Thursday, 28 February 2013

Harvest Time

Bayless & Battersby
Today's card from the Simply Deep Tarot (Schiffer, 2012) is a little unusual, biologically speaking.

A female figure stands, watering can at her feet, tending a vine that curves up and around a stake in the ground.  The vine is one of three we can clearly see, with a fourth implied by a further stake.  Each vine appears to have two big yellow fruits/coins, one at the base and one further up the plant.  They appear too heavy to be held up by such a flimsy vine, the first biological improbability.  Secondly, the vines also have pink flowers in bloom, rather unusual in a plant with ripe fruit on it.  There is a further fruit/coin (bringing us up to seven) in a basket between the rows of stakes, suggesting that it is time to harvest.

It's funny, because I normally associate the Seven of Pentacles with still having plenty of work to do before we can reap the fruits of our labour, rather than with harvest time.  And yet, this woman is still tending the vines, despite their bounty of coins.  It's also true that, even once we have picked fruit (an often back-breaking job, in itself), our work is not yet over.  At the very least, we have to carry the harvest home and wash it.  Sometimes, we may cook or preserve it in some fashion.  So, I guess I can still see the idea of needing to put in time and effort before being able to enjoy the rewards these bring.  And the card also speaks of the work already put in, the time already waited.  In that sense, it allows us to speak of either/both the past and future, an interesting option...

My eye is drawn to the shoot which curls around the woman's arm, almost as though the vine is laying claim to her.  This is probably true: what we put energy into is ours in some ways, and yet we are also possessed by the things that we nurture.

I have a pretty busy day ahead of me, with a two-hour conference call, and two therapy sessions.  All three are on-going projects which I will hopefully reap some benefit from today, but which will continue to require energy over the coming months, maybe years. 

I am grateful for the benefits, both tangible and intangible, that come from dedication.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Simply Striding

©Bayliss & Battersby
Today's card from the Simply Deep Tarot (Schiffer, 2012) is another that caught my eye when I first went through the deck.

A woman strides in a very determined manner across spilled and stagnant cups.  In front of her, a stone staircase starts part way up a rock face so that, without the cups beneath her, she would have had trouble reaching it.  Her hair is bright red, and she wears pink, beribboned boots, which seem far too playful for her somewhat ferocious expression.

My sense of this card is one of using difficult emotional experiences from the past to help us move onward and upward.  There is also determination here, we will find something better in life. 

I am headed home today, and will be glad not to have to move for a while, at least on the physical plane.  Emotionally, too, I am leaving behind the stress of work, with a calmer time ahead, I hope.  Perhaps I could take some time to think about my longer-term goals, where I want to get to...

I am grateful to return home, and to think about my direction in life.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Simply Imposing

©Bayliss & Battersby
My, today's card from the Simply Deep Tarot (Schiffer, 2012) is rather imposing!

Here we meet the King if Swords, and it doesn't look like he's in a great mood.  His blue eyes glare out at us, as he leans forward.  In his left hand he holds a sword hilt, with two crossed  plumed quills, one black and one white.  His other hand holds what may be the arm of his throne, or else some kind of seal of office.  His face is craggy, his body well-muscles, the only softness is the little bird on the brow of his crown.

Someone strong and determined, then, sure of their own point of view.  And yet, also someone who can hold in mind different perspectives and express themselves with tact, when they choose.

I can see how it would behoove me to emulate this King today.  Stuck in meetings that are likely to be both complex and acrimonious, there are certainly other things I'd rather be doing.  Still, if I can bring some calm objectivity into the room, it can but help.

I am grateful for a clear mind.

Monday, 25 February 2013

White Owl Giveaway Result

Weisse Eule Lenormand
I hope everyone has had a nice couple of weeks since I opened this giveaway :)  As promised, back from my holidays I popped over to random.org and input the number of people who had entered the draw to win a White Owl Lenormand (including Jennifer Wright Reece whose comments Blogger kept eating, for some reason!)  And, with the amazing rapidity of modern technology, in under a second random.org gave me a completely random number between 1 and 18.

Therefore, I am happy to announce that the winner of this lovely little deck is Colubrina!  Congratulations, and I hope you enjoy the cards.  Please drop me an email: info (at) innerwhispers.co.uk with your address so I can post it out to you :)

Simply Flying

©Bayliss & Battersby
After the calm of yesterday's Hanged Man, today the Simply Deep Tarot (Schiffer, 2012) shows us a rather different face.

Here we have a very fiey Eight of Wands!  A hand of what seems to be elemental fire reaches up, pointing the way, or perhaps magically guiding the eight wands.  These glow like red embers at their front tips, and emit flaming trails at the back as they shoot skyward.  What a sense of power and motion, yet there is also a sense that they won't just fizzle out: those embers will stay warm for their entire flight.

It's interesting, the variations that appear in the Eight of Wands.  Sometimes the wands are pointing upward, setting out on their journey, sometimes they seem headed for a sudden landing.  Sometimes they are simply flying, other times we see them being launched.  And even then, are they launched by the hands of a person, or by something more elemental, as is the case here?  And what does this mean to us?

