Friday, 31 May 2013

Tarot x Lenormand

To end this Lennie Week, I have a special giveaway :D  Pepi Valderrama, the creative powerhouse behind the Mystique d'Epoque, Alice in Wonderland, and Crochet Lenormands as well as the new free Vintage Poster Lenormand, has come up with another fun idea. 

Pepi punched star-shaped holes and stuck stickers on a Wizards Tarot deck, and then sent the cards off around the world.  The idea is that the ten people who received those cards share them with friends, or offer them in a giveaway.  Then, Pepi will do a draw to see who wins the Grand Prize. 

And what, you may ask, is the Grand Prize?  Well, that's a story that's still being written!  Pepi is giving away one of her gorgeous Lenormand decks, and her idea was to ask each of the people she sent cards to if they'd add something to the draw.  As I don't yet have any Celtic Lenormand decks to give away, I'm adding a brand-new copy of the Gaian Tarot (Llewellyn, 2011) to bring a bit of tarot to the mix.  To keep track of what is on offer in the giveaway, check out this link.

To win one of these cards, and a chance at the Grand Prize draw, all you have to do is comment on this post.  Then, if you win one of the cards, you'll have to like the Facebook pages or comment on the blogs of the other people who decide to add something to the pot - details will be posted on depepi.com

I think this is such a fun idea!  It'll be like a scavenger hunt :D  For a chance to win the Grand Prize, you'll scoot around the world via the interwebs.  And liking or commenting on other sites, you have multiple chances to win one of the cards, so you might have more than one chance at that Grand Prize :)  So, get commenting, and I'll announce the winners in a few weeks time, on Friday 21st June (to give some of those other cards time to arrive at their destinations and get blogged about)!

Lennie Week 7 - Kendra's Vintage Again

For this last day, I wanted to come back to Kendra's Vintage Petit Lenormand (2013) again.  This time, it's the regular vertical deck, which comes with 67 cards to choose from.  There are several variants with a "holiday" theme - Christmas or Thanksgiving, so I guess you could change your deck choices as the seasons roll by.  There are also four "Card 37"'s: extra, non-traditional Lenormand cards, which are interesting and cute.  Kendra has uploaded a video on using the extra "card 37" cards, which is fun and helpful, though I don't think I will read "Social Hour" quite the way she does...  I've made up my personal deck for the moment (could change in the future), with 47 cards.  Drawing from that, I got: Social Hour, Mountain, and Water Lily.


Peer pressure blocks us from inner tranquility.
A stony facade hides a passionate nature.
Time spent networking feels like an ordeal, though we know it is required for leadership in a given area.
Cold social relations affect our sense of peace.
Old-fashioned social graces feel like an up-hill battle.

A couple of these speak to me today.  I sometimes have that sense of self-doubt raised by the comments of others, blocking me from feeling at ease with myself, as suggested by the first interpretation.  And certainly, when those around me seem cold, it disturbs my inner balance.  So, these all seem to be about how I connect with others, and what that means to me.

Despite the talk of being self-reliant, and loving ourselves first, I've written before about the importance of inter-connectedness and validation from others.  We humans are social creatures!  I'll be sure to make an effort today to connect with others, and to validate them.

I am grateful for the people in my life, both near and far.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Lennie Week 7 - Petit Lenormand Noir

One of my favourite artists, Robyn Tisch-Hollister, has created another Lenormand.  I loved her Chronata's Minute Lenormand, and adore her All Hallows Tarot.  With this Petit Lenormand Noir (2013) she has another deck which will, I'm sure, stand the test of time!


As for today's reading, we have House, Child, and Snake.

A new home takes a winding path.
Family concerns over a girl child.
Starting on the property ladder is a treacherous road.
A child in the family brings another woman into the picture.
A child at home causes delays.

Ha, well as any mother will tell you, kids around the house always cause delays.  Whether it's young 'uns who need help putting on their shoes and coats, or older kids who don't want to go to (insert family destination), kids can rarely be relied on to speed up anything, really, except the aging of their parents ;)  I shall take today's cards as a reminder to give myself plenty of time for anything today, seeing as Big Boy is still on half-term.

I am grateful that school starts up again next week.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Lennie Week 7 - Melissa Lenormand

I was recently lucky enough to get my hands on a second hand copy of this lovely deck, the Melissa Lenormand (2nd edition) by Melissa Haney, who also created the Modern Minimalist Lenormand (which no longer seems to be available) and the Postmark Lenormand.  This deck has a couple of extra cards, and was created with public domain images.  It is vintage in feel, and very readable.


The cards we have today are Stars, Anchor, and Joker.  Hmm, the Stars and extra cards seem to be coming up a lot this week...

Guidance about work leads to confusion.
Working with technology can prove tricksy.
Plan for work which takes you to unexpected places.
Hope for playful groundedness.

The last is my pick of the day.  While some of the others (the second in particular) are undoubtedly true, today I have Big Boy by myself.  So, I'll definitely have to try to stay both playful and grounded. 

I am grateful for some time to meditate and exercise before I take on play duties, should help with the grounded part...


Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Lennie Week 7 - Tattered Nomad Oracle

While Shaheen Miro, the creator of this lovely deck, doesn't call it a Lenormand, as far as I can tell that is only because there are a couple of extra cards.  Totalling 43 cards, the deck is a sometimes busy mix of public domain images, layered together in very interesting ways.  The Tattered Nomad (2013) reads well using the traditional Lenormand system, and offers a few quirky additions.  Happily, one of these came up in today's reading :)


Here we have the Bat, the Dog, and the Lilies.  While Shaheen has a positive take on the Bat, I'll take the liberty of going with my own keywords.

A fearful friend finds some peace.
Uncertainty around a passionate friendship.
A friend is tangled up by their passion.
Entanglements result from loyal passion.
Fears about a harmonious friendship.
Dogged fears are finally laid to rest.

The health issues that resurfaced with Big Boy a couple of weeks ago are still causing trouble.  Today, therefore, I plan to take him to the GP's again, as well as handing back some tests that we carried out at home over the weekend.  Fingers crossed that together these will do something towards laying to rest my fears over his well-being!

