Friday, 31 August 2012

The Oracle of Delphi

©Filidoro & Penco
For this last day with the Sacred Sites Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2012) we go to Delphi in Ancient Greece.

A woman sits on a three-legged stool, with mist around her feet.  She wears a diaphonous dress that leaves one breast uncovered, and a gold and jewelled necklace.  Her arms are raised, and we cannot see her hands.  What we do see is a crowd of people watching her, and a stone edifice all around, with a couple of candles shedding light behind her.

The Oracle at Delphi, often called the Pythia, was the most renowned prophesier of the ancient world.  Many ancient Greek tales tell of her being consulted by the rich and famous, kings and the like.  She is most famously described as the priestess of Apollo, but I have read in several sources, including here, that she was first priestess to the Goddess, and only later taken over by Apollo's cult.  Later, Christian, writers, portray her as crazed by volcanic fumes and speaking gibberish "translated" by a male priesthood, but that isn't the impression given in original Greek texts.

What has she to do with the Eight of Swords?  Well, certainly in a number of Greek myths her prophecies acted as mental traps for people.  For example, in the case of Oedipus, because people believed her prophecies they acted in ways that were unusual, and actually made them come true.  A father abandoning his first-born son to die, a prince leaving his home fearing he would commit atrocities.

In terms of the image, the priestess herself was in some ways trapped by convention.  As the priestess at Delphi, she had to fulfil her role, unable to leave and live a normal life.  Once again, trapped by social expectations and her own ideas.

I feel trapped today.  I'm being told by one doctor that I need to do something immediately, with no time to take a second opinion.  So, for the moment I'm going along with it, but I have an appointment next week to hear another view!  I hope this is the right choice...

I am grateful that my options are limited only in the short term.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

The Walnut Tree of Benevento

©Filidoro & Penco
Today's card from the Sacred Sites Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2012) is an absolutely stunning one!

This Queen of Swords is amazing, isn't she?  She stands in front of the walnut tree, with a sword in her hand, snakes all about her, a cat just behind her leg, and an owl above her.  In the background we see strange creatures: a man-sized toad with glowing yellow eyes; a gremlin creature, a beaked beast with large, pointy ears, and other dark shadows.  Yet the Queen seems unphased by it all. 

She has been through much, and isn't one to start at shadows.  She knows how to cut through the darkness, to see to the heart of the matter, and to heal it.  She is helped by the mushrooms to one side of her and the censer to the other.  I get the sense that part of her power is as an oracle, seeing beyond what most can fathom, and speaking that truth.

The LWB says: "Known as 'the city of witches', in ancient times this place was sacred to the Mother Goddess and often the site of pagan rituals."  Well, that makes sense of everything, then...  Not!

Thank goodness, then, for the internet.  One site, describes the Stregha (witches) of Benevento as gathering together under the walnut tree to celebrate the solstices and equinoxes.  They dance and drink strong spirits, and worship snakes (perhaps based on a cult of Isis).  Another gives a lovely fairytale, in which a poor, young man is helped out by beautiful witches who spring forth from the walnuts of the tree.  They give him great wealth, and help him win the love, and eventually the hand, of the local princess.  And both link the witches to the Goddess Diana.  A third makes no mention of Diana, but does once again mention Isis' snakes, though claiming that the walnut tree was amalgamated with a sacred Lombard tree on which bits of snakeskin were hung, to be snatched off and eaten as part of a test of strength and daring by young knights.  In all of these accounts, there is mainly mention of a single huge snake, and an exceedingly tall tree (under which large numbers could gather). 

Another aspect is the walnut itself, considered a dangerous tree which is "too damp" and can cause paralysis!  Obviously, those demonologists didn't know about its antioxidant properties and ability to improve fat processing.  Then there's the fact that walnuts look like human brains (if you were to crack someone's skull like you'd crack a nut shell, that is).  There are many claims that walnuts are good for your brain, due to their high Omega-3 content.  And they may even help you sleep!

With the Queen of Swords and the Walnut Tree of Benevento we find a combination of ideas.  That she is a sharp cookie, with a brain full of omega-3.  That she is wise in the ways of witches - gathering knowledge and herblore.  That, like a fairy godmother, she has a soft spot for the underdogs of life, so long as they're willing to make a go of things for themselves :) 

My mother-in-law is coming to visit today.  She's a smart lady, too, though she wouldn't think of herself as a witch.  And she isn't shy about speaking her mind, either :D  First, though, I have to look into some healing - getting a good sleep and picking up a prescription.

I am grateful for the healing power of sleep.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Super Sweet Blogging Award



 
Many thanks to Jess of Min magiska värld, which I think translates to My Magical World - my Swedish is a bit rusty ;) - for nominating me for a Super Sweet Blogging Award!  I've really enjoyed reading your comments and seeing your thoughts on cards and life :)



Rules
1. Give credit to the wonderful person who chose to nominate you.
2. Answer the “Super Sweet” questions.
3. Nominate a “Baker’s Dozen” of 13 blogs.

Super Sweet Questions
1.  Cookies or Cake?  
Cookies all the way :)
2Chocolate or Vanilla?
Chocolate!
 3. What is your favorite sweet treat?
When I'm being good it's oats soaked in smoothie, with fresh fruit and almonds.  When I'm being bad, it's chocolate/cookies.
4. When do you crave sweet things the most?
When I'm emotionally upset.
5.   If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be?
When I was a kid I did some CB radio, and my nickname was Cherry.  Later, with the start of online dating forums, I was "Sweet As..." ;D

Nominate a Baker's Dozen
Ah, the best bit last ;)  In no particular order:

1) Lisa at Seer Pathways (this is currently my favourite of Lisa's blogs, with a spiritual approach, and an emphasis on angels)
2) Alison at This Game of Thrones (all about the Court cards, and with a huge dose of humour, this is an excellent blog)
3) Alison at Alison's Alembic (a different Alison, whose focus is on astrological perspectives on the cards)
4) Christiane of Cosmic Faery's Tarot (offering astrological perspectives, beautiful quotes, and sneak peaks at her own photographic deck, as well as a gentle wisdom, this is another lovely blog)
5) Freespirit Wolfsinger (a lovely, quite new blog, with daily cards and much more: check it out)
6) Prince Le Normand (having moved around a little and changing his background and banner almost as often as I change my underwear, this is still a lovely place for finding new decks, intelligent comparisons and perspectives, and a personal approach to tarots and oracles alike)
7) Little Red (in-depth insights on a huge variety of tarot subjects)
8) Sharon at Riding the Wishing Tree (this is Sharon's tarot-focused blog, with an emphasis on all things faery)
9) Tarot Bonkers (interesting decks, and a very different life focus, I love the insights both personal and profound to be encountered here)
10) Louise at Priestess Tarot (focused on the WildWood Tarot, with a lovely card of the day, and the occasional Ogham treat)
11) Magic Mentha (with a down-home perspective, and a focus on real life, she's lovely)
12) Carla at Rowan Tarot (a fascinating mix of tarot book reviews, thoughts on cards, spreads and readings, mantras and more!)

