Tuesday 30 April 2013

Swift justice

Look who's back already today, the King of Swords, or Dreamer King, from Emily Carding's Tarot of the Sidhe. The Dreamer suit is associated with element Air, as are Swords in the traditional RWS tarot deck (and Golden Dawn tradition). In this card, we see the King of Swords in close-up, riding a dragon through the night sky. Behind him is the full moon. The Dreamer King wears a golden winged helmet, his hair flies out on either side. He has oversized epaulets of gold and golden gloves, with a rather simple shirt that laces at the neck. His high collar appears to be made of fire or blazing light, and is part of a cape that streams out behind him (reminding me of the capes seen in the Thoth tarot). The Dreamer King holds his sword up before his face, in an attitude often depicted of warriors. I've never known quite why they did this as it would seem to me to make you vulnerable with your vision obscured. On the other hand, perhaps it is to create a connection between the sword and the eye before battle commences, so that where the eye goes, the sword will follow. (I'm reminded of the many times Aragorn does this in Lord of the Rings).

Monday 29 April 2013

Who are the Sidhe?

Tarot of the Sidhe, Emily Carding 2010
This is the beginning of a One Deck Wonder with Tarot of the Sidhe, the Faeries' Oracle and reading of the book Faery Craft by Emily Carding. I embark on this journey with a kind of fragile uncertainty, because I am skeptical about faery on the one hand (my logical side) and wary of them on the other (my Christian upbringing--and general wariness of dealing with unknown entities). I don't know what they are. I don't know if they exist. I don't know if I want to know. But I want to know. It's like that. So I am also excited at the prospect.

I bought Tarot of the Sidhe because though at first the images actually disconcerted me, I could not escape their power to reach out of the cards and touch me, even when viewing images online. From the day I opened the deck I knew it was powerful and important. It's taken me three years to be ready to take a closer look. 

Who are the Sidhe?

This spread was created spontaneously whilst I was shuffling the Tarot of the Sidhe, the deck I will be using for the period of Beltane to Midsummer. I was wondering 'Who are the Sidhe?' I then asked seven questions to correspond to the seven points on the faery star, beginning with the center top point, and working around clockwise:

1. Who are the Sidhe? Maker Six (6 of Coins)
2. What is their relationship to humanity? The Lovers
3. What do they offer to humanity? Dancer Eight (8 of Cups)
4. What is their relationship to me? Dreamer Prince (Prince of Swords)
5. What do they offer to me? Dancer Queen (Queen of Cups)
6. What do they need from humanity? The High Priestess
7. What do they need from me? Dreamer King (King of Swords)

I have attempted to write the answers spontaneously whilst staring at the cards in question. I have not edited or changed the words that came to me, and I stopped typing when the words stopped coming into my mind.

Sunday 28 April 2013

Having a clearout

I've selected the decks I'm ready to find new homes for and here they are. From top left:

Inner Child Cards, in zippered pouch with hardback book £10 SOLD
Pathfinders Tarot £5 SOLD
Pamela Coleman Smith Commemorative Set £15 (it is heavy though)

Beltane - Summer Solstice: It's Faerie Season!

Yesterday even though it was freezing cold, I couldn't help feeling suddenly overwhelmed by the first flush of Beltane fever, and the impulse hit me to end my One Deck Wonder with the Cosmic Tarot and focus on faeries from now until Summer Solstice. I found my book by Emily Carding, my two copies of the Tarot of the Sidhe, and my Faeries' Oracle by Brian Froud. They will be my exclusive divinatory tools from now until Summer Solstice. I am excited!

The book, Faery Craft, is not related to the two decks, but instead is about Faery lifestyle and practices. I haven't read it yet but have flicked through it on several occasions. It contains some information on Emily Carding's (and other's) ideas about faery, and there are lots of exercises suggested to help you get in touch with the faery. The remainder of the book focuses on the Faery lifestyle, a community of people who enjoy expressing their faery vision through artwork, writing, festivals and events--and dressing up!