It seems that things are in motion, but we may not be in control.  And yet, it is perhaps our passion driving things forward, and the bright glow of the wands suggests this is no passing fancy.

I'm not quite sure how that applies to me today.  Certainly, I see the motion, and the lack of control: I have to fly off on a business trip again :/  However, the passion and enthusiasm are distinctly lacking!

I am grateful for the speed of modern travel.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Simply Hanging

©Bayliss & Battersby
For our second day with the Simply Deep Tarot (Schiffer, 2012), we have another card I really like.

There is such a happy-go-lucky feel to this Hanged Man, such playful colours.  Our Hanged Man dangles by his knees from a swing, arms tucked behind his back and hair dangling down as he sways.  As for the swing, it is held aloft by a blue, six-petaled flower that seems to spin  and create lift.  The swing is held to the flower by a couple of vines.  Yet despite this weird position, the man looks perfectly calm, at peace with where he is.

With the airborn flower holding him up, there is less of a sense of total lack of movement than I normally associate with this card.  However, the feeling of having sacrificed control is still there - he is along for the ride, but has no say in where the winds take him. 

I hope I can find some of his calm today, at least inner calm, as we make our way home again.  This card might suggest unexpected delays, or simply the lack of control when you step on a train - there's no getting off when you're under the channel!

I am grateful for a sense of equanimity.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Tarot + Lennie Combined Reading

Simply Deep Tarot + Mystical Lenormand
I wanted to play around a little with mixing Tarot and Lennie readings, honouring both in their differences.  Using the tarot for the overall theme, and the Lenormand to add as a keyword or expansion of that theme.

Over the last two and a half weeks, I have twice managed to do something to my right wrist, which made it so painful I can currently barely lift a glass of water!  So, here's a Situation/Don't/Do reading on the subject, using the Simply Deep Tarot (Schiffer, 2012) and the Mystical Lenormand (AGM-Urania, 2004).

Situation: Fool + Clover

Seems I've been blithely ignoring the dangers and consequences of my actions, just not being aware or mindful as I charge into things.  And what things have I been charging into?  Well, ones that bring me quick happiness: small joys that are lovely in the moment, but not lasting, and certainly not deserving of the kind of pain they have brought.

This second time, I realised that what brought on the problem was playing with Big Boy - crawling round on the floor with quick direction changes, all while not paying attention to my wrists as I was purely focused on his giggles and commands for mummy to do this, that and the other.  So, small joys in the moment, with no thought for the repercussions :)

Simply Deep Tarot + Mystical Lenormand
Don't: Two of Cups + Child

This combo tells me I need to avoid being childish in my attachment to what I "love".  Sometimes, I may let emotion blind me, naively following my infatuation, with no care for what I may hurt in the process (namely my physical self).  Love and emotion can often be so overwhelming, sweeping us away, and it's easy, especially in play, to forget there are consequences to our actions.  So, time to be a bit more mature about things!

Simply Deep Tarot + Paths
Do - The Lovers + Paths

This is an interesting combo, especially after the last two cards.  Often, people see the Lovers as being like the Two of Cups writ large.  However, I mainly see the Lovers as being about choices and decisions - aligning with our Higher Self in making such choices - rather than about love in the more mundance sense.  

These two cards, then, are a double whammy on the theme of: "You have to choose wisely, this is about your life and what you value!"   I need to consider the wider repercussions of my decisions, not just today, but also for the future.  In this, I need to think about what is really important to me.

Obviously, playing with my son is important.  However, there are ways to do so without injuring myself.  I need to respect myself, not just go for the easy laugh.  It may take a little more thought, a little more inventiveness.  Still, it is worth it to honour myself, to care for myself now and for the future.

And it's not just about playing with Big Boy.  For a couple of years now, I have no longer done up-dog in my yoga practice, using cobra instead.  It's another way to honour the weakness of my wrists, to still practice yoga while staying mindful and respectful of my body's limits.  I choose to still practice, but to do so in a way that is sustainable.  This is what I must now seek in other areas, on my life path more generally.

Simply Teamwork

©Bayliss & Battersby
This week, I'll be drawing from the Simply Deep Tarot (Schiffer, 2012).  This deck is by Chanel Bayliss and James Battersby, the team that created A King's Journey Tarot (self-published, 2010).  I wasn't sure whether I'd like this second, less innovative, deck as much, and hummed and haahed about getting it.  However, when I heard TABI had a review copy up for grabs, I didn't hesitate (review will appear in the Spring Ezine).  And I'm very glad, now, that I went for it!

When I first looked through this deck, I decided to try picking out my favourite card from each section of the pack.  And this was the card I chose as my favourite Minor, only to have it appear as my first daily draw :)

A man hangs suspended by a green ribbon, his feet resting on a cog as he chisels at a rock.  He is a craftsman, creating a statue of a happy family.  He is helped by a squirrel, a hamster (or maybe a guinea pig), a mouse and a blue bird, who drive the cogs and hold the ribbon that support him.  There are also four butterflies holding up the plan of what the stone should be transformed into.  Looking more closely, the craftsman doesn't look terribly happy with his lot, perhaps because of his precarious position.  Still, if you have to work in tough conditions, it's good to know you have a supportive team behind you!

