Sunday, 16 September 2012


©Charlene Livingstone
For this second draw with the Art of Life Tarot (U.S. Games, 2012) another card which does not immediately chime with me.

My first thought on seeing this Eight of Wands was: "What a lot of water!"  In fact, every element is represented except fire!

I see the roiling power of the water, it's constant motion which is highlighted in the quote.  However, it is a churning motion, the back and forth of the sea, without any actual direction or focus.  Not my normal understanding of the Eight of Wands...

For me, the Eight of Wands is definitely more about action and speed than simply about flux.  There is a directedness to it, even if our plans go awry.

I like the quote, and agree with the sentiment at least in part, though I don't feel it connects with the energy of the Eight of Wands: "Nothing ever is, but all things are becoming.  All things are the offspring of flux and motion." (Plato)  I feel that all things become not just through motion, but through interaction.  That's a rather philosophical point, either way, I guess.

To stick to the card, it doesn't work for me.  It's beautiful and interesting, but it doesn't express any of my understandings of the Eight of Wands.  Perhaps the issue here is about my expectations.  In the LWB, Charlene Livingstone states: "I realized that by drawing inspiration from my background in art history and my lifelong passion for quotations, I could capture the essence of the meanings behind each card" (p.7)  If the intention were to create new meanings, new interpretations of the archetypes, that would be one thing.  I do not see here the essence of the Eight of Wands.

Going back and looking through the whole deck, I have just been unfortunate with these first two draws.  Many of the cards do speak to me, and some open up interesting and productive dialogues.  In fact, there are only fourteen where I do not find some connection to either the quote or the picture (the quote on yesterday's card redeemed it, for instance).  That's not bad, overall, but does mean I can't imagine using this as a regular reading deck.  One or two off cards would be fine, but nearly twenty percent puts this deck low down on my list, especiaclly as there are many more where it is only either the picture or quote I connect with, not both.  I can imagine using this deck for inspiring quotes for the day, but I won't use it as a tarot.

Well, this has already been rather a long post.  However, I definitely feel a connection both to traditional Eight of Wands energy and to this quote.  Today I'm going to a Pagan Conference with a friend.  I expect it will be a busy day, full of energy and many different ideas and future projects, as well as a fair bit of rushing around.  It may also affect my understanding of this spiritual path, influencing my becoming :)

I am grateful for the rub of ideas that change me.


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  2. I agree with you - it doesn't work for me either. Too much water, and definitely flux, rather than momentum. It may be, as you say, to do with our individual expectations of cards; one thing I've learned is that we all have different ways of 'seeing' them, which I think is wonderful! Thanks for yet another thought-provoking post.

    1. Hi Alison,

      You're quite right - there are always many ways to see the cards, and that's a great thing ;)

  3. Not much liking the card either. Makes me feel anxious. Anyway, I hope you had a wonderful time at the Pagan Conference. I wish I had various events to attend in my area. have to travel to find them. Perhaps some day. :))

    1. Hi Carol,

      How interesting it makes you feel anxious. Maybe the sheer power of the ocean?

      I consider myself lucky to live in London, there's always lots going on, of all kinds (not that I get out that much). On the other hand, travelling for things can be a great excuse ;)

  4. Well I like the card although can't defend it. Chloe can beat me down every time. All I can do in response is blink a few times and say, 'Well, I like it, though.' ha

    1. Hi Carla,

      You're allowed to like it :) I think it's quite pretty, and I'm sure as a thought of the day it's fine...