Saturday, 11 August 2012

Slick or Shamanistic?

©Kurt Pilz
This week I decided to go for two very different decks, and yet which do have some similarities.  The Ananda Tarot (AGM Müller/Urania, 2003) is a modern-looking deck, including photographic images that have been redrawn/coloured to look hand-painted.  It has a great beauty, openness and apparent simplicity to it, despite detailed images.  The Wheel of Change Tarot (Inner Traditions, 1997) is a more naturalistic deck, with bright colours, abundant details and a slightly cartoony style.  However, they both have somewhat non-traditional fully illustrated pips, and a magical feel to them.  So, I wondered what insights might be gained by comparing them...

For this first draw with these two decks I pulled the Magician.  Interestingly, in both decks this shows a somewhat androgynous figure. 

The Ananda version shows a face in the void of space, with rainbow colours spiraling out in pleats, a visual representation of the energy being chanelled, and how it moves from the Magician into the world.  Underneath the face there is a little blue sphere, a larger red sphere, a blue-green swirl, and a multi-coloured sphere, perhaps representing the four suits - blue for air/swords, red for fire/wands (renamed in this deck Flames), blue-green for water/cups, and multi-coloured for earth/pentacles (renamed Spheres).  A bright light shines at the Magician's brow chakra: the point of wisdom and seeing beyond the mundane.  It is through that insight that the Magician can determine how to direct all that energy to best effect.

©Alexandra Genetti
The Wheel of Change Magician seems far more shamanistic.  A blue-robed figure with four arms holds the four suit symbols: a flaming torch (Wands), an eight-spoked wheel, like the pagan wheel of the year (Disks), a cup from which a flame rises towards his heart (Cups) and a sword, held at the ready but not aggressively (Swords).  The Magician stands between two pillars.  Snakes curl around the two pillars, suggesting the raising of kundalini energy: the energy of universal consciousness within each being.  Above the Magician, we see a lemniscate painted onto a blue starscape, and he stands on a tiled floor which seems to be made up of the backgrounds from various cards, including this one.  Outside the open-walled building in which the Magician stands is a lovely green landscape with a path leading to a high mountain, over which the sun rises. 

Both images speak to me of energy: where we draw it from, and where we direct it to.  They also speak of where the insight comes from on which we base our decisions.  The wisdom of the universe is seen in the starry sky of both images, and the bright light of illumination in the point of light at the Ananda Magician's brow, and in the sun illuminating the Wheel of Change Magician.

Energy is a funny thing.  On the one hand, I know I need sleep to feel energised.  Yet, sometimes I can't sleep because I am full of energy and enthusiasm for a particular project.  This morning Big Boy woke me at 4.25am.  He went back to sleep after a bit, but though I went back to bed, I had a thought that sent me digging through my tarot collection for a particular deck.  Even though all my decks are theoretically organised alphabetically, it wasn't where it should be :(  At 5.20 when Big Boy woke again I was about half way through my collection, having gathered some other ideas, though still not having found that particular deck *doh*  I think I shall collapse again soon, but first I really want to go finish my hunt!

I am grateful for the ability to nap, which I only discovered after becoming a mother.

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