Krakatoa

©Filidoro & Penco
On this Wednesday close to the end of August the Sacred Sites Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2012) offers us an image of a world in flames, changed inrevocably. 

A very different picture of this archetype, and yet one that brings me a clear sense of "yes, this is what the Tower means!"  A massive volcanic explosion will change the face of the man's island home, and may also lead to a frightening ride on a stormy sea in his canoe.  Yet, after it is all over, there will be new, fertile land to farm.  Perhaps not tomorrow, but eventually.  And so this card reminds us both of the power and fearfulness of Tower events, and also of their growth potential.

The image is based on the eruption in 1883 of Krakatoa, in Indonesia.  Googling, I couldn't find anything suggesting Krakatoa is seen as a sacred place.  However, it would certainly fit with Hollywood ideas of propitiating volcano gods...

As for me, I'm going through this kind of major upheaval at the moment.  I wondered when would be appropriate to write about it.  Would I draw the Empress or the Ace of Cups or the Queen of Pentacles?  No, it's the Tower, but that feels right.  In case you haven't guessed yet, I'm pregnant :) 

It's still early days, but having had a miscarriage in the past (before Big Boy was born) with little or no support, I decided that this time round I'd tell people about it.  After all, it's pretty uncomfy in a conversation to suddenly throw in, "Well, I didn't tell you I was pregnant, but I lost the baby, and that's why I'm feeling sh*t."

Whether it all works out or not, it'll be a big upheaval.  If it doesn't work out, that's pretty emotionally shocking :(  And if it does, another baby means a change in the family dynamic, new ways of living, changed sleeping arrangements, rescheduled plans..

I am grateful that Tower events always allow us to grow, in one way or another.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Croagh Patrick

©Filidoro & Penco
Another King comes to visit today from the Sacred Sites Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2012).  This time, it is the King of Cups, and another site from the British Isles: Croagh Patrick, a sacred mountain in Ireland. 

According to the LWB, this mountain is also known as The Reek, and was used by the ancient Celts to celebrate fertility rites, as well as being linked to St. Patrick.  Wikipedia makes no mention of the former, but gives far more detail on the latter.  It is claimed that St. Patrick fasted for 40 days at the top of this mountain, and at the end of that time defeated a she-demon and banished all snakes from Ireland.  Given the myth of Eve and the serpent, that suggests to me that he was anti-women, but maybe that's just a modern, feminist cynical perspective.  In any case, many pilgrims make their way there for the summer solstice, and some do the ascent barefoot.  That doesn't sound like much looking at the green and flowery landscape on this card, but check out some of the pics here.

A local website gives more details of other aspects of the mountain's history.  It seems there is a rock with ancient artwork on it, called the Boheh Stone, but it is neolithic, with cupmarks and just one or two circles.  As for Celtic occupation, there is evidence of a hill fort, but not of such a pretty celtic cross as shown on the card!

Given all the above, I can't see the figure on the card as St. Patrick, he seems a calm and gentle man, not a fiercesome demon-slayer and snake banisher :)  Rather, I imagine him as a celtic druid, a spiritual man both kind and wise, knowledgeable about the seasons of life both at the level of plants and planets, as well as being able to counsel the human heart.

Not that I'm doing any counselling at the moment, having taken the summer off.  In some ways, I miss it, miss feeling that I am doing something worthwhile to help my fellow humans.  Perhaps what this card points to today is the need for me to listen to my own needs, emotional in particular, and honour those.  I've been feeling very tired lately, so I may just take things easy today.

I am grateful for some time to listen inwardly.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Glastonbury

©Filidoro & Penco
Even the Court cards in the Sacred Sites Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2012) are located in particular places, as well as with appropriate figures. 

Here we have the King of Swords, associated with the ruins of Glastonbury.  A bearded old man stands at the base of a hill on which we see ruins, with a tower at the top, and a path leading up to it.

In fact, this seems to be a melange of the ruins at Glastonbury Tor with those of Glastonbury Abbey.  While there are claims that Glastonbury is the site of the Apple Isle - Avalon, from the Arthurian myth - there is not much evidence of this.  Still, it has become a centre of New Age shops, centres, therapists, spirituality, and of course music festivals.  In a somewhat bizarre twist, it is also a pilgimage site for Christians.

I guess the card is suggesting, with this wise-looking old man, the Druids of yore on Avalon, with their great learning and wisdom.  Or he could be a pilgrim or priest, drawn to the site where Joseph of Arimathea is said to have brought Jesus.  In either case, someone of wisdom and devotion, book-learning and experience.

As for me, today is a Bank Holiday here in the UK.  In terms of putting my mind to use, I'm hoping it'll give me a little time to write a couple of reviews I've promised for the TABI Ezine :)  As for pilgrimages, we may make one to a modern phenomenon - the Bank Holiday weekend fairground ;D

I am grateful for blue skies.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

The Bermuda Triangle

©Filadoro & Penco
Just two days after the last time, a rather different Seven of Swords visits us from the Sacred Sites Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2012).

At first I was rather suprised to see all that water in a card that forms part of the "Places of Air" suit, as the LWB terms it.  It made more sense when I saw the "location", as the Bermuda Triangle covers land, sea and air! 

Renowned as a dangerous area where people and craft of all kinds go missing, I see it connected to the notion of treachery that is sometimes associated with the Seven of Swords.  However, it also fits with the idea of research - as people try to delineate the triangle, or debunk the myth ;)

The image itself makes me think of things that are hidden, and those that are not what they seem.  There is an edge of romance mixed in with the danger, too...

There's something in my life that isn't yet apparent, but which is affecting me, nonetheless.  Every day it becomes a little clearer...  As for today, we may go and people watch on the High Street - Big Boy's favourite pasttime, and one that seems to "disappear" whole chunks of time ;)

I am grateful for every bit of clarity I can get.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

What Needs Healing?