Well, it's our last full day in Paris.  We've had a lovely, relaxing time, with lots of walking and playing and eating and just soaking things in.  That's been helped by staying in a nice hotel, and having some help with Big Boy. 

I am grateful for the support and love in my life.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Grumpy

©Fairchild & Paschkis
We end this week drawing from the Complete Kit Tarot (Running Press, 2002) with the Seven of Wands.

I have been thoroughly charmed by this deck's colourful yet minimalist approach!  Today's card is no exception.  Here we have a ginger cat, fur standing on end as seven wands bear down on him (all gingers are male). 

He looks decidedly grumpy about this state of affairs, understandably enough.  And yet, perhaps his grumpiness or other bad habits are part of what has got him into this situation in the first place...

I don't feel underfire at all today.  After a couple of good night's sleep, I'm feeling much better.  I guess, what mainly comes to mind is that our holiday is almost over.   I'm starting to think of packing, travelling, and getting back to the daily routine of home.  It's been nice being mainly off-line, though normally I am on for a good chunk of each day.  Although I've missed reading people's blogs, I've also appreciated spending more time with my family, and admiring the sites and culture of this beautiful city.  So, I feel like the homecoming has an aspect of weight - the resumption of regular habits and responsibilities.  I'm sure I'll slip back into the familiar pattern with ease, still it's interesting to see it from the outside for a time.

I am grateful for another two days in Paris.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Eden

©Fairchild & Paschkis
On this Thursday, we have the delightful Lovers card from the Complete Kit Tarot (Running Press, 2002).

A naked man and woman are pressed together, their "rude bits" covered by a flowering vine that twines around them.  Strangely enough, there appears to be a pink, four-petaled flower, a sunflower and some grapes, all growing from the same vine!  There is also a small, pink butterfly by the man's side, and a huge, blue butterfly to the woman's right. 

Passion, gender roles and a transformation towards wholeness are what I see in this card :)

I shall take today's card as encouragement to spend some quality time with my Dear One.  Perhaps, too, to take some time to meditate: a good way to reconcile different aspects of my self.

I am grateful for love in all its guises.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Practical Wisdom

©Fairchild & Paschkis
Another Pentacle card follows on from yesterday's Page. Today, the Complete Kit Tarot (Running Press, 2002) shares the Ace of Pentacles with us.

A large, red-and-gold Pentacle is held out by a hand that reaches in from the right side of the card.  Nine flowers seem to float around the Pentacle and hand.  There is also a green vine, with five little green leaves, which twines around the wrist of the hand, just in front of a purple cuff.

It's interesting, this card makes me realise how very often the "hands" in the aces (if they exist) reach either from the left or from below.  Reaching in from the right somehow seems very strange.  Given that there is often an association of the right with the future, perhaps this suggests that a gift on the material plane is coming, rather than already being available... 

This card feels delightfully growthful and happy!  There is wisdom to be gained here, even if what we receive or learn is something physical or material.  If we start on a new diet, it will affect our soul as well as our body.  If we do some new exercise programme, we will find it touches our heart, as well as our muscles.

Today, I shall stay open to the wisdom of my body, and heed well its messages.  Plans for sightseeing or whatever may have to take a back seat - I'll just see how I feel in the moment!

I am grateful for the ability to say, this is what I choose today.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Strawberry Fields?

©Fairchild & Paschkis
Another Court card comes out to play today from the Complete Kit Tarot (Running Press, 2002).

Here we have a very sweet Page of Pentacles. He holds a huge key in his right hand, and seems to dance along a strawberry vine with three big berries.  His suit is shown by the big Pentacle at his waist, less a belt buckle than a cummerbund!  He has bright red cheeks, and seems to look off to the right, smiling gently.

He looks like he wants to open up the world, explore and enjoy everything he comes in contact with.  Which is a pretty good description of the Page of Pentacles, I think :)

Today, my Dear One and I hope to bathe our senses in a number of ways.  One is to go to the Louvre and feast our eyes on some amazing artwork.  Another is to eat a delicious lunch, preferably somewhere quaint and comfortable.  And if we have the chance, we'll listen to a street musician :)

I am grateful for the chance to explore my senses.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Sunflowers

©Fairchild & Paschkis
On this Monday morning, we meet the Queen of Wands from the Complete Kit Tarot (Running Press, 2002).

She's a cheerful vision in her red dress decorated with yellow sunflowers that have purple centres.  I also really like the five bright green leaves that decorate her hem.  In her right hand she holds a wand with three balls at the top, while her left waves another sunflower.  Behind her is a single candle, casting a gentle glow.

