Thursday 31 October 2013

Tarot Love at Samhain

Samhain Blog Hop Previous -  Tarot Trends
Samhain Blog Hop Next  - TABI 

'People all over the world! Join hands! Join the love train!'  

Oh, sorry. I was just singing to myself there. You've just chugged into the station on the Tarot Love Train from Christiane's blog at Tarot Trends, most likely. We have a brief layover here at Rowan Tarot before your journey proceeds to the TABI blog. Why not grab a cup of coffee and let's chat a bit before your connection?

For the Samhain Tarot Blog Hop, I was all set to do a Rachel Pollack-style wisdom reading, 'What is love?' But today, I don't feel like being deep. Today I just want to share with you some tarot decks that I love. So let me indulge myself by showing you cards I love, from decks I love. They're in no particular order, because how can you rank things you love?

Tarot of the Sidhe, Emily Carding
I love Tarot of the Sidhe for its bold colours, the beautiful vision realised by an untrained artist, and for its depiction of faerie folk or elementals. I find that the sidhe seem far more serious and 'real' to me than other faerie decks. This one is very, very special to me, because, to my mind, Emily Carding has made a meaningful connection to aspects of reality that the rest of us might only experience out of the corner of the eye or just under the surface of a dream. The deck is like a portal into the subconscious, and realms unseen. I adore the deck, but I find I really love these three cards: Maker Queen (or Queen of Pentacles) in the form of a tree with a beautiful flowering afro (are people allowed to say afro anymore??), her sexual nature and fertility highlighted by a lotus-like blossom, endless supplies of life-giving waters flowing from her palms. She's amazing. Then Dancer Nine (9 of Cups) has a lovely use of smeary twilight rainbow colours, with the Dancer reaching for her dreams as they float about her in golden bubbles. And the Warrior King (King of Wands) may be a tiny figure on the horizon, but his blazing image in the sky shows what he really thinks of himself. :) This particular deck is even more special to me because it was a gift from my friend Chloe at Inner Whispers, who even trimmed it for me! 

Wednesday 30 October 2013

The Devil didn't make you do anything. Grow up.

Ooooh, the Devil. But what a sweet looking Devil she is. Funnily enough, the last time I drew this card, it was a Wednesday as well! Now that's interesting. Or maybe just a coincidence.

Temptation wouldn't be temptation if it were scary. It looks enticing, it looks delectable, it looks, if not exactly safe, at least not lethal! We see it in this card. This figure certainly beckons us to come closer, to lean in to hear what she might have to say, to move toward her because she looks like she's having fun, and that she has lovely things to share with us. She's got a very impish expression, though. This little dragon has a sting in her tail.

I quite like this card, because the figure looks so of-the-earth. Temptation, seduction, excess, addiction, overindulgence, and any other 'dark quality' you can name -- all come from us. Nowhere else.

Tuesday 29 October 2013

Like candy floss

Wicca Moon Tarot
'Come here quick!' cried Daisy at the window. 

The rain was still falling, but the darkness had parted in the west, and there was a pink and golden billow of foamy clouds above the sea. 

'Look at that,' she whispered, and then after a moment: 'I'd like to just get one of those pink clouds and put you in it and push you around.' 
~ F Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

The 6 of Cups is about nostalgia, and the pink cloud with the flowers-and-sparkles rising out of the cups like champagne bubbles certainly seems to evoke the sentiment expressed by Daisy.  She and Jay Gatsby had enjoyed a rather adolescent flirtation during the years of WW1, and now in the Jazz Age, each would like to recapture that feeling and that era, Daisy because she wants to feel young and innocent again, and Jay because Daisy represented (and still represents) all the dreamy aspirations of his impoverished childhood -- the beauty, the affluence, the privilege, the easy grace, the carelessness. 

The 6 of Cups can be a complex card. It might just be one of the most complex in the tarot deck. Our childhoods, our memories of our childhood, our youthful dreams, our lost innocence, it's all tied up here in this card.

But it can also be a card that shows just a longing for things to be simple and uncomplicated, easy and 'happy'. That's what I'm hoping for today.

Monday 28 October 2013

It's not nice to fool Mother Nature

I love this Empress card from the Wicca Moon Tarot, but then I do quite like every card in this deck. One of my favourite things about the deck is that all the people are modelled by real friends of the deck artist and creator, Shirlee@Wicca Moon. I like that they are all of a certain age and none of them seem to have been off their food lately, if you know what I mean. They look like normal, healthy people who live real lives and have been around a while. This is all very, very good, if you ask me. I can certainly relate to these people more than the flat-abbed, zeppelin-breasted semi-nudes found in many modern decks. These people have dignity. And they almost all wear velvet dresses, which I think I is so cool. I'd love a velvet dress and a voluminous black cape or, as the case here, a huge piece of diaphanous fabric to swathe about myself.

