Sunday 31 March 2013

Tarot goes Hollywood: The Cosmic Tarot

The Cosmic Tarot by Norbert Losche, US Games 1988, is my deck of the week. One of its distinguishing features is its use of movie stars in the cards. The box says, 'Seventy-eight cards feature stylized renderings of familiar figures.' As this is my tarot of the week, I thought it would be fun to have a look at some of these cards. There is no definitive source telling us who is meant to be depicted on each card, but it helps to remember that the deck was published in 1988, so you won't find Jennifer Lawrence or James Franco anywhere!

The most obvious ones:
To me, the above are most certainly Clark Gable, Rita Hayworth, Greta Garbo and Elizabeth Taylor.

Saturday 30 March 2013

Wicca Moon Saturday

Wicca Moon Tarot
The 4 of Cups in the Rider Waite Smith deck is usually interpreted to mean boredom. I don't hold with these RWS meanings so much anymore...and I'm finding more and more that I prefer pips-only decks to fully illustrated ones. For a long, long time, 6 of Swords meant to me only a boat crossing the water, and all that image might symbolize. But the 6 of Swords is far more than that, and the 4 of Cups is far more than a petulant youth leaning against a tree.

I'm opening up more and more to an older method of card reading. (At least I assume it's older...) Using just numerological meanings and elemental correspondences of the suit, interpret the card in the context of the question. Then use any additional visual cues on the card, if intuition suggests it. So in this 4 of Cups from Wicca Moon Tarot, I cannot fail to remember that the Cups suit is the suit of Water, which represents feelings, emotions, and relationships. The number four is associated with stability, security, even conformity. So using the number + suit = meaning method, I would start from the basis that this card has to do with stable emotions, relationships, feelings. Whether that would be the need to stabilize, or the need to rock the boat a bit, would depend on the question asked, the card position assigned, and the other cards around it in the reading.

Reading this card in context of my draw for the week, I would say that today will be a day of good feelings, secure and balanced emotions, though the storm clouds and tipping cup remind me that keeping that equilibrium is my own choice and responsibility.

I love the Wicca Moon Tarot, hope you have enjoyed seeing the cards this week. :)

Friday 29 March 2013

Wicca Moon Week Friday

Wicca Moon by Shirlee @ WiccaMoon
It's Good Friday, bank holiday and I'm off work! Yay! Last night I fell asleep on the couch around 8.40 pm and didn't really wake up again until midnight, when I got up and groggily went to bed. So it's now 6 AM and I'm up and feeling relatively human for a change. (I tend to have trouble getting a decent number of hours' sleep; usually it's around 5 or 6 that I average per night. No idea why.)

I remember saying to hubster last night we had better not have too much sugar or coffee because we'd be up until 2 or 3 in the morning like were recently, and he was all 'Doesn't matter, no work tomorrow, yay!' And I said, 'It interrupts the circadian rhythm.' It occurs to me this morning that keeping up the circadian rhythm is an Emperor-ish thing to do.

Thursday 28 March 2013

Wicca Moon Thursday

Wicca Moon by Shirlee@WiccaMoon
Chocolate and wasps

It's the Death card again. I'm getting a little tired of being told to change. When it comes to change, I dig in my heels something fierce. If I decide to cut down on the chocolate, I eat more of it that day. If I feel like I should work out, I then go days or weeks NOT doing it (saying to myself I'll do it tomorrow). Who am I defying? Don't know. 'Screw it!' I say to myself. 'I'm going to do what I want.' Even though, at least some of the time, I actually did want to eat less chocolate or work out. Sort of. But for some reason I just don't. In a small way, it's like what Paul describes in Romans 7: 'For what I am doing I do not understand, for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but am doing the very thing I hate.' Paul of course suggests that his inner man knows what is good, but his sinful body goes against his mind. Well, I disagree with that.  I think it's more a matter of what is gratifying in the moment vs what is best in the long run. Of course it's more gratifying in the moment to eat all the chocolate in sight, or to curl up with a book rather than to change clothes, get all sweaty working out, have a shower, and so on. But then of course I have to deal with feeling guilty and sick, and losing flexibility, muscle tone and cardiovascular health. Trouble is, those consequences are way far way from the moment when you open the foil on the choc, or put on your slippers instead of your trainers.

