Friday 30 May 2014

Deck Review: Chakra Wisdom Oracle

Chakra Wisdom Oracle by Tori Hartman, illustrated by Gretchen Raisch-Baskin 
(Watkins Publishing 2014)

What's included
This kit includes a deck of 49 cards and a 95-page companion book. It is housed in a very sturdy box of similar dimensions to Blue Angel oracle boxes, measuring 12 x 17 x 4 cm. It is very colourful, well constructed, and with a matte finish. Instead of the top lifting off the box, the cards are contained within a tray that slides inside a sleeve. It's a snug fit, very secure. A small loop of ribbon has been built into the tray so that you can pull it out. The tray will not slide out of the box when tipped. I tested this by putting deck and book into the box, turning the box with tray side facing down and shaking the box vigorously. The tray just started sliding out after the fifth vigorous shake. (I did this three times -- comes out on fifth shake!) In other words, whichever way you store this box, however you pick up, the cards are not going to fall out. This is a big plus to me. Inside the tray, there is a cardboard inset that the cards are meant to nestle inside; however, the bottom cards of the deck do slide under the edges of it, which is annoying. A molded plastic inset, or one made of a continuous piece of card which would not allow cards to slide under it, would have made this the perfect packaging!

The book
The small companion book fits snugly into the packaging. It is printed on colourful, matte paper with a glued and stitching binding which will train to lie flat (be careful, though). The book is short at 95 pages. There is a brief explanation of each suit of cards, and each card gets one page which includes a small colour thumbnail image of the card, a brief story, a few thoughts to get you started, and a very short meditation. There are several layouts and sample readings included.

The cards
Now that I've struggled to pull the seven bottom cards of my deck out from under the inset in the box, let me describe them to you. (Some of the borders are already showing damage from having to pull them out when stuck. These things happen in this kind of inset. I will probably seal the inset to the bottom of the box using wide clear tape to prevent this from happening in future. Shouldn't have to do that.)

The deck itself is on the small side for an oracle - 11 x 7.5 x 2 cm. I love the card back:

The hooded and caped figure holds her lantern aloft, staff in hand, feet bare. She walks the dirt path through the colours of the chakras, a crystal or lantern shining in each. From the bottom of the card they are: root chakra, sacral chakra, solar plexus chakra, heart chakra, throat chakra, third eye or brow chakra, and crown chakra. We often hear the phrase 'a journey through the chakras', which is well depicted here. I would love to have a large poster of this image. I believe it would fit very well near a yoga or meditation space.

The card stock is a pleasant thickness and texture with a matte finish, very light lamination. The illustrations by Getchen Raisch-Baskin are rich in colour. At the bottom of each card is a wide white space in which the key word or card title is printed in large capital letters. Each card has a thin coloured border corresponding to suit.

The system
Deck creator Tori Hartman recounts a near-death experience in 1988 during which she began to hear voices of angels, who over the next five years, dictated curious tales to her. These tales always involved colours. Tori felt compelled to write them down and they remained stored in a drawer for the next 20 years. When asked for advice by a friend, Tori chanced upon the stories, saw one that applied to the situation, relayed it to her friend and the idea for sharing the stories was born. When Tori realised that the colours and energies of the stories correspond to the chakras, a deck was born.

Each chakra gets a chapter, with one page of explanation for the chakra, a quick guide to the cards, and one page of text for each card. I found the material in the book to require a lot of piecing together. It is entirely down to the user of the deck to make his or her own sense of the card, the image, the angelic fable, the meditation, and how any or all of this applies to the question or issue at hand. This might come in a flash or it might take a lot of thought. Depends on the user.

The spreads in the back are useful and different from the norm.

Here's the creator explaining the deck (she starts talking about the deck about 1:30 into the clip):

The verdict
There is much to like about this kit. It is colourful, which I love, connected to chakras, which I have an interest in, and nice to touch and look at. One big plus is the focus on examining and assessing one's intentions using specific spreads provided. This is particularly useful for magical workings and so this is a deck that might  be prized by spellcasters. The caveat is that the system is based on highly personal experiences of the creator, purported channeled stories from angels. You might have to work hard to get them to make sense for you, or if you are so inclined, you might ask your own angels to interpret them as they pertain to you. The Chakra Wisdom Oracle website says:

The Chakra Wisdom Oracle will allow you to see what was once invisible to you. It has taken 25 years for the fables to come to life in workshops, readings, and fable groups. The most remarkable thing is how they reveal your path and gift instantly if you understand how to step into the state of connection with your higher self. Like many gifts from Spirit, it takes some people time to recognize what they’re given and the path they must take to realize their true calling.

I am not impressed by the implication that if a card doesn't instantly mean something to you that you lack connection to your higher self, but leaving that aside, I do think the cards are useful and could be a nice addition to your collection if you are interested in chakras and meditation. And angels.

Since I got this deck, I have found out there is a workbook sold separately -- Chakra Wisdom Oracle Toolkit: 52-Week Journey of Self-Discovery with the Lost Fables. I can't see myself devoting a year to this deck, or committing to memory the stories that apparently were personally channeled to someone else; for myself, I would rather learn about  more widely known myths, legends, and traditions.

Still, this is an interesting addition to my oracle collection, and I really dig the card back!

Thursday 29 May 2014

Follow your bliss

My first thought on seeing a princess reading a story to an elderly person in a chair is not 'Passion', so here we go again with the Chakra Wisdom Oracle (Watkins 2014).

This card is orange (my favourite colour) and that is the colour of the sacral chakra, 2nd chakra, the passion and pleasure centre. This is the seeker of pleasure, enjoyment, sensuality, satisfaction.

Card title: Passion
Phrase: 'I quietly sizzle and shine.'
Legend:  Princess Amber loves looking after her subjects to the point that when the royal family tell her to stop behaving like this, a general election is held and she is voted leader of the people.
Key ideas: Following your passion, being authentic

So the princess's passion is service. Each to his own! I suppose a message of the card is to 'follow your bliss' even if it defies expectations of friends and family, or even if it defies commonly held notions of what 'passion' means.

I suppose this could be applied to the sort of holiday we are passionate about. We love booking self-catering cottages near national trails, in the most secluded areas we can find, and tramping around the coast or countryside all day, going back to the cottage for a hot bath, some yoga or meditation, a movie or two on DVD, a dinner I make myself and an early night. Not everyone's idea of bliss, but we love it.

Live your dream, whatever it may be!

Wednesday 28 May 2014

Nice dragon, good dragon

Uh oh! We're still in the heart chakra with a green card today from the Chakra Wisdom Oracle (Watkins 2014), but we've got a big dragon and the key word 'Trickery', so this could be interesting.