So here we have Mother Nature herself sitting in glory surrounded by symbols of her creation--plus some sweet little fairies as well. And some fat, floaty bumblebees. And a big, lazy transparent bubble hovering in the air. It's just all so nice, and so many symbols there to trigger associations and ideas -- the death caps, the lilies, the bumblebees, the tress, the butterflies,the fairies, her bare feet, the colour of her dress, the sunflowers in her hair...what a great card.

For me, I'll just take it as a reminder to get back to basics in my physical life -- but also to watch out! Because the weather today is forecast to be pretty wild, a side to Mother Nature that we would do well to respect. She brought us into the world, and she can take us out!

(Source of title)

Sunday 27 October 2013

I am not a mind reader

I want to be clear about something.

 I am not a psychic.
 I cannot tell you what you are thinking.
I cannot guess how many kids you've got.
I don't know what colour eyes your future husband has (or your current one for that matter).
I cannot say, 'You asked me this question, but what you really want to know is THIS.' 
I cannot predict your future. 

I'm not saying there aren't people around who can do these things; I am just saying I am not one of them, and I have never made any claim to be.

But these things I can do:

I can take the question you ask me and help you shape it so that the tarot cards can answer it.

I can interpret the tarot's answer using a highly developed intuition and fluency in tarot symbolism.

I can deliver the message to you in a way that is perfectly understandable and clearly applicable to your life right now. 

I can offer suggestions based on the tarot's messages to help you start a game plan for finding your way forward. 

I can read the tarot like you can read writing scrawled on a wall. 

I can't read your mind or tell you your future, but I can answer your question using tarot, and you are going to feel stronger and better for it. I can promise you that.

I totally trimmed my Trevisan. Totally.

It's Halloween season, and that makes me think of the John Carpenter film, which makes me think of PJ Soles, which makes me start using the word 'totally'. So today, I totally trimmed my Crystal Tarot, by Elizabetta Trevisan. And it is TOTALLY wonderful trimmed. (Totally).

How they look fresh out of the box.
I have freed them from the awful multilingual titles and the numbers. I left some white all around. I did not want to trim to borderless because the white around the edges pleases me. The long skinny shape and multiple titles with the superfluous bars of pattern and distracting background oval shape did NOT please me. After a few minutes' contemplation this morning, I picked up my scissors took to whackin'. It tickled me no end to see each card come alive. It took only two snips per card, top and bottom,  and then the corners rounded. I have made this into a deck I can use more often, and that is a good thing, because I love these images.

Trevisan's Crystal Tarot -- totally trimmed!

Share a Spread Sunday: The Churchyard Spread

This could very well be a traditional spread. I don't know who created it or how old it is, but it does have an old-fashioned feel to it. I don't remember where I learned it. I don't even know where it gets its name! :)

1. Remove the Fool from your deck.
2. With the situation or question in mind, shuffle the remaining cards and draw 12 cards.
3. Add the Fool to the 12 cards, and shuffle those 13 cards.
4. Lay them out in a long line, face up:


The Fool is the present moment. If he is at the beginning of the line, most of what you have to do with regard to the situation or question is still to be done. If he is nearer the end of the line, most of what is developing is behind you. You are consciously aware of the cards that lie before the Fool.The cards that lie behind the Fool are the unconscious or unknown.

This spread is particularly well-suited for live, in person readings. It's also very useful to do on your own, for yourself.

Saturday 26 October 2013

Could you make it shallow so that I can feel the rain?

It's Halloween week and this year I'm featuring the Wicca Moon Tarot. To me, it's an ideal deck for this time of year, very atmospheric, nature-centred, full of leaves and trees and images of people wearing pointy witch's hats. Plus, it has a pumpkin and a black cat on the cardbacks!

Today's card is The Fool. It's quite a departure from the RWS Fool. Instead of a jester type stepping blithely off the edge of a cliff with his little dog trying to warn him to watch out, here we have a pointy-eared bloke in a camouflage cagoule, holding a shovel over his shoulder and wearing a panama hat and shades. He stands on a hill made of lilies and crystals, and his companions are a fox and a crow. He holds a pink-tinged lily in his hand instead of a white rose.

For some reason, this guy makes me think of a grave digger. It's surely the shovel combined with the crow, the bare, icy trees, the dark night and the lilies. Come to think of it, that's a lot of reasons. Now, what does a grave digger have in common with the Fool?

Well, both are associated with the beginning of an important spiritual journey into the unknown, a journey that does not have a true set progression nor finite outcome. That's a profound enough connection for me on a Saturday morning, having gone to bed at 3.45 AM and gotten up at 4.50 AM. I hope I get a nap later this morning. This sleeplessness is going to do me in.

Friday 25 October 2013

A tarot documentary narrated by Christopher Lee!

I'd like to be, under the sea...

Spiral Tarot, 1997 an octopus's garden, in the shade.
He'd let us in, knows where we've been 
In his octopus's garden, in the shade.