Wednesday 27 March 2013

Wicca Moon Week Wednesday

Wicca Moon by Shirlee@wiccamoon
Who's that girl?

Guess who this is. She looks so charming and impish, doesn't she? But if you look along the back of her velvety cape, you will see written in white: 'Devil XV'. Ooh, she's a tricksy little thing. What IS going on in this Devil card?



Gold chains




At least I think those things are on this card. But what do they mean? If they're even there at all? And what does this card mean in relation to my draw for the week? Maybe it has to do with self-deception. It's so seductive. In what ways am I lying to myself? In what ways am I trying to think I'm all deep and symbolic, when really I'm just being a bitch? These are important questions. What a little temptress this impish lass is.

Tuesday 26 March 2013

Wicca Moon Week Tuesday

Wicca Moon by Shirlee@wiccamoon
'Shower the people you love with love'

Today I have drawn the 10 of Cups. In 'Tarot Wisdom', Rachel Pollack points out that one way of viewing the 10 of each suit is to see it as the 'reality number', where the quality of the suit takes form in our lives. She calls this one of the happiest cards in the deck.

The Cups suit concerns emotions and relationships, and the 10 of Cups represents complete happiness in these areas. The message I am receiving from this card today is not necessarily that I will be 'happy', but that I should be aware of the true quality of my relationships. Where is there genuine love in my life? Do I appreciate it? Do I acknowledge it? Do I feel and express gratitude for it? Do I reciprocate it? If the answer is no to any of those questions, today is the day to realise it and to fix that situation.

It is so entirely possible to be happy and miss it. It is so entirely possible to have everything in the world you've ever wanted and not allow yourself to see it. Look for it today. Celebrate it with hearts and flowers and rainbows. Be unabashed and unashamedly joyous of your great good fortune. And show it to the ones who are the source of it.

Monday 25 March 2013

Wicca Moon Week Monday

Wicca Moon by Shirlee@wiccamoon
The Pause that Refreshes

The 4 of Swords in Wicca Moon Tarot shows a more or less autumnal scene (the leaves do have some red and yellow in them, and the breeze is stirring them about). We see bees and butterflies to remind us of the transformative power of our thoughts. The bumblebee has many symbolic interpretations. They remind us of the importance of being productive, of serving others, and of course of doing what seems to be impossible. (The bumblebee, with its fat body and small wings, seems to defy logic in being able to fly).

The 4 of Swords is traditionally seen as the card of rest, of taking time out. We can forget that time out is transformative in nature, and that taking time out leads to greater productivity, and increases our ability to be of service to others.

Sunday 24 March 2013

Deck of the Week: Wicca Moon

Wicca Moon Tarot by Shirlee@Wicca Moon
This week I'll be looking at Wicca Moon Tarot. I've used this deck earlier in 2012, and actually voted for it as the best deck of 2012 in a poll at Aeclectic Tarot. It's a lovely deck, and the creator, Shirlee@Wicca Moon, says that a companion book will be coming out later in the year. There's a lovely review of the deck by Inner Whispers on You Tube. :) It's thanks to this video that I even knew about the deck.

The Spring Equinox Giveaway is here at last!

The time has come to give away my spare copy of Lon Milo DuQuette's 'Understanding the Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot'! Spring Equinox has come and gone already.