Saturday 27 April 2013

My collection

I've just made a spreadsheet of my tarot/oracle collection. It is hard to track because it is in a state of constant flux. I buy and sell/trade on a whim. So I never quite know what I've got, and the things I used to have I don't dwell on. I tried to remember what I've had in the past, but what's the point?  They're only cards, after all, out of sight out of mind. Which makes collecting a bit silly, really.  I ought to get rid of many of these, as I never use the majority of them.  At present I own (the ones I'd be willing to part with today have a star):

TAROT -56 decks
Ancient Italian Tarot
Anna K Tarot, 1st ed.
Aquarian Tarot*
Art of Life Tarot
Arthurian Tarot
Celtic Tarot, Davis
Celtic Tarot, Davis (with blue edges)*

Summary: The Columns

Looking at the columns of the spread gives an interesting summary. Overall, the spread suggests that this is a time in my life where I have potential (Sun), but also a lot of confusion and uncertainty (Moon). A certain ruthlessness is required (sword cards), but I am making progress, as I am leaving behind certain patterns of behaviour that no longer serve me. Or at least, I should leave them behind. Things like...complacency, self-defeating habits, defensiveness, and giving up of control of my own life. It seems clear from this spread that the onus is upon me to take care of my own little internal scabs...but it's also important that I accept as genuine any compliments or positive feedback I receive from outside sources, particularly in relation to my talents (though not necessarily in relation to financial decisions!).

The advice offered here is peculiar, but not unsuited to my personality. It's not telling me to change my basic nature, but I think to use those qualities to their fullest potential to effect change. I am told to carry on with my solitary explorations, be both logical and skeptical, and to be wary of instances where there might be some sort of attack or challenge. I think the final column is telling me more to wake up and use the skills I have than to turn over some big new leave into uncharted territory.

I think maybe I can do that. :)

Friday 26 April 2013

Line Four: Finances

Line Four Finances
Heart of the Situation - Seven of Swords Rx
What to Leave in the Past - Strength Rx
Others - Two of Cups Rx
Advice - Five of Wands

Now on this line, curiously, there was a clump of cards in my deck that had somehow become reversed, even though I hadn't purposely shuffled to get them. So, I left them reversed. Three of four cards reversed, wow.

The Heart of the Situation is Seven of Swords reversed. Now, the Golden Dawn title of Seven of Swords is 'Unstable Effort', and the description of the card is 'partial success, yielding when victory is within grasp, as if the last reserve of strength were used up Inclination to lose when on the point of gaining through not continuing the effort.' (Golden Dawn Ritual Tarot). The card being reversed suggests that my recent efforts in shifting my savings around to find a better interest rate have not been wasted efforts. I've done something instead of not doing anything. I believe having a reversed card here rather than one that might have a similar meaning in an upright position helps to underline that this is a new sort of behaviour for me. I assertive in some things (really!) but terribly passive in others. In this case, what for many would seem a routine and simple action, for me really was like uprooting myself, turning my usual behaviour upside down.

Thursday 25 April 2013

Line Three: Career

Line Three Career
Heart of the Situation - The Moon
What to Leave in the Past - Seven of Wands
Others - Fool
Advice - Prince of Cups

This line of cards perplexes me. I suppose that is not a surprise, as the heart of my career situation is The Moon, a card of confusion and hidden currents. I'm up in the air (or under the sea, maybe?) about my career. There seems to be no future in my current work. I really have no idea what to do, what I want to do, or what I should do.

I would like to leave in the past all the struggle and strife represented in the Seven of Wands, for sure. This is a card, among other things, of being always on the defensive, of standing up for oneself, dealing with bullies, drawing on our own inner resources. I don't think there is a job where you feel no stress or pressures of some kind, though. Unless I win the lottery, the Seven of Wands is going to be a part of my life. I don't see how I can leave it behind entirely. (And in fact, if I were to win the lottery, it would probably become an even bigger part of my life!)  It's also the card of proving oneself, striving to achieve and have those achievements recognized. That's something we can't really get away from in the world of work. Perhaps it's suggesting leaving behind defensiveness about my choices...or lack of them.