I'd ask my friends to come and see
An octopus's garden with me
I'd like to be under the sea
In an octopus's garden in the shade.

We would be warm below the storm 
In our little hideaway beneath the waves
Resting our head on the sea bed
In an octopus's garden near a cave.

We would sing and dance around
Because we know we can't be found
I'd like to be under the sea
In an octopus's garden in the shade.

We would shout and swim about
The coral that lies beneath the waves
Oh what joy for every girl and boy
Knowing they're happy and they're safe

We would be so happy you and me
No one there to tell us what to do
I'd like to be under the sea

In an octopus's garden with you.

I finish work early today and everything's fine. :D Have a nice weekend, everyone! 

Thursday 24 October 2013

Not letting go, no way no how

Spiral Tarot, 1997
The Spiral Tarot certainly models itself on the Rider Waite-Smith deck, with a few variations. I like what the creators have done with the 4 of Pentacles here. Look at this amazing image. The man sits on a throne of bricks, fist clinched. His legs look more like marble columns, rooted firmly on the two pentacles on the floor. He grips one pentacle to his chest and the other sits firmly on top of his head, mashing his hair down a bit. The ornament on the back wall makes me think of a prison window. And the floor is stark black and white. This is a card of grasping and clinging, of seeing things as 'mine' or 'not mine', of limiting yourself through trying to hang on to what you've got.

That's also the way the 4 of Pentacles is seen in the Rider Waite-Smith, but in another tradition, the 4 of Pentacles (or Coins or Disks) has a different meaning, incompatible with this. On the Tree of Life, this card falls at Chesed, which is about benevolent outpourings of mercy, and because the pentacles are about earthly power, it would be natural to assume this benevolence would come from someone in power. Now I suppose one way to reconcile the two meanings would be to say that the figure in the RWS 4 of Pentacles is not currently showing benevolent outpourings of mercy, but obviously needs to. And in fact, that is usually the spin that we put on this card. You're hanging on, but you should be letting go. On occasion, the card can mean a healthy sort of self-protection, but in the main, most readers would see it as advice to be less rigid, self-protecting, self-limiting, and miserly. It's just that the card gets the message across by looking at from the negative angle.

This is one reason why unillustrated pip cards can be helpful. If you know the full range of possible meanings, you can combine the card with other cards nearby and not be overly influenced by the slant that the illustrator has chosen to put on the card. See the 4 of Pentacles from the Golden Dawn Magical Tarot, a firm favourite of mine, at right. The disks are in the four corners, suggesting the groundedness of the number four, and the white rose in the middle gives a hint of the 'purity' of the benevolence of Chesed, but you could go either way or even both ways with this card, with perhaps less explaining of 'alternate' meanings to do to a client who is looking at a picture of someone hanging on to coins and listening to you telling them to 'release'.

I do love my RWS decks -- don't get me wrong! Most of my decks are based on RWS. It's good to remember that there are other kinds of cards out there. And as usual, since both decks are a Golden Dawn tradition, if you look at and think about them long enough, both systems end up in the same sort of interpretation anyway.

For today, then, I will examine what I'm clinging to and what I need to let go of, particularly as it pertains to my physical and material life.

Wednesday 23 October 2013

Oh, boy! Conflict!

Spiral Tarot, 1997
Nobody likes a squabble, so I wasn't too thrilled to see 5 of Wands as my card of the day. Though heaven knows I've been conflicted enough over the last two weeks about all this job stuff. I went to the assessment for the experience. Then they offer me two posts which involve commutes. I try to get them to offer me enough of a raise in salary to at least cover the the commutes with a bit left over for me. No go. So I end up taking one of them and turning down the other to stay half time in my current post. After commute costs and taxes, I'm going to end up only slight better off per month financially. When I say slight, I mean slight. Like, the cost of a tarot box set slight.

These guys remind me of the cast of 'Gangs of New York'. Remember that film? Leonardo di Caprio vs uber villain Daniel Day Lewis. No, I don't remember much about it either, except the costumes.

I suppose the good thing is at least the squabbles aren't serious. Rachel Pollack points out in Tarot Wisdom that the number 5 falls Gevurah in the Tree of Life, a place of contraction and adversity, but the wands energy is so optimistic that it keeps the conflict from being terribly serious. It's minor clashes or some sort of competitive energy.

To look at the card from a more positive perspective, the 5s can be a time of change (but then, what tarot card isn't!) and so the 5 of Wands can be a shift in energy or new sense of purpose. Well, I find that a bit of a stretch for me personally, but that's what Rachel Pollack suggests. Still, it's competition that doesn't 'hurt', and can also show the excitement of participating in the world.

Well, I wonder then what the day will bring.

