some very good pre-made spreads in it.

“Understanding The Tarot Court” by Mary K. Greer
Level: Intermediate & Advanced

I’ve been reading a long time and have never had particular problems with the court cards, but this book has opened up a lot of new ways for me to relate to them.

Not everyone will be interested in every chapter, it is rather diverse, but the information is so thorough, even without those very advanced chapters, I think any serious student of the tarot will find it a valuable resource.

Sadie, Angels, Guides and Timing

This week, my husband and I are on vacation. We went away and had a wonderful time in Julian and are taking a few days for ourselves here. Yesterday, we went to the library and had a lot of fun looking up the genealogy of my family. My grandmother’s name was Sadie. We spent the better part of the day doing that.

SadieToday we did some shopping, came home to settle in for dinner with the cats, when out of the blue, an adorable chocolate lab, probably 80-100 lbs, with a greying muzzle, showed up at our screen door. Let’s be clear. This was not an animal who was investigating, looking here, looking there, this was a dog that came right up to our door and stood there as if to say, “I’m here.”

The sweetest dog you can imagine, she followed me into the back yard as my husband frantically worked to get the cats into the bedroom so they wouldn’t see him, as that would not have been the road to harmony in our cat-driven household.

This beautiful and muscular dog, was as calm and compliant as any dog I have ever encountered. Once we corralled the cats and set down some water for her, her being secured in the back yard, we ventured out into the neighborhood for the first order of business, to borrow a leash and collar. The neighbors across the street were happy to oblige.

It was a quarter to five, we had just enough time to rush her to the vets to see if she was chipped. As if she knew us and had done it a million times before, she jumped into the back seat of the truck, laying down to brace herself with every turn, like a pro. On the way, we tried to call Rancho Coastal Humane Society,rchs a non-kill shelter I used to volunteer at doing Reiki. We kept asking Siri to find it, but she couldn’t understand us. I resolved to ask the vets to call them immediately to ask them to stay open, pending our findings, but upon walking in, they scooted us into an air conditioned room (I’m sure the dog loved this on this 95 degree day) and I completely forgot. I was just glad to be there as the vet tech went out to get the chip scanner.

We were elated to hear they found an Avid chip, but that elation quickly changed to sigh, when we discovered that the chip had never been properly registered. They did find the name of the vet’s office who inserted the chip and called, but they stopped using Avid roughly 5 years ago and had no record of the dog’s person or people. We only knew the vet’s office was a good, 40-50 miles away.

It now was five minutes after five o’clock. The Rancho Coastal was now closed. The vet techs suggested the county animal shelter, which was open until 5:30pm but, for us, that is not an option. Before we left, the vet techs graciously gave us some dog food, but we were in a bind. One of our cats could have dealt with having a dog in the back yard, but the other one, not so much. He has severe PTSD from years of construction work on the house, preceded by several traumatic moves, and traumatic hospitalizations. This was not going to fly.

And it didn’t. When we got home, both cats were upset, not only from being locked up .. for the second time this day .. in a very hot house, but my PTSD baby, Makana,DSC01836 was beside himself. He knew something was going on, he just didn’t know what. We were getting home just around their dinnertime.

While I frantically made calls to lab rescue organizations (one which was closed, the other refused to help) and anyone I knew who might know someone who could take a dog for the night, my husband went out and fed our new found friend. He then rushed in to feed the cats, so that we could take her on a walk, hoping she could show us where she lived.

I’m not sure why I felt we needed to turn left out of the driveway, but I did, and so did she. As we ventured off, I asked my spirit guides to help us find her people. We went up and down talking to people, asking if they knew her. Some very helpful, some complacent. One couple was very interested and helpful, pointing out houses where they knew there were dogs. The interesting thing is, this information was salient in our directional decision-making.

We went to the first place, a woman named Jenn was very concerned, but didn’t know the dog. So we turned around and went the other way towards the other house we had heard there were dogs. Both my husband and I had the feeling that the dog was from around the neighborhood and hadn’t been out very long. She was clearly well taken care of, and you could tell she had recently had on a collar. As we did an about face, Michael said that he felt we should be turning to the right of our house. I said fine, but we should go across the street and around the corner first for this lead on the ‘house with lots of dogs’, thinking that they would know more dogs in the neighborhood.

As the dog ‘walked my husband’ on one side of the street, I went door to door several houses, and was subsequently pointed elsewhere. I met one woman, Jane, also very concerned who said she would have taken her for the weekend, but was already pet sitting another animal.