What have we here. A big dragon holding a big giant acorn in his tail. A little squirrel with a basket of acorns looking up at him. Snow on the ground. Harvest days are over. Does the dragon intend to steal the squirrels supply? Wait, wouldn't a dragon rather eat the squirrel? Maybe he's using the the big acorn as bait to lure in squirrels for his dinner. Sure, he's a dragon and he could probably just breathe fire on the squirrel and get both tasks done quick, but it's winter in the woods and he hasn't got cable. Toying with squirrels is his favourite entertainment.

Now now...this is the heart chakra, so no doubt the dragon is in my own heart. Maybe I'm tricking, luring, myself with fears of deprivation, luring myself in to a situation that could be quit harmful.

Well, let's see what the book says. Now that's interesting. The trickster is actually the squirrel! He wants the big nut and tries to trick the dragon into giving him the big nut for the basket of smaller ones, which he tells the dragon outweighs the big one. The squirrel is the trickster, the dragon is greedy. The story is overcomplicated, involving a nut gathering contest and both of them losing out because squirrel is disqualified and the dragon loses his acorn. I don't like that, it's not necessary to overcomplicate things.

The book then adds confusing statements like 'During trying times, things may be easier if you ask for help' and 'This card may indicate that you should practice asking for your true heart's desire, rather than fearing someone's resentment.' I don't get either of those from the story or the card image.

I think if you can make sense of the card without looking at the companion book to this deck, then don't.  Just make up your own story.

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Beauty's where you find it

How pretty! I like this image from Chakra Wisdom Oracle (Watkins 2014). It looks like the beautiful maiden has emerged through a door into a beautiful garden. The card title is 'Perception' -- perhaps there is a message here of beauty being where you find it. I haven't opened the companion book yet. I know that green is the heart chakra, so this must be a card for 4th chakra, heart chakra.

And it is...but I'm not going to delve into the companion book for this card. I like my interpretation of it. I'm not going to read any of the complicated 'legends' or quick guides or any of that.

Beauty is where you find it.

Monday 26 May 2014

Big floaty purple key

Chakra Wisdom Oracle (Hartman 2014)
Today's card from Chakra Wisdom Oracle (Tori Hartman, Watkins 2014) is another jumble of puzzling strands that need to be unravelled before any of it makes any sense.

Let's look at the image. It's got a purple border -- its from the purple chakra, 6th, the famous 'third eye'. It is the 'sixth sense', the intuition, knowing without seeing. So on this card, we see a door with a shiny keyhole, a great big key, a blue guy blowing on the key, and two women watching. The blue guy would appear to be some sort of angel or spirit, and of course the key and door are common symbols. The card title is Recovery.

Nickname: The Lilac Key
Phrase: Pain from our past unlocks the door of understanding
Legend: Girl wakes from painful dreams of past memories, sees a door and giant lavender key, unlocks door, pain recedes.
At a glance: Lilac offers detachment as you allow yourself to see the big picture. Immaturity grows into partnership with Spirit. Step back and allow angels to bring healing.


Okay. There is a suggestion in the material of helping yourself, unlocking the doors yourself, but the image says something to me of waiting for rescue to arrive from higher planes.

To be honest I'm puzzled by this card. Maybe it would make more sense if it were drawn in response to a specific query. This deck may not be ideal for daily draws.

Sunday 25 May 2014

Chakra Wisdom Oracle -- Isolation vs Solitude

The posts for the rest of the week will focus more on the cards themselves than personal interpretations (which as I said yesterday, may be a little too personal for sharing online anyway, depending on your comfort zone.)

Today's card is called Isolation. I'm not entirely sure I understand what is going on in it. I can see a full suit of clothes sort of standing on its own in front of a closet (perhaps it is hanging from a peg, but that seems an odd way to store clothes). I don't know what that blue blob is in the foreground. I think it 'might' be an invitation -- the little white tag may say 'invitation'. The only reason I think that though is from looking at the companion book. What do you make of it?

Assuming the blue thing is an invitation, and seeing the pristine suit of clothes, and considering the key word is 'isolation' -- I'm guessing this has to do with not wanting to get involved socially. The elements of the card and book all seem conflicting to me (an issue I had with the cards yesterday when I tried to do the spread.)

Key word: Isolation
Nickname: 'Sapphire's Blue'
Phrase: 'I've got all I could ever need, right here'
Legend (dictated by angels): Sapphire gets invited but never wants to go anywhere. He feels superior to everyone, doesn't want to ruin his tux, and doesn't want to disrupt his routine. So he stays home alone and blue.

That's fine, so far so good. Then the meditation suggests you think of something you've been putting off and imagine yourself doing it. Umm...okay. That sort of works.

But then if you look at the 'quick guide' at the beginning of the Blue chapter (Blue for 5th chakra, the throat chakra), it says, 'A childlike playfulness is hidden under elegant exterior. The card denotes wealth and ability to do anything well. Trust and loyalty are indicated. Sapphire also has a great capacity for healing.' Now of course with some mental gymnastics, I can create connections that would make that fit in with the legend of the card, but I certainly wouldn't have instantly thought of any of those things based on the image, which suggests perhaps someone standing in front of his closet, holding an invitation, looking at his unused good suit and wondering if he should say 'yes' for a change.

The most useful bit I got from the book was: 'Sapphire does not know the difference between isolation and solitude. Do you?' It helps to be a native speaker of English, but basically:

isolation - to be or remain alone or apart from others (like being quarantined or detained, not necessarily through your own will); it is a state that can be marked by feelings of loneliness

solitude - to be or remain alone or apart from others, but carrying a connotation of not being lonely as a result, a positive state of engagement with oneself, apart from others

Sapphire's blue because he thinks he's in a state of 'solitude', when in fact he is in 'isolation', imposed upon himself by his own fearful or judgemental attitudes (which of course are the result of fear as well).

The 5th chakra is the throat chakra, the source of speaking, words, communication, and so, it is associated with our involement and engagement with the world. Can you 'speak' to the world, have it turn its attention to you? Can you share yourself with the world? Or do you clam up, metaphorically leaving your best suit in the closet and ignoring the invitation that existence extends you?

It's a beautiful and meaningful question. The card and companion book make you work to get there, though. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but as you can see, it is not a deck for quick readings, but for pondering and exploring. Sapphire may have a good reason for leaving his best suit in the closet. He may have a list as long as his arm. But should he live by those reasons, or should he accept the invitation?

Should you?

Saturday 24 May 2014

Chakra Wisdom Oracle - A First Look

This week I'm going to be looking at the Chakra Wisdom Oracle Cards by Tori Hartman (Watkins Publishing 2014). I'll give a full review of the deck at the end of the week. 