Tuesday 22 October 2013

Dance without a net upon the wire

Spiral Tarot, 1997
She walks a tightrope in her stockinged feet, a slender rope that runs parallel along the rocky edge of a waterfall. Her thin dress blows lightly about her legs. She holds a heavy sword in each hand, crossed by the wrist at chest level. She clutches her arms to her chest to balance the swords, their lengths rising above each of her two shoulders and pointing upward into the starry night sky. She is blindfolded. Her chin juts forward as she makes use of her remaining senses to guide her. She has gone deep within in order to maintain her balance and achieve this task of getting to the other side. Her foot reaches out toe first to take her next step. There is the tension of concentration in the image, but also a sort of calm. Her shoulders are down. Her face is smooth. Her arms and hands are solid and sure, braced against her upright body. She is going to make it.

Rachel Pollack suggests in Tarot Wisdom that the figure in the Two of Swords appears to be engaged in a kind of meditation or martial art, and I agree with that. Sometimes to get to the truth of a matter, you have to put on a blindfold. To see things from a new angle, you have to shut out the things that seem most obvious, and 'feel' for subtler truths. Shutting out what everyone else 'sees' can be a challenging experience, you can feel like you've put yourself in a dangerous position and that there's no one to help. But really, at these times, no one can help but you. Any input from an outside source at this particular moment in the life of the woman in this card would upset all her balance and send her teetering off the wire. True, we can't see what's below her -- could be a churning abyss, could be an 18 inch drop to a nice smooth rock for her to stand on. But she doesn't want to drop, she wants to get across on that wire, and she can do it if she keeps to her purpose and does not allow any distractions.

Today may my resolve remain strong in the face of any attempted distractions, even if they're meant to be helpful.

Monday 21 October 2013

A-B-C, which will it be?

After I did the reading below, I sat down to the computer to type it up here and saw the poster above. What a timely message.

It turns out I do have a decision to make and it's not a bad thing, but it's stressful. I've been given the choice between several options regarding my job. I have narrowed it to three:

Which cup will she choose?

(The card must have blown sideways a bit when I closed the scanner this morning, but I decided to just leave the image like this because, why not.) 

Today's card from the Spiral Tarot is 7 of Cups. As with most of the cards in this deck, I quite like this one. I like that the woman holds an umbrella standing in the rain, and she is looking down at the cups, but she can't quite see them through the mist. Usually with the 7 of Cups there is someone looking upward toward the cups, as if they are aspirations out of reach, or something not quite within our control or grasp, sometimes even like pipe dreams. But in this card, the woman looks down toward them and they are all sitting on the ground around her. The mist seems a natural result of the rain and damp, like when your glasses fog up. She is free to move about the cups and make her selection. True, she can't see them very clearly for the layer of mist overhanging them, but she can take her time. She's in no rush. The mist may part just enough that she can see the cup she's examining moment to moment at least, even if she can't see them all at once. It might even be better that she can't see them clearly all at once. Could be overwhelming. The LWB says she can't see the cups at all, but I think she can see them, just not clearly.

The cups have different colours inside, as if they were lined with an enamel coating. Starting from the top, behind the woman, there is yellow, then green, blue, orange, black, red and blue again. People have all sorts of associations with colours; for example, yellow may remind you of light or the sun, green of nature, blue of peaceful emotions or contentment, orange of vibrancy and life, black of rest, death or something absolute, red of passion or heat. I've looked very closely at the two blue cups and I can't discern a difference in the shade of blue used. If it's there it's too subtle for me. So of course the first thing I wonder is, why are there two blue cups. Maybe it's because no matter what choices lie before us, what we really want is peace and contentment. And the fact that there is a double dose of it there, that 2 out of 7 options contain it, well, maybe that means the odds are stacked more favorably for us to achieve it than we thought.

I may be facing a choice today. Don't know yet.

Sunday 20 October 2013

Share a Spread Sunday: Let's do the Time Warp again

I first featured this spread on my blog in March 2012, when I created it. Halloween approaches and this is the time of year to be watching movies like 'Rocky Horror Picture Show', so I thought I'd share it again. Thus -- Time Warp. :D  It is a great little spread for one of those pesky 'general' readings. The questions are based on selected songs from the movie, in the order they appear. 

Rocky Horror Spread

1) Science Fiction Double Feature -- What influence from your past colours the way you see and experience everything to this day? (In the way that science fiction B movies did for the narrator of this song)

2) Dammit Janet -- What do you feel passionate about in the here and now?

3) Over at the Frankenstein Place (There's a Light) -- What has suddenly emerged that might be of help to you? (Or does it just seem helpful? Could it be harmful?)

4) Sweet Transvestite -- Who is the real you?

5) I Can Make You a Man -- What is your greatest strength/skill?

6) Sword of Damocles -- What is your biggest fear?

7) Rose Tint My World -- What is your greatest desire, ie, you don't want to dream it, but be it.

8) I'm Going Home -- What outcome would be the most deeply satisfying to you?