As I crossed back across the street, where Michael was waiting with the pup on the corner, I said, “Let’s go down this street and circle back around.” My thinking was we would hit the direction my husband wanted to go on the backside. (I came to find out he didn’t really understand my thinking because his thought was “Why would we go down *this* street?)

We tried another house, to no avail. Our anxiety rose, knowing how difficult it would be for us to look after her for the night. I said, ‘let’s cross to the shady (i.e.: cool) side of the street.’ (Again, we’re in a heat wave situation here, which didn’t make things any easier.)

cazaderoAs we were crossing the street, the dog came up to me but I didn’t notice. Michael said, “She’s trying to get your attention.” I told her, “I”m sorry, sweetie, we’re going to find your mommy and daddy.” All of a sudden, we saw a woman, in a half frantic, half “are my eyes seeing what I think I’m seeing’ state, coming towards us. She called out something, but neither of us heard what she said. Our hearts skipped a beat. All at once, the both of us called out, “Do you know this dog???” She came running over and said, “Yes! She’s my daughter’s dog! We’ve been driving around looking for her for hours!”

She ran in the house to get her daughter, who was visiting from Orange County (40-50 miles away.) The sense of relief on everybody’s part was palpable. Not the least of which, my cats. “Sadie” was safely home with her people and all was right with the world.

Why, now, did I find this story interesting enough to write a blog post on it? I’ve found and reunited animals many times, even ones seemingly through divine intervention, but none to the extent of this. Let’s summarize:

• Sadie walked straight up to our door as if she had lived here for years.

• She got into our car and related to us as if she knew us from birth. (These two things alone helped us understand that there was no question this was a ‘meant to be situation’)

• We asked Siri to connect us to Rancho Coastal, but she couldn’t understand us. I resolved to have the vets call the minute we got there to have them stay open for us, just in case, but forgot, even though I said I would do so, not two minutes before walking in.

• If we had not turned the direction we turned, met the people we met, been given the ‘tips’ we had been given to turn around, talked to the people we talked to for a specific amount of time, and then turned down a street that my husband didn’t even understand going down at that specific moment we would have missed this woman. 2 minutes either way and we would have missed her seeing us walking down the street with Sadie. She was about to get into her car to drive around again, and the way the houses are situated, with no windows looking out on the street, there’s no way her daughter would have seen us pass by.

• Sadie (my grandmother’s namesake, who we had spent a day searching for the day before) had her guardian angels working overtime today.

• My spirit guides worked overtime hearing my request for assistance.

• And coming back around to Sadie just walking up to the screen door as if she knew us, as if she had been told exactly where to go and who to trust, is the defining image I will have in my mind. I’ve never seen anything like it, when I walked out the door, she, without a collar, just walked with me into the back yard as if it were hers.

candle-starfilterWe were suppose to get a visitor tonight. Sadie was suppose to find the two people who she knew would not, could not, ignore or shoo her, but resolve to do whatever it took to find her people and get her home safely. Mission accomplished. All is right with the world. Thank you Sadie for bringing your energy into our lives, thank you spirit guides for helping us find her people, to the minute, and thank you Sadie’s guardian angels for sending her to a home of love and commitment to animals. And, sure, while we’re at it, thank you Grandma Sadie. I never knew you, but somehow it feels like this was a little shoutout from the other side.

The moral of this story is twofold: Trust your instincts to understand when you are the vehicle for divine intervention, no matter how inconvenient it may be for you at the time. There just may be a lost soul that you are intended to help. Secondly, make sure to chip your animals, and if they are chipped, make sure that the information is up-to-date. The amount of agony that will save on everybody’s part will be immeasurable.

Lisa Larson is an Animal Communicator, Medium and Reiki Master.
You can find her at Pawstalk Animal Communication & Reiki

ASK CAAT: Shelters, Dogs and Breeds

Someone asks:

How would you choose a shelter dog? What do I have to consider besides the sex of the dog? My dog is a male, and [we] would like to have another male, but since i found out that another male would be bad idea, we are now thinking what traits should we search in a dog. I ask about a breed, because you kind of know what traits the breed has…

We could adopt a purebred dog as we will likely know how she will behave… or if we decide to have a mixed-breed [sic], how should we pick one? Is there any way we can know if this dog will be a good companion for our Dobie?

Also, if we adopt a purebred dog, what breed has a similar way of living as a Dobie? Because if i put, for example, a basset hound with a doberman, I think it might not be a good combination….. What would you recommend? 🙂

Thanks for the question.