If you live in the UK and have posted to my blog anytime between Imbolc and Spring Equinox AND would like a free copy of this book, please comment here. (I'm doing it this way because so many of you already have a copy of the book--plus international shipping has gone up so much, I'm afraid I can't include international readers. Unless you might wish to kick in a tiny bit toward postage? That sounds awfully stingy, but...!) SO...if you are interested in receiving a free copy of this book, please comment on this post and I will do a draw to see who wins.

Thanks, all!!

I trimmed my Thoth!

Trimmed Crowley-Harris Thoth Tarot
Yesterday I took the plunge and trimmed my green box Thoth. (I also have the small purple box Thoth and the 1986 blue box Thoth, so no worries!)

As usual, when I made the first cut on the first card (The Magician, as it happens), I felt huge pangs of angst and regret. OH NO! I thought. No, no, no, what have I done! But of course, after the first cut, there's no turning back. The point of no return begins as soon as the scissors make the first miniscule bite into the first side of the first card. What a sickening feeling that is.

Friday 22 March 2013

I'm back!

 A few snapshots from our week in Wales...17-22 March 2013...

Nantcol Waterfalls, Snowdonia ------->

Wednesday 20 March 2013

Born to Hang Glide, Baby

It's the first day of spring, a day when the sun is overhead at the equator, and the hours of daylight and darkness are equal. What a tippy-toppy day it is. Each day since Winter Solstice, the days have grown gradually longer and longer, until at last they have caught up with the hours of night, and from today, they begin to pull ahead. The race is on to Summer Solstice. :) 

The solstices and equinoxes have always been more important to me in my practice than the so-called 'Greater Sabbats'. I find them profound, beautiful and humbling. The movement of the earth around the sun, or sun around the earth, from the point of view of the ancients, certainly makes one think of a bigger picture. Whereas the Greater Sabbats focus on the cycles of the earth, the Lesser Sabbats seem, to me, to focus on the cycles of the cosmos. For me, the names are backward! (Silly old Gerald Gardner). 

Saturday 16 March 2013

I'll be away all this week.

If you'd like to order a reading, go right ahead and do so. 
I'll be back online Friday, 22nd March, and will do your reading as soon as I pick it up upon my return. See you then!

Friday 15 March 2013

At least they don't 'floweth over'

Thoth Tarot, Crowley-Harris
It's Friday and today's card is Four of Cups. It's supposed to rain today, and all weekend, and all next week, both here and in Devil's Bridge, Wales, where we're going for our holiday. Great. I looked at this card this morning, and the first thing I thought was 'Luxury -- oh boy!' Then, 'Wait. Luxury to Crowley was like "sin" or "excess" -- oh no.' And then, 'But AE Waite would have said "boredom"-- lovely.' And then of course as it's a daily draw, I remember to try to look at the card on the most mundane level possible, and I thought: Rain. Checked the weather forecast for here: Rain. Checked the weather for there: Rain. 

Thursday 14 March 2013

I hate thinking about 'the future'

Thoth, Crowley-Harris (1986 AG Muller)
And by 'the future', I mean 'retirement'. 

I drew these three cards this morning. What have I been doing all day long? Thinking about money; in particular, about savings and pensions.

The biggest, giantest, most scariest-est fear of my life is 'What happens to me when I'm an old lady????' There's not that many more shopping days until Christmas, people. In 19 years I will be 67 -- state retirement age. What I've got to do is try to identify my pensions gap and then figure out how to fill it as much as I can between now and then. But how the heck do I do that? Money freaks me out. I don't understand it.

Tuesday 12 March 2013

Should I stay or should I go now?

The weather has taken a strange arctic turn, and we've got a holiday in Wales booked for next week, so I pulled two cards wondering if we should cancel it: Go to Wales. Stay home. :

Thoth Tarot, Crowley-Harris
Go to Wales is 6 of Wands, Victory! And stay home is 7 of Cups, Debauch. (Of course, when I told hubster the name of card two, he waggled his eyebrows and said, 'Maybe we should stay home!' but I told him it wasn't that kind of debauch. Tsk.) On the face of it, the reading is clear cut. Go to Wales -- good. Stay at home - bad.

