Monday, 14 April 2014

Tarot de St Croix BMS

I saw this deck a while back, and wasn't sure about it, put off slightly by the orange borders, and the stripiness of the Fool.  Yet, something drew me back to the Tarot de St Croix (self-published, 2013), and I ended up clicking to buy it.  I'm very glad I did, I can see this becoming a regular reading deck!  Anyhow, more about that on Friday.  For the moment, here's this week's reading.

Body - Two of Pentacles

A woman stands on a dark/silver pentacle, and reaches her arms up to a gold/white pentacle above her.  She is naked, back to us, with energy pouring like a cleansing shower from the pentacle above her.  A lemniscate of energy flows through her, and the background is a starry sky.

What a beautiful balance of dark and light, keeping energy moving.  This says to me that if I can reach for what I want, while staying grounded, I can achieve a great deal.  Getting the right balance between doing things myself and allowing others to help me, is definitely something I need to work on this week!

Mind - Ace of Wands

A wooden wand burns at one end, while little white and pink flowers bloom along its length.  There is both energy and growth here, a card full of potential.

I hope to feel inspired this week.  Last week felt pretty stressful, and I didn't get much done.  This week, I'd like to take control again a bit more and tick off a few items from my to-do list.

Spirit - Six of Wands

Three women stand together, lighting the candles of those who come to them.  In unity is strength and the ability to share that passion, that light, with others.  Looking in the companion booklet, this is Brigid in her triple goddess form, lighting the candle of inspiration in those who come to her.

Ha, this says to me that I need to reconnect with spirit if I'm to find that Ace of Wands inspiration.  Just brainstorming won't do it, I need to find that balance of body and spirit, of personal and divine, of self and others.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Spirit of Flowers Tarot Overview

As I mentioned on Monday, this deck, although pretty, does not really cut it for me as a reading deck.  It has clearly been well researched, with meanings given for every flower.  And yet, the flower meanings don't always match either the stated card meaning or any traditional notion of the tarot meaning.  Furthermore, all the cards show a flower and a fairy, with little or no additional symbolism other than for the Majors.

Temperance, for instance, has some of the traditional symbolism you'd expect: an angelic-looking fairy dressed all in white and pouring liquid from one container (a jug) into another (the 'cup' of a pink/red flower).  The jug/flower work to suggest the combining of different elements, the notion of balancing, and the sense of healing often found in this card. 

As for the LWB, I find it more bizarre than helpful: "Temperance: Lily
In the language of flowers: innocent love.
Recovery, readjustment, peace, harmony, cooperation, frugality, friendship, study, chastity, friend, young man."

"Young man"?!  Really?  And "friend" also isn't something I've ever connected to this card.  I guess I can see the links to recovery, peace, harmony, frugality and even chastity, but overall this is one of those rather useless Lo Scarabeo LWB's.

The Courts work rather less well as cards in my eyes than the Majors, given they all show pretty, young fairies.  Take the Queen of Pentacles.  Her earthiness comes across a little through the choice of colours (yellow, green and brown), and the location.  Though given the flower theme, all the scenery is 'outdoorsy'.  However, other than that there is nothing to symbolise her practicality, her nurturing or ability to make the most of what she has to hand.  She's just a pretty, yellow, butterfly fairy with a pair of yellow flowers behind her :(

I quite like the Aces, though once again, if you see them in the context of the rest of the deck they are more of the same: pretty fairy with a flower.  Still, if we take the Ace of Wands, the choice of shape and colour works well for me.  She seems to be emerging, somewhat prickly, and full of fire and enthusiasm.

The number cards are the weakest of the deck, in my opinion.  As here, with the Ten of Swords, there is nothing in the symbolism to suggest endings, pain, overkill, or drama, any of which I would expect to see in this card.  While the LWB does give pain as one keyword, it also states that the Hawthorn represents hard-fought love *confused face*  And the picture just has a pretty blonde fairy under a bow of hawthorn blossom, looking happy as can be - bah!

For those who read purely on the basis of suit and number, this would still be a readable deck.  However, if you like to actually look at the card images, or have prompts from them, then this probably isn't a deck for you.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Spirit of Flowers Tarot BMS

I ordered this Lo Scarabeo deck, the Spirit of Flowers Tarot (2014) because I thought it looked cute.  I am often a fan of Antonella Castelli's artwork, and Laura Tan has authored a number of good decks. Unfortunately, this is one of those Lo Scarabeo decks that gives the company a bad name.

The LWB gives meanings for all the flowers on the cards, and for the cards, which seem barely related to each other, and not at all to traditional meanings.  For example, for the Two of Pentacles we have:
"Calendula.  In the language of flowers: relief from worries.
Difficulties, obstacles, emotions, worries, anxiety, fears, delays, debt, bills of exchange."

On top of that, all the cards basically have a flower and a little fairy on them.  A lot of these give little or no symbolic or postural clues to the card's meaning.  So, I will basically read them using numerological and suit associations, or based on traditional meanings.

Body - Two of Chalices - What kind of partnership do you have with your body?