I've become aware of my need for inner healing recently.  Maybe aware isn't right, the need has long been there.  Rather, I have decided to make it a focus.  So, I did a little draw to ask:

What needs healing in my life right now?  And what will help me heal it?

I pulled two cards from the Wicca Moon Tarot, a self-published deck by Shirlee at Wicca Moon, which is sadly not currently available anywhere on-line.  I managed to get a copy through the generous actions of Patsy (find her here and here), a kind soul and fellow tarot addict :)


What needs healing in my life right now? - Knight of Swords

This is an unusual take on the Knight of Swords.  He seems rather urbane, suave, smooth and calm.  And young!  Instead of charging into the fray, he stands smiling beside his horse (or is it a pony), with a gentle breeze playing around him.  What I see here is my ability to communicate.  Of late, I haven't done a great job at keeping in touch with friends.  Either I feel unable to tell them honestly how I feel, or sometimes I just fail to say anything at all.   I need to improve what I communicate, how I communicate, and how often I stay in touch!  Like this chap, I need to learn how to spread my message with a smile on my face :)


What will help me heal it? - Four of Wands

I really like the semi-illustrated pips of this deck.  This card makes me think of the need to enjoy the journey, as well as the destination.  It's no good just looking at that Tower in the distance, we need to enjoy the butterflies around us, and realistically plan how to cross the water, or decide if we even want to.  It also reminds me to celebrate the small successes along the way.  With regard to communicating with friends, the strongest message I see is that a cause for celebration may give a good excuse for making the first move to get back in touch...

Sacred Choices

©Filadoro & Penco
This week I have chosen to work with the Sacred Sites Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2012).  This is a rather non-traditional "art" deck from Lo Scarabeo, associating each card with a "magical place" from around the world.

For this first day, I pulled the Lovers card :)  A man and woman stand in a lily pond, hands enlaced.  Around them swim coi karp and a couple of ducks, while on a nearby piece of land an antlered stag looks on.  Above the couple rises a statue, which at first glance I would guess is Artemis/Diana, and in the distance is a hill or mound.

The sense I get here is of making a choice, but it being seen as a sacred act.  Our choices do not only affect ourself, and there is a recognition of that fact in choosing in a way that expresses our commitment to something beyond ourself.

The LWB is typical Lo Scarabeo: "The Sacred Forest of Nemi: The wise King Numa and the Nymph Egeria consummated their love here in this site sacred to Diana.  The king learnt the secrets of the sacred thaumaturgy from Egeria."  That's all!

So, I did a bit of research: here is a picture of the actual site, as well as a pagan perspective on it.  There are quite a few links made between the Sacred Forest of Nemi and the Great Rite - Western spiritual sexuality/alchemy (see here and here).

I was also unclear as to what thaumaturgy is.  The answer I found most helpful is from Wikipedia, which explains that thaumaturgy was originally seen as the working of miracles, as per the saints.  It later came to mean magical-seeming mechanical devices, but I'm guessing that a nymph would be more likely to teach magic than engineering ;)

All told, I'm not sure any of that really changes or adds to my original impression of the card...

My Dear One is working today, so I don't really see him in relation to this card.  Rather, I see it perhaps being about me re-committing to my meditation practice, which has been a little hit and miss the last couple of weeks.

I am grateful for a feeling of being spiritually connected.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Research

©Stella Kauruko
For this last day drawing from Stella's Tarot (AG Muller, 2008), I pulled the Seven of Swords.

This is quite an unusual take on the card.  No figure sneaks away with a stash of swords.  Rather, a man sits at a table, as though studying.  In front of him are a candle, a book, a scroll, some calipers, and a globe.  Swords radiate out behind him - his thoughts directed out to the world from where he sits - and his studying has drawn to him a red star, symbol of hope and new direction.

Of course, if we want to see the traditional meaning of sneakiness, deception or theft, that's still possible.  He could be a magician, drawing somebody else's star to him through his wily ways.  Even then, it would have an aspect of "working smarter, not harder" to it :)

There are a couple of things I need to research soon, though I'm not sure I'll get around to them today.  However, just deciding what it is I need to research is already a start...  I'm also meeting up with a friend for lunch, and she'll hopefully return a couple of my books, which I might need for my dissertation.

I am grateful for the internet, powerful research tool.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Slow and Steady

©Stella Kauruko
As we approach the end of the week, a Court card comes a-calling from Stella's Tarot (AG Muller, 2008): the calm and practical Knight of Disks.

 I notice the way this Knight's horse walks towards the future calmly.  Unlike many Knights of Wands or Swords, there is no gung-ho charging into whatever may come, but rather a steady pace that covers the ground.  Moving like this allows the Knight of Disks to pay attention to his surroundings, and certainly he seems more intent on them than on the coin that floats above his up-raised hand.  He seems to say: "Good fortune will come if you pay attention to the practical details of what's going on, and move forward steadily."  No emotional outbursts, quick-fire comments, or passionate activism for him, he sticks with reality and just gets on with stuff.

For a long time, I didn't really appreciate this Knight's energy.  To me, he seemed rather plodding and, dare I say, boring.  However, a recent post by Ali over at This Game of Thrones changed my perspective :)  This kind of practical groundedness definitely has it's benefits: he gets things done, without fuss, and they stay done!

After yesterday's day off, I woke up feeling the need to get back on the horse, so to speak.  In fact, I started thinking about what I need to make a start on if I want to research and write my Masters Dissertation.  I've pretty much ignored it for the last month or more, but now it feels like I should get going again.  It won't be something quick - a dissertation is a long, slow process.  So, this Knight's energy will be a good one to draw on for the whole process!

I am grateful for the endurance to see projects through.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Falling Star

©Stella Kauruko
Another charming card greets us today from Stella's Tarot (AG Muller, 2008).  This time, it is a rather hopeful Nine of Wands, connecting us subtly with the Star's energy.

Instead of an injured figure looking rather overwhelmed next to a row of wands, here we have someone who seems well-dressed and quite comfortable, with his sunny yellow hat, lace at his nech, and golden wrist cuffs and belt.  He has gone that step further, digging a hole, or maybe a whole underground complex, to keep him safe.

At this moment, though, he is being tempted to return to the world, to hope and trust.  A star falls, glimmering with magical sparkles, right into his up-turned palm.  And the sun seems about to rise on the far horizon.  On top of that, around one of the wands a snake twines, suggesting that transformation is just around the corner.

