Monday, 23 January 2012

Of Whips and Woods

I'm not quite sure why, but I find today's card from the Steampunk Tarot (Charissa Drengsen, 2010) incredibly powerful.  Hmm, perhaps taking a deeper look will show me why...

In this version of the Ace of Swords we see that Charissa associates the suit of Swords with whips.  It's an association that I think works well - whips are still a weapon, and one with which we can beat either ourselves or others.

Here we see a whip held high, ready to be brought down on some unsuspecting person.  It is held aloft by a hand, the only bit of colour in a cold, grey, wintery scene.  In the distance, a man walks under a bridge.  Is he walking towards us or away?  Overhead, a dark branch reaches down, intimating that we are surrounded by trees.  Yet there is clearer air in the distance.  With this whip we can get things moving, and pass into greater clarity.  There is no promise of warmth, but there is the potential for movement and opening up ideas.

That fits pretty well with my day, I guess.  Back to college for supervision.  I don't like the person I've been assigned this term.  He seems very cerebral, and insists we back up everything with theory, whereas I see counselling as being much more about emotion.  Of course, you need to understand the theories behind it all, but always take them with a pinch of salt, is what most of our tutors have said.  This guy hears a single word and asks me to justify it by naming the theorist on which I'm basing the use of that word in that context - ack!  Ah well, perhaps the intellectual rigour will do me good...

I am grateful that I don't always feel like I'm beating a dead horse.


  1. I watched your review for this deck with interest. I could see the reason why you didn't favour some cards. But I like this one. If the clarity is in the distance, under the bridge, then this guy you speak of might be the obstacle between you and it. Nice take on the card :)


  2. Hi PLN,

    Yes, I think I said in the review that this is one of my favourite cards, so I was glad it came up this week ;) I have to try not to see my supervisor as an obstacle, or the next two months will be hell...

  3. Really interesting. I wouldn't have thought this card would go with this deck but I can see some ties in with the other cards. It's an interesting card. Sort of severe...but like you said--there's a place beyond this so it's not so bad. Hope things go better than you expect, ASAP.

    Hugs to you,

  4. Hi MM,

    Well, what do you know? Things went much better than I expected. My supervisor agreed that I don't have to write stuff up every time I present (our "group" is only two people rather than four, so he said last week we'd just have to do double the work!). He also said in our one-to-one session that he could tell I'd read widely, and that he thought I must present a warm, compassionate presence in therapy :) Plus I've decided I just have to swot up on a couple of Gestalt theorists and mention those if he asks, as he knows nothing about that modality ;)

    And I got my academic essay back from last term, and got a very good grade. Makes me feel better as it's the subject I'm supposed to be writing my dissertation on, too. Maybe I can manage it...

    Hope your week has gotten off to a good start!