Wednesday 24 April 2013

Line Two: Hobbies and Talents

Line Two Hobbies and Talents
Heart of the Situation - The Sun
What to Leave in the Past - Seven of Cups
Others - Judgement
Advice - Four of Cups

The Hobbies and Talents card in the Deck of 1000 Spreads says, 'Addresses the current state of your creative energies. When not used as the topic of the spread, it can advise on creative endeavors.' So this is the 'Creative Energies' card.

So according to this draw, where do my creative energies lie? The Golden Dawn Ritual Tarot book gives an interesting perspective on the Sun card, which in fortune-telling/divination is often taken to be the 'everything is just peachy' card. The Sun is the first path of the Astral Triangle (the Personality Triad), a path which leads from Yesod, the Astral foundation of material forms, to Hod, the seat of intellect. 'Thus on this path, the initiate begins to perceive the Higher factors which have formed his/her own personality.' This makes me think of the sort of work I do with tarot and oracles in order to help people. I try to help them see the bigger picture of their lives so that they can gain clarity. I suppose that is a version of 'perceiving the Higher factors which have formed personality.'  This is not an interpretation of The Sun card I've ever known of or considered before. My talents lie in making intuitive connections. Or, if you will, shedding light on situations. Wow, that's cool. I wonder what other talents this Sun card might point to.

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Line One: Spirit

Line One Spirit
Heart of the Situation-Princess of Swords
What to Leave in the Past - Nine of Cups
Others - Death
Advice- The Hermit

The Princess of Swords is Earth of Air. 'She is the stabilizing factor in the most erratic of elements. It is she who brings into materialization the thoughts and ideas of the Royal Air cards [the other Sword courts]. She has many of the same harsh characteristics of the Queen and the Prince, but her endurance and severity are even greater because they can be put into action on the physical plane. She is more direct and decisive than her brother the Prince, and her temper is inherited from her Mother. Avenging the wrath of the gods is one of her functions' (Golden Dawn Magical Tarot). Wow. She's not much like the Page of Swords in RWS then, who in my mind is something of a scholar who likes to argue both sides for the heck of it, latch on to a cause, make big speeches about injustice (Lisa Simpson, basically). This one's a bit of a Fury! But oh ho! Listen to this: 'The Princess of Swords lives by her ideas and principles. She is a stirrer-upper, an iconoclast. ... If dumb complacency sets in, the Princess will be the one to uproot it' (Cosmic Tarot book). The heart of the situation where my spirituality is concerned is the need to uproot dumb complacency.

Monday 22 April 2013

Playing around with Deck of 1000 Spreads

Cosmic Tarot with Deck of 1000 Spreads

Here's one of the really cool things you can do with Deck of 1000 Spreads, a chart formation. Sometimes, especially when you're doing a Year in Review or Year in Preview, or Next Six Months Reading, etc, you like to draw a lot of cards. Here the cards are laid out in a grid pattern, with the cards slipped under like tab markers. Now that is really useful! Here I've drawn cards for Spirit, Hobbies, Career, and Finances, and want to explore each topic in four areas: Heart of the Situation, What to Leave in the Past, Others, and Advice. You may notice I have some reversed cards here. That's because despite my usual diligence when riffle shuffling, some of the cards came out reversed. When this happens, I leave them reversed. I didn't do it on purpose, it happened anyway, so I just leave them that way.

I will examine each of these topics in turn over the course of this week.

(My mantra for this week is: Gayatri Mantra. I will be chanting it each morning.)

