Sunday, 30 June 2013

Balancing on a Wingtip

How funny, this card came up exactly two weeks ago, in its Black Cats incarnation.  Now we have a very different perspective from the Dream Raven Tarot (Schiffer, 2013).

A little raven in shades of orange, apricot and a hint of lilac stands on a fence post.  He balances a golden pentacle on the top edge of his beak and flaps his wings, perhaps for the joy of it, perhaps to help him keep his balance.  The fence post is part of a fence that stretches off into the distance, with tree-strewn hills in the background and a deep blue sky above.

It's interesting to note that this version, like the one a fortnight ago, has an aspect of balance to it.  While I have often associated this card with practising yoga, the connection is often more symbolic than apparent.  After all, the Page of Pentacle is associated by rank and suit with learning something physical.    And yet, balance also fits nicely with other interpretations: when learning anything new that is practical, physical or related to the material, we have to balance our desire and our ability, our imagination and our actual skill level. 

I also like the interpretation of those flapping wings as being joy, a sign of his delight in this balancing act.  The Knight of Pentacles can be quite serious, whereas I see a lot more playfulness in the Page.

This card, today, makes me think of Big Boy.  We are taking him to a party on a boat, and I think it'll be his first experience of being out on the water.  Which is quite bizarre given how often he's flown, and taken buses, trains and car rides.  He's even been on the back of a bike, and has his own little trike, and loves to watch all forms of transport on YouTube, too!  Yet somehow we've never taken him on a boat.  So, a new experience where he'll have the chance to try out his sea legs (well, river legs) :D  I hope for all our sakes that it's fun, given we'll be stuck on there for four hours, whether he loves or hates it!

I am grateful for new experiences.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Under My Wing

This week I'll be drawing from a new tarot deck by Beth Seilonen.  Beth has self-published a huge number of beautiful tarot and Lenormand decks (a couple of which I'm delighted to own), so I'm over-the-moon that a mainstream publishing house has finally recognised her talent. Here, then, we have the Dream Raven Tarot (Schiffer, 2013).

And what a gorgeous card to start the week!  The Nine of Pentacles is one of my favourite cards to draw in most decks, and this one definitely lives up to that.

A blue, pink and purple raven looks happily satisfied as she flourishes a wing to show us her bounteous flowers.  These are warm, peach and yellow pentacle blooms, reaching up into an orange and apricot sky.  I also like the metaphor that she has taken these blossoms under her wing, tending them with love so that she can now gaze upon them with pride and delight.

In this, then, I see traditional ideas of hard work and dedication paying off.  There is also a dose of independence here, and the ability to create something both beautiful and valuable.

As I say, this is one of my favourite cards, so I'm happy to see it today.  I hope it will encourage me to put the final touches to a few things, and make a start on others.  A busy, but hopefully productive day beckons...

I am grateful for work I can get on with at my own pace and that I enjoy.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Lennie Week 8 - Kindergarten Lenormand

For the last day of this Lennie Week, I decided to draw from my own, hand-drawn deck: the Kindergarten Lenormand (2012).  While not currently available to click and buy, if anyone is interested I do have a few of these decks available, as I printed some to use at workshops :)


Riffing on the Heart, Whips and Scythe gives me:

Abusive emotions cause pain.
An argumentative relationship experiences a sudden end.
Repetitive emotional patterns are cut.
Dancing with love brings its own harvest.

Despite having two "negative" or difficult cards in it, I actually find this reading quite positive.  Like we have the chance to cut the negativity out of our lives, that the two "bad" cards cancel one another out, just leaving love in their place :)

However, that doesn't necessarily just happen by itself.  One take I have on the Whips card is that when there are negative patterns in place, we have to do something to sweep them out of our lives.  So, I shall take this as a suggestion to do some kind of spiritual cleansing today.  I've been dealing with some quite difficult emotions this week, and I'd sure like to cut them down to size!

I am grateful for the reminder that I can make changes to unhelpful patterns.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Lennie Week 8 - Tattered Nomad Oracle

Today's deck is one I've showcased before, but with kind permission from its creator, Shaheen Miro, I'm glad to be able to use it again.  The Tattered Nomad Oracle has an interesting vintage feel, and several extra cards.  The draw today, though, is pure Lenormand.