I thought I'd dive right off the deep end with this new deck and use a spread from the back called 'Is Your Intention Authentic?' This spread is designed to help you look more closely at your goals.

1           2

3           4

1) Your intention
2) Your motive for wanting this
3) The journey ahead
4) The potential outcome

I thought I'd look at some of my recent intentions using this spread. The cards are colour-coded to the seven chakras. The key words are sometimes curious. The images on the card come from stories that the author says were dictated to her by angels over a period of five years, following a hospital stay during which they first started to speak to her. The stories lay in a drawer for 20 years until she realised what to do with them -- create an oracle deck. 

1) Rejection - This card is from the suit of 7th chakra (crown chakra), seat of universal consciousness. The story, like many, is impressionistic and 'muddled' -- there is no clear beginning, middle and end, no clear meaning. It has to do with an artist who is summoned to jury duty but is rejected because he is too unconventional. It's true, my intention comes from not feeling that I fit the mold. 'The ivory tower beckons,' says the companion book, 'a place of no judgement. You have finally found your way home.' This is certainly the basis for my intention. 

2) Prayer - This card is from the suit of 3rd chakra (solar plexus chakra), according to this deck, the seat of the intellect. This surprises me, as my concept of the solar plexus chakra is that it is the seat of personal power, the hara. The story of the card is a grandfather sipping lemonade with his grandson, telling him how when he was a young man he intended to leave the farm, but his father died suddenly and so he stayed, but has never regretted it. To be honest, I was perplexed by this card until I caught the sentence, 'Having all you desire begins with taking what you need at the right time.' My motivation, then, is that I recognise in the hara that this is the right time.

3) Mysticism - This card is from the 6th chakra (third eye chakra), seat of intuition. This journey is about trusting my intuition. The figure in the card is called Aubergine, and her clinging represents my own fear, which I must meet. It sounds pretty exciting. 

4) Perfection - This card is from the 1st chakra (root chakra), seat of grounding and vitality. The potential outcome has to do with feelings of perfectionism. It's an odd one for me, because it talks about being worried about how one appears, the 'conflict between wanting to look good and having compassion for others.' I haven't perceived that as a problem for me. The figure in the card is called 'Raspberry' and described as always wearing make up because she is concerned with her appearance. I never wear make up and am really not a pretentious person at all, so maybe the make up represents barriers or some sort of boundaries or 'masks' put up between myself and others. That I can see. The journey, then, will involve breaking down barriers between me and other people. 

This is a deck that is challenging and very personal to its creator; it requires thought to use, and as you can see from this reading, the results are so personal that it might be one you only want to use for yourself, not in public forums. In order to make sense of the cards, you are forced to delve deeply, and that might not be particularly easy to do outside a private journal, and for clients, this probably wouldn't be the deck to use for those 10-minute hen night readings! 

Friday 23 May 2014

Bye bye to Pearls of Wisdom

Hey, we finish the week with another page! This time it's the Page of Cups from Pearls of Wisdom Tarot.

I've only just noticed that all pages have a feather in their caps (except Wands - he's got his head covered with a sun mask). Of course, I had to look up 'feather in your cap' because the internet has made us all nuts like that. I knew it meant an accomplishment to be proud of. I wonder why these pages all have feathers in their caps. I was hoping to find out something more, which might be page-like. A feather in the cap might be a bit of an affectation, like in the Yankee Doodle song -- a misguided affectation, brought on by ignorance or lack of refinement. We'll go with that, as well as the usual meaning.

I like this chap, pouring water out of the valentine goblet with his hand over his heart. He's a nice boy.

I think I have gone into this before, but for me, the Page of Cups is Butters in South Park. Yes, here it is: What would Butters do?

I'm not feeling very well today; good thing hubby is a Page of Cups. I'm going to take this as a sign to cuddle up to him a lot today.

Have a great Friday!

Thursday 22 May 2014

Tuning in

What a beautiful card we have today from Pearls of Wisdom Tarot. So often Swords cards are depicted as cold, devoid of emotion or awareness of beauty, connection to the earth. These are not absent from any of the cards in the Pearls of Wisdom Tarot. The suits are balanced.

It's the Page of Swords today, and the first thing I notice about it is the huge fat raindrops falling around the figure, and the rainbow and blazing sun in the sky. It is actually raining this morning -- maybe I'll see a rainbow today. In England, it's not at all unusual to have full on rain showers coming from a blue and sunny sky. Thus, I have seen some of the most spectacular rainbows of my life here. Where I'm from, rainbows are a rarer occurrence, and you never see them as large, as fully formed, or the colours as vivid as here. Something I'm sure to do with the mild, temperate climate we enjoy on this North Atlantic island. Conditions are just right for frequent rainbows. People here don't take much notice of them, but I will stand dumbstruck on the street for up to 10 minutes or more, if I have the leisure time, just staring at a rainbow. People passing me will look over their shoulders to see what I'm staring at. Crazy lady.

This Page of Swords kneels on the ground, leaning his forehead on the butt of his sword. The companion book suggests he is not able to lift it yet, which is an interesting idea. He has reverence for the sword, though, and also holds a small dagger in his other hand. The sword connects his third eye to the earth, and contains a spiral pattern that reminds me of kundalini energy. Around his neck is a strand of pearls with a golden disk pendant, sun symbol. His clothing is made up of pink and blue, and trousers are the colours combined to create purple. The daffodil and the purple coneflower are present. The companion book suggests that the daffodil stands for chivalry and the coneflower for skills and abilities -- both wonderful associations with this page, or knight in training. I love the feather in his cap.

The runes are tiwas (on the left) and sowulo (on the right). Tiwas points upward to the Norse god, Tyr, who is associated with law, heroic glory, justice, and all that good stuff. Very knightly aspirations. Sowulo (also sowilo) is 'sol', the sun. As you would expect, it stands for wholeness, fulfillment, enlightenment. The page draws energy from the earth, using the sword, his natural tool, into his third eye, the portal for higher wisdom. He draws upward, aspiring toward the heavens and higher planes. What balance we see in this card, amazing for a page. What a cool kid!

I always thought the Page of Swords was more thoughtful than the other pages, more analytical, and of course more in tune to right and wrong - he can get very fired up about issues and likes to engage in earnest debates, to challenge ideas. He's the kid in class who has not only read the textbook but has developed his own thoughts about the material and can eloquently express them, anticipated counterarguments, or even arguing from the viewpoint that opposes his own, just for fun. But I never thought of him as being this grounded and in tune with the om. But now that I think of it, if any of the Pages would be, I guess he'd be the guy.