[By the way, my ideas about Deck of 1000 Spreads have been featured on the deck creator's website! Look: Deck of 1000 Spreads Tips and Ideas]

Sunday 21 April 2013

Review: Deck of 1000 Spreads

Deck of 1000 Spreads by Tierney Sadler (Llewellyn 2013)

I first read about this spreadcrafting tool months ago at AT, and thought the idea imminently practical. It's such a simple and obvious idea, it's surprising no one's taken the initiative to produce and publish something like this already. Well done to Tierney for doing it! The concept behind this set is simplicity itself:  a set of oversized cards which serve as markers for a tarot spread. They underlie the cards in a spread, showing the name of each card position. Why would anyone need such a thing? Several reasons: 1) it saves the hassle of drawing out an original spread on a bit of paper and then having to refer to it repeatedly during the reading to remind yourself what the cards stand for, 2) it saves the embarrassment of forgetting a card position during a live reading (which does happen, particularly if you're doing many readings back to back and each person gets a different spread--trust me, you never want to be saying, 'Oh, did we say this card was Finances or Relationships?' The looks you get, oh dear!), 3) it saves you having to tell the querent over and over what the card stands for (if you do that sort of thing). And 4) if you're learning a new spread you've found elsewhere, it saves you having to refer to the screen, book or your notes repeatedly as you try it out. It's just a handy dandy little idea.

What's Included
The set consists of the usual flimsy Llewellyn box. Inside is a white cardboard insert which fits the interior of the box snugly (an innovation for Llewellyn!) and is meant to hold the cards. Unfortunately, although the insert fits the outer box, the cards do not fit the insert, so they do slide around in there. I don't know why Llewellyn can't get this right. The companion book fits snugly over the insert, so at least the cards will stay in the insert when the whole contraption is shut. I don't intend to keep my cards in this box anyway, so it's not that big a deal.

Saturday 20 April 2013

I dreamed a dream

Cosmic Tarot
I had a dream last night and I can't remember any of it except this one part. I was lying in a bed and looking at a ceiling decorated with very intricate patterns. I lay there and contemplated the patterns, very comfortable, the mattress was soft and the covers were warm, but I knew that I couldn't move from this bed. I was confined to it. As I lay there counting off the many strokes that made up the complicated ceiling decorations, I knew that my body was soft and spreading across the bed. I was very fat, I was confined to this bed as a result of my own choices. It was strange, realizing this and feeling nothing. (This sort of thing happens to me often in dreams; for example, I might see a face that should be truly frightening, but in the dream I am not afraid, I just look at it. And in this dream, the grief and regret weren't there. It's only when I think back on the dream in my waking hours that I connect the image to emotion.) I had completely forgotten about this dream until I picked up my deck to shuffle this morning, I had the urge to draw one card to help me understand the meaning of this dream. And I drew The Star.

Friday 19 April 2013

Hit me with those laser beams


So much for Lady Justice being blind. Here, she's not only got her eyes wide open, they're shooting lasers out like Superman. I never really understood how being blindfolded meant you were being impartial, and anyway, a bit of research suggests that this idea of Justice wearing a blindfold only dates back to the 15th century. Before that, she had her eyes wide open.

I like this Justice card very much, there's a lot going on here. We've got day on the left side, night on the right, then the top of Justice's head is crowned with a tower having four visible windows with a golden light pouring out of them. She has a beams of light coming from her eyes and some sort of bird of prey at her left shoulder. Wearing a black robe which becomes the starry night sky, she leans over a big yin yang symbol and a set of scales embedded in a rose and entwined about with the Libra symbol. Each pan of the scale contains a red triangle with a black triangle inside it. These symbols may have a greater significance than suggested in the Cosmic Tarot companion book, which states merely that the upward pointing triangle represents spiritual matters, while the downward pointing triangle represents material matters, each being invested (symbolized by the black within the red) by its opposite, just like the yin yang symbol. That's pretty deep in and of itself, though. But where is her sword??