Mind - The Tower - Which of your thoughts could do with shaking up?

Spirit - Two of Pentacles - How might you prioritise your spiritual needs this week?

What I take from this reading is that I need to find a sense of love towards my body this week.  Having a mirror in the space where I work out has been useful to assess my form when exercising.  However, as numerous studies have shown, it's not great for my self-esteem/body-image.  These negative thoughts about myself are doing me no favours, and I need to find a balance between the practical and what feeds my soul.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Petra K Tarot Overview

I still have strangely mixed feelings about this deck, the Petra K Tarot (Piatnik).  Some of the cards just don't make sense to me, others fascinate me, and all are definitely beautiful.  So, let's take a closer look at a cross-section of the cards.

The Star card is one that is generally joyful and beautiful, and Petra K's version is no exception.  It is unusual, though, in having a palm-tree-like trunk rising up, with a naked woman in an extreme backbend at the top, haloed by a six-pointed star.  The colours are warm and joyful, the idea of vulnerability is definitely there, and yet also a sense of dedication and enlightenment.  While not a typical take on the card, and without such a clear sense of external guidance, it is still quite readable, I think.

The Knight of Disks is far less typical still.  The Knight's helmet is a lovely gold, and he seems supported by brown rocks, which are appropriate to the earthiness of his suit.  Yet, he needs that support as his head appears to be floating on a pool of water, with a purple sky in the background.  This is a rather watery image for this normally down-to-earth chap, and suggests more wisdom coming from emotional depths than the practical stolidness I associate with this archetype.

Likewise, the Ace of Disks is very beautiful.  The colours are warm, full of reds, golds, greens and browns, with a tree below a golden disk, and red leaves above.  And yet, the whole thing appears as though reflected in water, swimming uncertainly across the card's surface.  The sense of a seed planted that can grow into something material is there, but the wateriness of the Knight is there, too, detracting from the groundedness and practicality of the card.  It is more like the dream of material possibilities, rather than the possibilities themselves.

I do adore the last card drawn, though, the Two of Cups.  The warm peach of the bowls of the cups suggests a loving energy, and contrasts nicely with the watery turquoise around them.  Altogether, the card has a feeling of coming together in unity and difference both, with love and clarity of communication - lovely!

I'm not sure I'd use this as a regular reading deck.  It's one that is more about getting to know the deck and how you respond to it than being a "plug'n'play" type.  Yet, the beauty of the imagery would certainly make it a joy to spend some time with...

Monday, 31 March 2014

Petra K Tarot BMS

I first saw this beautiful, pastel tarot deck over on By the Sycamore Tree's blog, and wasn't 100% sure I liked it.  It's rather Thoth-based, and has some very unusual takes on cards.  Yet, the colours and images are amazing, and so I was drawn into it.  The Petra K Tarot is published by Piatnik, and is still readily available.

Body:  Temperance/Art

A mask-like face stares out at us from under a rainbow, with another rainbow pouring out from the chin.  An amethyst coloured crystal forms the forehead, and there are blue and orange gems above each eye, with the same colour echoed on the cheekbone below.  To one side is a beautiful white flower, and to the other a hummingbird.  To me, the rainbows speak of balancing our chakras, and also the paths between different realms: the spiritual and the material.  A connection to spirit helps us balance all these aspects. 

I sometimes see Temperance/Art as being about healing, other times more about balance.  Both of those ring true to me this week: I've had a nasty cough for two weeks now, and really need to do something about it.  Healing my body will bring more balance to all aspects of my life.

Mind:  Eight of Cups

Cups float in murky waters, yet there is a flame glowing from the uppermost cup, which is in a clearer space.  We need to leave behind troublesome, unclear emotions, and reach for something purer.  It's time to find the guiding light of pure emotion in the noise of our minds, to listen to that quiet inner voice.   

There is a lot of murky uncertainty in my mind right now, it's true.  My DO and I want some extra help, more for Big Boy/Brother than for the Little One.  However, we've had little luck finding that, and have been looking since November.  So, instead we thought to get an extra pair of hands in for the Little One, so we have more energy for his brother.  And having put up the ad ten days ago, have already found someone.  I'm in two minds, though.  I don't really want to give up any of my time with my sweet little baby, I'm enjoying carrying him and feeding him, being close to him 24/7.  To my mind, that's what these early days are all about.  Still, we do really need some help, as indicated by the fact that this cough has brought me down so hard.  So I feel I should accept the help, whatever form it comes in.  How we'll work around things I don't know, but this card tells me to keep clear what my highest intention is: to have our family life be a bit less stressful and a bit more joyful...

Spirit:  Death

A turquoise butterfly emerges from a scorpion, framed by a golden disc, a golden sun, and purple candles.  Rebirth and transformation come from death and pain.  The sting of emotions allow us to find our deepest truths. 

To grow spiritually, perhaps there is something I need to let go of.  My notion of what life "should" be like, most probably.  On a less general level, I see here the suggestion of endings: specifically being reborn into a spiritual practice.  I haven't meditated for nearly three weeks, best get to it.