Namaste -- enjoy your rainy Thursday. :)

Wednesday 21 May 2014

Our Lady of the Volcano

I did something this morning which I seldom do. I deleted the card that I drew on Saturday for today, because it just didn't feel right for today. Maybe things have changed since Saturday. I picked up the deck and just said, 'What's my real card for today?' shuffled and pulled Ace of Wands. Of course the first thing I think of is that I've applied for a job and today is the closing date. I got my application in last week, well ahead of the deadline. I wonder if there could be a correlation between that and this card. I must admit, the Ace of Wands is puzzling, but at least it doesn't feel as essentially off as the Devil card, which is what was on this page this morning. As I say, I hardly ever change a daily draw card for the blog, and I absolutely never change a card during a 'real' personal reading (the ones too personal to post) and definitely never for a client. I suppose the exception makes the rule. But of course I am going to be contemplating how that Devil card could pertain to the day, even though I can see from Ace of Wands the overriding energy of the day will be different from how it may have looked last Saturday.

In Pearls of Wisdom Ace of Wands, we have a sort of maiden of the flame, Our Lady of the Volcano, if you will. But has she emerged from the volcano or is she fueling it? Difficult to say, and perhaps it doesn't matter. Maybe they are so interconnected they can't tell where one starts and the other stops. This card is all about fire. The masked figure dancing on a trail of fire, holding her pearl-entwined staff overhead, with its glowing orb on the end and its green vines. Around her neck is a large pearl, and her costume looks like the flames themselves.

In the middle of the right border of the card is the rune uruz. It means 'mind over matter', endurance, formation, manifestation, raw primal power, determination, persistence, freedom, vitality, tenacity, luck, and so forth. (It literally means 'auroch', or ox. LOL) I also notice some three-petaled symbols resembling the clubs from a deck of playing cards. The clubs correspond to the wands suit of tarot. There's some sort of tree in the lower left corner, I don't know what it is. But I like the little chick hatching in the bottom left corner under the tree; new life, new beginnings. Cheep cheep!

It's always best to keep daily readings to a mundane level, is very sunny day today. That makes me feel brighter. It's the last day of work before we go on holiday for a week. That makes me feel brighter. I've just begun doing some planning for a small personal project, and that is an Ace of Wands thing to be doing. So in many ways, Ace of Wands is manifesting for me already and it's only 6:30.

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Magic mix

I drew all the cards for the week on Saturday, and I started working on today's card entry last night. Opening it this morning, I started adding to it. Suddenly, blogger refreshed, dumped the entire entry and resaved it as a blank untitled post. I took this as a sign I need to draw again for today. So I did:

Today's card was originally Queen of Wands, but the universe, my computer or just Blogger decided otherwise. I've gone from water of fire to magical water. That's fine with me. I feel more watery than fiery today anyway.

As I've pointed out before 'temperance' in tarot does not necessarily mean 'moderation'. It can. but temperance comes from the Latin 'tempare', which means 'to mix or combine,' and in Golden Dawn, kabbalistic tradition, this card is not so much about moderation as it is alchemy. We see symbols of alchemical balance throughout the card. From the top, we see balanced scales in the two upper corners, with stacks of alternating gold and silver coins. The left side of the card shows day, the right side, night. Sun on left, moon on right. on the sides of the card, strings of pearls hang from the black and white yin-yang symbols. In the middle of the card, the angel figure is wearing a garment that is red on one side and blue on the other - fire and water? The two colours mix together to become the purple of her skirt.. She pours water from a silver jug into a gold jug. The silver jug is decorated with a moon or yoni symbol, the gold with a spiral sun (female and male). The maiden of nature sleeps in the background in the form of green hills. The angel kneels at a pool of water from which a small deer drinks. The sky is reflected in the water. Around the pool grow tulips (female) and orchids (male). In the bottom corners of the card, the gold male jug contains the female tulips, and the silver female jug contains the male orchids.

All of this reminds me to seek balance today, and certainly makes me think of the yoga practice. 'You are blessed to be in harmony with the Universe,' the companion book reminds us, 'Take heart! You experience a taste of the Divine leading you to greater discoveries about yourself.'

Monday 19 May 2014

Love is the gardener

What a nice card for a groggy Monday morning. It's the time of year when the sun is streaming through the windows by 4.30 in the morning, and the two crows who live outside my flat block, who I usually enjoy watching out the window, are crowing their fool heads off. SHUT UP!

Anyway, it's Monday morning, I'm up now, and I've drawn the Star for today. I'm an Aquarius and the Star is my birth card. Water bearer, as you can see. In tarot tradition, the naked woman kneels on one knee on the land, one foot on the water, and pours water from two vessels, one onto the land and one onto the water. In most decks, the star above her has eight or 16 points. In this deck, it is a five-pointed star. The two vessels are featured in the upper left and right corners of the borders as well.

There are many flowers on this card. The white lilies represent purity. I also see daisies as representing purity, as they are a white petals surrounding a golden centre. The companion book suggests they represent simplicity. There are also white and red roses here, representing passion and purity. I see some 5-petaled purple flowers which look to me like violets, symbol of modesty and maidenhood. Butterflies fly around the female figure, representing transformation and rebirth. There are some small golden flowers that might be marigolds, a Hindu symbol of good triumphing over evil (it assumes an important role in festival of Vijayadashami, when Lord Rama prevailed over Ravana).

Today's yoga practice was Real Yoga for Real People, featuring teacher Mark Whitwell. I love what he teaches about yoga, which is very different from what many yoga teachers do. He maintains that yoga must be adapted to the person, not the other way around. Yoga is not about asana (postures or poses). It is not about physical gymnastics -- but more importantly, it is not about spiritual gymnastics, either. Let's let him say it:

For me the Star is about enlightenment, spiritual awakening. It's about hope, as most contemporary readers interpret it. It can also be about aspiration, and where there is aspiration, there can be disillusionment and pain. The Star, in that way, is a good card to represent yoga, its beauty (acknowledging oneness and wholeness) and its shadow (arrogance, haughtiness, impotence). The yoga practice is simple but astonishingly profound. We have to work so hard to accept that we don't have to work hard. We have to try so hard to see that we don't need to try hard. People are funny like that.

The Pearls of Wisdom companion book calls this card a card of 'great love, holding the impersonal forces of the Universe in balance. The Star is Aquarian love kindled by hope for humankind.'

If the Universe is the garden of existence, love is the gardener.