She seems both vital and wise.  The sunflowers indicate growth and a striving towards warmth and life.  Their purple centres speak of wisdom, as does the candle.  It may not be a deep wisdom like the Hermit's, but it is a life-affirming one! 

As for me, it's our first full day in Paris.  Just the fact of being on holiday is life-affirming!  I hope, too, to eat some nice food and wander the streets with my Dear One and Big Boy...

I am grateful to have made it here.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'

©Fairchild & Paschkis
For this second day with the Complete Kit Tarot (Running Press, 2002), we have a charming Eight of Wands.

A green wheel with eight spokes gives a sense of movement in the centre of the card, and at it's centre is a clock face.  Everything here suggests speed, moving fast.  And yet, the colour of the wheel and the little green leaves that sprout from some of the spokes also imply growth and harmony.  So, it's not just going with the flow, but positively progressing :)

Ha, what a perfect card to draw today!  We're off for a week's holiday, and it's all about moving as we journey to Paris :)  I see here the need to stay calm and focused even as we shift our a**e's and make sure we don't miss our train.

I am grateful for the chance to have a family holiday.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Snail's Shell

©Fairchild & Paschkis
This week, I will use the Complete Kit Tarot (Running Press, 2002).  This is a mini-deck, which I found by chance in a little bookstore and couldn't resist, after seeing Magic Mentha blog with it over the years :)  Although RWS-based, it has funny, simplified, minimalist drawings on a black background, and is about the size of a Lenormand deck.

For this first draw, I pulled the Hermit.  Don't you just love this rather Zen character, with his simple green shirt and blue trousers, and the snail shell on his back!  He comes out of his shell to share with others, but always keeps the option to retreat and look inward open.  He seems wise and peaceful, living a simple life.  He stays present, in the moment, in moving or drinking or listening or seeeing.  He doesn't get distracted by busy thoughts, or pretty baubles.  Though he may enjoy the latter, they don't matter to him.

I find this character very appealing.  Like an Indian guru of old, I can imagine that just being in his presence would be restful and yet also uplifting.

Tomorrow we head off on our family holiday, so today would be a good chance to have a bit of quiet time before the craziness of travel.  I shall try to stay calm in the midst of it all, and take a little time to meditate.  Hopefully, if I can maintain my balance, everyone else will, too :)

I am grateful for quiet moments, no matter how fleeting.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Lennie Week 4 - Königsfurt's French Cartomancy

For this final day of Lennie Week, another traditional deck.  If you feel the cards look strangely familiar, that's because these are the same images as those in Lo Scarabeo's popular French Cartomancy deck, which are the Dondorf images created in 1890.  However, this version is printed by a German publisher with German verses, and comes in a set with a book from Harald Jösten :)

Birds + Bear + Snake
Here we have Birds (again), Bear and Snake.  Let's take a look at the verses.

Birds: "Oh, the Birds, they mean sorrow and troubles, but have no fear,  it won't last long."
Bear: "With the Bear beware to think before you speak, there is no lack of envious people."
Snake: "Whether near or far, the Snake is never gladly seen, as sooner or later she indicates betrayal."

If we just took the meanings from the verses, this might give us:

Worries about envy and betrayal because of something you said. 

Brainstorming with a broader set of meanings adds to that:

Forceful talk leads to betrayal.
Big worries about another woman.
Motherly concerns about women troubles.
Nutritional conversation takes time.
Phone call with your boss about delays and detours.

Certainly, there seems advice here to watch our language.  Whether we're talking to our mother or our boss (yep, the Bear is one of those cards that can go both ways), it's probably quite good advice to be careful of both what we say and how we say it.

I'm unlikely to be speaking with any higher-ups today.  More likely is that I'll talk with my mum, after Wednesday's gynecological intervention.  With regards to that, the Snake could suggest things taking a while to settle back to normal, which is to be expected, but still not anything to be happy about.

I am grateful for time to recover, and support in doing so.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Lilac and Cherry Twilight Review

After having blogged with the Lilac and Cherry Twilight Lenormands last Lennie Week, I thought I'd post a video review of both decks.  In it, I compare the two decks and look at ways they can be used together.  So, if you're still not sure whether or not these decks are for you, this may give you a better idea :)

Lennie Week 4 - Schors

Today's deck is another traditional one, with both playing card inserts and verses in German.  It is the Lenormand Game (Schors, date unknown).  The link is actually to a version with Dutch verses, as I couldn't find where I'd gotten my German copy from *doh*

Lady + Key + Birds
So, what do the verses tell us today?  The Lady says: "For a Lady, this is the card.  For him, it is the woman who is waiting for him.  We wish the Lady a good life.  May she be surrounded by peace and happiness."

The Key gives us these lines: "The solution to the riddle is all here.  The Key opens every door.  When a question is gnawing at you, look what the Key says to you here."

And finally the Birds: "The Birds message brings much sadness, yet is of only short duration.  First, everything seems totally dreadful.  But before you know it, it's come to an end."