I am grateful that fears can be tamed.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Lennie Week 7 - Black & Gold Lenormand

Today's deck is one from an array offered by Paris Debono, the Fortune Teller.  While not all his decks are traditional Lenormand's this one is.  I liked it for the unusual colouring, Black and Gold as the name implies, and the images do not disappoint.  Another nice aspect is that, being from Australia, this deck ISN'T a Printer Studio deck.  Not that they're bad, far from it, but it's nice to have some cards that feel a little different in the hand.



A very cheerful little reading here, with Clover, Stars and Garden.

Enjoyment of an on-line community. 
Lucky guidance around a public event.
Happiness spreads through a group.
The small joys of a funfair (technology in a park).

The last of these feels fitting for today, as if the weather plays along we will almost certainly go to the Bank Holiday funfair on the local Heath with Big Boy.  He loves the noise, the crowds, the rides (well, age appropriate ones).  He squeals with joy at being swung around, and flinches in delight on the dodgems.

I am grateful for the simple joys of childhood.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Lennie Week 7 - Secrets of the Lenormand Oracle

Sylvie Steinbach, the first person to publish a book about the Lenormand in English, has now self-published a Lenormand deck of the same name: the Secrets of the Lenormand Oracle (2013).  It's pretty traditional, no extra cards, and I was rather disappointed that it came with no cards with keywords or anything else (though she does send through a LWB pdf).  As a published author, it wouldn't have been hard to create some brief descriptions or keywords and put them on a couple of the extra cards that come with the deck.  Being a Printer Studio publication, direct fromt the company, it came with extra cards which were just a hodge-podge of spares from the standard 36 as filler - very uninspired!  Anyhow, the cards themselves are quite nicely produced, with interesting, gentle colours, and the card stock is decent.


So, for today's reading we have Garden, Fish and Whips.

A financial group gets into arguments.
Discussions about money in a public setting.
An alcoholic at a party falls into addictive patterns.
The dispersal of a group spreads discord.
A party is rained out to the disgruntlement of those attending.  While common here in the UK, for today the Met office is predicting sun, so there goes that interpretation.
A business man gives a public talk.
Public diatribe about finances.
Whether going out to the park or dancing at home, let yourself just flow.

The last, while perhaps the least traditional, is the only interpretation that really resonates with me today.  While there are some storms in the teacup of a few on-line settings I'm involved with, I plan to pay them no mind today.  Instead, a walk in public with Big Boy and my Dear One after a bit of exercise sounds just the ticket for a sunny Sunday :)

I am grateful for times when I can go with the flow of life in a calm and joyous way.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Lennie Week 7 - Kendra's Vintage Petit Lenormand

Welcome to another Lennie Week, where we'll explore some more lovely self-published Lenormand decks.  To start and end the week, I want to take a look at Kendra's Vintage Petit Lenormand (self-published, 2013).  There are three versions of this deck, the regular (which has lots of extra cards to choose between), the mini (decidedly cute), and the landscape version (innovative as ever, Kendra!)  We'll start with the latter, which is the first Lenormand I've come across with the card images horizontal rather than vertical.  I think it would make a GT a little unwieldy, though you could always lay it out 6x6 instead of one of the other formats...


Our cards today are Bear, Birds and Anchor.

A phonecall from your boss makes work.
A conversation with your mother proves grounding.
A chatty manager is hard work.
Weighty discussions about nutrition.
Nervous eating connected with work stress.

Seems like the message today is to beware of stresses around work.  Whether it's a phonecall from the boss or that packet of biscuits that's always in the staff room, there can be many ways that work negatively impacts us.  Maybe for today we shouldn't answer the phone :)

While I don't work in an office environment, I still definitely notice the unhealthy eating patterns which work stress encourages.  Sometimes, food feels like a way to escape for a little while: "I'll just have a biscuit while I relax a minute" seems to become: "While I'm eating I don't have to work".  So, today I shall try to be more mindful.  Perhaps giving myself permission to take some time out, without needing food as an excuse or accompaniment, would be a good start...

I am grateful for the reminder to stay mindful with my eating.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Battling or Building?

By Leo Tang
And so our week with the Tarot of the Magical Forest (Lo Scarabeo, 2008) ends.

For our last card we have the Five of Wands.  Five bug-eyed frogs wearing red capes heft large wooden wands over their heads.  Are they jousting with them, or trying to build something?  And if trying to build something, wouldn't it help to have a plan or a leader? 

Overall, I'd say they are more constructive than aggressive, but the crazed eyes lend an air of madness to the proceedings.  I like their red capes, which are a nod to the element of Fire, and suggestive of their dynamism and strength of purpose.

Likewise, the choice of frogs for the suit of Wands is an interesting one.  While in no way fiery creatures, frogs are renowned for their creativity and adaptability, which does fit the suit of Wands.

A card, then, of people striving to get something done, but where a lack of organisation, a slight being at counter purposes, may get in the way of efficiency.

Hmm, not a great card for a day when I have a lengthy business meeting scheduled.  I take this as a suggestion to try to stay clear in my purpose, and avoid pointless battles. 

I am grateful for the Bank Holiday weekend coming up.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

All Tied Up

By Leo Tang
For today's card from the Tarot of the Magical Forest (Lo Scarabeo, 2008), we have another Swords card.  That means another cute kitty in dire straits :)

A sweet, grey tabby plays Puss-in-boots, yet she doesn't seem strong, defiant or smart.  Instead, she is bound by a thick, white ribbon that wraps around her eyes and the top of her arms.  Behind her, eight swords bar the way towards a castle in the distance.  The sky above her is a gentle pink that is echoed in kitty's ears, nose and mouth.  However, the land around her is barren and grey.

The pink sky suggests love, yet our puss cannot see it due to the ribbon over her eyes, though the ribbon would fall off if she'd just move.   And she is blocked from the security of the castle by those pesky swords, which of course she could walk around if she freed herself from her ties.

I'm not quite sure why, but when I saw this card today I heard a song from a Canadian pop singer from the Eighties, Roch Voisine.  As I remember it, one of the lyrics went "I'm all tied up, dying but I'm feeling fine".  Just googled it, and it's actually All Wired Up, but my sense of the lyrics was right, and preempted Maroon 5's One More Night by nearly three decades ;)  What this may be trying to say is that not only are these restrictions of our own making, but there is something comfortable or even pleasurable about them.  Like saying "I can't do that" and even though there's a part of us that regrets the inability, there's another part that is dancing with glee: I can't do that means I don't have to challenge myself or put myself on the spot.