Sunday 18 May 2014

Root and branch - the Hermit in Pearls of Wisdom Tarot

Again, so many symbols are in today's card from Roxi Sim's amazing Pearls of Wisdom Tarot. We have the Hermit, carrying a staff, around which winds a snake, green with red diamonds on its back. he holds the lamp aloft, standing in the mouth of a cave. The path flows out from his feet. On an altar before him, a holy book, marked by a string of pearls with a green pendant at the end, a bowl of pears. On the other side of the path is a fire. It appears to be evening, as the sky is multi-coloured, and it must be either early spring or late fall, as the tree in the background is bare.

The borders feature the staff on the right side, the lamp on the left. The sides look like the stone walls of a hermitage, and the rune 'perthro' is on the left border. It means, literally 'the unknown', a good symbol for the Hermit, who has devoted himself to solitary contemplation of mystery. As you would expect to find in a hermitage, there are shelves of books at the top of the card, with the pearl bookmarks hanging nearby; the lights on the shelf represent the enlightenment to be found within the pages of the books.

Today my husband and I did a yoga practice together, and wrote a small opening and closing ritual to do before and after. It is our intention to practice yoga every day for a year -- 13 May 2014 - 13 May 2015. I am very excited about this and feel it will open up new realms in our spiritual practice.

The Hermit stands in the entrance to the cave. I can hear him saying...'Behold, I show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.' I know I am taking that Scripture and placing it in an entirely new context, but that's the way the subconscious works -- it takes the raw material it has been given and stretches it to new dimensions (just ask old Uncle Al). We shall all be changed, because change is unavoidable. But we shall not ALL sleep -- some of us will become awake.

When the Buddha started to wander around India shortly after his enlightenment, he encountered several men who recognized him to be a very extraordinary being. They were perplexed by him and began to question him.

'Are you a god?' they asked him. 'No,' he replied.

'Are you a reincarnation of a god?' they asked. 'No', he replied.

'Are you a wizard then?'


'Well...are you a man?' The Buddha answered, 'No.'

The men were deeply puzzled. 'So...what are you then?' they asked.

'I am awake.'

And so...we shall not all sleep. (Especially not me. I've been up since 4.30 AM. Darn UK summer sunrise!)

Saturday 17 May 2014

Baptized in love

Pearls of Wisdom, Roxi Sim (7th House 2008)
I really love this deck, Pearls of Wisdom by Roxi Sim and Caeli Fullbrite, published by 7th House, 2008. I'd like to thank Chloe at Inner Whispers for making me taking it out of a sale offer I put up a few years ago, reminding me that I like it. (I do get a bit carried away with my deck purges at times. It's nice to have someone watching out for my best interests!) It's been three years since I blogged with this deck, so it's my deck for this week!

I read somewhere that Pearls of Wisdom Tarot is a 'master class in paganism.' It's true there is lot going on in each card. They are exuberant, playful and childlike, so colourful.

In this card, we see a glorious pink woman, naked baptizing herself in blue streams of water which she pours over her head from a golden chalice. The bottom of the chalice is framed by the sun. Daffodils grow in a circle around her. In the background, the earth maiden sleeps in the form of grassy hills. A bumble bee hovers to watch the pink lady, who of course is wearing a pearl necklace with a pink heart pendant (it is featured in the bottom right corner of the border as well; the chalice is in the bottom left corner). Going up the left side of the border, we have a large daffodil, and hanging above it from a peg is a rose quartz crystal point on a cord. Water pours from the mouths of golden fish figures, which are koi fish, symbolizing good luck. On the right border of the card is a cherry tree in blossom, with birds nesting there, feeding their babies.

What a glorious depiction of the Ace of Cups, which represents the limitless potential of emotion, feeling, intuition, and love.

It has been a beautiful day. Hubby and I practised yoga together (Kundalini Yoga with Gurmukh, which totally kicked my butt!) and went for a two-hour walk around the town, visiting local churchyards. We love old churches and graveyards.

Blessing to all. May you be baptized in love today.

Friday 16 May 2014

The Beast

Call your courage up to slay
The foul fiend who bars the way

 We all know what the Beast is. As soon as you see it and read the title you know what it is. It is those fears, doubts and worries lurking in the shadowy corners of our minds. We won't go there because we are afraid to face the Beast, and we think it would be better to leave him curled up in the dark, hopefully snoozing. What would happen, after all, if we woke the Beast. He might destroy us! No no no, we think. Better to just carry it around with us, slithering along the walls of the caves of our minds, always just out of sight but nevertheless palpably there.

This card asks us to face our fears, because only when we do that can we overcome them. We must draw the Beast out into the light so that we can get a good look at that mutha. Only when we've looked squarely at him, and preferably from all angles, can we know what we're dealing with.

There are lots of beasts plaguing my household lately. We've begun to shed light on them. We're beginning to take certain steps. One does what one can.

Thursday 15 May 2014

The temple

Ha! No secret to why I drew this today. I did some yoga yesterday, first workout of any kind I've done since end of March (and before that it was like since December) and I am very sore already this morning. By tonight I may actually feel like a flayed man. :)

Also, could point to some concerns I've had lately about the hubster. He's had a loss of appetite and tiredness and then yesterday he started coughing. I told him -- go to the doctor, I don't like these symptoms. But you know how men are. I may have to drag him there.

I've taken my body for granted for too long. The card reminds me to carry on the good work I started yesterday. It also reminds me that the body is an important conduit for my relationship with higher things.

I don't know why but I just thought of Russell Brand and his yammering about the body and yoga and meditation and the universal energy. I LOVE him. Watch this:

Russell Brand shares truth in his own verbose and intense style

Wednesday 14 May 2014

The scales fall away

Up and away at long last flee
But where tonight will your bed be?

Not surprising to have drawn this card after yesterday's imprisoned feeling from Father.

This is an interesting card. The door is open, but the door to what? If it's the door that covers the portcullis of this castle, it is a very ineffectual one, being so far away from the gate that it serves no purpose. Plus the key seems to have been left in it. So we have a door with the key in it standing wide open, and something lying on the path that may be the 'fetters' recently shed by the fleeing figure on the horse. Or maybe it's a whip that was used to scourge him. If you look close, there are two figures on that horse. Are two people fleeing? Did one save the other? It's enigmatic.

Not unlike our concepts of slavery and liberation. I was thinking yesterday... Who says work has to be fun? Who says you have to love your job? In the old days, people would have laughed you to scorn if you said, 'Do what you love or do nothing at all.' They'd have laughed as they made their coughing and miserable way to the coal mines or the cotton mills. Everyday working class people like me, they knew what work was. They knew the cost of keeping body and soul together. We don't know we're born these days, you know what I mean? We have it so good that we have to make up imaginary prisons in our minds. We don't know the first thing about real poverty or real hunger or real want. We know our 'versions' of these things -- but we don't know what it's like to leave a starving child on the side of the road because you can't carry it any longer and you can't stand to watch it die. We don't know anything about a 6 square foot shelter made of corrugated tin being an unattainable fantasy. We know nothing -- and it should make us look around and think twice.