Oh for a snooze

Spiral Tarot, Steventon 1997
Oh, how appropriate is this card from Spiral Tarot. I am so knackered I don't know what to do with myself, but alas I am scheduled to work today. Yes, a Sunday. Where's the justice,  I ask you. I would so rather be home snuggled under a blanky, relaxing and watching the complete DVD box set of Rev. (Or maybe you can see this clip here).

Well, at least I get to come home at 3.15. That's something, I guess.

Saturday 19 October 2013

What to do, what to do, what to do, what to do!

Spiral Tarot (US Games 1997)
I just bought this deck recently, the Spiral Tarot by Kay Steventon (US Games 1997). I really love the artwork, but I'm not convinced about those purple and white borders, particularly with the red and white inner borders. Odd.  I'm just going to conduct a small experiment here and try cropping the scanned image:

Friday 18 October 2013

Stay connected

Well you guys, I have made myself a Facebook page. Check it out!

Note to self: Avoid throwing bull chunks at angry goddesses

    DO THIS                                      DON'T DO THIS
Important thing at work today. The cards seem to be saying to be logical and controlled, and not to worry about the outcome. I suppose the cards have a point. This is not a life or death thing here. Nothing is riding on the outcome of today's events. So why should I worry about it? I like the way the figure on the left is throwing the arrow over his shoulder, as if he's chucking the 5 of Disks over his shoulder with it. 'Psssh!' He seems to be saying. 'Away with you.'

Thursday 17 October 2013

Fate's Spin with the Babylonian Tarot

Fortune's Spin UK Tarot Conference 2013

1. Where can I locate fortune in my life?
2.  How can I recognize opportunity when it presents itself?
3. How can I create a more fortunate spin in my life?
4. What can I do to prepare for the changes that come when I activate Fortune's spin?
5. How can I be receptive to what change has to offer?
6. What role or purpose am I creating when I acknowledge rather than overlook the changes in my life?
7. How can I be a living example of my fortunate divination?

I've asked about fortune and I get the Ace of Disks again. The energy of this suit is hovering round me this week. Fortune naturally is going to fall within the realm of earthly concerns -- physical, material, financial. Seems to me that is what 'fortune' is all about, things that happen to us in this earthly plane. Also, interestingly, the Ace of Disks itself becomes the hub of the wheel that turns this spread. The other cards rotate around it.

Wednesday 16 October 2013

UK Tarot Conference 2013

It seems like only a few months ago that I attended the 2012 UK Tarot Conference and here I am writing up a review of the 2013 conference! Amazing how fast time goes. This was my third London UK Tarot Conference. The first one in 2010, I knew no one, but at the TABI Conference in 2011 (I think it was!) I met Chloe of Inner Whispers, and since then I've got to know a few others at the conference as well who, if not well known to me, at least are friendly and familiar faces, and so every year the conference becomes not just informative, but also more comfortable and fun.

As I did in last year's post, I am going to run through the sessions summing up what I learned and experienced.

Tuesday 15 October 2013

Star of Babylon

Babylonian Tarot (Cicero 2006)
The Ace of Disks in Babylonian Tarot is very similar in design to the Ace of Disks from the Thoth Tarot. The Babylonian one is simpler. The circle in the middle is said to be the Babylonian symbol for the sun. At the top of the card is the cuneiform symbol for 'one', and at the bottom left is the cuneiform symbol for 'grain'.

The Thoth card is also known as 'the root of powers of the earth', and this is an apt description of the Ace of Disks (also known as Coins or Pentacles). As always, the ace of the suit represents the full potential of the power of the element of the suit. It is truly a purely elemental card. In the case of the Disks, it represents all things having to do with the physical, the material, the financial. So here we have material gain, prosperity, health, the faculties of the senses, work, labor, possibly even power and wealth. Aces can always suggest the beginning of something as well, or at least that the energies are positive for the beginning of the something. An auspicious time for starts in projects focusing on the earth realm. It might also suggest that now is the time to get back to basics in the realm of the earth element. This could mean having a fresh look at one's finances, being on the alert for new opportunities in work and career, or a good time to start a new health regime or make an appointment to see the doctor about something that's been bothering you. It's a good time to do something new in any or all of these areas of your life.

The Thoth card is more ornate than the Babylonian card, but that is true of every similar card in the pack. Lady Frieda Harris's art style is quite different, more accomplished and ornate than the Babylonian Tarot's. Still the similarities are obvious: green coloration, a star inside a circle in the middle, the oval or lozenge shape with the rather pointed ends has a name and esoteric significance, but at the moment I can't recall what it is nor remember what book I read it in! It has something to do with perfection in the world--if I remember it I will come back here and add the information. :)

I don't feel very filled with the potential energy of the suit today, having only slept 4.5 hours last night. But, still gotta go to work, so who knows what the day may bring.

Monday 14 October 2013

Let's take a look at the Babylonian Tarot

Babylonian TarotThe UK Tarot Conference was fun and I will write about it soon, but first let's take a look at this week's tarot, the Babylonian Tarot by Sandra Tabatha Cicero (Llewellyn, 2006). This was a freebie in our goody bags at the conference! I'm so glad I didn't order it as a result of being enabled by Chloe at Inner Whispers recently!