Although we may have created a safe, defended position for ourselves, this card invites us to open up a little, to bring new hope to our lives.

Yesterday was pretty crappy, all told.  In my therapy, I relived something that happened over three years ago, which I didn't realise had traumatised me.  Dealing with it in the moment, I just had to get on with things, but looking back...  Then Big Boy got sick again, and dinner got cold as we held him while he projectile vomited, and remade his bed.  Oh, and my retail therapy?  I walked past a gorgeous chocolate shop straight after my therapy session! *doh*

Still, I feel some new hope as a day stretches in front of me with no deadlines or appointments.  Just a chance to enjoy reading a novel, and going with whatever plans I come up with.  I have a few in mind, involving decks and crystals ;D 

I am grateful for a day of relative peace.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Topsy Turvy

©Stella Kauruko
Today's card from Stella's Tarot (AG Muller, 2008) is another card from the Swords suit - the Five.

A cat looks on smugly as two other figures walk away.  Two swords still lie on the floor abandoned, while the cat holds three in his green-gloved hands.  He wears an ornate outfit, with a pentacle-decorated flower emblem on his chest and lace at his throat.  I love the amazing clouds that roil above, looking almost more like waves.  And the land is blue as the sea, shaped like rolling dunes.

With this card, I get a sense of things being topsy-turvy.  The cat is smug while the people have to give up their plans; the sky above is more like the sea below; and our footing is uncertain, as we walk a land that is an unnatural colour.  This card speaks of how we feel when our plans have gone awry, when our ideas no longer fit our circumstances, and we're not quite sure how we got to where we are.

My day is a little strange - I'll be seeing my therapist, who I normally see on Thursdays.  I'll probably be off kilter all week ;)  And plans going awry will certainly be a topic of discussion.  Not that anything has gone seriously wrong, just a few things that have left me feeling uncertain of where I am.  I'm sure that'll resolve in its own time, but for the moment I'm left feeling unsettled.  I may also take the time to go shopping for some clothes, long overdue.  Could put me in a better frame of mind, depending on whether or not I find some comfy trousers...  Retail therapy only works if you find something you want to buy!

I am grateful for the reminder that nothing in life is certain.


Monday, 20 August 2012

Nightmares

©Stella Kauruko
Ack, what a way to start a Monday morning!  The card that greets us today from Stella's Tarot (AG Muller, 2008) is the Nine of Swords.

An eerie eye peers in through an arch on a person in their bed.  To make matters worse, various animals and objects float above the bed - an owl, a whale, a broken column, a shield, and something else I can't make out.  In any case, the implication is clear: fearful thoughts plague our mind, banishing sleep.  And perhaps, with those nightmares to torment us, we'd rather not sleep.  Yet, even awake, the thoughts don't stop whirling around in our minds...

I did have quite strange dreams last night, though certainly not nightmares.  More to the point, I have rather a lot of thoughts and plans and questions spinning about.  The ones I can actually do something about aren't so bad, it's the ones I have little or no influence over that really bug me! 

At least these days it doesn't tend to be thoughts about not being able to sleep that stop me sleeping ;b  I've started taking a supplement, 5-HTP, which is derived from plants and has no side effects, but is effective!  It doesn't stop me waking up whenever Big Boy needs me, nor does it make me drousy once I'm awake, but it does help me sleep, which other herbal supplements never seemed to achieve.

I am grateful for help napping, given a good night's sleep is still an impossible dream.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Chihauhaus

©Stella Kauruko
Today's card from Stella's Tarot (AG Muller, 2008) is the Emperor.

He seems like a bit of a softy, surrounded by pastel colours.  Still, I notice the way his arms are held tight to his body, and his legs are crossed in the traditional Emperor pose.  He also has the ram head symbols on his chair, though they look almost more like chihauhaus :D  Although the floor beneath him is in shades of apricot, they are still in a fixed, diamond pattern, suggesting he's someone who likes clear structures in his life.

It's funny, getting this card straight after the Tower I begin to wonder whether I'm actually too Emperor-ish, though I've never much liked him.  Fighting authority from outside doesn't mean I don't try to create fixed structures in my own life: I exercise every day, I have this daily draw, I am pretty rigid about not wearing exercise clothes outside of the house, etc.  Perhaps the message of the Tower is that I need to start to accept my own Emperor-ish-ness, and then let it go - recognise that I like fixed structures in my life, but also that life has a way of throwing a spanner in these things.  The more rigid we are, the more we get upset by challenges to our rules...

I am grateful for the reminder to be aware of my Emperor tendencies, to see the funny side of them, and then let them go.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

What Needs Destroying?

©Stella Kaoruko
This week I have decided to draw from the rather dreamy and fanciful Stella's Tarot (AG Muller, 2008).  The first card up is once again the Tower!  Looking at my stats, it is the card that has come up most often on this blog, bar none!  The next two closest are the High Priestess, and the Three of Swords, both of which I have used by choice in a number of posts.  The Tower just comes of its own accord :/

So, what can we learn from the Tower?  This version suggests that we can gain insight into what needs destroying in our lives, what we need to let go in order to release the pressure building up inside us, to move on in a more productive, less rigid way.  It is by looking inward and being willing to acknowledge what is wrong, and what needs changing, that we can begin to free ourselves.

This card makes me think of something my therapist said on Thursday.  He suggested I was paralysed by fear and guilt, unable to move forwards.  He asked what it would be like if I allowed myself to think of being happy.  It's true I've come to fear change, all the while not liking where I am currently...

I am grateful for the reminder that change can bring growth and happiness.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Moon or Sun?

©Kurt Pilz
For this last double-draw with the Ananda Tarot (AGM Müller/Urania, 2003) and the Wheel of Change Tarot (Inner Traditions, 1997) we have another Minor: the Four of Spheres/Disks (Pentacles).

Both decks once again offer a very non-traditional approach to this card.  In the Ananda we see the moon, a bright star, a small translucent sphere, and a larger translucent sphere, all forming a line down the centre of the card.  Between the two spheres, a bird flies, and the larger, lower sphere floats just above a stone staircase, leading we-know-not-where.  The rather scraggly bushes around the stone structure are reflected in the sphere, as are the more distant rocky mountain peaks.  The landscape seems still illuminated by the last rays of the sun, while the night sky shines with stars above.