I stumbled across this yesterday:

Wellbeing -- Being in a position where you have good physical and mental health, control over your day-to-day life, good relationships, enough money, and the opportunity to take part in the activities that interest you.

I thought very hard about every point in that definition, and I realise that on any given day, I can tick most of them, and the ones I don't tick, I've left blank because of something imaginary, something with no basis in the actual reality of the details of my life.

My First World problems embarrass me.

I enjoy such Liberation that I can indulge myself in making up ways to think I'm enslaved.

The key is in the door. The door is wide open. The gate is up. The path is golden. The sky is blue. It's time for me open my eyes.

Tuesday 13 May 2014

Emperor energy - not welcome lately

'You are his seed so stand up high
Who sired you points you to the sky'

The Father works on three levels: your own father, concepts of masculine energy, and patriarchal hierarchies. Thus the Father card in the Psycards deck is not unlike the Emperor card of tarot.

Today I return to my very corporate work place, where hierarchy and rigidity prevail. There is really only one direction in which we are allowed to shoot our arrows, so to speak, and that's in the exact direction the Father points. But as you can see from the illustration, the arrows are rather ineffectual -- no arrowhead! We're pointing at nothing but the sky -- no real target. We do it because we're told to. Perfect example of local government.  The Father is not even looking in the direction he is sending the child's arrow...and by his facial expression, he is not really interested. Definitely a perfect example of how I perceive my work place.

It is hard not to take Emperor energy negatively. There are so many problems inherent in it. Probably the main thing we reject is being ruled over, because we know from experience that when we are ruled over, that when 'organisations' begin to be formed, the result is waste, mismanagement, power play and corruption, and all our good intentions and nobler goals seem to slip into the mist, forgotten. Maybe that is why the Father looks so dejected. He knows that arrow is leading nowhere. Maybe he's remembering how he felt when he first took up the bow himself, the idealism and hopes that were inexorably crushed by the 'system'. Could be.

Last night I dreamed that I was in a work place. People were dressed up in business way. I got told off for not being 'corporate' enough. I looked down and realised I was wearing a sari. It was a stark contrast to the others, and I felt self-conscious and spread it out to drape over my shoulder and cover over the bare  midriff (which saris often leave). As the woman marched away from me down the hall, I shouted feebly after her that she was a fat cow. (Her dress had transformed into a skin tight white affair with sparkly sequins and a blonde hair-do like a Dolly Parton wig.) She turned and said something back, but now I can't recall what. Then several of us were called into a small room and the 'cow' set us a task, all of us in a line. I was number 8, the last in line. Apparently we were meant to be passing scrap paper down the line, and my job was to put the last paper on and run from the end of the line to the beginning and back again every time. 'You'll have to keep running back and forth,' the fat cow said. I felt quite put upon. My sari, which had turned into yoga pants, a sports bra and a large Mexican serape, kept sliding off my shoulders. I protested, 'This is stupid. Why don't you get some admin assistant to staple these together?' I was told this is the way we do things here. I realised that there was no actual intended use for these stacks of paper. We were just making them because we make them. Then the dream shifted and I was looking in the mirror, examining my teeth. Some of my lower teeth were in the wrong place. 'Oh, no,' I said, 'they really are shifting!'

I woke up, checking at once with my tongue the location of my teeth, and with a headache.

So, hi ho, it's off to work I go.

Monday 12 May 2014

Voyage - Just around the river bend

'Your heart turns to new shore
With new horizons to explore'

Funny I should draw this card today from Psycards, as I am working from home. I am definitely not going on any literal voyages. However, I do have an appointment this morning that could start me on a new voyage within myself. At least I hope so.

The 'voyage and return' archetype is one of the seven basic plots of storytelling (according to Christopher Booker.) In this archetype, the hero is not necessarily seeking a treasure or pursuing a goal, but is instead experiencing the journey itself, with no other goal than a broad one of 'discovery.' We don't know what's out there; we are open to whatever experience comes our way.  We can see this archetypal story in such things as Star Trek or Alice in Wonderland.

What voyage could I be going on today? Could I be starting a new voyage? Or has this card popped up today to remind me that life itself is a voyage with no particular goal in mind, that the journey is the only goal?

We can never know exactly what is going to happen to us. The best laid plans of mice and men, as Bobby Burns wrote, often go awry. We just don't know what lies ahead, but that doesn't mean we are powerless. It means we are adventurers. 'Relax,' reads an aphorism that's been making the rounds on the internet, 'nothing is under control.' That is what the voyage is about. We don't know. We can see patterns, we can see likely scenarios, we can even make plans, but that doesn't mean we or anything else is in control. That is the beauty and the mystery of being alive.

The Voyage reminds me not to be afraid. Not to feel dread. I am alive, I am afloat on the sea of my life, and I may not know what's over the horizon, and that is okay.

Yesterday on the telly, I caught a scene from the Disney movie 'Pocohontas', the musical number 'Just Around the River Bend'. She's trying to decide whether to marry the man her father has chosen, Kocoum, who is 'very serious' but would be a good provider, or follow her natural instincts to be a 'voyager':

What I love most about rivers is:
You can't step in the same river twice
The water's always changing, always flowing
But people, I guess, can't live like that
We all must pay a price
To be safe, we lose our chance of ever knowing
What's around the riverbend
Waiting just around the riverbend

I look once more
Just around the riverbend
Beyond the shore
Where the gulls fly free
Don't know what for
What I dream the day might send
Jut around the riverbend
For me
Coming for me

I feel it there beyond those trees
Or right behind these waterfalls
Can I ignore that sound of distant drumming
For a handsome sturdy husband
Who builds handsome sturdy walls
And never dreams that something might be coming?
Just around the riverbend
Just around the riverbend

I look once more
Just around the riverbend
Beyond the shore
Somewhere past the sea
Don't know what for ...
Why do all my dreams extend
Just around the riverbend?
Just around the riverbend ...

Should I choose the smoothest curve
Steady as the beating drum?
Should I marry Kocoum?
Is all my dreaming at an end?
Or do you still wait for me, Dream Giver
Just around the riverbend?

Those of us with a bit more life experience know that even if she did marry Kocoum, her life would not be as predictable as she thinks! Life itself is always just around the river bend. There's no need to think you know what's there -- and no need to fear it, either. 