For me today, I think this is about eating.  I tell myself that giving up chocolate is too hard when I have so many other stressors in my life.  And yet, eating chocolate is also a stressor, leaving me feeling fat and weak-willed.  On the other hand, I didn't eat chocolate for most of 2011, so I know I can do it...

I am grateful for the people around me encouraging me towards healthier patterns.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Bat Crazy

By Leo Tang
Another lovely card today from the Tarot of the Magical Forest (Lo Scarabeo, 2008).  This week is reminding me why I love this deck so much :)

Here we meet the Hanged Man, a white bat wrapped cocoon-like in his own wings.  He dangles from a spindly tree, with another curving across to meet it, creating a lovely frame for the full moon behind him.  In a strange play on perspective, a mountain rises in the distance, seeming dwarfed by both moon and bat.  It pokes straight up, as though the moon were a bubble that could come to rest on this little pedestal... or be popped by it!

In the Hanged Man's hand is a bok with a long-eared bunny on the cover.  And though he holds onto the tree with one foot, he is also tied to it by a hangman's noose-type rope.  So, is he just hanging out, taking some time to study before getting on with things?  Or is he trapped but making the best of it?  I like the suggestion that this is all part of a cycle (the moon), and that wisdom will come of it (the mountain).

Huh, looking at this card makes me think I'd like to take some time to read a novel.  Though actually, what my Dear One and I are planning is a trip out to see the new Star Trek film: Into Darkness :D  Won't get much done that way, and I'm not sure how "educational" it'll be, but at least it's a fun break in our routine.

I am grateful for an evening out with my love.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Cunning Fox?

By Leo Tang
Today's card from the Tarot of the Magical Forest (Lo Scarabeo, 2008) is a Court card, the King of Pentacles.  So, as mentioned yesterday, being a Pentacle card it shows a fox.  I quite like the association of foxes with Pentacles.  After all, foxes live in burrows in the earth.  Also, they are quite "smart", not in an over-thinking way, but in a getting things done way, which for me fits with the earthy, material Pentacles.

Here, then, is a fox King on his throne.  He wears an ermine-trimmed red cloak, and his throne is also upholstered in a deep, rich red.  His crown is three-pointed, and right above his head is an eight-pointed star.  He holds a Pentacle, and there are apples by his feet - a fruit which, when cut shows a pentacle shape at its core.  Of course, the apples could also be to show abundance...

The location for this King is interesting.  There is a little yellow wall just in front of him, curling around his throne, with a gap right in front of it.  Beyond the throne though, instead of a palace or throne-room, we see rolling hills which seem to almost merge with the wide blue sky.  Although the sky is prominent, so too is the landscape around him.

Altogether, this King has a lavish throne, with signs of abundance around him and in his clothes, and a strong connection to the land.  These are all symbols that fit well with my understanding of this card.  He feels a part of his environment, and acts responsibly towards it.  He enjoys the fruits of that connection, and isn't ashamed to take pleasure in sensual delights, be they the crisp freshness of biting into an apple, or the soft brush of ermine against his throat.

I've been thinking about where to take my tarot and Lenormand "business" recently, especially having decided that more regular work is going to be less possible with Big Boy's current state of health.  Yesterday, I created a database of people who have attended or expressed interest in my Lenormand workshops, and another for my Inner Whispers accounts for this financial year.  Definitely King of Pentacles- type pursuits.  As for today, I want to try out an on-line service for offering workshops at a distance...

I am grateful for the technology that helps me do so much from home.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Sad Kitty

By Leo Tang
Today's card from the Tarot of the Magical Forest (Lo Scarabeo, 2008) is the Six of Swords.  In this deck, as in the Mibramig Magical Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2013), each suit has a type of animal associated with it.  Though here in the Magical Forest, these animals are simpler and more recognisable, if still somewhat unusual for traditional elemental associations.  For instance, in the Wands cards we have frogs, Cups show white rabbits, Swords are cats, and in the Pentacles we see foxes.

The Six of Swords shows a cat in a red cloak poling a boat across a stretch of water.  In the boat are two more cat figures, one hidden under a cloak, suggestive of a mother and kitten.  In front of them, six spindly swords stick up, their tips buried in the bottom of the boat.  As for the waters, they are a calm turquoise in front and to the left of the boat, a choppy purple to the right and back.

All very traditional, then, suggesting moving to calmer waters after a time of difficulty.  I like the little touches such as the poling cat's cape, suggestive of dynamic action, and the mother cat's cloak, which is almost shroud-like, covering all but her tail.  When we go through a period of hardship, it can help to have a bit of protection and comfort, as well as someone to help us move beyond the difficulties.

Really hope that I'll be moving past the problems of the last week now.  Unless Big Boy has a huge coughing fit in the next couple of hours, he'll be going to school, which will be a massive relief.  As for protection and comfort, I see those in having some time to exercise today :)

I am grateful for habits which support me in hard times.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Hedgehog Joyride

By Leo Tang
For this second day with the Tarot of the Magical Forest (Lo Scarabeo, 2008), we have another small creature riding beasts far larger than himself.

This time, though, it is a hedgehog riding a Chariot pulled by what look like wildebeest (though, once again, I'm no biologist).  All of the creatures have the same strange, staring eyes, giving them a somewhat crazed look.  Perhaps that's what makes me think of joyriders when I see this particular card ;)

In this version of the Chariot, the two beasts yoked to the cart are the same, and don't obviously seem to be pulling in different directions.  The only nod to tradition, in that sense, is that they wear a white and a black blanket to differentiate them.  When we harness our dark and our light sides, we can move forward with determination and power, embracing our destiny.  It can be scary to take our destiny into our own hands.  And yet, the joy of knowing we are doing what we choose and what we can is intense, too.

It's funny, this is the second Sunday in a row that the Chariot has come up here.  And Sunday isn't a day I really associate much with taking charge of my life, as it's our biggest family day.  Which means trying to make sure everyone gets enough of what they need.  And there it is, the Chariot I harness.  Not just my own desires, but those of Big Boy and my Dear One.  With both of them being fairly headstrong, it can sometimes feel like an out-of-control ride, but overall I think we do ok.