The Birds, in particular, generally have a broader and somewhat different interpretation in modern approaches.  It is often associated with phone calls, and from there with talk more generally, and gossip - talk that causes pain.  So, brainstorming these cards gets me:

A woman is sure to receive a phone call.
A woman unlocks something through talk.
A woman will certainly cause distress by gossiping.

In general, if you are a woman, the Lady card is seen as you.  However, there can be exceptions to it.  So, it's best to keep both options in mind.  Is it you or someone around you that this could refer to?

I'm going with the middle option today.  My therapist was away, and missed all the drama of the last ten days.  I'm looking forward to working through some of that with him -  it's sure to unlock a lot of emotion, and hopefully a little insight.

I am grateful for someone to talk to in confidence, no strings attached.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Lennie Week 4 - Wahrsage Karten

For the rest of this week, I thought we'd go with some very traditional Lenormand decks, all with verses on them (though the verses are in German, easier to ignore if you're not interested).  Today's deck is the Lenormand Wahrsagekarten (Königsfurt-Urania, 2003).  These cards also exist with the same images and verses in French...

Tree + Lily + Stork
One of the nice things about cards with verses is that they give some clues to interpretation, connected to other cards around them, or related to the distance method of reading (how close the cards are to the person cards in the spread - Gentleman and Lady).

According to the verse on the card, the Tree indicates health if it is far from the person card, sickness if close by!  And that all will be well if there are many trees together - a little hard as there is only one Tree card.  Perhaps it means if the Tree appears in multiple readings, or made multiple by the cards next to it, as traditionally the Birds, Whips, Paths and Clover all indicate two of something...

My translation of the Lily verse is: The Lily speaks of innocence, and a happy life's path, when Clouds are not nearby to create shadows.

And the Storks say: Change and movement are what the Stork promises, yet when it is far away, the situation will not change.

Still, for this three card reading I'll stick with my brainstormed meanings :)

Sexual health experiences changes.
Harmonious roots lead to positive change.
Peaceful growth brings a change to the family.

What I see here is a message that we grow best in peaceful situations, and that this allows us to flow with change, rather than banging up against it as an enemy.  It's true, too, that I'm seeing someone about a gynecological matter today, which fits rather well with the first phrase.  I shall take the storks card, normally one of positive change, as a good sign.

I am grateful for generally having good health and a peaceful disposition.



Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Lennie Week 4 - Modern Minimalist Lenormand

Today's deck is another free on-line resource, this time from the talented Melissa Hill (the Sassy Sibyl).  With her Modern Minimalist Lenormand, you get exactly what it says.  The cards are grey, with simple dark grey images and black text.  Still, that is all you need for a reading, so let's go!

Modern Minimalist Lenormand ©Melissa Hill

I drew Lilies + Ring + Tree:

Commit to peace to ensure good health.
Partnership with an older man brings growth.
Commitment and passion together create strong roots.

The first of these I see as a recommendation to meditate, which is never a bad idea.  The second makes some sense to me on a personal level, but may not be relevant to anyone else.  The third, while generic, might still be useful.  Whether it be a relationship that we want to strengthen, or any other project that needs strong roots to flourish, committing and bringing passion to it are certainly key.

I am grateful for the passion and commitment in my life.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Lennie Week 4 - White Owl + Giveaway!

Weisse Eule
Tomorrow I'll showcase another free resource on-line, but today I wanted to go with a deck that takes tradition and adds a touch of colour to it: the White Owl (AGM-Urania, 2008).  There are various Blue and Red Owls, and it's good to check carefully before you buy, as some have playing card inserts, while others have verses in one of a number of languages.  Overall, I prefer playing card inserts.  Still, the verses can be fun in that they give some tips on how to read cards via the distance method, as well as giving base meanings right there on the card.  I'll show some decks with verses later this week...

Anyhow, the White Owl is always with playing card inserts, and has fun, funky colouring.  Both the Ship's sails and the Lilies are pink, the Storks are black, and the Paths has a multi-coloured signpost, to name but a few.  As for today's cards, we have Letter + Coffin + Whips.

Weisse Eule ©Regula Elizabeth Fiechter

The papertrail of an ending leads to difficult discussions.
Headaches over paperwork require a do-over.
Doctor's prescription: exercise!

All of these feel relevant, and perhaps even connected, to me today.  I'm still dealing with the troubles that surfaced last week, and have paperwork to fill in.  Not only are there some tough choices which bring up inner discussions, but dealing with various different individuals and institutions also means repeating stuff a fair bit - definitely a pain.  So, some exercise would be a good way to take my mind off it all, if only for a short time :D

I am grateful for exercise: good for body, mind and spirit!

And now for the giveaway ;)  I have had this deck for a while, but recently decided I needed a book by Fiechter that only came in a set with the deck.  So, I ended up with a second, shrink-wrapped, unopened copy with box and LWB to giveaway!  To be entered in the draw, all you have to do is comment on this post, easy as that :D  The giveaway will close on 24th Feb and I'll randomly select a name on the 25th.  Good luck, everyone!