I have another deck by this same author, Golden Dawn Magical Tarot, which I am a big fan of, so I am happy to say that having perused the companion book and looked through the cards, I quite like this one, too! The art style is just like the Golden Dawn Magical Tarot, and as there is no credit given anywhere that I can see in the book, I assume that Sandra Tabatha Cicero has done them all herself. I quite like the art style of both decks, though some might call it 'naive' or 'primitive'. I like a deck that looks hand drawn (and I also like a deck that looks quite accomplished--I like both as long as the art work is not so slick that it looks like perhaps a human hand had no involvement.)

Sunday 13 October 2013

Share a Spread Sunday: 'The Seven Method'

I read about this in a little book I picked up in The Works called 'Tarot' by Kathleen McCormack. I've adapted it from the original instructions just slightly. I found the shuffling method over-complicated. It's a fun spread because it has a sort of old-fashioned fortune teller feel to it -- you turn cards over one by one, and move them around during the reading. I like to use this spread with very quick, simple interpretations.

This question is best used to answer a specific question.

Shuffle the deck and cut, then lay out a row of seven cards, face down, starting from the right. (Alternately, you may spread the cards and select seven at random, laying them out in a row of seven, starting from the right.)


Friday 11 October 2013

Can you dig it?

Aquarian Tarot
Our final draw from the Aquarian Tarot is The Magician. Wow, isn't it groovy. It's got wind chimes, it's got palm fronds, it's got Doug Henning as the Juggler--all it needs is Beverly Moss from 'Abigail's Party' asking us if we like olives and pressing us to have another gin and tonic and would we back in the 70s or what?

I like this Magician, he looks a bit spaced out. Forget the as above so below business, I think this Magician is comfortably numb. He may have forgotten he's even got hands. Bless him.

I'm off to London tomorrow to the UK Tarot Conference 2013, and very excited I am indeed! I will give a full report upon my return.

Thursday 10 October 2013

Life is luscious - taste it

Aquarian Tarot
What a great card to draw today, because I got up this morning and did some yoga, and my intention for the
morning is to try to be as in my body as possible today. Also, I'm taking care of a health-related thing today, as I travel to the audiologist and otolaryngologist to have my 6-monthly hearing test and review of my ears. When I get home today, I hope to fit in a workout.

Apart from all that, I think this is a beautiful Ace of Pentacles. I love the ace cards in nearly every deck. There's something really magical about them. When I was a little kid, I used to play with my sister's poker decks, sorting and looking at the cards, and I would always take out the aces and the courts. Aces and courts are my favourite cards in the tarot as well. I guess it's a lifelong attraction, me and cards. I've always loved cards, even before I started using tarot. They are just so tactile and delicious.

I'm really into my five senses today. This card seems to be 'spot on', as they say!

A friend of mine said the other day, 'Since all life is futility, then the decision to exist must be the most irrational of all.' That really irritates me. I, too, believe that there is probably no ultimate meaning to life, but so what? Life is an amazing thing. We are all aggregates of the elements of the universe, come together in distinct and unique ways, for a brief time, then for mysterious reasons, those elements dissolve back into the universe again to converge somewhere else. Who cares about 'meaning' in the face of something as awesome as that? Life may not have meaning, but so what? That frees you up, if you ask me. Life has no meaning, so just enjoy it. What a concept! If there's nothing to accomplish, that takes the pressure off, doesn't it? An it harm none, do what ye will.

Wednesday 9 October 2013

Contemplating the earthly plane

Aquarian Tarot
This Queen of Pentacles from the Aquarian Tarot does not look particularly earthy to me. The background is filled with sky, and she even has wings on her helmet. she is wearing an ermine cloak, trimmed with that strange cured pork pink, or perhaps it's a very watered down red, that appears in so many of these cards. The shape of the figure suggests she is holding the pentacle, but we see no hint of actual arms. Her cloak appears to be ermine. She gazes down toward the pentacle with an impassive face.

Reading just from the picture, today's card suggests to me someone who is usually quite airy (in their head a lot) focusing more on the body, health, the material and the physical. Also perhaps on their work.

I went to the doctor day before yesterday to get results on an MRI I had (and to talk about my toe) because I've been getting a pain and numbness in the quadricep (just above and to the side of my right knee) for some time, and lately it has progressed to a dull ache, with occasional sharp pains. She had me have an MRI to see if there was any compression in my spine or pinched nerves, which there are not. I asked what is causing it then and she said something vague about nerve damage and gave me a prescription of 10mg ametriptyline. I took the first one last night and can say it really did nothing at all to help. It's at night that I get the most nagging pain, no matter how I lie it seems to aggravate the spot on my leg. I have to get all my weight onto my left hip and crook my right knee in just the right position to ease it. It's not an agonizing pain, just annoying enough to distract me from going to sleep comfortably. It's also started to hurt when I walk for any amount of time. I dread to think what it will do when walking season returns.