I am grateful for the people who share this road with me.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Don't Be A Boar?!

This week, I'll be drawing from another deck which I realised with surprise I had never used on this blog!  This is the Tarot of the Magical Forest (Lo Scarabeo, 2008) by Leo Tang.  I got this deck when it first came out, and think it wonderfully cute, interesting and evocative.  I guess, though, that because I bought it before I started blogging, it somehow got lost in amongst the shiny new decks...

While this deck is undoubtedly super cute, it also brings a lot to the table.  Take today's card, the Knight of Pentacles.  A little fox rides atop a huge boar.  The fox appears to hold a pentacle-tipped javelin, and charges forward with single-minded focus.  Having a boar as his steed also seems very a propos.  For one thing, the Knight of Pentacles is sometimes seen as a bit of a bore, with his practicality and sense of responsibility.  For another, the boar is renowned for its surprising strength and determination, qualities well-suited to its rider.

Just imagine riding a boar that big!  That would take a degree of confidence, as well as steadfastness.  After all, I imagine the boar would notice if you weren't firm on the reins, and toss you off like yesterday's rubbish.

A card, then, of determination, practicality, and a willingness to do something even if it's hard, to stick to it no matter what.

Today, this card reminds me that slow and steady wins the race.  Big Boy is still ill and grumpy, and now he's shared his cold with me :(  So, anything I do today is likely to take twice as long as usual, but things still have to get done. 

I am grateful for the reminder to persevere.


Friday, 17 May 2013

Longing

By W. Crane & E. Fitzpatrick
A decidedly non-traditional take on the Nine of Swords here from the Harmonious Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2005).

A woman wearing a crown and a long, flowing pink dress walks off the step of what could be a throne.  She holds out her right arm as though in supplication: a reaching out without much hope of the person coming back.  Her left hand rests on a wall painted with small, leafy plants.  Four horn-like flowers peer in the same direction as the woman, stretching up above the wall.  Above her are nine swords, alternating between point up and point down.

This could, I suppose, be the woman's nightmare.  Stuck forever brimming over with longing, unfulfilled despite the trappings of wealth, beauty and power.

Certainly, this card also offers interpretations besides the traditional insomnia and churning thoughts.  The neat row of swords could suggest our thoughts being at counterpoint to one another: so many thoughts, yet leading nowhere as one negates the next.  We could also go with longing, heartache, despondency, or even giving up what you have for the sake of an ephemeral dream.  She seems thoroughly at the mercy of life, moving without conscious thought nor preparation.

What I've been longing for this week is less uncertainty and better health for Big Boy.  Yet, talking with my therapist yesterday, I realised that I probably have to face the fact that there will always be uncertainty and health issues to be dealt with.  So, at a more practical level, perhaps I should plan for not being able to commit to other things and to strict deadlines.  My time suddenly seems to vanish when Big Boy gets ill and I act as his point person organising appointments, referrals, prescriptions and care.  Being prepared may include factoring this into what I choose to do and how I choose to do it...

I am grateful to be able to make choices about what I commit to.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Eastern Devil

By W. Crane & E. Fitzpatrick
Wow, what a fierce and strange Devil this is from the Harmonious Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2005). 

A humanoid figure with pointed ears, a fierce, ape-like face and clawed toes swings a sword and rides a huge black cat.  An even bigger black turkey looks on from just behind them, while further back we see a human in a toga with hands thrown up in shock.  There are also what may be human figures looking down from a colonaded balcony. 

In front of the sword-wielding Devil figure four flames spring up from the tiled floor, and in the background the sun shines through pinkly from a cloud-strewn sky.

This Devil is both scary and bizarre.  He makes me think of a Djinn out of the Arabian Thousand and One Nights.  A terrifying demon come to steal us away to a life of torment and slavery.  Which brings us round to traditional interpretations of the Devil. 

Of course, these are tales told to frighten us into good behaviour, as defined by the teller of the tale.  Yet oftentimes, the situations or behaviours I see as more within this archetype involve a battle with ourselves.  And no tale is likely to scare us out of them, though a life-threatening shock might.  Even then, for some the habit or addiction outweighs even that kind of experience...

I sometimes wish I'd have some kind of experience that would frighten me out of eating sugar - like a diabetes scare, for instance.  Realistically, though, I'm not sure how much of a difference it would make to my habits (addiction).  I've noticed this week once again the difference that stress and lack of sleep makes - I've been eating worse than I had for a while :(

I am grateful that I know my demons, and hope that is the first step to accepting them and digging their claws out of me.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Dashing King

By W. Crane & E. Fitzpatrick
Yet another Court Card today from the Harmonious Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2005).  This time it's the King of Wands.

Once again, his colouring and symbolism is a bit of a mish-mash.  He holds a short, wooden wand with leaves sprouting from it in his right hand, like a walking stick.  However, his left hand rests just above the pommel of a sword strapped to his waist.  And though his throne has a red seat, he himself is dressed in a blue shirt with gold trim and green trousers.  There is also a frilly pink curtain behind him, and farther in the background an armour-clad knight on a rearing steed dressed in yellow.  The countryside around him is gently undulating, with grass and pink flowers, also not particularly fiery.  Altogether, there's not much to indicate the element of Fire in this King of Wands card!

However, this King does look quite commanding and strong.  And I like the Knight in the background: either the active alter-ego of our King, or a Knight at his command.  The King of Wands is a leader others will follow into battle, charismatic and inspiring.

Now that the emergency with Big Boy is over, I'm hoping I can get on with the projects that inspire me.  Pepi's first magazine (aff) rekindled my desire to get on with my second Lenormand deck idea.  However, I need to finish the Celtic Lenormand companion book first, as well as checking some legal details that were brought to my attention last week.  Still, after the last couple of days of doctors and hospitals, even legal research sounds appealing ;)

Update: Bah, Big Boy is ill again!  Perhaps I can see the King of Wands in my making some quick decisions on it, and enlisting the help of some others...

I am grateful to get back on track with the projects that inspire me.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Stubborn Woman

By W. Crane & E. Fitzpatrick
Today's card from the Harmonious Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2005) is another Court card, this time the Queen of Coins (Pentacles).

