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Monday, 6 July 2015

Playing with fire (water, earth and air)

The Intuitive Tarot by Cilla Conway (St Martin's Press 2004)

The London Tarot Festival was on Saturday, 4 July, and I came home with five new decks, amongst them a completely impulse buy of a deck I'd never even seen, the Intuitive Tarot by Cilla Conway. I almost never -- well, actually never -- buy a deck when I haven't seen every single card in it, let alone having seen NONE of the cards. But I was at Cilla's table buying the Devas of Creation, and there was one copy of this deck, and I thought, what the heck, and bought it, too.

The card I've drawn today is Magician. One thing I
Thoth Tarot
noticed straightaway about this deck is its many Thoth influences, which I will continue to explore over the week. The figure in this card, a golden, naked figure making a sweeping gesture, echoes the Thoth Magus, but with more fluidity of movement, far fewer details (esoteric references) and less refinement in the artwork -- no bad thing.  It's as if the fairly static and formal Magus of Thoth broke out of the shell of that statue-like figure standing tiptoe on an upended surfboard and with a sweep of his hand cleared the card and began his dance of life and magical practice. In fact, a lot of these cards feel like that -- Thoth cards that have broken free of their rigid 'ceremonial magic' pomp, as if the energies of the cards have burst free and are moving and wriggling and showing their true colours.

The Magician in the Intuitive Tarot is not the 'master of the elements' we've come to expect him to be. He is just one step removed from the Fool. I like the way he's swirling the elements around; it's rather like a little kid who's just discovered that you can swirl water around your arms in the bath or a swimming pool. The swirls look mostly like fire and what might be either air or water, though looking closely there are a few things that might be rocks on the lower left side of the oval, representing earth, perhaps. Now that I look at it, maybe he's on a beach with fire, and that blue bit above the fire is the sea, water, and the transparent swirl is air. I'll go with that. :)  'The Magician is the child learning to manipulate the world and its elements,' the companion book says. 'Along the way, we will lose the natural, unconscious sense of connection with the Infinite, but for a while we take that connection and its phenomenal power for granted.' He certainly looks joyous -- and mischievous.

I have come out of the London Tarot Festival feeling somewhat renewed, and one of the workshops (Tarot Magic by Chloe McCracken) gave me some insight into an issue in my life and the start of a to-do list which will help me make positive changes in this area, if I follow through. The Magician reminds me that I have the ability to make those changes. In fact, how much more of a reminder of a 'Tarot Magic' workshop do you need than the card called 'The Magician'?!

Looks like it's time to make an altar-ation. (That's what I call it when I take down and redecorate my altar.)

Devas of Creation: Metamorphosis
As a support to this draw, I have drawn a card from Devas of Creation (Cilla Conway). It is Metamorphosis. 'When this Deva appears, you may well be in the process of metamorphosing into a new state -- after illness, depression, or some other withdrawal from the world,' says the companion book. 'The Deva shows that we need to let go the ties that keep us incomplete. However, the appearance of the Deva is also an indicator that transformation is happening, and all we need to do is to trust, acknowledging but not acting out of resistance.'

That card certainly reinforces the message of the Magician! The cards even echo one another in coloring and the sweep of blue and black moving from the lower left corner to the upper right corner.

I can see I'm really going to enjoy working with these two decks.


  1. I love the synchronicity of the workshop and the cards you've pulled. It seems to me you are about to make some magic! :D

    1. It's pretty auspicious, isn't it. :)

  2. Oh, the Devas card is just perfect! Yay for metamorphosis, and I'm glad the workshop gave you some useful insight :)

    1. Yes, I was very taken with how well the cards work together. Not since the unlikely pairing of Froud Faeries and Silicon Dawn have I had such a perfect match between a deck and oracle, and that lasted all week. Remember that? :)

  3. I have loved the Intuitive Tarot for a long time; I love how the characters sit within the egg shape. Stunning Star card. I am beginning to work with the Devas too. Finding their energies inspiring. Such beautiful and deep paintings.

    I also got a lot from Chloe's class. I received some unexpected advice from the cards we laid out randomly. It was a great day!

    1. I'm glad I got Intuitive Tarot and can't wait to read your thoughts on the Devas. :)

  4. What an affirming card combo. The Devas of Creation has been on my wishlist for awhile. Will be interested to see how you get on with it