Wednesday, 23 April 2014

My Favourite Court Card

Many people find Court cards tricky to interpret, though Prince Lenormand talked about an interesting book on the subject in a recent post.  One of my favourite authors on this topic is Alison Cross, with her "This Game of Thrones" blog.  Two years ago, she asked me what my favourite court card was, and if you'd like to know the answer, why not pop on over here.  It was fun re-reading this a couple years down the line. 

My answer would still be the same.  How about you, which is your favourite court card?

Monday, 21 April 2014

Goddess Tarot BMS

This week I pulled out an old deck, the Goddess Tarot (U.S. Games, 1998) by Kris Waldherr.  Truth to tell, I was trying to catch up on blogging and pulled these cards using the app, which is pretty good.  It doesn't have the open functionality of some apps - you can't create your own readings, just use the set ones provided.  Still, it's reasonably priced, as well as allowing you to journal about your draws...

Body - Eight of Staves (Wands)

Eight Wands fly through the air as though in formation.  Their tips point down, they are descending, approaching their goal.  Always being in a hurry can be deleterious to your health. 

Mind - Six of Staves (Wands)

A woman with a creamy golden dress rides a dun horse in a white dressage blanket.  She holds up a wand crowned with a red ribbon and a laurel wreath.  Around her are another five staves.  She looks happy with life, enjoying her success and with more potential around her.  As a card for the mind, this suggests taking time to think about what you have achieved.   

Spirit - Nine of Disks (Pentacles)

A beautiful Hindu lady with long black hair and a golden sari, stands in a lovely garden.  Around her are bushes on which large, golden disks are hung.  Behind her are dramatic mountains, and a white dove swoops down to her upraised hand.  There is so much peace and fulfillment here, yet it being the Nine of Pentacles suggest these come only after disciplined work.  Spiritual peace also takes work, often at a very physical level: such as practising yoga or working through the discomfort of seated meditation practices. 

Rather than things coming to a head, I see more a sense of movement in the Eight of Wands.  I've been trying to make a change in my way of eating, and this card suggests that it's working, even if I can't quite see it yet.  I connect that with some inspiration I gathered, and a new idea (or applying an old idea in a new context), from last week's Ace of Wands :)  The Six of Wands reminds me that believing I can be successful, and getting support, will both help with that.  Finally, the Nine of Pentacles promises a feeling of peace, and says that my efforts will be worthwhile.  I sure hope so :D

Friday, 18 April 2014

Tarot de St Croix Overview

Having said on Monday that one of the cards which originally put me off the Tarot de St Croix (self-published, 2013) was the Fool, wouldn't you know it popped out to show its face in this brief overview!  As ever, though, reading the companion booklet makes sense of this stripy Fool, and makes me like the card better than the image alone.  The artist explains that this is based on "the Pueblo Indian sacred clown Koshare."  This Coyote-masked trickster reminds us to be playful and look beyond our fears.  Lisa tells a story of a time when she played the unwitting Fool in a Zuni Indian ceremony, with a reminder to laugh at ourselves.

This is a fair representation of what is found in the description of all the Majors: culturally varied and interesting takes on archetypal ideas, with personal anecdotes and interesting key meanings.  There are plenty of insights, too, into the inspiration behind the cards, from everyday experiences to different artistic masterpieces.

We see this, also, in the King of Wands.  Although I normally see this King as quite dynamic and charismatic, and generally associate him with a younger figure than that shown here, I like this Magician-like character.  The King of Wands is good at getting things done, whether through enthusiasm, his own skills, harnessing those of the people around him, or a combination of these and more.  Lisa de St Croix chose to base this card on a marble "pavement" showing Hermes Trismegistus, who is used for the Magician in a number of other decks.

Moving on to the Aces, the Ace of Cups shows a perfect wave cresting in the background, with a champagne flute spilling over in the foreground.  I love this variation on traditional Ace of Cups imagery.  To me, it speaks of the sometimes overwhelming nature of love, and also of the joy and celebration it encompasses.

Finally, we have a regular Minor, the Seven of Wands.  This card clearly indicates the multi-cultural nature of this deck, which is another aspect that appeals to me about it.  I guess California is as much of a mixing pot as my home city, London.  So, it's good to see different ethnicities and cultures represented.  In this instance, the card shows Brazilian Indians marching to defend their land.  I like Lisa's keyphrase: stand up for what you believe in!   I sometimes see the Seven of Wands as fighting enemies that are more in your mind than truly around you.  That could also be read here, in the sense that challenges to traditional ways of life may or may not be a bad thing, depending on your perspective and the context.  So, the card is open to many interpretations, always a good thing in my eyes.

Altogether, this deck has already become a firm favourite.  It ticks so many of my boxes: beautiful, well-executed artwork; a thoughtful, varied take on traditional meanings; diverse cultural elements; and a well-written companion booklet.  So, I'm delighted that Lisa has given me permission to blog with it a little more: I'll be using it on 1st May for the next Tarot Blog Hop :)

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.