Saturday, 6 October 2012

Holy Cow

©Moore & Krysinski & Gabrielli
This week, I will be blogging with Barbara Moore's latest addition to the world of tarot: the Book of Shadows Tarot, As Above (Lo Scarabeo, 2012).  This is a very unusual deck, which is designed as a tool for learning about and using pagan beliefs and magic.  Many of the Majors have been renamed, and have quite unusual associations to deity, the Wheel of the Year, and elements of the Pagan path such as initiation, transformation, and sacred space.

The suits are given elemental titles, and are also unusual in their associations.  For instance, the suit of Fire (Wands) is connected to astrology, with the cards Ace to Ten representing planets and constellations.  The suit of Air (Swords) shows different forms of divination, and the suit of Water (Cups) talks of the feminine aspect of the divine.  The suit of Earth (Pentacles) explores the natural world as a source for sacred insight.  The Courts have been totally revisioned and renamed - Elementals, Maiden, Mother and Crone.

©Moore & Krysinski & Gabrielli
For this first draw, the card I pulled is one that is normally a favourite - the Nine of Pentacles.  This is a very unusual depiction, showing a cow in a meadow with other cows, sheep, and little white-bearded, purple-hatted gnomes all about.  There are trees in the distance, and soft, pillowy clouds in the sky.

This is a far cry from the traditional woman in a garden, surrounded by luxury and with a hawk on her wrist!  Still, I love Barbara's description: "this cow, standing solidly in her field, contentedly munching her grass, is the epitome of being present...  It is a state that is both sensual and spiritual, knowing that one is exactly where one should be and is enjoying it to the fullest."

So, today I shall try to stay present, no matter what I am doing.  I also see some of the more traditional Nine of Pentacles in my day - I'll be stopping by college to hand in the hard copy of my dissertation protocol, which I submitted last Friday :)  Hard work paying off, now the waiting begins...

I am grateful for the reminder that life is amazing.

6 comments:

  1. I can't believe we posted on this deck on the same day!

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    1. And even commented on the same card - lol!

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  2. Hm, I don't think a cow is the epitome of being present. I think of a cow as more mindless than mindful. I don't think a cow knows anything, let alone that she is exactly where she needs to be. Nah, this card doesn't work for me in that sense, but at least now that I know what it's 'supposed' to mean, I can tuck that away in my mind. I look forward to having a flip through your book to solve a few minor mysteries in this deck. I am not going to buy it again though just to get to the book! I hardly ever use the books that come with decks anyway, after an initial cursory scanning.

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    1. For such a different deck, I think it's handy to see where the author is coming from... And Barbara does write very well :) Will bring it for sure!

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  3. I was looking through the cards of this one online the other day. All the way through the majors, I was thinking 'yes, yes, yes'. What a wonderful Empress! But when I hit those gnomes, my stomach fell :( I don't think this one is for me. A shame, because some of the suit cards, I liked. But as usual, it will be fun to watch it unfold in both of your blogs.

    Well done with the dissertation protocol. I did my dissertation on a comparison between the RWS and the Thoth :)

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    1. I know what you mean, PLN, I'm rarely a fan of depictions of earth elementals! I mean, earthy doesn't have to mean old, ugly and fat!! Anyway...

      Oooh, interesting sounding dissertation!

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