Once again, she seems a strange mix of elemental associations.  There's a huge ram's head on the mountaintop behind her, linking her to Capricorn and the element of earth, which we might expect.  That also fits with her green and pale yellow clothes, and the rural landscape and flowers around her.  However, the fact that she wears a sunflower as a hat, and has another in her hand, seems almost more suggestive of the element of fire, though sunflowers do also grow in the earth.  As for her dress, I like the flowy green and yellow.  However, the bustier makes me laugh, looking like something Madonna wore back in the Nineties, or something Lady Gaga or Katy Perry would wear now...

In this card, then, I see someone who is determined, yet also gentle, someone both caring and passionate.  She is willing to strive for the people or things she values, and helps nurture and grow them.

Definitely see myself in this card today, in several ways.  One aspect is how the Queen of Coins takes care of family.  Today, I'm going to another doctor's appointment with Big Boy, as well as working on two other referrals for him.  Another aspect is her entrepreneurial side.  I felt that over the weekend, during the Lenormand Workshop I ran, as I handed out my first ever feedback form.  And yesterday, when I sent out my first ever mailing list (yeah, I know, baby steps).

This aspect of the Queen of Coins is also reflected in my having given another interview on the Celtic Lenormand oracle.  This one is featured in the new DePepi magazine - first edition just out yesterday (this is an affiliate link - my first time being affiliated to anything, too, lol).  The magazine also has pieces by Jera Babylon-Rootweaver of the Vintage Lenormand, Nepher Khepri of the Egyptian Lenormand, and Kendra Hurteau, who authored three different Indie Lenormands last year.  Of those, the Under the Roses has been taken on by US Games, and now she's working on the Under the Roses Tarot - can't wait!  Moving away from just Lenormand, the magazine also features an interview with an Indie musician, a moving piece by an Australian blogger, on dancing your dance, and an insight into the creative process of a fellow TABI member, Sharon Cumming, who is creating a playful new tarot deck!  There's more in there, but if all that doesn't tempt you, I'll give up trying :)

I am grateful for all the areas of growth and striving in my life.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Flouncy Sleeves

By W. Crane & E. Fitzgerald
On this Monday morning, who should we meet but the King of Cups from the Harmonious Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2005).

Strangely, we find him in a rural landscape wearing an extremely flouncy-sleeved orange shirt and green trousers.  On top of that, he holds a wand in his right hand!  Yet, looking deeper, this is the King if Cups: he holds a blue and gold cup in his left hand, has a golden cup pendant on his chain of office, another golden cup on a blue shield on the stomach of his shirt, and a throne upholstered in pale blue behind him.

What to make of these somewhat contradictory symbols?  The wand he holds has a fleur de lys at the top, connecting this to the Lily card in Lenormand, and to the Kings of France.  In the Lenormand system, the Lily is connected to the King of Spades (which correlates to Swords in tarot).  Still, the Lily represents a benevolent older man, and harmony.  Both of those certainly link well with the King of Cups, who tries to keep emotions calm (his own and those of the people around him). 

The blue around his cups, crown and throne speak of the waters of emotion, yet these do not predominate.  He has a certain fieriness to him (as a King, and shown by the orange shirt), and yet is also practical (green trousers): he doesn't let emotion get on top of him.

Today, I have a lot I need to get on with.  Some of that is to do with trying to organise doctor's appointments for Big Boy.  After much deliberation, we are considering an operation which was recommended several years ago.  We had hoped he might grow out of the problem, but if anything it is worse now.  Despite the negative side effects, we may go ahead with it.  As you can imagine, it's quite an emotional subject for me, so I shall try to keep my practical streak to the fore, and seek harmony in my communications with medical professionals...

I am grateful for the NHS.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Waving Goodbye

By W. Crane & E. Fitzpatrick
Carla over at Rowan Tarot talked about how sweet this deck is.  However, I find that the Harmonious Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2005) also has some very interesting and different perspectives.

Take this version of the Chariot.  Instead of a single male figure riding away from a town towards us, we have a couple turning to wave goodbye as they head up towards a castle on a hilltop.  I also notice the little angel jockey riding one of the horses.

This seems to speak of making our way towards a situation of greater security and abundance.  In this journey, we have to let go of aspects of our past, yet we do not travel alone.  We may find a staunch friend or two by our side, and notice our path being guided by spirit.  We still choose our own road, yet it is a less lonely and perhaps less selfish perspective than that of the traditional Chariot.

What I see in this card today is my Dear One and I waving goodbye to his mother, and heading home with Big Boy in the lead.  Though she is coming to visit us, rather than vice versa, we normally walk her to the station to say goodbye.  So, I see here a reminder that this is the life I have chosen, with my partner and child.  All other plans, all other roads I could travel, must be compatible with that.  For example, whether it is running workshops or working on the Celtic Lenormand, though these are my passions, they happen within the background of my family life.  That comes first, and is always there, though these other projects may come and go.

I am grateful for the life I have chosen.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Mr and Mrs Corncob

By W. Crane and E. Fitzpatrick
This week's deck is one I got second hand from Carla at Rowan Tarot. This copy of the Harmonious Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2005) has been trimmed, and the elegant writing on it is Carla's :)

Today's card is the Ten of Coins (Pentacles).  Instead of a family, old man and dog, we have Mr and Mrs Corncob, as I like to call them.  He is like a cross between the Fool and the King of Wands, while she reminds me of the woman traditionally seen on the Nine of Pentacles. 

And that might well be a good combination for this card.  To get to a place of material comfort can take the Fool's willingness to take a leap into the unknown, as well as the King of Wands' passion and drive, and the Nine of Pentacles' willingness to work to achieve independence.

After all that, though, we should also remember to enjoy having reached where we are.  Of course, there is always further to go, new horizons calling us.  Still, for today, it's just about appreciating what we've achieved.

As for me, today I get to enjoy running another Intoduction to Reading the Lenormand workshop.  It's taken a fair bit of work over the last months and weeks: organizing the room; advertising in Ezines and newsletters, here on the blog and through tweets; tweaking the presentations (the afternoon section is almost totally new); printing out materials; and plenty of paperwork.  Should it still be called paperwork if it's all electronic: invoices and emails etc?  Anyhow, after all that, today's card reminds me to honor what I've done and enjoy the day.