Here we have the Fish, the Coffin, and the Woman.

Financial hardship for a woman.
The flow of intuition is affected by poor health.
An exchange with a woman ends.
Having to think outside the box commercially.
Paying for something to help with female health troubles.
Receiving money from the death of a woman.
A woman dies from eating off fish.

As many people have commented, daily draws tend not to be of the earth-shattering variety.  So, I don't see a sudden windfall inheritance, nor myself dying from eating dodgy fishfingers in these cards ;)  Instead, what I see for myself is a reminder to order some female hygiene products.  I'm nearly out, and given I prefer an organic, non-bleached variety after a pre-cancerous operation a few years back, I have to order them online rather than just going to the nearest Boots.  It's one of those silly things I often forget until I actually need them, so it's a good reminder for me.

I am grateful for the reminder to plan ahead and buy online.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Lennie Week 8 - Lenormand de Marseilles

Here we have another of the delightful Lenormand creations of Edmund Zebrowski, and theoretically his last :(  Edmund had the idea to create a Lenormand deck that would match Marseilles style tarots, and set about making it using the layout of the Blue Owl Lenormand.  So, if in the Blue Owl a person faces a particular way, or there's a specific kind of landscape in the background, you'll find the same here, but in Marseilles-style block cut art, with an emphasis on primary colours.  There are three different versions of this deck, including a mini, so check out the options :)


On to today's cards!  Bouquet, Lady and Tree.

A charming lady looks to her health.
Intuitive creativity in a natural setting.
A woman creates something artistic and enduring. 
Cosmetic choices based on a female ancestor - I'm thinking of Lisa's wonderfully inspiring grandma Edith, but Coco Channel, as the mother of fashion, would work, too :)
A woman chooses between cosmetic beauty and physical health.

Finally having some free time after a busy couple of weeks, today I hope to start scanning and photoshopping the Celtic Lenormand images from Will.  It's a beautiful project, and one I hope will stand the test of time.

I am grateful for the chance to work on such an interesting project.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Lennie Week 8 - Japanese Lenormand

Today's deck is another from the prolific Paris Debono, and possibly my favourite so far: the Japanese Lenormand.  It combines traditional Japanese artwork with more photographic elements, and has playing card inserts with keywords.





And our draw for the day is an interesting one, with the same final card as yesterday: Dog, Garden and Moon.

Fidelity to a social group affects your reputation - for example, your boss discovering you're a member of a Tarot association.
An emotional meeting with a friend in a public place.
A social friendship is cyclical.
Fame through loyalty to public promotion - the joys of viral advertising.
A social group promotes loyalty and deep emotion - true of the Facebook page Paris runs, contact him on Facebook if you'd like to join.
A date with your life partner reminds you of the emotion that unites you.

Well, though I like the sound of that last one, my Dear One and I don't have a date night planned for tonight.  Perhaps, though, I should take this as encouragement to organise one... :D

I am grateful for the love in my life.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Lennie Week 8 - Game of Hope Lenormand

Today's deck is a re-edited copy of the original Lenormand deck, which at that point wasn't even called a Lenormand deck.  Created by Johann Kaspar Hechtel at the end of the 1700's, it was called the Game of Hope (Das Spiel der Hoffnung).  This deck has been re-edited by Lauren Forestell from a deck held by the British Museum, and is a fascinating glimpse at the history of Lenormands.


Our draw for the day is Birds, Clouds, and Moon.  Riffing on this gets me:

Talking about emotional confusion.
Confusion and nervousness around a question of reputation.
Gossip about someone's uncertain reputation.

Unusually, for me, I don't see counselling and emotional talk in this draw.  Rather, today I am going to be talking with some business colleagues about how a choice we're faced with could affect the company's reputation.  What I see in this draw is the suggestion that things really could go either way, but that talking it through from a number of perspectives is the best option.

I am grateful for colleagues from a variety of departments.