Perhaps the spheres are being created within the stone structure, and then floating up into the sky.  Whatever the case, the feeling I get is one of "as above, so below": there is a connection between the translucent sphere which reflects the world, and the moon which reflects the light of the sun.  Our creations, when we let them go, spread out into the world with effects we cannot predict.

©Alexandra Genetti
The Wheel of Change image is equally non-traditional, though in a very different way.  It reminds me, if anything, of the Four of Wands!  Four apple halves are centred within a square of apple-blossom covered branches.  Their cut sides show the pentacle shape within formed by their seeds.  Around the cut branches is tied a red ribbon, and a bee (another Goddess symbol) drinks from one of the blooms.  Beneath this is a green field, with four trees, each one showing the signs of a different season - summer in the foreground, spring to the right, autumn to the left, and the bare branches of winter at the back.  The sun shines through the centre of the apple display.

This card feels like one of abundance.  Perhaps, in that sense, it is related to traditional ideas around the Four of Pentacles.  It shows that the plenty in our lives is affected by the seasons, by nature, by the divine.  It makes me think of a quote from the bible: "3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 3:2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck" (Ecclesiastes).  We can best husband our resources if we correctly see the right time for each.

The message I see in these cards, then, is about "letting go and letting god(dess)".  About knowing what we can and can't control, and of allowing what is.  

It seems a fitting message for my last double-draw.  The time for these is done, and I shall let go of my need to "finish what I started".  Hopefully, this will bring me a sense of greater energy and abundance, rather than of loss.  We'll see... :)

I am grateful for the reminder to accept my limitations.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Back to Single Daily Draws

The last two months of doing comparative posts have been fun, but also very time-consuming and tiring.  I've enjoyed seeing decks interacting, but I've been struggling to keep up with my daily posts, and thought about giving up almost every week for the last month or so. 

Drawing from the Incidental Tarot (Holly DeFount, 2012), which is still my favourite deck of this year, I pulled three cards to look at this, and the message seems pretty clear:


I need a new start that will allow me to feel better at a physical level (less tired) and spiritually (more at peace).  I shouldn't try to merge two different ideas any more.  Rather, I need a change, to let myself refind my flow in a way that feels good to me at every level. 

So, as of Saturday I will go back to doing my daily draw with a single deck.  I may try to do some more comparative posts, but make them about a single card from multiple decks, as I did sometimes in the past.  I hope that way I will have the energy again to do more readings and videos!

Coincidentally, the last post on the Incidental Tarot blog as I write this is on the Triskelion card :)

Flames or Wands?

©Kurt Pilz
For this sixth day with the Ananda Tarot (AGM Müller/Urania, 2003) and the Wheel of Change Tarot (Inner Traditions, 1997) we finally have one of the regular Minors - not an Ace or a Court card.

As well as having renamed some of the suits, the images for the pips are mostly non-traditional in the Ananda.  So, here we have the Nine of Flames, showing another enormous sky, and a verdant landscape beneath it.  There seems to be a frame at the front of the card, and nine beams of light piercing up through the sky.  The lagest beam cuts in front of the frame, and all nine beams rise up through the light cloud into the ever-bluer sky above.  None, though pierces into the dark of space above the atmosphere.

This card speaks to me of seeking to illuminate the world around us, to see a little further than ordinary vision allows.  It also speaks of choosing where to focus our energy.  Not letting it disperse all over the place, but giving it a clear frame, and not trying to go beyond what it possible.  Too often, we feel we should be able to do it all - to fulfill all the social roles expected of us as employee/er, partner, parent, child.  Sometimes, though, that's just not possible, and we need to focus on what we can do, right here and right now...

©Alexandra Genetti
The Wheel of Change Tarot also has rather non-traditional pips, though in a very different way.  I love the nine kangaroos bounding across the top of the card, as well as the nine didgeridoos in the lower half of the card - each painted differently.  The companion book tells some of the myths of how they were invented and how they are connected with male fertility.  There is also a female fertility painting on the wall behind them. 

So, does this say something about us defending ourselves through moving fast (the kangaroos)?  Or else through learning to combine male and female aspects?  Perhaps, though, once again we need to leave RWS interpretations behind. 

This card speaks of the Dreamtime, the need to connect not only with our own inner being, but with the land around us.  That way lies strength, inner integration, and the ability to act with speed and determination.  We need to push beyond our normal understanding, to connect with things outside ourselves, in order to grow.

Very different messages, then, from these two variations on the Nine of Wands.  Both seem to emphasise seeing beyond the everyday, though, looking at the world around us with different eyes. 

I'm finally finding time to meditate again, which is always good for feeling connected and getting a different perspective on things.  Today, I see my therapist, too, after he was away for a week.  His viewpoint is also always illuminating. 

I am grateful for different ways of seeing.


Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Mandalas or Rainbows?

©Kurt Pilz
The Ananda Tarot (AGM Müller/Urania, 2003) and the Wheel of Change Tarot (Inner Traditions, 1997) seem to be taking the mickey, as we say here.  Today the met office predicts rain, thunderstorms, and perhaps a peek of sunshine between 7pm and 8.20pm when the sun sets :(

I absolutely adore the Ananda's sky mandalas!  We had a dark mandala yesterday, and today we have a light one, centred on a pale and distant sun.  Beneath the blue sky, mandala sun, and green-tinged clouds we have a small segment of green landscape; rolling hills, pine forests, and some a higher hill or low mountain in the misty background.

The light of the sun shines down on the landscape and the sky is huge and wide, giving the card a feeling of spaciousness.  Our awareness is ripe to expand, seeing beyond the everyday sun to the illumination it offers us.  There is definitely a feeling of possibility in this card, and perhaps a sense of newness in the untouched landscape and sky.

©Alexandra Genetti
The Wheel of Change is once again startlingly different.  Here we have a variation on the traditional two children: this time both boys, one dark-skinned and one pale.  The boys stand hand-in-hand amid a garden of sunflowers.  Around them is a ring of stones, decorated in rainbow colours - 12 to be precise, including black at the top and white at the bottom.  The same ring of colours surrounds the sun which shines above them, with little red licks of sunbeams coming off it.  Above is a starry night sky, and an archway frames the whole scene. 

This card also has a sense of newness and possibility to it, but also an acknowledgement of the power of diversity to bring new thoughts and potentials.  It is not by being the same, thinking the same, that we come up with new ideas, but rather by being challenged, by seeing things we don't know or understand.