While I understand that breeds may have some commonalities, I am in the camp that they are just generalities. Having spoken to just about every breed I can think of, I cannot say that every time I’ve spoken to a specific breed, they have all the same traits. I’m Jewish, (by nationality) for instance. So, It would be like saying, “All Jewish people have this trait.”

Of course, we know that not to be true in all cases with humans, so just like dog breeds, we are not guaranteed to get that specific trait just because we get that specific breed.

Their upbringing, genealogical line, and socialization are a tremendous influence, as well.Pi How many times have you heard that Pit Bulls are dangerous dogs? Well, they can be if they are taught to be that way, (either intentionally or unintentionally) so can chihuahuas. It’s just that Pit Bulls are strong so a lot of people get them to abuse in that way. The same was said about Dobermans in the 80s. And German Shepards before that. And Rottweillers somewhere in there as well. Pit Bulls are just this generation’s ‘mean dog’. However, if we are talking about breed traits, Pit Bulls are one of the most gentle, family-oriented dogs around. So you can’t just rely on breed and have the expectation that you know what you will get.

I am also in the camp that the same can be said about pure bred dogs. I cannot tell you how often I have had clients call me and say, “I got a pure bred because I thought I would have no problems, but … I’m having this problem.” They may not have all the same problems of a shelter dog, but problems nonetheless. For one thing, you can never be sure, even with reputable breeders, how the animals were treated, or if there were other factors involved.

I spoke with one purebred Doberman who was having aggression issues with dogs. It turned out to be a past life issue! She got much better after the conversation, but my point is, there are just too many variables to think that you know what you are going to get with purebreds. (Besides, purebreds generally have more health issues. Check out this video:)

That said, if you do want a specific breed, let’s tackle that. There are rescue organizations that specialize in nearly every type of breed. So check your area for it when and if you decide on a specific breed. That way, you are both getting your breed, and saving a life.

Whooo. Okay, let’s move onto rescue organizations. (Sorry you asked, now, aren’t you.) 😉 Before I forget, be aware that there are probably more rescue organizations in your area than you are aware of. Most people think it’s just the Humane Society, because they are the most well known. But, for instance, where I live, we have tons of them, that I would never have known about except for that I have either spoken to some of their rescues, or my clients tell me where they got their pups. (We even have one organization who goes down to Baja, Mexico, rescues dogs and brings them back to San Diego. It’s an awesome organization.)

Ok. I agree with possibly getting a female. Again, however, this is not a hard core guarantee. They say that about cats, too, and I live in testosterone valley! Of course, when we brought our youngest into the house, he was just a baby, So, I don’t know how old your guy is, but you might consider getting a puppy, if you can handle it. Depending on your pup’s personality he or she might become very maternal or paternal towards the puppy. Not a guarantee, but a thought.

If it were me, I would go to a reputable rescue organization and not only meet the doggies, but talk to the people there. They work with the doggies every day. They can tell you not only about that breed you’re looking at, they can tell you about *the dog.* They know what his or her personality is. They walk them every day. They feed them every day. They sit and play with them every day. That, I believe is your absolute best bet in finding a dog that has the traits you are looking for.

dog being adoptedFurthermore, I’m not completely certain, but I think … I think … that a lot of rescue organizations might have the option of you allowing the dogs to meet, so they know they get along. I’m not sure about this, but I seem to remember a client telling me this about when she got a dog, so it’s worth at least asking. Hey, look. They want your dog to get along with anyone you adopt. They want that adoption to be forever, too.

The last little thing I will mention is, I don’t know if you’ve ever adopted a dog from a shelter before or not, but once you do, you will probably never again want to buy a pure bred dog. The level of satisfaction you have for saving a life of someone who has had such a terrible one is indescribable. I spoke with one dog in spirit, we were talking about adoption. He said, in effect, “Humans adopt us and take care of our physical needs. In return, we take care of their spiritual needs.” I found this statement so profound, and of course, doing what I do for a living, I certainly know it to be true.

You will never have a more rewarding experience or relationship with an animal than one to whom you are adopting because you want to do it for them, rather than doing it for what you will get out of the deal. Ironically, in return, they will give you so much back.

I’m so glad you asked the question. I hope you will post back and let us know what you decided and all about your new little addition to the family. I have clients who have pairs or packs of dogs that go from the large to small. They play, they love, the large ones seem to instinctively have an understanding about the size and how to be careful when playing.