What a fantastic card this is. I just love looking at it. I have no idea why there is a tower on her head, or why the scales are set in a rose. Or why the two lasers of her eyes are going out at angles instead of straight ahead (well, that may be because it would be very difficult to draw the beams going in the direction of her gaze, since she staring directly out of the picture at us.)

The Golden Dawn title of Justice is 'Daughter of the Lord of Truth, Holder of Balances.' The lack of a sword in this card is an interesting choice, because the presence of a sword is important to Golden Dawn attributions, and the Cosmic Tarot seems more Thothy, or overtly GD, than RWS does. It is the sword, and not the scales, that keeps equlibrium. The scales are just a tool to detect imbalance, the sword is where the real work happens! 'The function of this path is to constantly compensate for imbalance. Justice acts like a carpenter's level, showing which side needs adjustment. If a person is imbalanced on the side of Mercy, the Sword of Justice swings to the side of Severity, and vice versa. The unbalanced aspects are severed by the sword of Geburah in a necessary, martial fashion.' (from New Golden Dawn Ritual Tarot) Maybe in the Cosmic Tarot, it's the Lady's laser beam eyes that will do the cutting.

Thursday 18 April 2013

On Spreads

 From Lisa Simpson's famous tarot reading
Chiriku at the Aecletic Tarot forum  recently made some interesting comments about the use of spreads vs positionless readings (which Chiriku calls 'throws').

Chiriku's opinion is that a spread is best for beginners in all cases, as well as being best for highly skilled and experienced readers who are reading for themselves. He gives as example the many beginners who post their positionless self-readings in the 'Your Readings' sub-forum at AT -- people who have asked a question, put out 3, 5 or even more cards and tried to free-form an interpretation from them. The fact that they are so very confused and seeking help in interpreting demonstrates that the positionless spread is ineffective for beginners. I agree, beginners really should stick to spreads. Beginners and even more experienced readers are highly susceptible to their own biases with free-form self-readings. This type of reading involves weaving cards into a narrative interpretation, and because we are so intimately aware of the complete back story to our own situation, and most importantly have a personal point of view about it,  a positionless throw becomes rife with potential for self-deception. The spread, on the other hand, provides a protective barrier against unintentional bias by giving a context in which to interpret each card, rather than weaving a series of cards together in what could well become an entirely inaccurate direction.

I often use positionless throws when reading for others, and occasionally when reading for myself. Based on my experience, it does seem to be the case that a positionless throw is easier to do for strangers. My lack of both background knowledge and personal emotional involvement in a situation lends the sort of objectivity and distance needed for accuracy. If a reader is too close to the subject or situation, it's very tempting to go off on personal tangents, to read things into the cards that fall into the groove of our own thinking, rather than letting the cards speak in a way that can shake us up or show us a new angle on a situation -- which is the reason we use tarot in the first place!

My favourite spreads are variations on the 3-card spread. I find it the most versatile of draws and the information you can pull out of a 3-card spread is sufficient for just about any question you can think of! Next favourites:

Wednesday 17 April 2013

Emotive moment: 3 of Cups in Cosmic Tarot

Cosmic Tarot

This is a very romantic image, not so much in the relationship sense, but in the artistic sense--it's idealized and sentimental. This card is a departure from the familiar 3 of Cups of the RWS, which shows three women celebrating in a sort of folk dance, or possibly an elaborate toast. The dance shown in this card is more intimate and balletic. Even the background is romantic, with a misty river, a boat like the one in Waterhouse's  Lady of Shallot, willow trees, cattails and the sort of improbable rock formations seen in Chinese landscapes. It's a bit like an antique oriental screen, and in fact, these dancers could actually be posed in a photographer's studio in front of a painted backdrop, rather than actually on some sort of picnic where they're having only three overflowing cups of something. Even the cups themselves are overstyled, with very long thin stems and impractically tiny bases. They'd surely tip over in real life.

Monday 15 April 2013

I'm back!