Anyway, the card seems to say I'll be thinking a lot about physical stuff today.

Tuesday 8 October 2013


Aquarian Tarot, 2006
Hey, hey! It's the Six of Rods today! The Aquarian Tarot shows us a close up of the victorious soldier returning from battle.

This is a very auspicious card. It has to do with victory, success, triumph. Today is going to be a victorious day for me.

Victory is my key word for the day. :)

Monday 7 October 2013

Towering toenails, captain

Aquarian Tarot, 2006
I hope this Tower card from the Aquarian Tarot doesn't mean what I fear it means! I have a doctor's appointment today to have a look at a my left big toe. Sounds funny but it's kinda not! Back in March, I wore a new pair of walking shoes (which I had to buy when I forgot my worn-in shoes, taking an extra pair of my husband's shoes by mistake instead!), and ended up getting a nasty case of black toenail, which occurs when one's toe is bashed around in an ill-fitting toebox. When I got back, the toenails of my left big toe and second toe were in terrible shape, lumped up, and and a top layer came away. This left a lumpy part underneath, but from the cuticle fresh new nail was growing, so I didn't worry. The lumpy bit has made it half way up my toenail now (I was hoping it would grow all the way off) but now it's started hurting and it hurts when pressure is put on it. (For example, when pressing the tops of the feet into the mat during yoga, for say, upward dog). So I am going to the doctor to see what she says, and I have a fear she is going to say we need to remove the whole thing and start again. I have a great fear of this procedure! Ugh!

Sunday 6 October 2013

Share a Spread Sunday: Hexagram Priorities Spread

I made this one up based on the shape of the hexagram. It probably isn't new, but I don't remember seeing it anywhere. (I first posted it on Aeclectic Tarot: Setting Priorities Hexagram Spread.)

The hexagram is made up of two overlapping triangles, one pointing down and one pointing up:

The downward pointing triangle is feminine, the upward pointing triangle masculine. The spread should be read as two 3-card sets. The spread is laid out in this order:


1-3) What I should be receptive toward today (or in this situation).
4-6) What I should act upon or seek to achieve today (or in this situation). 

You can then look at each card individually, particularly card 1 which is the top receptive priority, and card 6, which is the top active priority. 

You can read the cards yet again, with 4-6 being what is obvious or apparent at the moment, and cards 1-3 being what is hidden or unrecognized. 

A sample draw with the Hezicos Tarot

Cards 1-3--Hierophant, 10 of Cups, 5 of Coins; Cards 4-6 -- Magician, 8 of Cups, 7 of Swords

Quick Summary of Draw
These quick summaries are just to give a brief flavour of how a spread works, and do not constitute a full reading! 

It looks like today will be a day of mood swings for this querent. Most deeply concerned with getting things right (Hierophant), she will probably find herself alternating between deep contentment (10 of Cups) and (mostly unfounded) worries (5 of Coins). We've all had days like that! The most important thing for her to hang on to is the knowledge that she is living her life right according to her own beliefs (Hierophant). Everything else will take care if itself. 

So, armed with that knowledge, the querent should act with great belief that what she does will have positive results (Magician). Whatever project or task she is working on today, she should consider taking it in a new direction (8 of Cups). Changing tack may be a bit unsettling, but it needs doing.  Be crafty with it, as well! Use some cunning strategy, particularly if that strategy makes her feel just a little bit cheeky or naughty (7 of Swords). Not cheating, just a little bit daring. Kind of edgy. 

If you try the spread, do let me know! 

If you would like me to do a reading for you using this spread, you can order one by clicking on the 'Order a Tarot Reading' tab at the top of this page. Select '4-6 cards' in the Paypal gadget, then just write 'Hexagram Priorities' and your question in the instructions, or send me a separate email to 

Like the Wichita Lineman

Aquarian Tarot (US Games 2006)
The little guy in this card from Aquarian Tarot (2006) looks more like he's scaling the wall of the the cathedral than building it in David Palladini's version of the 3 of Pentacles. The long window opening onto nothing but sky gives a great sense of scale and height. I imagine that if we pulled back the perspective we'd see that the carver (or climber as the case may be) is clinging high above the cathedral floor, a vast space of air and potential peril all around him. The ceiling is still high above his head. The intricately tiled floor is many feet below him. If he falls, he falls. No safety net, no climbing belt. Just his own natural agility and dexterity.

That's a bit of a departure from the usual RWS image, which shows the craftsman standing on a ladder of some sort in a low alcove a cathedral, a church official and a patron of some sort looking at plans and observing him at his work. That card often makes me think of how teamwork is such an unacknowledged part of artistry, or how some people are willing to stand back and let someone else do all the work, depending on the question and the card position in the spread. Here though, I just think, Wow, that guy is all on his own, and to be honest, he looks like he could easily slip and slide right down that bit of stone masonry. In fact, he might even be beginning to slip in this picture. Sounds slightly familiar. I'm on my own this weekend, and I do feel a bit like I'm hanging from my fingernails. Well, it's 4.48 AM and obviously I am still up. I don't do well when left to my own devices. I need the remainder of my team to function.