I think go to the rescue, and allow yourself to let go of thinking so hard about it. Meet some dogs, find the one that chooses you, and check to see that she or he will get along with your pup, through either talking to the volunteers, or doing a meet and greet with your dog, then the universe will have put together the perfect family. 🙂

Good luck with it, sweetie. Can’t wait to hear about your new family member. 🙂

Lisa Larson is an animal communicator and reiki master. You can find her at

Perspective on my Reading with John Edward

by Lisa Larson

evolveI recently had the good fortune to be unexpectedly interviewed by John Edward on his membership show, Evolve. (I have asked for permission to share the segment but have not yet gotten response. I’m hoping to hear back from them soon. It’s no longer available through Evolve.) However, because of this unexpected interview, where I was suppose to have had an on-air reading, I was blessed to get a private reading from him instead.

As many of you know, I am an animal communicator, and a psychic medium myself. I love doing both. When taking an advanced mediumship class with Lisa Williams, I realized not only how much I love doing mediumship, but also wanted to make sure that my mediumship did not interfere with my profession working with animals. There was, in fact, a part of me that wondered if I should be doing just one or the other.

I became a medium because I woke up and literally heard a voice in my head tell me, “You need to become a medium and a healer.” This was at a time when I had no particular connection to or knowledge of either. It’s not like I had just lost someone in my life and become enamored with mediums or anything, I knew nothing about energy healing, I just simply heard the voice in my head. (In fact, when I told John Edward about it, he said, “Oh, okay. I get it. I get it. It’s like being anointed by the mafia. You’re in it for life.”)

And that was the crux of my dilemma. Even though my animal communication practice was taking off, and I love doing it, I wondered if I should be setting the mediumship aside. But I just couldn’t go against, the “Godfather’s” wishes. 😉

When I was having my reading with John, we talked about this. John is not so hot on the number of people he sees jumping on the bandwagon to learn mediumship because they’ve seen him as a TV personality, not understanding the true significance of the craft. I’ve read this in one of his books, and our conversation played that out. (I believe he thought I might be one of those people, before I explained how I got into it.)

There’s nothing about mediumship that I equate with fame and fortune. When I was a professional musician, I dreamed of that, of course. That’s what musicians do. With mediumship – not so much. In some ways, it seems far too personal. Not that I don’t want personal success in my field, it’s just kind of an odd concept to me for what I do.

We talked about the importance of having a specialty, and in all honesty, I agree with him. (I do, of course, understand people needing to make ends meet. They need to offer what they can if they are legitimately qualified. After all, I did tarot for 30 years, so I still teach classes now and again, and still do an occasional reading for my loyal clients who understand how I use tarot and are not looking for me to ‘tell their future.’) But the conversation stuck with me. “Why would I have been ‘told’, in no uncertain terms,” I’ve asked myself, “to follow this path if it were not the path I was suppose to be on?

Having the reading with John was eye opening for me, not only for the reading itself, but for the auxiliary things I have gained from it since. He was every bit as accurate as I would have expected.

dad in uniform(I do wish I had told him I specifically wanted to hear more from the other side, because I really did want to primarily hear from my dad, and feel a little bad that I ‘missed my chance.’ I know, however, I probably got exactly what I was suppose to have. Not to mention that even mediums get ‘psychic amnesia’ when their getting read. He kept mentioning a “P” name and I can’t believe I didn’t tell him it was my cat, ‘Puma’ who was with my dad.) :-p

That aside, in the reading, I learned some great things confirming personal stuff in my life, and some hopeful things about my practice. But what I learned from the experience itself, was so much more.

For one thing, through the years, I’ve learned an awful lot from watching John Edward work. He’s always been my favorite medium, because I feel he has a sense of grounded-ness and ethics that I identify with in my own personal and professional life. That was confirmed for me in the conversation we had, which was a real treat, talking to someone with a ‘professional colleague’ tone to it, which I don’t have much of, because I don’t know that many mediums with similar points of view.

It was interesting to me being on this side of the reading because, while my ultimate goal is always to be as good of a medium as him, my goal has never been to be a carbon copy of him. (Always shoot for the moon, otherwise we limit ourselves). Yet, until I was on this side of the reading, I wasn’t sure how my style really differed, or if I had gotten to that point in my professional development where I had even developed my own style. It was kind of cool to see that I have.

Even though we both have our moons in Aquarius (which, according to him, allows a certain detachment when doing emotional readings) by his own admission, he is not an extraordinarily touchy-feel-y person when he reads. Me? Eh-no. My readings consist of, of course, the evidence and the message, but I’m all about diggin’ down and dirty if that’s where people need to go.

Before he knew what I did for a living, he said, “You seem like a metaphysical person. It looks like you do some sort of counseling or motivating people.” That’s exactly right. Many of the readings I do end up with some real heart to heart exchanges. After my reading with John, I realized, “that’s okay, because that’s me.”

