Saturday, 25 September 2010
Transparent Oracle Autumn Equinox Reading
Emily Carding, the creative genius behind the Transparent Tarot, has now also brought out a Transparent Oracle. Once again, the cards are transparent and so can be layered together in interesting ways. However, the freedom of an oracle, rather than a tarot format, means she has also put very different symbolism and structure into this deck. It has seven suits - East, South, West, North, Above, Below and Within. The Pagan influences are clear - not surprising for an inspiring priestess, a title which anyone who has done a workshop with Emily would probably recognise as appropriate.
The direction suits each has a gateway (season), type of weather, element, time of day, landscape, four guides and an elemental. Above contains a gateway, a guide, and the "wandering stars" of the ancients plus a polarity, while Below has a gateway, four guides, four grail hallows and a polarity. Within includes once again a gateway, this time the self, and then different ways that the self relates to the world including touch, empathy and vision, as well as DNA and The Web (interconnectivity).
I decided I wanted a chance to learn this lovely deck a bit better, so I chose to do an autumn equinox reading to look at the energies around me at this time. The cards, shown above, which I drew (eyes closed) were 13 (Element: Fire) 55 (Guide: Mermaid) and 7 (Guide: Blackbird). Fire is from the South, associated with summer, so a card of energy and creativity. Mermaid is a guide from below, obviously associated with water and emotion, but which also has for me a sense of danger - luring men to their doom. The Blackbird is from the East, associated with Spring and the element of air.
My initial, intuitive reading of these cards is that there is a great potential for creativity underlying my current situation, as yet a bit unfocused. Where it is guiding me is towards an emotional response, that may be a little entrapping. However, there is also a strong aspect of listening to more rational aspects, wise guidance from the everyday Blackbird. The way the overlay "felt" right to me, the Blackbird is pecking at the Mermaid's enmeshing hair, or perhaps whispering in her ear, while the energy of the triple-goddess, fiery and passionate, is channelled into Blackbird.
Reading Emily's card descriptions, the first thing that strikes me is that her take on the Mermaid is far more positive than my initial impression. Although mentioning luring unsuspecting sailors to their grave, she highlights their healing and intuitive abilities, as well as their song. Thus the second thing that struck me was that both the Mermaid and the Blackbird sing songs that can lead humans "elsewhere" - the Blackbird being considered a shamanic guide.
This emphasis on song reminds me of a card from Rachel Pollack's "Shining Tribe Tarot" where she illustrates the Australian Aboriginal practice of singing territory - having an oral, sung tradition delineating tribal boundaries. One of Rachel Pollack's comments on this card resonates for me with the Blackbird/Mermaid combination. She says something along the lines of "Remember to speak your truth in a way that is pleasant to hear." Likewise, the siren song is enticing, even when dangerous, and the Blackbird's song is sweet, though it may guide you to the underworld.
Given that I am about to start working in a bereavement centre, I take this as a reminder to choose my words carefully, to think about how what I say may sound to another, from a different perspective. There seems also to be a warning about not getting entangled in my own emotional responses.
Writing about the Element: Fire card, Emily says, "It can also be felt as the energy within which animates us, and the will that drives us to action." I feel this speaks to the passion and enthusiasm I bring to this work, and my will to make it my future career. This is the starting point, and hence I should heed the reminders to listen to my intellect (air - Blackbird), and make my words pleasant as well as true, to the limit of my ability.
In Emily's card descriptions she gives general suggestions of which energies will work well or poorly together. For example, Fire, when combined with cards from the East such as Blackbird, suggests that "creativity is fueled by innovation and true inspiration." I wonder whether the Mermaid cards suggests that emotional concerns can confuse this inspiration, or whether it is also possible for her more emotional side to add depth and intuition to this inspiration. I guess that as with tarot cards, this combination speaks to the possibilities, but which of these manifests depends on me. Being aware of the risk of confusion and ensnarement in emotional depths will hopefully help me to avoid this pitfall, and instead focus on expressing myself from a place of insight and compassion.
As an alternative, tongue-firmly-in-cheek interpretation: the Fire energy has speared and burned the Blackbird and his wise, rational counsel, so that what is left is fiery passion and the sexuality of the Mermaid - roll on hot sex ;-)
So, for those that have made it this far, what do you think of these cards (the deck, and the reading)?