Broadway Tower, 12 April 2013
Back from hols; it was a weekend of mixed weather and lots of fun sites. Now time to get back to tarot! I'll post a little something tomorrow. I have a reading to do for a client first, though.

Saturday 13 April 2013

Weekend in the Cotswolds

I'll be away on holiday this weekend to celebrate our 

9th Wedding Anniversary!!!

Be back soon. :)

Friday 12 April 2013

New Moon: Seed Moon

10 April - 9 May
Full Moon 25 Apr

It's two days after the New Moon, but I almost always miss a new or full moon on the actual day of. I comfort myself in the knowledge that in the olden days, people judged these things by sight, not by a calendar. There must have been plenty of folk who didn't do any sort of ritual or reading on the exact right day. :) It is during this moon, the Seed Moon, in my tradition, that the festival of Beltane falls, on 1 May. Church tradition calls this holiday Roodmas, the Feast of the Cross, because it was on 3 May 355 that St Helena is supposed to have found remnants of the True Cross (the cross upon which Jesus was executed). The date of Roodmas has since been changed to 14 September (which actually around the time of another pagan holiday, Mabon or Autumn Equinox). One wonders just how far back, through how many religious and spiritual traditions, all these shared dates go back. There just seem to be too many for it be coincidence.

Anyway, now is the beginning of the moon cycle during which Beltane falls, and it's called Seed Moon. We are still in the Fire Tide, though it may not feel like it! Where I am in the UK, it's certainly been very cold since the Fire Tide began at Spring Equinox. But I hear that next week, we will really be warming up, and it will finally start feeling like spring. How appropriate for this to fall during the Seed Moon, by its very name the time when the seeds of new life begin to really make their presence felt. In my tradition, spring is the Fire Tide, because this is the time when the divine spark of life really ignites. And similarly, in myself, the spring is the time when I feel like I'm waking up, with a fresh renewal in myself, a sort of dewy fragility. (Though to be honest, lately I've mostly just felt tired.)

Thursday 11 April 2013

Hey, look at this!

Kelly-Ann of The Four Queens has made a Youtube called 'Getting a Reading: Advice and Experiences'.  It is a very informative (and energetic!) clip, with loads of advice about how to choose a reader and to prepare oneself for making the most of a tarot reading. The whole thing is definitely worth watching. She talks about the reading I did for her recently beginning at 13:07 of the clip.

Thanks, Kelly-Ann, I'm so glad the reading was meaningful to you. :)

What are all those foxtails for?

The first time I saw this Ace of Wands card from the Golden Dawn Magical Tarot I thought, 'What are all those fox tails for?' It looks like a three-pronged stick with a bunch of wagging animal tails mounted on it, and some leaves blowing about. But, no, that's not it at all. I'm still not sure why the wand has three prongs, but I suspect it might have something to do with the three mother letters of the Hebrew alphabet, aleph, mem, shin, which represent the three elements air, water, fire. Not sure about that, but you can see that there are 10 'tails' on the wand, which certainly correspond to the 10 sephira of Tree of Life. And on each 'tail' there are four colours, corresponding to the four suits. So actually, they are not tails, they are forty flames, the forty minor cards.

Wednesday 10 April 2013

Too Temperate?

Golden Dawn Magical Tarot
The Golden Dawn Magical Tarot has two Temperance cards, and not because the artist couldn't make up his mind, nor so that readers could take their pick. It's because of the Portal Ritual of the Golden Dawn. The companion book instructs to take one out for divination, and doesn't explain why two are needed for the ritual, nor does it give any detail about the ritual itself.

Tuesday 9 April 2013

Off to the docs

Golden Dawn Magical Tarot, Llewellyn
I'm off to a hospital appointment in another town today to get a second opinion about my hearing loss. I thought I'd do a one card draw on it and got 9 of Cups, then decided to go ahead and draw the next two cards to see a fuller message.