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Lennie Week 4 - Lisa Lenormand

As promised, today we have another free resource!  This is another deck by Lisa Frideborg Lloyd, the Lisa Lenormand :)  Once again created from public domain images, Lisa is happy for it to be downloaded and used with Orphalese, or in some other way, preferably with a link!

Lisa Lenormand
Today's cards are Ring + Fish + Ship.

Monetary commitment leads to foreign travel.
Committing to commerce brings trade opportunities.
An investment in partnership is part of my soul's journey.

For me, it being Sunday, family day, the last of these feels the most meaningful, though it is perhaps the least obvious.  This has been a hard week for the whole family, and so it is important to re-commit to my Dear One and Big Boy, to take time to let them know just how much they mean to me.

I am grateful for those who accompany me in this lifetime.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Lennie Week 4 - Deviled Ham Lenormand

To start off this fourth Lennie Week, I thought it would be nice to showcase a few free resources (yes, you read that right, these are free to download!)  The first of these is from the delightfully creative Lisa Frideborg Lloyd, and is her Deviled Ham Lenormand.  Follow the link for download information :)

Deviled Ham Lenormand
 The cards I drew were Fish + Coffin + Bouquet, and a little brainstorming gave me:

The end of consumerism is a gift.
Completed sales bring joy.
A death costs money, but is a gift. 

This last actually feels most relevant, though in a slightly altered form: an ending has a price, but is also a gift.  Any time that something in our lives comes to an end, it is hard to let go.  We so easily attach to things, even when they are imagined or emotional, rather than tangible.  Yet, when we release these desires, wishes, dreams, we open ourselves to the new, and the real.

After this last week, there is definitely something I need to let go of.  It won't be easy, there is a price to pay.  Yet, I remain hopeful that good will come of this, that I can still find happiness, even if in a different direction.  This reminds me once again of my Imbolc reading, and the Ten of Swords.  Release!

I am grateful for the wisdom to mourn and let go.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Tent Pegs

Sideshow Tarot ©Kyle Burles
For our last day with the Sideshow Tarot (Kyle Burles, 2012), we have another card from the suit of Sticks (Wands).

A carnie walks around the outside of a large tent, carrying a bundle with six tent pegs.  A further four pegs are already in the ground, holding the tent in place.  The carnie also carries a large mallet, for driving the pegs into the hard earth.

This image reminds me that the Ten of Sticks/Wands isn't just about burdens, but also about responsibility.  It is hard work setting up the Sideshow tents, but vital to the show, even if the carnies themselves are never seen.  And if the pegs aren't driven in properly, if there aren't enough because the person responsible didn't want to carry more and bang them into place, then the tent could fall and people might get hurt.  With this card, although there is an aspect of knowing when to say no to more jobs, or knowing when to delegate, there is also the need to know when we just have to get on with the job, no matter how onerous.

Today, I have to put some things in place for next week.  Hopefully, it'll be fairly plain sailing, as I don't think I can delegate any of it.  What I can let go of is care of Big Boy, as my mother is coming over.  She'll enjoy playing with him for a bit while I make phone calls and send emails :)

I am grateful for my mother.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Zig-Zag Girl

Sideshow Tarot ©Kyle Burles
On this Thursday in February, the Sideshow Tarot (Kyle Burles, 2012) offers us another carnie show attraction: the Zig-Zag Girl (yep, it has an official name, who knew?!)

In this Three of Blades (Swords) we see a woman in a box, apparently being cut into quarters by three blades.  Yet she looks towards us, still smiling her Sideshow smile.  Once again there is an apparent gender power differential - it is a sly-looking man in a dodgy, spotted tie who wields the blades.  Here, though, we know there is no actual danger, that it is all "smoke and mirrors".

Connecting the imagery back to traditional meanings for the Three of Swords, at one level this may suggest a "fake-it-til-you-make-it" attitude to overcoming sorrow.  At a deeper level, perhaps it is a reminder that our pains and heartaches, too, are illusory.  Sometimes, they are quite literally all in our own minds.  Even when they have a real, tangible component, still, as the buddhists would point out, it is only our attachment to a particular outcome that makes us unhappy with what is.

This is a good card for me, today.  A reminder to get a little perspective on my woes.  While it's not a situation I would wish on my worst enemy, still, it isn't the end of the world, not even the end of my world.  It is a reminder that once again I had built a little imaginary world, and started to inhabit it.  Back to reality, bub!

I am grateful for a world that keeps spinning, a sun that keeps rising, and life that goes on.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Pinhead of Bottles

Sideshow Tarot ©Kyle Burles
Today's card from the Sideshow Tarot (Kyle Burles, 2012), is a pretty weird one!

Here we have the Pinhead of Bottles (Page of Cups).  Not only, as the name suggests, does he have a very small head compared to his body, but he is dressed in a pink, flowery dress!  (In fact, all the Pinheads appear to wear dresses).  He holds a bottle in his left hand, the other held up at a slightly odd angle, like an excited child.  Behind him is a Sideshow tent, and he looks off to the left of the card, with a big, goofy smile on his face and his eyes lit up.