Sunday 11 May 2014

Job reading using Psy Cards

There's a new job listing that I think might be interesting to go for, back in my usual place of employment. (Right now I'm on a secondment elsewhere.) The new post is a part time post on a higher salary than I've earned in a long time, but as it's part time, it's obviously less income overall. However, going part time would allow me to pursue my tarot reading service part time, instead of doing it as a hobby on the weekends. 

I took out the cards Yes, No, Now, Never. I shuffled them thoroughly, laid them out face down and used a pendulum to select a card, asking, 'Should I apply for this post?' I turned over: YES. 

Okay. So I decided to draw one card for the prospective post, one card for tarot reading service, and one card for current secondment, and I shuffled and drew: 

The new job = Warrior
Tarot reading = Home
Current secondment = Liar

I see this as saying that the new job would be something new and adventurous to do, that would take courage but could also lead to 'glory' of a kind.  The Warrior archetype is brave, bold, tenacious, honorable, loyal, righteous, and impatient. I can see how all these apply to the particular post I'm considering, as it is a leadership position in a sector that is fighting for its survival and to create its identity in a changing world. My battles would be small-scale, but I would still be expected to lead the fray. 

The reading service which I would then have more time and energy to nurture is linked to the Home card. Of course, helping people through readings is one of my favourite things, and the card suggests it is a natural place for me. The business would of course be run from my home. This area is where my comfort lies. Also, there seems to be a suggestion that reading as part of my living is a viable option for me, given the connotations of sustenance and shelter associated with home. These are good signs!

Finally my current first I thought the draw meant that the secondment simply wasn't right for me, then I realised there is a much more literal interpretation of this card, as my main dissatisfaction with it has been that the work I'm actually doing bears little resemblance to what I was led to believe (by job advertisement, job description and person spec, interview and even the assessments I was given during recruitment!) I would be doing. The job is nothing like I thought it would be -- I do feel rather lied to. 

So I think I will apply for this job, even if it is 'part time' work. It may be my time to put new irons in the hearth fire. 

I love my cave!

'Ponder deep inside your soul
Darkness can sometimes make you whole'  

I've decided to look at an oracle deck this week instead of a tarot, the Psy Cards by Nick Hobson. They are drawn from Jungian archetypes. My card for today is 'The Cave'. The thing I like about these cards is you don't need any real extra information to understand them. We all pretty much automatically known what is meant by the cards just from the titles and images. (But in case you would like to read other people's thoughts on the cards, there are a few books about them, and the website I linked to above generously gives a few words about each card.)

Sundays for me are almost always 'Cave' days, days when I can withdraw from the outside world for me time, to recharge and rebalance. I love my slow weekends at home, when I am responsible for nothing and no one and can do whatever I want -- which is usually very little indeed. Quite often a Sunday is a pajama day, a day when I never even bother to get dressed. I love it. I love being past the age of having children (my child is a grown man), so it's just me and hubby watching movies or going for a walk or doing whatever. Me time. :)

I've had some things to ponder lately. A new job opportunity has come up and I need to decide if I'm going for it, and do some thinking about what I'll do if I get it. If it's the right thing, if it's something I should try, or if I should just stay put. Actually I've drawn some of the Psy Cards about it. Maybe I'll post the reading, after I've pondered it.

Friday 9 May 2014

Deck Review: Sherlock Holmes Tarot -- The game is on!

Sherlock Holmes Tarot by John Matthews and Wil Kingham (Connections Publishing 2014)

It was probably because  I was in the throes of fandom for the TV show 'Sherlock' when I saw this deck announced that I instantly pre-ordered it. That was in early March, I think. (The Matthews have an uncanny knack for quickly producing decks that capitalise on current trends. More power to them! One has to make a living, after all.) I received this deck just over a week ago and as you know I have blogged with it all week. I've read the book cover to cover. I've handled the cards daily, and I've tried out the spreads in the back. I like this deck very much. It is a charming cross-collectible and a very fun thing to have. I'm glad I acted on that impulse and clicked buy.

What's included
Connections Publishing has done an excellent job with the packaging on this deck. It comes in a very sturdy and handsome box that looks a bit like an old book having a cloth spine and marbled end papers. The pattern is repeated on the softcover companion book. I like the Victorianesque feel of the title design, being like a book plate above and below the oval-shaped featured image. The box features the Sun card (called 'Magnifying Lense') and the book cover features the Justice card (called 'Courts of Justice').

The sturdy, compact box houses one of those plastic inserts in which the deck nestles, divided into two halves. The cards will certainly not budge in the box; they will not slide around and will sustain no damage when inside the box (which is not something that can be said of the miserable Llewellyn packaging!)

In addition to the nice box and the deck of 79 cards (there's an extra one called 'The Giant Rat of Sumatra' -- I guess it's the Holmes version of the Happy Squirrel. Meh.), there is a softcover companion book of 168 pages written by John Matthews and Wil Kingham.

Overall, it is a lovely kit of good quality that will stand up to wear and use.

The cards
The cards measure 11.5 x 7.5 cm, a lovely size, not too long and skinny and not too square. I think they're the perfect size. The card backs are plain gold, decorated with a kind of number plate reading 221B, and are fully reversible.

The card stock is relatively thick and slightly stiff, having only a very light lamination. It will riffle shuffle with some effort, but does not riffle and bridge as beautifully as, say, the Morgan Greer or other more flexible US Games or AG Muller decks. The cards are very smooth on the front and slightly rougher on the back, and are pleasant to the touch. (Some cards are not, such as the extra thick, plasticky Tarot of the Sidhe.)

The artwork is quite beautiful, with oversaturated colours which capture the somewhat lurid quality of foggy, lamplit Victorian London. I like it very much.

The majors
The tarot structure is maintained in this deck, but each major card has been renamed, though they retain the same order and are numbered.

0 Inspector Lestrade
1 The Great Detective (Holmes)
2 Irene Adler
3 The Queen-Empress (Victoria)
4 The Prince-Consort
5 The Seven Percent Solution
6 Mr & Mrs JH Watson
7 The Hansom Cab
8 Dr John H Watson
9 Mycroft Holmes
10 Bradshaw's Directory
11 The Courts of Justice
12 The Crooked Man
13 The Gallows
14 Mrs Hudson
15 Professor Moriarty
16 Reichenbach Falls
17 The Blue Carbuncle
18 The Hound of the Baskervilles
19 The Magnifying Lens
20 The Final Problem
21 The London Times

I found all these choices delightful and they made perfect sense to me. I particular like Wheel of Fortune as Bradshaw's Directory, and the World as London Times. :D

The minors
Here's where some people may be turned off. The minor cards do not have pips at all. Each card is a scene from a Holmes story. The image often doesn't make you think of the traditional card meaning - fortunately when you read the story reference in the companion book, most of them click, but some are a bit dodgy. Still, you can't hit it out of the ball park on every single card, especially when you're doing a themed novelty deck like this one. This deck is under no illusions about itself. It is a novelty deck, a fun linking of tarot to Sherlock Holmes stories, nothing more.