Monday 8 April 2013

Review: The Golden Dawn Magical Tarot

by Chic and Sandra Cicero

What's Included
Golden Dawn Magical Tarot comes in a typical Llewellyn box: oversized, flimsy and coming apart at the seams upon arrival. When I opened my parcel, I could feel something sliding around inside the box, tore off the outer shrink wrap, and the side of the box (not the top flap) came open because the glue was dried out. I opened the box and the deck slid out onto the table, not in its own tuck box but only wrapped in cellophane,  like a pack of cigarettes. I dumped the remaining contents out: a white bit supposedly meant to hold the deck in place, but nothing like the same size or shape as the deck, and a companion book called 'The New Golden Dawn Ritual Tarot'. 

Sunday 7 April 2013


Cosmic Tarot, US Games 1988
Feeling a bit bitter and twisted today, so this really ugly Fool card is not going amiss. Today is the first day of the new 'Sunday rota' at work, a thing that the we have all been dreading and making feeble, powerless protests against.

Saturday 6 April 2013

Those cups. They're just so deep.

Cosmic Tarot, US Games 1988
Oooh he's intense. The Prince of Cups from the Cosmic Tarot, US Games 1988. Now who does he remind me of? He's sort of a little bit Johnny Deppish, I think. In a smoothed-over, blanded-out, smoldery perfume ad rendition.

(The artist who painted these images seems to really have liked monogrammed jacket pockets. Just an observation.)

This Prince of Cups, according to Jean Huet's companion book, is not much like the daydreaming Knight of Cups from the Rider Waite Smith decks. Certainly nothing like the innocent Page of Cups. She goes into some detail about the scorpion, the snake on a pole (Rod of Asclepius) and the Anubis figure rowing the boat in the background over the water, in silhouette. To be honest, I'd taken no notice of these details, because I couldn't get past the whites of Johnny Depp's eyes, the Anton Lavey beard and the feathered hair. But now that Huet points them out to me, I can see how they help to emphasize this court card's character. Yes, he's intense, passionate, given to stormy emotions and stony vendettas. He's got depths (or thinks he does).

I take back what I said earlier about the daydreaming Knight of Cups. I'd forgotten that his mooning around comes from the same place that can lead him to become a stalker, or to make grandiose, foolish, or even self-destructive gestures in the name of loyalty or love. Whether he is the Knight of Cups in RWS or Prince of Cups in the Cosmic Tarot, he takes himself, his emotions and his relationships with others, both friend and foe, very seriously.

This is a guy who just never really lightens up. What's another word for intense? Forceful, passionate, agonizing, all-consuming, extreme, acute, fanatical, fervent, keen...there's no 'fun' or 'amusing' anywhere in the bunch.

I think the Prince of Cups is the ultimate 'Get over yourself' card. But I sort of think that about all the Cups courts!

Friday 5 April 2013

Step lightly, step sure

Cosmic Tarot (the hair is a free bonus)
Yesterday I spent so much time online trying to figure out what to do with my piddling little amount of savings. It's sort of comical, really. I have not got much a nest egg, and there is so little incentive for saving these days, it's like trying to select just the right   bean from a bag of dried pinto beans. What's the difference? But, I selected and applied for an ISA to transfer my little nest egg to, to try to wring as much as I can get out of it, bless it's thumpin' gizzard (as my mother used to say).

Anyway, after all that plodding (not to mention the two workouts I did, having not worked out to speak of for months, which I'm sure I'll be paying for when the 24-hour mark rolls around), the card is telling me that today is a day to measure my steps. Take care. Be balanced in all things, particularly in things to do with the physical, material, financial planes.

It's kind of interesting how this earth card is so dominated by water, and even the boat in the background has a spiritual symbol on it. Also interesting how there is no line of division between the water's edge and the shore upon which our hero is taking his careful, Daniel-san style steps. (Daniel-san from Karate Kid...or maybe Wai Chang Kane from Kung Fu. Or just any cool but slightly pretentious guy you see doing tai chi in the local public park).