Since every reader filters through their own frame of reference, I have always believed that the universe guides people to the reader which will help them best. This reading drove that point home for me in a way that was very enlightening to my own style. For a long time I questioned whether it was ‘okay’, for instance, to show emotion with a client when one of their pets transitions, or to cry with them, (I feel I know a lot of these fur-kids after working with them for so long), but as many people have told me, ‘that’s what makes you, you.’

I just had lunch today with a mediumship client who I believe was able to find me for that very reason. I feel blessed to have been able to bring her father through in a very significant way. Furthermore, I was able to relate to a very specific situation in her life that her father brought through. It was a situation that many people may not have personal knowledge or awareness of. It doesn’t mean that another medium she might have found wouldn’t or couldn’t have brought her loved ones through, but for whatever reason, I believe, she was led to me because I had a specific frame of reference for what she was going through and what her dad was talking about.

Lisa-and-VidaI had thought about this woman after my reading with John for that very reason. When we had the conversation about having just one speciality, I had to ask myself again, ‘why was I chosen to do this, when I speak to animals so often?’ Thinking of this instance helped answer that somewhat, but what really drove the point home was a reading I had with a dog just a few days later.

I don’t even remember what behavior we were working to correct, what I do remember was that the woman’s mother and father would not let me talk to the dog until they said what they had to say. They came through by showing me a car fire and someone who had nearly died. The woman confirmed that her sister had been in a car accident where her car caught fire and she miraculously walked away. Her father came through to tell his daughter that he was there, that he helped her sister walk away from the accident. It was very important to him that she know this.

After we spoke to her parents, I was easily able to continue on with the conversation with the dog. It hadn’t occurred to me before this, however, the number of times a spirit comes through during a communication with a pet, but this instance showed me why I’m suppose to be both animal communicator and medium.

Just as the woman most-likely ended up with me because she and I had a common experience that enabled me to understand messages her father was giving her, I believe there are people who will come to me for their pets when there is also something important that they need to hear from their human loved ones on the other side. Many people will do anything for their pets, even if they are skeptical, but for whatever reason, they may not ever think of contacting a medium, so their pets do it for them.

Furthermore, while I might feel those energies if I were just an animal communicator, just as mediums might pick up animals when they are talking to human spirit, my ‘initiation’ into the ‘mafia’, serves a purpose, allowing me to add another level of connection when the situation calls for it. (That same week, I connected a dog with his departed human father, who was also the brother of the woman who called me, who is now the dog’s new person. So not only was I able to connect the woman to her brother as a medium, I was able to connect the dog to his dad as both a medium and an animal communicator.)

I know that this is not the path that most people take, nor should they try. In some ways, I didn’t really have a say. Once I began communicating with animals, there was no question I was on the right path. But for the mediumship, I knew I was suppose to be doing it, I just didn’t understand why, considering my work with the animals. So while I may not have really been able to hear from my dad in the way that I wanted to from John Edward (not that I needed proof, I just miss my dad) I probably got exactly what I needed, which is what this is all about.

I do believe that, like John Edward says, people get what they need, whether it be a personal message or through watching someone else get a reading. And I believe that they also get what they need by the universe guiding them to the people who might be able to ‘make the penny drop’ for them, for whatever reason, through whatever frame of reference.

My reading gave me some confidence and clarity on my purpose, which is why I was blessed to have been able to get a reading from him. I will always strive to be as accurate and as quick as he is, I will always strive to be the best I can possibly be, but I thank him for helping me accept and understand that my style is my style and, in that respect, I don’t have to strive to be anything else. Thanks John. 🙂

Releasing Patterns

John Edward ( recently wrote a wonderful newsletter on releasing patterns. I thought I would present the Huna view.

Patterns are defined by Webster’s as “a reliable sample of traits, acts, tendencies, or other observable characteristics…” Patterns influence our lives on a very deep level. cracked-dirtThey are an imprinted on our Kus (subconscious) as reactions or behaviors in a predicted way based on memories in the Ku, which is where our memories reside. Patterns are deeply ingrained memories.

Many patterns are good. How many times have you driven home, then realized you didn’t even remember driving the past 3 blocks. That is your Ku taking care of you. You have imprinted a pattern in your Ku which remembers how to get you home when your Lono (conscious mind) happens to wander off.

Some patterns, however, are not so helpful. Consider a pattern that may have been established in you as a child because of an abusive background or from watching imperfect caretakers. Imprinted on your Ku were patterns that helped you survive then, but may not be very helpful to your life now. Those are the patterns we’d like to change.