The sun with its strange red curls makes me think of Jung and his idea of the collective unconscious.  This came to him, in part, because he saw similarities between his patients' dreams and visions (in one case of a sun with a tube that created the wind), and myths and symbolism from around the world.  For Jung, the Sun represents our self, the bright light that guides us, and through which we see and understand the world.  In the Wheel of Change image, that light shines on our differences and our similarities, which walk hand-in-hand and bring us to experience the world as new and exciting.

Despite the bad weather, today feels rather holiday-like.  My Dear One and I are going for a massage this afternoon - a gift from my MIL :)  And later, we're going to a local gastro pub for dinner.  In between, I hope to have time to exercise and read a little.  To top it off, Big Boy is getting assessed for a new pushchair, by a company that specialises in equipment for people with special needs.  He already has a chair from them, which is excellent, so I'm hoping this will work well.  He's too big for regular prams, but doesn't need an actual wheelchair, so this should be a good compromise, and will make taking him out and about easier.

I am grateful for mellow days.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Spheres or Disks?

©Kurt Pilz
For this Tuesday morning, the Ananda Tarot (AGM Müller/Urania, 2003) and the Wheel of Change Tarot (Inner Traditions, 1997) suggest new beginnings, with the Ace of Spheres/Disks (Pentacles).

A pinprick of sunshine pierces the darkness in the Ananda image, creating a mandala of lighter shades within the dark clouds.  It also casts its light on a darkly translucent sphere that sits upon a wall or battlement.  Below and in the distance we see a swampy landscape dotted with trees, which is also reflected in the sphere.

The Ananda Ace of Spheres seems extremely ethereal for a Pentacles card, not earthy at all.  I guess, though, it does rest on a pretty solid-looking wall.  Perhaps a reminder that our spirit grows from a grounded foundation, and that we are each a tiny part of the whole, reflecting it as well as being a part of it.

©Alexandra Genetti
The Wheel of Change image couldn't be more different, more rooted in physicality.  The earth itself takes centre stage, on a background of starry black sky. Around this is an off-set square frame, with coloured beads. Inset are four tableaux of a tree through the seasons - autumn and winter in the top two pictures, spring and summer in the lower half.  Above the frame, the top half of the card shows a pastoral scene, green fields, trees bright with pink blossom.  Below, we see a cactus-filled, barren mountain landscape. 

This card would work quite nicely for those that use reversals :) It's also a good mix of colours, both earthy browns, reds and greens, with blues, white and black thrown in.  It speaks to me of the whole spectrum of physical experience: the relaxing and the challenging; the warm and the cold; the small and
large-scale.

Today, Big Boy has a yoga class. He's been doing it at school, so we wanted him to cement that foundation over the summer holidays.  So far, I'm not entirely convinced by his teacher (different from the one he has at school). She's a bit too ethereal for my tastes, with a wispy om that seems to disappear more than vibrate, and a soft touch that I worry feels more like a tickle than a clear guide.  Perhaps, as a yoga teacher myself, I'm overly critical.  Certainly, I wouldn't want her job, trying to get lung children to relax and stretch!

I am grateful for yoga, in all its forms.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Knight or Prince?

©Kurt Pilz
Today's card from the Ananda Tarot (AGM Müller/Urania, 2003) and the Wheel of Change Tarot (Inner Traditions, 1997) is a Court card, but exactly which one?  The Ananda Tarot has Kings, Knights, Queens and Princesses, while the Wheel of Change offers us Princes, Princesses, Knights and Queens.  So, having drawn the Knight of Flames from the Ananda, I matched him with the Prince of Wands from the Wheel of Change, as they are both the younger male aspects of their respective decks.

The Ananda Court cards take famous people as their models, and so here we have Jim Morrison of The Doors.  I have to agree that he seems quite a good match for this card's energy - dynamic, charismatic, a spiritual seeker, highly sexual, passionate, driven, yet also immature.

The companion book says: "The stubborn, somewhat explosive character that is represented by the Knight of Flames embodies a hot-blooded creature with the ability to get things started, to open paths, and to reach his goal with certain aim.  Not in long-term, but in short-term use of collected energy,"

©Alexandra Genetti
The Wheel of Change Prince is a very different character.  Dressed in native American garb and holding a talking stick, he stands in front of a painted totem pole at the top of a hill.  A raven flies above smoke that billows from a fire by the pole, while in the valley below we see trees and rocks and a path that leads over mountains to the sea.  To the left of the card is a night sky, while wind-driven clouds streak across a blue sky to the right. 

Altogether, there is something strange going on with the perspective on this card.  The Prince stands on a hill of yellowed grass, yet from his perspective he seems to look down on snow-capped mountains.  The totem pole seems to rise up from the fire in front of him, with trees behind it, yet lower down we can still see the unbroken vista to the mountains and sea.  Perhaps this is to indicate something about the magical nature of his communing with the elements, and with raven.

While the Ananda Tarot Knight speaks to me of creativity, passion and drive, the Wheel of Change Prince seems more about communing with spirit, about  a strong sense of belief and valuing the old ways.

Today my Dear One and I are meeting up with an old friend and his family for lunch.  This friend definitely associates himself with the Knight of Wands.  Well, he wouldn't put it in those terms, but he used to love being likened to Jim Morrison ;) For myself, though, I prefer the energy of the Prince of Wands: I will make some time to meditate today, come what may.

I am grateful for a sense of being connected to something beyond myself, beyond the everyday.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Maiden or Crone?

©Kurt Pilz
Today's card from the Ananda Tarot (AGM Müller/Urania, 2003) and the Wheel of Change Tarot (Inner Traditions, 1997) is another Major, next in line, in fact: the High Priestess.

In the Ananda Tarot I see a rather androgynous figure again.  This time, though, it's not just a face in the sky, but a whole body, wearing a loose, white cowled robe.  She stands with her lower body lost in stars and a cratered moon, while her upper body lifts to a bright light.  At her sacrum is a transparent sphere, lit by a single glowing star beneath, and between her hands a soft glow forms.  In the background is a forest, with rocky mountains looming out of an illuminated mist.

She makes me think of being in tune with the cycles of the cosmos, of drawing down the moon, and tapping in to intuition.  Though she is rooted in the deep mysteries of space and time, she brings this wisdom into the light of day, birthing it in silence and darkness.