I am grateful to be doing fun and enjoyable work.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Flying Mice

By Ricardo Minetti & Mara Aghem
For this last day with the Fey Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2003), we have another Major, the third this week.  This time, it is the Magician who comes out to play.

This Magician has rather a “Sorceror’s Apprentice” feel to him.  I wonder what he is doing with the mouse he is levitating.  Or perhaps that mouse is something he is creating (real, or an illusion), based on the mouse sitting before him.  Either way, he seems to have all the resources he needs to work his magic.  Though I must say, he doesn’t seem terribly organised or tidy about it!  Books lay strewn to one side, a sword being used as a bookmark in one, a pentacle leaning up against the side of the stack of books.  The wand may be the mini-tree in a pot on the top of all those books.  At least he has sense enough to keep that chalice of wine away from all the books, though the mouse’s tail could knock it over onto the sheet of paper beneath, perhaps holding the very spell he’s working on...

Sometimes, creativity can be chaotic.  And so long as we are comfortable with that, so long as it works, then that’s fine.  Still, it is also a skill to work in an organised way, and one that our Magician might benefit from perfecting...

I’ll admit, my workspace often gets a bit like this towards the end of a project.  However, I do try to keep the piles of books and other bits and bobs (notepaper with random scrawls, decks of cards, pens, printouts, etc.) in check, and tidy them up fairly regularly.  The decks get tidied most often, if I’m honest, as I want to protect them more.  And given that my main workspace also doubles up as our dining table, that is a relevant concern.  With the rest, I worry less about spillages somehow... ;)

I am grateful for the reminder that getting projects done doesn’t require chaos, even if they do encourage it.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Glum King

©Ricardo Minetti & Mara Aghem
The Court cards are, for me, some of the strangest in the Fey Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2003).

For example, here we have the King of Pentacles.  And although he’s standing in a wonderful city (material wealth, tick), with a great sun-etched golden pentacle (symbol of material well-being, tick), he doesn’t seem particularly earthy.  In fact, he looks rather fiery to me!  Just compare him with yesterday’s male fey - now there was an earthy creature.  However, this King of Pentacles is orange, with red highlights in his flame-like hair, and he wears red, pink and mauve clothes to boot.  I guess red is a quite grounded colour, associated with the root chakra.  Still, overall my sense is one of fire and determination.

That determination, though, seems to be sorely tried: his expression is careworn, almost glum.  Despite the fabulous wealth around him, he seems weighed down by responsibility.  I guess that fits quite well with the King of Pentacles, who takes seriously the idea of providing for those who depend on him.

Today, this card reminds me to take care of practicalities now that I am home again.  I need to make sure all my equipment is working for Saturday’s Lenormand workshop, that the handouts are all ready, and other paperwork is taken care of.  I’ll draw on this King’s determination to get everything organised in good time...

I am grateful for a strong practical streak.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Never The Twain

By Ricardo Minetti & Mara Aghem
Today’s card from the Fey Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2003), is an interesting follow-on from yesterday’s Ten of Cups.

In this version of the Lovers, we once again have two fey, a male and a female, who seem to be polar opposites.  She is lighter than air, delicate, sensual, and almost translucent, while he is earthy, solid and a bit spiky.   Yet, they come together half in his realm and half in hers - part way up a mountain, with the sky wide open around them.  Each reaches out to touch each other, and though he is right-way-up and she is upside-down, they still manage to see eye-to-eye.

For me, this raises questions about how we make our choices.  We could let ourselves be restricted by what others tell us is rational or normal or natural.  Or we can choose with our hearts, no matter how strange those choices may seem to others.

Today, I have meetings all day.  One of the things we’ll be looking at are plans for a corporate event to take place in October.  My presence was requested at said event, however it’s on the 11th of October.  Which, for those whose mind it may have slipped, is when I’ve been invited to speak at the UK Tarot Conference :)  So, although my day job may not understand my refusal to attend, I’m sticking to my guns.  I’m happy to help with the planning and preparations, but I won’t be there on the day!

I am grateful for times I can follow my heart.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Over the Rainbow

©Ricardo Minetti & Mara Aghem
A charming and different version of the Ten of Chalices (Cups) greets us today from the Fey Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2003).

In the traditional RWS image we see a couple standing hand-in-hand in front of a pretty little house with children dancing around them and a rainbow above them.  About the only common element in this fey card is the rainbow.  And yet, with this pair of opposites, the blue fey man and the red fey woman, there is still a sense of homecoming, perhaps against the odds.  The two fey creatures sit back-to-back inside a golden chalice encrusted with multi-hued gems.  Each holds one hand outstretched from which shines a bright light, and the rays of light arc up and over them, joining and forming a rainbow.

I really like this depiction for the Ten of Cups.  It doesn't say there is necessarily a perfect little family and home.  Yet it does say that we can find someone (or people) to have our back, and with whom we share a bond of joyful emotion.

This is a somewhat strange card for me to receive today, as I depart for another quick business trip.  However, though I am leaving my Dear One and Big Boy behind, I am supposed to be having dinner with 11 relations this evening (as they live close to where I'll be staying).  Normally, I feel these are my family, but not the one I chose, nor the one that would choose me.  I've never even mentioned tarot or Lenormand to most of them, and I'm not sure I ever will.  Maybe, though, I should.  See who really does have my back...

I am grateful for the people in my life who know and love me.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Discworld?

©Ricardo Minetti & Mara Aghem
On this Bank Holiday Monday, the Fey Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2003) presents us with a curious version of the World.

This image makes me think of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels, where the planet rides on four elephants which are themselves on the back of a huge turtle swimming through the cosmos.  Here, though, it is a snail that holds the World on its shell.  Or perhaps, given it actually only holds a chunk of land with a several towers, a mountain and a dragon, it is the snail itself that is the world... 

And in some ways, this is a wonderful depiction of the completion and perfection represented by this archetype.  After all, the snail's shell displays a Fibonnaci number pattern, an algorithm found in nature from the micro to the macrocosm. 

What can we take from this, then?  Perhaps that while our successes may not be world records, we should still celebrate each small victory, the completion of each phase of our personal path.

As for me, today I hope to finish a project I've been working on for a couple of weeks.  It's been time-consuming and very detailed work, with a bit of a learning curve.  Not anything tarot or Lenormand related, but it needed doing :)

I am grateful for successes large or small.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Divided Mind

By Ricardo Minetti & Mara Aghem
For this second day with the Fey Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2003), we have another Knave (Page), this time of Swords.