Since our Kus are very impressionable and cannot discern between reality and imagination (that is the Lono’s job) one way to change a pattern is to “re-pattern” the Ku. In the Huna tradition, we often use symbols. Ku loves symbols. So here’s a little exercise to help you re-pattern your Ku.

• Find a quiet, comfortable spot where you will not be disturbed. Turn of your phone, feed the cats.

• Think of the pattern you want to change.

• Sit quietly and start with ‘piko piko’. When you breathe in, focus on the top of your head. When you breathe out, focus on your belly button. Don’t try to push the energy, just let it flow. “Energy flows where attention goes” (Serge King) Do this several times until you are starting to feel relaxed.

• Once you start to feel a little more relaxed, start taking slow normal breaths. Close your eyes and imagine yourself on a path. As you start to walk forward, you see an entryway. It can look like what ever you want it to look like. It can be an archway of greenery, or a distressed gate.

• Walk through that entrance into a garden. What does the garden look like?
What does it sound like? What does it smell like? Are there trees? Water? What kind of ground is under your feet? Sand? Grass? Feel it under your feet. Scrunch your toes into it. Go over and touch what is in your garden. Feel the water flow through your fingers. Is it raining? Sunny? Feel it on your skin. Hear the wind rustling through the trees.


• Once you have established your garden, create a place to sit comfortably. Ask your Ku to place in front to you a symbol of the pattern you want to change. For instance, if you want to change that fact that you get angry very easily, ask your Ku to show you what anger looks like.

• Now look up and see that symbol. Let’s use the ‘anger’ example. Perhaps your Ku’s symbol for ‘anger’ is a fast moving, erratic waveform, or a large fire. Let’s use the waveform example.

• See the fast moving erratic waveform, shivering out of control in front of you. Now, with your Lono (remember, Lono is your ‘conscious mind’) change that waveform into something else.

• Let’s change it to a calm, gentle rolling stream. Feel the energy. Feel the change in the energy from the waveform to the stream.

• When you have fully experience the feeling of calmness, get up, thank your garden, walk back out your gate and come back to your body.

You have just re-patterned your Ku. Change something within and you will change it on the outside. Know that you can go back into your garden and repeat the exercise at any time, with the same symbols or new ones. Remember, patterns are ingrained, like millions of tiny seagull tracks through the sand on the beach of your Ku. But there are no limits (Kala) and nothing is permanent. Washing away those tracks and replacing them with more effective ones (Pono) is possible if you keep your mind open and accept the possibility of change.

If it should be….

by Julia Napier


If it should be that I grow frail and weak,
and pain should keep me from my sleep,
then you must do what must be done,
for we know this last battle can’t be won.

You will be sad, I understand,
but don’t let grief then stay your hand,
for this day, more than the rest,
your love and friendship must stand the test.

We’ve had so many happy years,
what is to come can hold no fears.
Would you want me to suffer? So,
when the time comes, please let me go.

Take me where my needs they’ll tend,
only stay with me until the end,
and hold me firm and speak to me,
until my eyes no longer see.

It is a kindness that you do to me,
although my tail it’s last has waved,
from pain and suffering I have been saved.

Do not grieve, it should be you,
who must decide this thing to do.
We’ve been so close, we two these years,
Don’t let your heart hold any tears.

by Julia Napier, copyright 1999


by Lisa Larson

candle-starfilterComing to the realization that it will soon be time for your fur-child to move onto the other side is one of the hardest things we, as committed and loving pet parents, can go through.

As a long time animal communicator, whose specialty is speaking with animals in spirit, there are things we can do that will ease the transition for both you and your fur child.

The following list has been compiled from both personal experience with my own animals, as well as years of helping clients through the process, and helping them to make the difficult decision of how and when to assist our fur babies transition to the other side.

Consider Euthanasia

First of all, we need to understand something very fundamental when our animal is ill. When we adopt an animal, we adopted them for better for worse, and we took on the responsibility to make certain decisions for them, and about them, as their physical caretaker. In that, we need to talk about euthanasia.

Euthanasia is perhaps the one and only right animals have that humans do not: the right to die with dignity. One of the biggest misconceptions that people have is that if you let an animal die of natural causes, it will be painless and peaceful. While that may or may not be true in some instances, I can tell you from personal experience, it is not true across the board. I had the unfortunate experience of watching a family member’s cat die a horrible, miserable, death because his human mom would not make the decision to help him cross. It is one of my biggest regrets in my life that I did not encourage her more strongly. From a professional standpoint, I have never, ever, spoken to an animal in the last stages of life who told me they wanted to pass naturally. To the one, they say, “…if I am suffering, please help me cross.”