©Alexandra Genetti
The Wheel of Change's High Priestess is also amazing.  She sits in the centre of two trees, one with yellow leaves, the other bare-branched.  A spider has woven her web between the two trees, directly over the Priestess' head.  Behind her we see the earth from space and a deep night sky, with a crescent moon and four bright stars.  She wears a blue robe that echoes the night sky, and a crescent moon headdress, as well as a red-trimmed black coat.  She is old and wise, an owl sitting behind her on one of the bare branches.  In her lap she holds a basket, containing vowels which represent both "the ancient wisdom of writing" and a connection to the Goddess.  As all five vowels ar there, they symbolise all the stages of life and death - the circle of experience.

I love this sentence from the companion book (a 383 page tome that is beautifully presented, as well as wise): "This card represents the truth of woman's power: that it is enduring and long-lived, coming from within and from subtle knowledge".

Here, then, we have two aspects of the Goddes, the maiden and the crone.  Both are intent on knowledge that goes beyond the everyday struggle to birth and care for children, and put food on the table.  So, each in her own way, is connected to looking at esoteric knowledge, unhampered by the demands of family.  Each is a different kind of wisdom, though of course the crone embodies both, having lived through all the other stages and their learnings.

I'm not sure what wisdom I shall gain today, nor if I'll have much time for introspection.  We're going to the birthday party of a friend of my Dear One, with plenty of kids under foot ;)  Perhaps the High Priestess' message is that we can learn from all of life's experiences, if we just stay present and listen to our inner wisdom. 

I am grateful for the opportunity to learn through experience.

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.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Chalcanthite

©Permutt & Garner
For this last day with the Crystal Tarot (Cico Books, 2010) and the Herbal Tarot (U.S. Games, 1978), we meet Chalcanthite and Juniper Berries, aka the Seven of Cups.

The Crystal Tarot version, with its non-illustrated pips, doesn't say much to me.  Seven golden chalices spilling water amongst themselves, with a pretty blue rock in each.  I guess their pattern is imbalanced, they could not stand like that.  Therefore, they must float, held up by who-knows-what force.  Which is rather Seven of Cups-like: fantasies that may not hold up to the clear light of day.

As for chalcanthite, this crystal helps us be more decisive - choosing our path, rather than "wandering into the realms of self-delusion."  The book also suggests seeking council from your spirit guides.

©Tierra & Cantin
The Herbal Tarot, on the other hand, shows a traditional depiction of seven cups floating amongst the clouds, with different objects in each.  There is a snake, a mask, jewellery, a castle, a heart, a wreath, and a dragon.  So many options, but which is real and which illusory.  Is the wreath a crown for a victor, or a pall for the dead?  Does the castle welcome us in or lock us out? 

The LWB talks of "the impact of thoughts in creating daily reality."  It offers us Juniper Berries, which are a diuretic, carminative, and aromatic, used for urinary disorders, fluid retention and diabetes, as well as to aid digestion.  I'm not quite clear on how these relate to the Seven of Cups.  Perhaps in that we "digest" our emotions, which influence our choices and thoughts...

I often feel rather Seven of Cups-y.  Working from home, I largely have to choose how I organise my time, what I do when.  So long as I make all my deadlines that's fine.  However, it does mean that I regularly have to decide, what will I prioritise today?  What do I feel like doing?  And I don't think my choices are always very good, being influenced a lot by how tired I am and how much I like or dislike something I need to do :/  Things do get done, but the nasty jobs sometimes end up being a last minute stress.

I am grateful for the reminder to do the crap jobs before they drown me.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Actinolite

©Permutt & Garner
Today's card from both the Crystal Tarot (Cico Books, 2010) and the Herbal Tarot (U.S. Games, 1978) is a rather sweet one - the Page of Cups.

In the Crystal Tarot, this Court card is associated with actinolite.  The book suggests this stone helps develop the skills and abilities needed in dealing with being sensitive, which can be both a gift and a drawback.  It also talks of curiosity being either a strength or weakness.  So, a lot of traits which need to be managed to make the most of them :)  Another site talks of this stone being a psychic shield, which is probably how it helps someone sensitive develop the ability to shield themselves.

The image itself shows us a young man in shades of green, blond hair blowing in the sea breeze.  He holds a large golden chalice in his right hand and looks towards it.  Meanwhile, waves lap the seashore in the background, and pieces of actinolite rest at his black-booted feet.  He seems quite dashing - young and romantic - and willing to look deeply into the emotional realm, while his dress suggests that he can be quite grounded, even when feelings flow in and around him.

©Tierra & Cantin
The Herbal Tarot present a rather different image.  A large Damiana plant grows by the side of a stream, next to which our Page sits, one foot plunged in the still waters, the other resting firmly on the bank.  A cup rests on the surface of the water, a fish poking cheekily out of it.

The positioning of his feet lends the card a similar feel to the Crystal Tarot: a combination of emotionality and practicality.  The LWB states that Damiana is an aphrodisiac, so something to stimulate that openness to new love, I guess...  The Page doesn't look at the cup or the fish on the stream, but rather gazes at the plant by his side.  Looking for love externally, rather than within himself. 

My Dear One and I had a couple of good talks yesterday, so I hope this card presages a new sense of love between us.  Other than that, I hope to have some time for another love of mine, the tarot.  I've been so busy with Big Boy and resolving problems that I've barely managed to get these posts out, never mind reading blogs or even choosing decks for next week...

I am grateful for time to spend with my loved ones, human and tarot ;)


Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Agate

©Permutt & Garner
Another grey and humid day faces us here in the UK, but the Crystal Tarot (Cico Books, 2010) and the Herbal Tarot (U.S. Games, 1978) seem undeterred by the English weather.  Instead, they bring lightness and joy to the day, in the form of the Six of Cups.

In the Crystal Tarot, this card is associated with agate.  The book says this crystal helps by "giving you the emotional strength you need to say what you are feeling."  This seems a rather idiosyncratic interpretation for this card, so often seen as linked to innocent emotions, gifts, or a resurgence of something from the past. 

The image resonates more with those ideas, with six cups arranged in a balanced manner.  There are two columns of three cups, each holding a colourful, striated agate, with three more of these pretty pinkish stones in a little pile between the two columns.  From each cup water flows into the one beneath, in a manner reminiscent of champagne fountains.  While this card doesn't really speak of childhood, it does seem full of emotional giving (pink being a colour of love, friendship and the heart chakra), and complementarity.