Whether through paint or natural pigmentation, this young fey is half light blue and half purple.  Even his wings are of these different tones, and he wears a wrap skirt of the same shade of purple.  He has fuchsia eyes and a matching gem at the point of his third eye, as well as in the hilt of his sword.  This seems to levitate in front and to the left of him, blade down at a slight angle. 

The Knave's colours indicate communication and wisdom, yet they are always separate.  Perhaps, this image suggests that his ideas are up in the air and he cannot yet clearly communicate any wisdom he has gained from them.  There is potential here, which has yet to be integrated into his being.  Or, as his belt suggests, there are links in the chain which just don't connect, for the time being.

It's been over a week since a tutor helped me get a basic grasp of Photoshop.  That's something I'd like to try to cement.  If not today, as Sundays are family time, then maybe tomorrow...

I am grateful for all I have learnt, and all that is still unknown.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Soul Searching Spread

By Ricardo Minetti & Mara Aghem
This morning, I devised a short spread based on the Knave of Chalices from the Fey Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2003.  The two positions are:

1)  What should I know of my soul in this moment? Knight of Pentacles

At the moment, my soul says I both have to be and should be a steadfast worker.  I see this referring to caring for my son, which sometimes feels like a daily grind.  Yet, it also talks about the dedication and staying power required of several of the projects I'm working on at the moment, particularly the Celtic Lenormand companion book. 

It's easy for me to get distracted by other thoughts and plans, especially with a host of different projects and deadlines for my day job, too.  Still, the Celtic Lenormand is something that matters deeply to me, and which needs a fair bit of work to do it justice.  And this card says my soul has the ability to focus on the work that needs doing.

By Ricardo Minetti & Mara Aghem
2)  What enlightenment can I gain from this knowledge?  Ten of Swords

Yikes, if I don't stick to what I need to get done, things may all come tumbling down around me as I'm shown to have feet of clay!  Definitely not what I want :( 

This Ten of Swords, with her broken sword, speaks of things falling apart if we don't keep our mind focused and clear.  So, though I sometimes feel the Knight of Pentacles is a bit of a plodder, that is the energy I need to harness right now.  I notice him looking back over his shoulder at a fancy castle.  Afterwards, though, he faces forward again and hops onward with his bunny steed :)

Soul Searching

By Ricardo Minetti & Mara Aghem
Earlier this week, Carla at Rowan Tarot decided to have a deck clear out, and she and I got talking about our "keepers".  Not that I'd get rid of any of my decks (don't worry, my pretties).  Still, it got me thinking about decks I haven't used much in years, but would still count as some of my absolute favourites!  Looking over the blog, I was surprised to realise I haven't used some of those keepers for daily draws :o  And  so this week I'll begin remedying that, starting with the Fey Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2003). 

Following on from yesterday's Knave of Chalices, today we meet the Fey version.  This somewhat androgynous creature looks like a Hindu angel, in his orange robes and with the bindi on his forehead.  In his hands he holds a large, rough clay bowl with a big goldfish peeking out of the waters at him.  He also has three flames rising from the top of his pony-tailed, pointy-eared head, with another gracing his golden armband.

I remember Rachel Pollack saying (in 78 Degrees of Wisdom) that the Page of Cups' fish represents the soul.  Seeking enlightenment, then, our Knave tries to externalise his soul so that he can contemplate its many mysteries.  A pretty perfect description of one way to use the tarot!

That being so, I decided to create a very brief spread based on this card, with just two positions. 

1)  What should I know of my soul in this moment?
2)  What enlightenment can I gain from this knowledge?

If you'd like to see my answers, check back this afternoon...

I am grateful for the wealth of amazing tarot decks in the world.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Narcissus

By Moore, Pastorello & Ariganello
For this final day with the Book of Shadows Tarot: So Below (Lo Scarabeo, 2013), we have another Court card.

This time, it is the Knave (Page) of Cups.  He reminds me of the tale of Narcissus, sitting gazing down at his handsome reflection in a pool of water.

Still, hopefully our Knave will learn something of benefit through this introspection.  At its best, it can help us understand ourselves and our emotions better.  And via empathy that allows us - like our young, emotional friend here - to become better equipped to form relationships with others, too.
  
By Moore, Pastorello & Ariganello
Yesterday, looking at this card and thinking about the Courts, I went back through the whole deck, as I thought I remembered something strange.  And I most certainly did!  So, here are a few comments more generally about this deck.

One interesting thing about the Court cards is that each suit covers the life of one character.  The suits of Chalices and Pentacles show a young man in the Knave, him slightly older and more mature in the Knight, him with a woman in the Queen, and him with a mixed group of people in the King.


By Moore, Pastorello & Ariganello
Likewise, in the traditionally more active/male suits we have a woman throughout.  Wands and Swords have a girl/woman on her own in the Knave and Knight cards, two women in the Queen cards, and a woman in a mixed group on the King cards.

All this is part of the fact that this is a very female-centric deck!  Exactly half the cards show a woman on her own (including most of the Majors, other than cards like the Lovers).  Only four cards show a man on his own...  You guessed it: the Knaves and Knights of Chalices and Pentacles!

By Moore, Pastorello & Ariganello
Six cards show just a woman's hand/s, and five of those also show elemental beings.  Seven cards show a man and a woman: not always a couple, as one is a woman indoors and the mailman coming to her door ;)  A further seven cards show a group of two or more women, and fifteen cards have a mixed group on them.

So, while this is definitely a deck that shows the magical side of everyday life, it does it very largely from a female perspective.

I am grateful for the reminder to take some time examining my emotions.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Anu's Unique Voices Spread

©P & S Carr-Gomm & W. Worthington
A couple of days ago, Arwen posted this lovely spread inspired by a quote from Anu Garg: “The world has many voices. Each has its unique way to describe the world. Each of these voices adds to the beauty of the human race."

The spread goes like this:
  • Center Card: Your World
  • Left Card: The best way to describe your world
  • Right Card: The one thing you should think about changing
Being a big fan of short-but-sweet readings, I pulled out my trusty ultra-trimmed DruidCraft Tarot (Connections, 2004) and the results were beautiful!