On top of this, the names of the suits have been changed:

Swords - Observation (eye)
Wands - Evidence (footprint)
Cups - Analysis (magnifying glass)
Pentacles - Deduction (question mark)

Possibly knowing this might annoy, and realising those are really long words, instead of printing them on the cards, the design incorporates icons (see above). At the top of each card, there is the gold number plate design with the number of the card spelled out, and the icons on either side.

The courts
Courts have been changed to fit into the Holmes world:

Pages - Baker Street Irregulars
Knights - Peelers (aka Bobbies)
Queens - Ladies
Kings - Inspectors

These retain the meanings of the traditional court cards, but the images don't shout them. You just sort of have to know the meanings.

The book
The 168-page companion book is a lot of fun to read. It is the usual soft cover book with stitched binding and I have successfully trained it to lie flat. (This is very important to me in a tarot companion book. I hate a book that you have to hold open, that keeps flopping shut. It's hard to handle cards and wrestle a book at the same time.)

Each page of the introductory material  and the spread information in the back has a rather elaborate border repeating the number plate shape. The background of the pages has a slight marbled pattern. For some reason, the text is printed in a brown colour rather than black, perhaps to give it a faded look. Each major card gets two pages of explanation, while the minors get one page each. An illustration of the card is included for each, not in colour, and not taking up too much page space. (I've never understood why some companion books waste so much page space on giant colour images of the cards, often nicer than the cards themselves.)  For each card, the context from the Holmes story is explained, some key meanings given, and quotation from a Holmes story, which may or may not be quickly apparent as to its relevance. (Trust me, this deck and its companion book make FAR more sense than Arthurian Tarot in this regard!)

The verdict
I have enjoyed playing around with this deck, and it has inspired me to order The Annotated Sherlock Holmes, edited by William Baring-Gould, which contains all Sherlock Holmes stories and novels by Arthur Conan Doyle, with exhaustive annotations by Baring-Gould explaining interesting tidbits about Victorian London and the Holmesian universe. I can't wait to get it!

My verdict is, if you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes and like novelty themed decks, this is a nice one for your collection. If it annoys you when card meanings are not instantly apparent, echoing RWS imagery, you will be disappointed.

 I'm keeping it -- and from me, this is high praise. :)

Sherlock Holmes Tarot Week - the rare mistake

Seven of Swords has always been a rather confusing card for many. In this card (Seven of Observation) from the Sherlock Holmes Tarot, Holmes is throwing a bit of temper tantrum because he's made a mistake. The card is known as Lord of Unstable Effort, and in that tradition, it does indeed mean feeling ineffectual, inept or pessimistic. Crowley went so far as to call it Futility. No one called it Theft or Cunning, though that is the contemporary meaning many readers assign to it. I'm sure that's because of the curious RWS image painted by Pamela Colman-Smith, which looks like a thief making off with some swords at a jousting tournament. It's rather unfortunate, because that is not the interpretation in the Golden Dawn tradition, which is what RWS is meant to follow. Waite himself wrote: 'Design, attempt, wish, hope, confidence; also quarreling, a plan that may fail, annoyance. The design is uncertain in its import, because the significations are widely at variance with each other.' So even he admits that the design of the card is unclear.

Actually, then, the Golden Dawn meaning of the card is clearer in the Sherlock Holmes Tarot than it is in the Rider Waite Smith deck. Sherlock certainly seems perturbed in this image, at least. And there is really nothing that would likely upset Sherlock other than making a mistake. If there is a story in which Holmes scatters newspapers in a fury, it isn't referenced in the companion book, and I haven't read all the Sherlock Holmes stories (a situation that will soon be remedied, as I have just ordered the Complete Annotated Sherlock Holmes, which contains the four novels and all 56 short stories).

Today is Friday and I'm working from home today, and there is no way that I am going to let anything make me feel ineffectual, inept or perturbed today. Forewarned is forearmed, as they say. I put up my shields of protection, like a glowing orb around me, and may anything that comes out bounce off into the ether today. Before me Raphael, behind me Gabriel, on my right hand Michael, on my left hand Uriel.

Thursday 8 May 2014

Sherlock Holmes Tarot Week - Balance

This is a puzzling card from Sherlock Holmes Tarot, Two of Deduction, or 2 of Pentacles. As is often the case, Sherlock himself, in his top hat, looms large in the image. The man in the background with his hand on Holmes' shoulder is Inspector Lestrade, who also features as the Fool in this deck. Apparently he is holding Holmes back from charging forward.

Now I suppose this is a very subtle representation of the 2 of Pentacles (or in this case, Two of Deduction). Keeping balance, handling challenges, coping. Staying on an even keel. Lestrade is helping Holmes stay on an even keel here.

Holmes looks pretty intense in this card, but actually the 2 of Pentacles is about balance. It's like a mini-Temperance card.

I'm glad to see this card today, because I'm really not feeling up to any drama. The card suggests I will be nicely busy today and I will balance that business well. Good. That's what we want on a Thursday.

Wednesday 7 May 2014

Sherlock Holmes Tarot Week - Lady of Observation

The Queens in the Sherlock Holmes Tarot are called 'Lady' and this is the 'Lady of Observation' -- Queen of Swords. I think it's pretty interesting that the star of the card, the Lady, is so tiny and Sherlock himself is so prominent. I couldn't tell you, though, what is happening in this card. It looks like Sherlock is turning disdainfully away from the lady, while either handing her something or accepting something from her. Maybe he's showing her disdain because she isn't impressed with him. 'The Lady for this suit could be any one of Holmes' more determined clients,' the companion book says, 'Though these redoubtable ladies seek assistance from Holmes, they do so much as one who employs a servant. If they are astounded by the great detective's skills, they often show it less than the police or others dazzled by Holmes' abilities.' Ah, well, we know Holmes wouldn't appreciate that kind of treatment. He does like to have his abilities dazzle.

I consider the Queen of Swords my significator, so it looks like this will be 'my' day, which is good. Let's hope there will be no misunderstandings today and all goes smoothly. If the Queen of Swords has anything to do with it (and it looks like today she does) communication will be clear and unmistakable, and there will be no room for being 'dazzled' by anything. Time to get down to brass tacks!