Euthanasia is one of the most altruistic, selfless things you can do for you fur-family member. Animals have an incredible ability to hang on and on and on when their pet parents are unable to let go … and let go from their heart. I have spoken with animals who have been in such misery that they tell me, “Yes, please, please, please, it’s time!” Yet, because their pet parents have been unwilling and unable to make that decision and let go, I have seen these animals suffer for weeks, sometimes up to 6 weeks, hanging on in misery. Considering that there is relatively no palliative care for animals, this suffering is on profound levels.

Given both my personal and professional experience, what I tell my clients is this: It’s better a day too early than a day too late. If you help them cross one day too early, you will have prevented their suffering, and 10 years down the line what you will probably be left with are the wonderful memories of the entire life you shared with each other rather than that one extra day. On the other hand, if you do it a day too late, 10 years down the line, the extra day you have is not going to make the difference to you, except that you run the risk of having to play that miserable day over and over in your head, questioning whether you let your fur child suffer, or worse, knowing so.

We have the ability to help animals transition with peace and dignity. Don’t take that away from them.

Euthanize at Home, if Possible

Over and over again, when I ask animals how they want to pass when it comes to euthanasia, they tell me, “at home.” They will usually show me laying in a favorite spot looking out a window or laying in the sun.

There are more and more veterinarians who do nothing but home euthanasia. This is a wonderful option, where your fur child need not go into a carrier or be taken into a cold sterile building, but gets to be in the safety and comfort of their own home surrounded by their loved ones. How many of you have heard people say they want the same thing? So do animals.

Be Prepared

Whether you do decide you will euthanize at home or take them to the vets, research your options beforehand. There is nothing worse than having to make a last minute decision of this magnitude, and not knowing who or what is available.

Here in the San Diego area I recommend Paws Into Grace but, to familiarize yourself with your options, you can Google search your area for ‘home euthanasia vets’, ‘mobile vets’, or even talk to your personal vet to see if he/she would offer that service to you. Doing this will also help you come to grips with having to let go on the emotional level that your fur child may need help from you to move on.

Understand the Importance of Letting Go

On a conscious level, you may think you are ready to let go, you may have even told your fur child that he or she can leave. But understand that animals relate to us on very deep energetic levels. If you are not truly there, emotionally … in your heart … they will know, and they will hang on. We don’t want that for them.

If you sense that your fur child is hanging on, do some deep soul searching to see if you might be unable or unwilling to let go, deep down in your heart. Many times, when I do a reading near the end of a fur kid’s life, I find that if I am able to help the pet parent touch that part of themselves, within a few days the animal will take a turn to be ready to leave because they had been hanging on.

Know that once your fur child is gone, you will still be able to speak with him/her and s/he will still be around you.

I spoke with a fur child in spirit at one point, whose mom was having a terrible time with his passing. He showed me himself unzipping his body and stepping out of his body as an etherial mass next to his mom. He said to her, “It’s okay, mom. I’m right here. I’m just not wearing my clothes anymore.”

After your fur child has crossed into spirit, s/he will hear you when you speak to him, be around you when you think of her, and you will always be able to communicate to her through a communicator like myself, if necessary, but often will not be. You will see signs that they are around, they will watch over you and be your spirit guide, and more likely than not, you will have many, many shared experiences (lifetimes) together.

Unfortunately, our animal’s life spans are far shorter than ours. dog being adopted I have always thought that to be some sort of cruel, cosmic joke. But in doing this work, I have had animals give me insights that, while it may be small consolation when we are going through it, may help in the long run.

The insight is this: think about how many homeless animals there are in the world, suffering, alone, out on the streets and in shelters. (I don’t believe in getting animals from breeders. I don’t believe in breeding animals, period.) In a perfect world, we have all of our animals for the full length of their life spans. So if we live the full length of ours, we will have saved at least 4 or 5 generations of animals from the torment of animal homelessness.

Animals come into our lives for a reason. Jamie [name changed], a lovely dog in spirit, talked about the concept of adoption in that we, in human existence, are given the gift of being able to be physical caretakers for these animals who, in turn, become spiritual caretakers for us.

We know we will miss them. But what better gift could we give them than to help them on their final journey? They, who continue to be our spiritual caretakers, long after our job of physical caretaker is over.

Lisa Larson is an animal communicator and reiki master. You can find her at

12 Things You Can Do After Your Pet Passes

missyI was blessed with the opportunity to be unexpectedly interviewed by John Edward last week. He asked me to give him 3 things someone could do once they have lost an animal. I will give 12 here. Some are for the benefit of the person, some the benefit of the other animals in the house, (if applicable) and some both.