Go to Wales
I'd say that going ahead and going is a wandsy thing to do, and would certainly represent a victory over defeatist attitudes. Going anyway and having fun despite the weather is a very Jupiter in Leo sort of thing to do. Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, I think they say. Well, now. There's a good basis for most cliches! Jupiter in Leo is, from what I gather, about having a healthy ego and expressing oneself with grand confidence. I see this as saying we will have fun during the holiday if we want to have fun. Going rather than staying home is an active, positive thing.

Stay at home
Staying home would be result of emotion, and these cups dripping green goo certainly illustrate the kind of emotion that would cause you to give up and put on your ratty old bathrobe and say just forget it then. To have Venus in Scorpio means to devote oneself slavishly to whatever is in one's heart -- and I just spoke yesterday about the Devil and its associations with where excess leads. The emotions that I would be giving slavish devotion to by staying home would be negativity, pessimism, and indolence. It would be like using a bit of rain or colder than expected weather as an excuse to wallow in 'everything goes wrong for me' thinking. Well, bullcrap to that!

So, we'll go. And if I feel like whining, I'll try to whip up some 6 of Wands spirit. (Maybe I should photocopy it and carry it in my pocket--laminated!)

Monday 11 March 2013

A variation on the Golden Dawn Spread

Erika has kindly agreed to be my second (and final) guinea pig for the Golden Dawn Spread. For her reading, I am confining the draw to seven cards. She asks, 'What can I do to make my job more enjoyable?'

Golden Dawn Spread for Erika
11th Mar 2013

7 Card Golden Dawn Spread

What is the truth about my current situation?
2-1-3 'The Querent'  Star - Empress - 7 of Cups

This combination of cards suggests to me that you are an emotionally mature, powerful woman but you feel your creativity is going stagnant in your current position.

What, no sock handy?

Thoth Tarot, Crowley-Harris

Lon Milo DuQuette tries very hard, in his 'Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot', to convince me that the Devil is not the 'bad' card of the tarot. He nearly had me:

'If the Devil is supposed to be the card that represents evil, which card should we pick to represent good? All the other cards have the potential for good and evil...Can't the Fool be thoughtless enough, the Magus larcenous enough, the High Priestess seductive enough, the Empress wicked enough, the Emperor tyrannical enough, the Hierophant bigoted enough, the Lovers unfaithful enough, the Chariot pretentious enough, Lust lascivious enough, the Hermit self-abusive enough, Fortune ill-fated enough, Adjustment unfair enough, the Hanged Man tormented enough,  the Tower catastrophic enough, Death murderous enough, Art chaotic enough, the Star despondent enough, the Moon deceitful enough, the Sun narcissistic enough, the Aeon destructive enough, or the Universe cold and cruel enough to handle all the evil in the world? It should be obvious that the Devil is something other than ultimate evil.' 

That's pretty hard to argue with. But I still can't help seeing the Devil as a no-good, very-bad thing. He is called 'Lord of the Gates of Matter'. To me he is associated with all voluptuous fleshly indulgences that can lead to harmful excess. He is obsessive and abusive relationships, self-harm. Over-indulgence to the point of excess and beyond. Debauchery.

Friday 8 March 2013

Why did the camel cross the road?

(To get from Kether to Tiphareth)

Thoth, Crowley-Harris
I found this image of the Priestess online. Its colours are quite vivid compared to my current two editions of Thoth Tarot; I wonder if someone blinged them digitally or if it's from a different edition of the deck. I hope it's from the 1986 printing, because I just ordered one of those from an ATer. If that deck is as gorgeous as this card image, I will be one very happy bunny!

Wednesday 6 March 2013

Golden Surfer and his mate the Monkey

Thoth Tarot, Crowley-Harris
Who is this jolly naked dude with snakes on his head, tiptoeing on the edge of striped surfboard? It's the Magus from Crowley's Thoth Tarot.