©Tierra & Cantin
The Herbal Tarot returns us to more traditional iconography, with its image of a young boy offering a slice of watermelon to a girl, who seems hesitant to take it.  This is a far more bucolic scene than the RWS image, set in a green meadow with a stream running through and snow-capped mountains in the distance.  The snow seems out of place with the watermelon that dominates the card, and which I associate with the warmth of summer.

The LWB's meanings, too, do not resonate with me.  The watermelon itself is said to be a diuretic and refrigerant, and under divinatory meanings it says: "Childish games. Only playing at love."  Neither are ideas I had ever thought of for this card, nor is it clear to me why this would be associated with a diuretic.  Though I guess a refrigerant to cool the passions so you can see the love isn't real might make sense...

Today, a new carer starts with my son, and I hope that works out, with him being emotionally giving to my little boy.  In terms of emotional discussions, though, my Dear One has brought up two things which would, each in different ways, require complete changes of our lifestyle.  Still not sure how I feel about either, and I think I need to talk with him about that...

I am grateful for the reminder that there is love even when there is emotional uncertainty.


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Imperial Topaz

©Permutt & Garner
What a beautiful, cheerful card for this August day!  The Crystal Tarot (Cico Books, 2010) and the Herbal Tarot (U.S. Games, 1978) offer us the Sun, bright and warm.  Though the weather outside doesn't match - it's supposed to be cloudy and rainy most of the day here :(

I adore this image from the Crystal Tarot, so gorgeously child-like and full of delight.  A child stands in a field, with four sunflowers reaching for the bright sun that dominates the sky.  Beautifully sparkling imperial topaz lies at the feet of the flowers, and there is a feeling of growth and abundance to the card, as well as warmth. 

Imperial Topaz, according to the book: "brings illumination and enlightenment to your mind: a universal connection to everything and a feeling of oneness."  It is also said to bring "mental energy, creative thoughts, and ideas, helping you manifest your goals."

©Tierra & Cantin
The Herbal Tarot version of the Sun is very different.  A huge Angelica dominates, with a yellow sun in the background with red sunbeams that end in hands, one of which holds an Ankh.  I'm sure there's symbolic history and significance here, perhaps even written about by Jung.  No mention is made of it, though, in the LWB, and I couldn't find it with a quick search.  Sadly, I don't have time for more today...

As for the Angelica connection, it is a stimulant which "warms the blood and promotes circulation, and counteracts rheumatic problems and body stiffness."  So, bringing back a sense of vibrancy - nice!

I really hope I get some of that warm sun energy, after the last two difficult days!  Yesterday, the person we had looking after my son dropped him on his face, leaving him with a shiner.  Then, she was so distraught she quit (though I reassured her that accidents happen).  Now I may have to take the week off work!  Perhaps what I have here is the Sun/son connection, saying I should just make the most of spending time with him :/

I am grateful for arnica cream.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Watermelon Tourmaline

©Permutt & Garner
On this Monday morning, things are looking cheerful, at least from the perspective of the Crystal Tarot (Cico Books, 2010) and the Herbal Tarot (U.S. Games, 1978).  Today's card is the celebratory Three of Cups.

In the Crystal Tarot, this card is associated with the watermelon tourmaline, a crystal which is as beautiful as its name sounds.  The companion book states that: 'watermelon tourmaline is a "feel better" stone, welcoming fun and humor as well as love into your life.'  One suggestion which seems appropriate to a Monday is to "apply your social networking skills to achieve your aims," ;) 

The image seems to support this interpretation, as water flows from one cup into the next, and happy little waves dance across the background.  Plus there's the delicious-looking crystals - good enough to eat, and sure to bring a sense of lightness to any day.

©Tierra & Cantin
The Herbal Tarot associates this card with Trillium, which has a multitude of medicinal uses, including "most feminine disorders" and "childbirth".  I guess it's associated with this card because of the link to female support networks.  It might suggest a midwife, for example: not an interpretation I would normally come up with!  The LWB also mentions celebration and enjoyment, and even the reversed meaning it gives is "satisfaction with life" :)

As for the image, three women in different coloured dresses dance around an enormous trillium stalk, with a pretty, three-petalled flower and leaves.  It feels like the herb protects them as they celebrate being together and enjoying life.

Today, what I mainly see in this card is the support I have been receiving from good friends on-line.  Yesterday was a pretty crappy day all told, with nightmares, my son having an unfortunate accident (not serious, but it caused him pain, which is always hard to see) and an argument with my Dear One.  So, I certainly hope I "feel better" today.  May have to shop for some of that delightful watermelon tourmaline ;D

I am grateful for the support of good friends.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Kyanite

Permutt & Garner
A Court card comes a-visiting today from the Crystal Tarot (Cico Books, 2010) and the Herbal Tarot (U.S. Games, 1978) - the fiery Knight of Wands.

In the Crystal Tarot version we see a red-haired young man upon a white horse, draped in a blue-green cloth.  The man wears an orange overtunic, decorated with a wand that is the suit emblem for the pips of his element.  The associated crystal is Kyanite, of which the book says: "Kyanite will aid communication skills on all levels and help slow you down, so you don't fly past and miss opportunities."  That fits well with notions of this Knight charging off gamely chasing whatever has most recently caught his fancy :)

The image makes me think of the way we often miss what is right under our noses, so intent are we on some goal, real or imagined.  I wonder what is under the horse's dress...  Okay, I couldn't find the official name for that kind of thing, though a soft pad that goes under the saddle is called a numnah - I kid you not!  The point is, the Knight may not know what is going on right underneath him, as his focus is out there in the world.

©Tierra & Cantin
The Herbal Tarot Knight of Wands wears an armoured helm, so he too may not have as broad a vision as one might wish for.  Going on foot, he looks determined, resolute.  The herb he is associated with is Aconite, a poisonous herb.  The LWB warns that aconite should only be used in a detoxified form or in minute homeopathic doses.  As such, it is a metabolic stimulant.

Personally, I would have thought that the Knight of Wands would need the opposite - something to calm him down.  I guess, though, that aconite would help give someone his energy and hot-bloodedness...

I have a couple of projects I'm quite enthused about at the moment, including the intention to buy some pens today to write on these Crystal Tarot cards!  I don't like always having to look in the book to know which crystal they represent ;)  I'll post some scans/pics once they're done - if I haven't ruined them in my Knight of Wands haste :/

I am grateful for the reminder that passionate enthusiasm is all well and good, but we also need to take time to see what is right in front of us.