What I see here, then, is an openness to emotional exploration, a joy in seeing what the world has to offer.  There is less soul-searching here than in traditional versions, but perhaps more happiness, more simple pleasure in life.

Being open to the good in life, being emotionally welcoming of all that comes.  Bah, that seems a big ask today!  The Tower that I was expecting has come rather sooner, and in a different way than I hoped.  Still, in every change there must be a silver lining, if we are willing to see it.  So, that's where I'll focus today.

I am grateful for the silver lining to every cloud.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Video Review of the Mystical Lenormand

This little deck, the Mystical Lenormand by Regula Elizabeth Fiechter and Urban Trösch (AGM-Urania, 2004) is both very popular and much maligned.  In part because it adds in additional symbolism, including astrological associations, and in part because it doesn't include traditional cartomantic associations. 

My take on it is that it is a very beautiful deck.  And if you use the cartomantic associations, you'll know which card is which, anyway!  The only downside, from that perspective, is not "seeing" which way the Courts face...  Overall, this is a pretty, readable Lenormand, and one I enjoy working with.  But don't take my word for it, take a look!

Toffee Apple

Sideshow Tarot ©Kyle Burles
I always love when a deck shows us lots of its faces over the week.  We've had a Court card and a couple of Majors, now we get to see an Ace from the Sideshow Tarot (Kyle Burles, 2012).

The Ace of Sticks (Wands) is a toffee apple on a stick, held up in front of a confection stand.  The toffee apple is red, for the fire element associated with wands.  I also like the fact that it's a stick which acts as a tool, both allowing the apple to be caramelised, and then to be eaten.  That fits well with the idea of projects, processes and doing, as well as desire and pleasure.  The symbolism of a stick penetrating an apple, symbol of the Goddess, is also not lost on me ;)

I haven't done much since Saturday, so I'll take this Ace and give myself a prod with it!  Need to get writing again, and maybe make a start on some other stuff, but instead I've been reading a novel.  I guess it's good to take breaks, too, but when there's so much to be done (and a lot of it is fun)...

I am grateful for the reminder to get myself in gear.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Wheel of Death

Sideshow Tarot ©Kyle Burles
Today's card from the Sideshow Tarot (Kyle Burles, 2012) is one of the (renamed) Majors.  Instead of the Wheel of Fortune, we have the Wheel of Death! :D

A man with a pirate's eyepatch over one eye holds six throwing blades in his left hand, and a small axe in his right.  In the background, a pretty, scantily-dressed woman is attached to a wheel with esoteric symbols on it.  There are already a number of blades around her body, and yet she looks pretty happy with life.

This is an interesting one!  The Wheel of Death is the fortune of these two Sideshow performers.  And yet, not only can the show make more or less money, or be cancelled from the bill entirely, but it can also go horribly wrong in an instant, bringing misfortune instead of fortune.

While the man trusts to his hand-eye co-ordination and his years of experience, making his own fortune, the woman is a pawn, with little she can do but smile and pray.  Though, perhaps, if she saw his hand was shaky, or smelled alcohol on his breath, she would choose not to go on...

Generally, I feel I make a lot of my luck, control a fair bit of my destiny.  And yet, how true is that really?  In some things it certainly is: if I hadn't dared to ask Will Worthington to illustrate the Celtic Lenormand, that would never have happened.  Likewise, if I hadn't emailed US Games, I wouldn't now have a contract with them.  Yet, I couldn't force Will to paint the images, nor US Games to agree to publish them, that was in their hands.  And there are other areas of my life where I feel I have even less control - Big Boy's health being one of them...

I am grateful for the mix of control and surrender that makes up life.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Lord of Bottles

Sideshow Tarot
Today we meet one of the Lords (or Kings) of the Sideshow Tarot (Kyle Burles, 2012).  The Courts in this deck are unusual, being made up of Pinheads (Pages), Lionfaces (Knights), Ladies (Queens) and Lords (Kings).  The suits have also been renamed Sticks (Wands), Bottles (Cups), Blades (Swords) and Coins (Pentacles).  All the Lords and Ladies are midgets, while the Pinheads and Lionfaces are exactly what their names say - all quite peculiar, but that's what the Sideshow is all about: the freaks and curiosities!

So, here we have the Lord of Bottles (King of Cups).  He leans up against what appears to be a huge, empty, greeen-glass bottle, with a circus tent in the background.  He looks a bit like a mafioso, and makes me think of the fact that in a Sideshow, many of the people would consider the others their family.  That would make this Lord of Bottles a patriarch, perhaps the one that others come to if they have something emotional bothering them, perhaps a fight with one of the other members...  They know he will always look after his own, and be open to solving emotional disputes in a fair and kind way.

I wonder, today, is this me or my Dear One?  It's true I sometimes mediate between him and Big Boy (he's a Sag and BB is a Capricorn, so when fire meets stubborn earthiness, there can be a bit of an impasse sometimes).  Still, DO is a big softie on the inside, and would protect our boy from anything he can.  My DO sometimes gets upset because, sadly, we can't protect BB from the pain his medical issues cause him.  So, a bit of both of us, maybe: me as mediator, him as defender and also for his emotional vulnerability...