Gosh, there's lots of stuff in this card to speak to us of balance in the spiritual and material planes. In fact, there's stuff to represent all 4 elements, though I guess fire is a little lacking, apart from the sunlight and the spotlights that are appearing under our hero's feet, Michael Jackson-like.

The whole card seems to be asking me to be cool, take my time, and balance all aspects of the self. Well, that's a lot to ask a person on a Friday!

Thursday 4 April 2013

Dealing with Dosh

I wanted to know about financial planning today, so I asked for three cards: Do this - Don't do this - Outcome:
Cosmic Tarot, US Games 1988
The cards are telling me to keep my emotions shielded and my gaze steady. The Princess of Cups is a thoughtful, even pensive person. I believe she is saying to pay close attention to instincts and intuition and avoid being gullible. There is a lot of information out there about investments, much of it actually marketing strategies. I will do best to pay attention to my feelings about things. For example, if a service provider has a great interest rate on offer but I don't feel good about the customer service I receive, I should pay attention to that. If  I feel attracted to a provider because of their ethical investing or even just their friendly approach, I should pay attention to that. A big part of being happy in my investments is feeling happy in myself about it all. This also reminds me to pay attention to level of risk tolerance. That could be another reason she is shielding her cup. 

Wednesday 3 April 2013

Cosmic Tarot: The Devil

Cosmic Tarot, US Games 1988
To be honest, I'm not overly keen on the Devil card from any deck, but this one in particular does nothing for me. When it's first turned over, it looks comical. He's a bit silly with his big nose, face jutting forward on his scrawny neck. You think, oh, it's one of those decks where the Devil is a silly figure. But as you look at the card, it's not very silly at all, and I find that a drawback because it is a very serious card that has a funny first impression.

The Devil of course dominates the card, standing there in his suit, wearing his ska two-tone tie (it was the 80s after all), and his inverted pentagram medallion. He's got a ring in his nose and horns on his head, and a long braid trailing over his shoulder. Pointy ears. Looking more closely at the suit, its pocket, chain, and stripes on the sleeve suggest that it's an ever-changing amalgamation of a business man's suit, a military uniform, and some counter culture elements. The Devil can be found everywhere - misuse of power and abuse of self and others can come from anywhere. He has a hump on his back and a pair of tattered wings that look like they have been manufactured. In fact, they also look like the riggings of sails, and the setting of this card could be a dock.

Tuesday 2 April 2013

Still I rise

Cosmic Tarot, US Games 1988
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Monday 1 April 2013

Cosmic Tarot Arabesques

Cosmic Tarot, US Games 1988
These two cards echo one another so fully that I can't help but be intrigued by them. They are the 4 of Wands and 6 of Swords from Cosmic Tarot, US Games 1988. In both cards we see a dancer wearing loose trousers and either a tight vest or no top, flowing hair, the left leg back and extended, left arm held parallel, right arm down. Both dancers balance on the ball of the foot within a circular pattern on the ground. Each card has a pyramid on the right side of the card, behind the dancer. Each card features the horizon. Each card has an oval shape of light that extends off the card. In the upper right corner of each card, we see an item--a bird in one card, a caduceus on the other. When the cards are placed side by side in order, both the horizon and the oval shapes more or less line up. The 4 of Wands seems to be daytime, the 6 of Swords night. The 4 of Wands features a woman, flowers and a bird and is pink; the 6 of Swords shows a man, swords and the night sky with caduceus and is blue. In the 4 of Wands,there are some slightly mountainous formations on the horizon, where the 6 of Swords is flat. I'm not sure why, but the woman seems to have her chest more toward the ground in a more classical arabesque, though the hip is quite open, while the man has his chest and hip fully in alignment, more a leg extension than an arabesque, I guess. No idea why this might be.

Anyway, these two cards echo each other so strongly, there must be something behind it.