Saturday 5 October 2013


Aquarian Tarot, US Games
This week's deck is the Aquarian Tarot by David Palladini, first published in 1970 by US Games, reissued in 1993 and again in 2006. Of course, I have the 2006 edition.

Even though the box describes the deck as 'Art Deco-inspired' this deck strikes me as being quite 70s-tastic, especially the majors. The minors are nearly all close-up variation of RWS images, with lots of white space incorporated.

Today's draw is the 2 of Rods, or 2 of Wands. To me, the 2 of Rods is usually about making plans, creating a vision, feeling in touch with one's power. The Golden Dawn calls the card 'Lord of Dominion' and suggest it means expression of power, authority or influence. Waite himself compared the figure in his RWS image to Alexander the Great, who supposedly wept after he had conquered the known world, because after that he could think of nothing to do with his life. And so some readers interpret the card to mean success tinged with sadness.

I prefer, and tend to use, the interpretation of being in control over a situation, a time of feeling in touch with your power, and knowing your own potential.

Today I hope to work a bit more on something that may affect my daily life. I have something coming up Friday after next that could affect my work and daily routine. I am not sure I actually want this thing to happen, but I am going to step up for it anyway. I have strong ideas of my requirements, though, so things may fall through at the negotiation stage.  Maybe there's a tinge of sadness there because even if I get this opportunity, my heart won't truly be in it.

Friday 4 October 2013

The Page of Wands wears a Wonder Bra

Roots of Asia, 2001
Our last card from the Roots of Asia Tarot (AGMuller, 2001) is Page of Wands. This is a lovely image, filled with symbolic objects. Unfortunately, the LWB doesn't explain all of them. We are told that the tiger represents clear perception, and fire indicates energy, passion and endurance. There are also irises all over this card, and I do not know what significance an iris has in Asian/Buddhist symbolism. In flower symbolism, it means faith, hope and wisdom. I really don't think this card is pointing to the Greek goddess, Iris, the goddess of the rainbow. But maybe it is...

The divinatory meaning given in the book is 'Following my heart.' So that is what I will do today.

Thursday 3 October 2013

Vision in the darkness--wisdom of the owl

Roots of Asia, 2001
Wow, that's amazing. I've drawn another 8 from Roots of Asia Tarot today! That's three 8s in a row.

Today we have 8 of Swords. This card's title is 'Restricted Thinking'. You can see that the figure, though covered with winged patterns that speak of freedom to fly, has his face covered with his hands. He's trapped himself, even though the owl, the symbol of wisdom, sits wide-eyed on top of his head. This guy is not trapped at all. He's only frozen by his own illusions of being trapped; he's created his own bonds.

'The causes of our blindness and inability to fight against our pain and suffering are: the addictions to the things of our body, putting ourselves into negative environments, wasting time and energy on mindless and negative entertainment, indulging in gambling and games, association with negative companionship, habit of laziness, indulgence of the senses, extreme asceticism.' ~ Roots of Asia LWB

You may notice that the number of items or lessons listed in each card description corresponds to the number on the card. Eight of Swords, eight causes of 'blindness' and suffering.

The question for today is, in what way am I causing my own suffering? Am I addicted to things of the body? How do I put myself into negative environments? How have I wasted time on mindless entertainments? Have I really indulged in gambling and games? How have I been lazy, out of habit? I think we can all find answers to these questions. We are none of us perfect, nor called to be. This card does not call us to perfection, does not convict of us sin. Instead it asks to look at these harmful behaviours and habits and to recognize how they limit us, how they create suffering rather than relieve it.

This is profound work.

Wednesday 2 October 2013

Boats against the current

Roots of Asia, 2001
'I was so excited, my head was swimming. I felt as if some very tiny, cold, little fish were swimming in my veins. All I kept thinking was, I kept thinking -- you can't live forever. You can't live forever.' ~Myrtle, The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald 

'Potential has a shelf life.' ~Margaret Atwood, Cat's Eye*

Hey, it's another 8 from the Roots of Asia Tarot! Today it's the 8 of Cups. I drew this same card on Saturday, so clearly this must be something that I need to pay closer attention to. It seems to me I am being called to investigate ways I am clinging to 'old seasons' of my life, and ignoring new paths that present themselves to me.

I should watch out today for things I say 'No' to, considering if these things are actually new paths opening before my feet. I need to be able to 'move freely within and between the seasons that come to me' (LWB).

I believe I will prop this card up and meditate on it this morning.

*Thanks to Sharyn at Quirkeries for a quote that clonked me between the eyes.