1. Remember that your fur-baby is around you. They are just not wearing their clothes anymore.

  • Talk to them. They will hear you.
  • Look and Listen for them. They will contact you. Through a song, through a smell, through a butterfly or something significant to you.
  • Think of them. They will feel your love.
  • 2. Have some sort of ‘memorial service’.

  • Light a candle, play soft music and have everyone around who loved them talk, or someone read a poem. VERY IMPORTANT: include your pets who have lost their pet buddy
  • Light a prayer candle every night at the same time your fur-family member passed, until the candle is gone
  • 3. Create an alter for a specific amount of time. You can include things like:

  • a candle
  • your fur-family member’s favorite toys, collar, etc.
  • perhaps your fur-family member’s ashes until you decide what you want to do with them
  • 4. Create a memory shadow box. You can include in things like:

  • A lock of their hair
  • Their favorite toy
  • Their favorite ‘woobie’
  • Their collar
  • Anything that you would like to keep and will memorialize them for you
  • 5. Go through your photos

  • Create a photo collage or photo album of your fur-family member
  • Create a photo blanket or pillow, through something like Treasure Knit
  • Create a hard back photo book of your fur-kid through something like iPhoto
  • Have a professional painting or drawing done
  • Get a purse or tote made with a photo of your animal HERE
  • 6. Have a cast made of your fur-baby’s paw

  • Some places offer this at the time of euthanasia. If they don’t, ask
  • You can put it in your shadow box
  • 7. Plant a tree (or plant or flower) for your furbaby

  • Plant it in his/her memory
  • You can bury the ashes and plant the tree on top of the ashes
  • 8. Write in a journal

  • Write to your fur-kid
  • Write about him/her
  • Write a poem about him/her
  • Write anything you want, but write. Your baby will hear you
  • 9. Create a website for your furbaby

  • Start a blog or social networking page about your memories
  • Share your photos and memories with other animal lovers
  • 10. Talk to someone who understands. Not everyone understands the depth of what it feels like to lose an animal who is a family member. If you don’t have friends or family who can support you:

  • Join a pet-loss support group
  • Call a pet-loss hotline
  • Find pet-loss forum online
  • There is a list of resources HERE
  • 11. Buy yourself a squishy stuffed animal. (If you know someone who has just lost a pet, buy them a squishy stuffed animal.) 🙂

  • To some of you, this might sound silly, but no matter how old you are, what gender you are, don’t let your ego tell you it’s not ‘okay’, or make you feel ‘silly.’
  • A stuffed animal acts as a ‘physical surrogate bringing you closer to your fur-baby’s spirit.
  • They can feel the emotion and energy when you hug that surrogate, which not only helps us emotionally, but also opens the door to allowing you to feel your baby’s presence in other ways.
  • Stuffed animals are not just for children anymore, they are for the child inside us who needs the love and comfort only an animal will bring.
  • 12. Don’t get a new pet right away.

    Not only for you, but for your animals who have lost their fur buddies. Take time to work through your grief, and allow them the time to work through theirs. dog-smallUnless an animal is placed in your path, which may be a gift or sign from your departed animal, it is usually better to get to a place of normalcy before bringing a new family member into the house. You will more often find that by doing so, you can create a stronger emotional bond with the new animal without them feeling the pressure of trying to live up to another animal’s memory (whether you think you are doing it consciously or not.)

    I started by saying, remember that your furbaby is always around you. Don’t doubt that. They have left an indelible mark on your heart, as you have on theirs. More often than not, they have become spirit guides for you on the other side, and many times they will have left so that they can assist you from the other side in ways that they may not have been able to assist you here.

    It’s small consolation when we are missing our beloved fur-children, I have always thought that it was some sort of cruel, cosmic, joke that animal’s life spans are so much shorter than our own, but consider this: Think about how many homeless animals there are in the world, suffering, alone, on the streets and in shelters. In a perfect world, we have all of our animals for the full length of their life spans, so if we live the full length of ours, we will have saved at least 5 generations of animals from the torment of animal homelessness.

    Animals come into our lives for a reason. And as one dog in spirit explained the concept to me, we, in human existence, are given the gift of being able to be physical caretakers for these animals who, in turn, are spiritual caretakers for us.

    We certainly miss them. But what better gift could we ask for from them, they, who continue to be our spiritual caretakers, long after our job of physical caretaker for them is over.

    Lisa Larson is an animal communicator and reiki master. You can find her at