I am grateful that not all categories are clear cut.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

The Banner Line

The Box
And inside...
This week we have another quirky and slightly twisted, though far more colourful, self-published deck.  It is the Sideshow Tarot by Kyle Burles (2012).  The deck comes in a themed wooden box, which you can see here.  The cards don't have rounded corners, but are less sharp than some others.  Still, I intend to put my corner cutter to work, just haven't got round to it yet *tuts at own laziness*

©Kyle Burles
 As for today's card, we have one of the Majors (all renamed): the Banner Line (the World).  Posters decorate an entire wall, proclaiming those who have made it to the top in the world of the sideshow.  I'm guessing this is like being a headliner on Broadway :)

So, a card of success, of having reached the top.  Yet, what comes next?  A bigger show?  A whole new challenge in a different arena?  Either way, it first behooves us to take some time to celebrate our 15 minutes of fame, even if it's just us raising a glass to ourselves!

What I'm most proud of over the last couple of weeks is having stood up for something I believe in, despite attacks or simply questioning on a number of fronts.  There was a time I would have caved and shut up, especially as I'm certainly not trying to evangelise.  Still, I'm glad to have stuck to my beliefs, while honouring other's choices, too :)

I am grateful for the self-belief to say what I feel.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Imbolc Blog Hop

Today is the 1st of February, sometimes known as February Eve, Imbolc or Candlemas.  And so, it must be time for another Tarot Blog Hop!

Whether you've popped in from Alison's Alembic, or found your way here somehow else, I hope you'll consider swinging on around the rest of the Blog Hop.  Bloggers from around the world, all blogging at the same time on the same title, and yet always with such fascinatingly different results!

Anyhow, down to business.  This time, the subject our delightful wrangler, Aisling, gave us was: what is the fire in your belly?  I decided to cook up a quick spread: three cards in an upward-pointing triangle shape, symbolic of fire :)

It being a new year, it's time for a change of deck for these Blog Hop posts.  Having recently bought a second copy of the DruidCraft Tarot (Connections, 2004) and given it an extreme borderectomy, that is my deck of choice!

©P&S Carr-Gomm, W. Worthington
1)  What is the fire in my belly?  The Tower

Regular readers will know of my love/hate relationship with the Tower, the Major Arcana to have appeared here most often of any card, bar none!

Seems like there are big changes brewing again.  Things that will shake me out of any complacency, and alter not only what I do, but how I feel about myself.  I have some pretty good guesses about what these shifts will involve, or at least what the starting points will be.  Where they end up, though, is probably not something I can know until I get there.

Certainly, that's the way I see the Tower: we know that things will never be the same again, but we don't know what they will be like.  That, after all, is part of the work for the future!

©P&S Carr-Gomm, W. Worthington
2)  How can I stoke the fire?  Ten of Swords

How I can stoke these big changes is by not fighting them, not overdramatising, and not trying to get in the way of them.  I have to learn to let go of what is and embrace the new, even if I don't know where it will take me.  There is a new horizon, a new day, coming.  Trying to stop it will only make it harder, so the cards advise me to relinquish my fear, relinquish my sense of control, and stop trying to think through every possibility.  Can't be done, so I may as well not try!

©P&S Carr-Gomm, W. Worthington
3)  What bright flame will spring from it?  Ten of Pentacles

Well, at least this card is a little more cheerful than the previous two!

The bright flame that will spring from embracing these big changes is a new legacy, a new sense of family and peace :)  I notice the woman in the background hanging up a blue pentacle - colour of communication.  So, my ability to communicate will improve, supported by friends and family.  I guess, if I become more authentically who I now am, then I will also be able to communicate that...

I hope you've enjoyed this little spread, and the beautiful cards from the DruidCraft Tarot.  I'd love to hear if you try the spread out yourself!

In the meantime, why not hop on over to Louise's Priestess Tarot post, it's sure to be a good one!


Victory

Looks like our Prince of Wands from Wednesday's post is back, and brought his adoring groupies with him :)  For this last day with the Book of Azathoth Tarot (Nemo's Locker, 2012), we have the Six of Wands.

A horned male sits astride his dragon mount, proudly riding to the right through a crowd of other demons.  The others in the crowd don't seem to be all that happy, though. 

Perhaps this says something about the dirty work that often goes on in the background to achieve any success.  Rarely does anyone truly achieve something entirely on their own.  For example, who cooks the food and cleans house for an important CEO, or keeps a footballer on the pitch through timely physio interventions?

One thing I have to celebrate today is having written three posts for this afternoon's Tarot Blog Hop!  Hope you'll pop back later to read my personal installment here on Inner Whispers :)  Sometimes, too, just making it through the day feels like a victory.  However, if I ask myself who in my life helps with anything I do, the answer is simple!

I am grateful for my Dear One, and for Big Boy's two primary carers.