My world, where I am right now, is the Ace of Cups.  I am surrounded by love, both from the people around me and from a connection to the divine.  In this, I see that my relationships with others are nurturing and supportive, and that I offer the same in return.  And I also see reflected the fact that I've been meditating daily for about two weeks now, which leaves me feeling far more connected to spirit.

©P & S Carr-Gomm & W. Worthington
The way to describe my world is the Queen of Cups, she of the emotional clarity and generosity.  Sometimes, all that love and connection can feel a bit overwhelming, yet the Queen of Cups knows how to regulate it and herself, how to give without feeling depleted, and take with gratitude.  My world is emotional, but I have a handle on it!

What should I think about changing in all this happiness and emotion?  Well, the Ten of Wands says that if I didn't have so many things on the go I might struggle a little less...  And yet, the path taken is a path worth travelling.  Swings and roundabouts, I guess, though perhaps a few less projects might be an idea ;)

Tea Party

By Moore, Pastorello & Ariganello
A rather more traditional card today from the Book of Shadows Tarot: So Below (Lo Scarabeo, 2013).

On this Six of Cups we have a mother taking part in a children's tea party.  The little group are accompanied by a couple of undines, adding a splash of magic to the festivities.

In this, I see regular interpretations of revisiting childhood dreams and memories.  It could, though, also be taken as a suggestion to let our inner child out, or even as encouragement to spend time with children.

At a personal level, this card leaves me feeling a little sad.  Seeing this mother playing happily with her two children reminds me of how my Dear One and I have been trying, so far unsuccessfully, for a second child.  I know that I am lucky to have all I do: a loving partner, a happy, good-natured son, and work projects I enjoy.  Still, there is a touch of sadness at this unrealised dream.

I am grateful for those dreams in my life that have come true.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Beltane Blog Hop

©Holly DeFount
It’s that time again, time for another trip around the world on the Tarot Blog Hop train!  You may have jumped in from the ever creative Sharon *waves enthusiastically* or just popped in for a gander.  All are welcome :D And if you lose your way at some point, hop on over to the Master List.

On this beautiful Beltane day, our wrangler, the joy-seeking Arwen, asked us what traditions are important in how we read Tarot.  Now, there’s a question! 

My first impulse was to say that tradition isn’t very important to me.  For instance, back when I was a child in the 70’s my mother had an original Rider Waite that she kept wrapped in a silk scarf, inside a wooden box.  She never let anyone else touch her cards, and she always laid a Celtic Cross when she had a question.  Perhaps, though, that’s why she gave up reading the cards - too many restrictions which didn’t actually suit her.

My cards are housed in bags of a variety of materials, chosen because I like the design, or just because that was what I found at the time when I got the deck.  I like bags because they are easy to open and don’t get damaged by repeated use, like the sometimes flimsy cardboard boxes decks come in.  They’re also less cumbersome than wooden boxes!  Practicality, rather than tradition, rules my choices.  Likewise, I choose spreads based on the question, rather than taking a “one size fits all” approach and using the Celtic Cross.

And yet, there are things that I always do with my decks.  There is the somewhat complex procedure of going through the entire pack (including organising the cards by suit and number if they don’t come that way), then shuffling them and going through them again out of order to see how easily I recognise each card.  Or the far simpler practice of doing a daily draw.  Simple or complex, there are plenty of things which an outsider might name as my traditions if they were to watch me in my dealings with decks.

One thing which has become a tradition for me is to create a spread for these blog hops, and so I came up with this quick reading, for which I drew two cards from the DruidCraft Tarot (Connections, 2004).

DruidCraft Tarot
What does tradition mean to me?  XV - Cernunnos  (The Devil)

Oh my, yes!  At first glance, tradition is something I see as binding me against my will, as placing heavy restrictions on me.  I see it as something that can weaken me, making me do things I don’t want to do.  It is something that creates pathways we follow without awareness, without stopping to question why - like the couple asleep in the grass, unaware of what is happening around them, sleeping through life.

And yet, Cernunnos is also a fertility God.  If we accept his guidance, if we consciously choose that path...

DruidCraft Tarot
How can I best honour tradition?  IV - The Lord (The Emperor)

Ah, DruidCraft, how wise!  Here we have the Lord, someone who makes his own rules, and then sticks to them.  He decides what he feels is right, taking the good from the past and mixing it with what he has found to work in the present.  I notice the fact that he wears a helm with horns which echo Cernunnos’.  He chooses with awareness, rather than having something imposed on him by a shadowy figure in the background.

This brings me back to awareness.  I honour traditions that I choose, that I practice and in so doing make my own :)

Here’s hoping you enjoyed this little spread, and that you might give it a quick whirl.  And I also invite you to hop on over to US Games' blog, where we're bound to be delighted by a variety of wondeful cards and ideas!

Challenges

By Moore, Pastorello & Ariganello
Another interesting card here from the Book of Shadows Tarot: So Below (Lo Scarabeo, 2013).

Rather than a man on horseback surrounded by a cheering crowd, here we have a woman scaling a boulder, with the help of some salamanders.   These fire elementals encourage her in her project, giving her energy and helping guide her way forward. 

The colours of this card add a very interesting dimension.  The boulder is purple, representing wisdom: this is a challenge that she scales which may bring her material benefits, but it will also be a deep learning experience.  Her outfit is more pink: she has taken this on out of love, either of a cause, or even self-love.  Maybe she is doing this to prove to herself that she can ;) 

As for me, part of my challenge and learning curve today may be connected to the Beltane Tarot Blog Hop, going live at 4pm this afternoon.  Once again, I signed up to write three different posts for this hop: yeah, I know, I'm a blog-aholic! ;)  And though I wrote the posts over the course of the last two weeks, today the challenge is to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible with the roll-out.  Three posts means six neighbouring blogs in the circle, and making sure all those links (mine and theirs, nine in total) are in and correct.  Sounds simple, but it never seems to work that way...

Perhaps more to the point, yesterday I had another inspiration regarding the structure of the companion book for the Celtic Lenormand.  Now I'll need that fiery salamander energy to help me push through to the (hopefully successful) completion of this project :D

I am grateful for the fire of inspiration and the energy to bring that inspiration to fruition.