So working our way down from the top of the card, we see a caduceus, a symbol of Mercury. To the left side is some sort of stylus, to the right is an unfurling scroll. Then there is the figure of the Magus himself, the god Mercury. To the left is a wand with an ibis head, a small vessel billowing flames, and a glowing coin stamped with an 8-pointed star. To the right is a winged egg (an orphic egg), a 2-handled loving cup from which emerges coils of smoke or vapour, a short sword. At the Magus's ankles, which are coiled about by a snake's tail, there are two stylised wings emerging from the backs of his ankles. (That's because he's Mercury, remember!) On the left, glowing through the transparent larger ankle wing is a glowing sunburst, and on the right, rising from the bottom of the card, is a surly-looking monkey, fist raised (but you'll notice that the hand position is twisted around the wrong way. As if an angry ape weren't disturbing enough.) The figure of the Magus stands tiptoe on what looks to me like a surfboard stood up on its end. And of course all around him we see the usual geometric lines intersecting outward. The title of the card features the symbol for Mercury and the Hebrew letter 'Beth'.

Monday 4 March 2013

A reading using the Golden Dawn spread

Paula T has volunteered to be the guinea pig for my first go at the Golden Dawn spread. And here it is:

 Golden Dawn Spread for Paula T
4th March 2013

Golden Dawn Spread, 7 cards up

Focus of spread: What guidance is there for Paula with regard to her 2013 Year Card, The Hermit?

I shuffled the deck and searched for the Hermit card as card number 1, then laid out the next 14 cards in the shape of the Golden Dawn spread. I turned over cards 1 -2- 3, and the middle card from each 3-card cluster, cards 8 - 9 - 10 - 11.

Sunday 3 March 2013

The Golden Dawn Spread

I decided this morning to actually read the LWB (Little White Book) that came with my Thoth Tarot, but got stuck on page 6 with the 15-card spread. I usually ignore the spreads included in LWBs (in fact, I usually ignore LWBs), but this looked intriguing. The booklet says that the layout  is a 'simpler version of the Golden Dawn method given by Crowley and Case' (the Opening of the Key). This layout is made up of five 3-card clusters, and a little Googling has revealed that it is known by the name 'The Golden Dawn Spread' or 'The Golden Dawn 15-Card Spread':

Golden Dawn Spread, from Thoth Tarot LWB
You can see from the illustration that you put down the first three cards beginning from the centre, then the remaining cards are laid out in a counter-clockwise spiral direction beginning above card 3. This creates the five 3-card clusters, which are read more or less separately. I've examined the spread, the instructions in the book, and a few websites and blogs this morning, and decided on the way I wish to approach this spread.

Saturday 2 March 2013

Something for your pantry

Thoth Energy Drink.

And you'd given up hope of ever finding an herbal energy drink that would impart the wisdom of the Egyptian pantheon. O ye of little ability to stumble onto weird stuff online.

Wow, this is an odd branding. I'm not endorsing it, I just thought it was a curious thing.

Friday 1 March 2013

A Chariot Reading Interpretation, Part 2

[A Chariot Reading Interpretation, Part 1]

5. The Hierophant in combination with the Ace of Wands I see as my life as a tarot reader. So far this year I have read for many people, and received excellent feedback. 'The Hierophant, at its best, uses traditions and teachings to help others,' writes Rachel Pollack in 'Tarot Wisdom'. I have always admired and respected the Hierophant, because to me it represents the best of spiritual tradition, ritual, method, instruction, etc. Yes, in its negative aspect it can represent dogma and repression, but I don't see it in a negative light instantly, as some do. So to draw the Ace of Wands in the Hierophant position is wonderful to me. It shows that aspect of my life and being firing forth in new, creative and energetic ways. I see it as meaning that my readings for others will go from strength to strength in their content and impact, and that makes me feel very happy and excited.