Sunday, 23 June 2013

Lennie Week 8 - Magickal Lenormand

On this not so sunny Sunday, we have three bright and beautiful cards from Beth Seilonen's Magickal Lenormand (2013).  The images are vibrant and clear, and each card has an additional animal associated with it, based on connections to the Goddess that Beth has made.  However, the traditional image is also very clear, and these cards are easy to read with.


Brainstorming on the Stork, the Anchor and the Ship I get:

Changes around a business venture.
Moving job to something you've always dreamed about.
Working on transforming a business venture.
Feeling transformed by a holiday on the beach.
Changes to your job require you to travel.
Working to change travel plans.
A new perspective on your life's purpose.

Hmm, not sure how much the business interpretations will resonate on a Sunday.  And, while I wish the beach holiday were my case, I'm glad I haven't suddenly been told I need to travel more. 

Instead,  I see in this draw a reminder that things change, and that I shouldn't try clinging to the safety of the known.  Sometimes we have to set off in an unexpected direction, not knowing precisely where we'll end up.

I am grateful for the encouragement to experiment.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Lennie Week 8 - Freshly Squeezed Lenormand

Another Lennie Week has snuck up on us, and will feature more self-published decks.  Today, we start with the Freshly Squeezed Lenormand by Jean Hamilton-Fford, a fellow Brit.  This is an interesting, modern take on Lenormand cards, with photographic, collaged images, and verses created by Jean.


Not the cheeriest bunch of cards, these: Mice,  Dog, Letter. 

Dependable losses bring paperwork.
Email from a friend who's been hacked.
Depleted time for writing as friends are over.
Evidence of a friendship that has been tainted.
Loss of a friendship because of something written.
A letter to a friend goes missing.
Faithful writing diminishes - you stop writing a journal or some other regular thing.

For me, it's a combination of these I think: I have friends coming over, which is going to reduce the time I have for the writing I am normally faithful to.  Still, sometimes loyalty to friends takes precedence over writing a journal, though it is something that I find supportive.  Talking with friends is also helpful and enjoyable, and sometimes there just isn't time for everything.

I am grateful for a balance in different aspects of my life.



Friday, 21 June 2013

Tarot x Lenormand Giveaway Results

So, the Summer Solstice is here, it's time to give away cards for the wonderful Tarot x Lenormand Grand Prize Pepi Valderrama has organised!  Based on the people who commented on the original post, I got random.org to give me 8 numbers, for the eight cards I hold.  And the winners, and their cards, shuffled from the ones I hold are:

Lisa Anderson - 3 of Pentacles
Carla - Transfiguration
jayger04 - 7 of Swords
Dunia - 9 of Wands
Tierney Sadler - Page of Cups
schoochamenz - Sherry Amature - The Hermit
Kendra Marie - Page of Swords
basia - 6 of Wands

Congratulations one and all.  Please contact me (info at innerwhispers dot co dot uk) with your email so I can send you the scan of your card.  And good luck in the Grand Prize Draw!

Summer Solstice Blog Hop

Once again, it’s Blog Hop time :)  Whether you’ve found your way here jumping forward from Tierney's amazing blog, going backwards from John's fascinating notions, or some other way, I bid you welcome.  And should you want an overview of the Hop, you’ll find the Master List here.

For this Hop, Sharon, our wrangler, talked about faeries, and proposed that we offer up something creative.  Given I love creating spreads, I decided to try a spread based on the tales of people being whisked away by faeries to dance the Solstice away, often returning much later than expected.  And, given the faery theme, the Fey Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2003) seemed the best choice for this reading.

1)  What dance will I be lead on over the time from now until First Harvest?  The Moon

Seems like I face a time of uncertainty and confusion, dancing to a tune I don’t quite understand.  And yet, I love the look on this fey’s face.  She seems calm, eyes closed as though listening to the beat of a drum.  This may be a crazy dance, but it is one with beauty in it, if I can find some calm to tune into what is happening within and around me.

I see in this that I may feel quite uncertain over the coming weeks, knowing there is something I should be doing, but not quite sure how to do it.  What springs to mind is the deadline for the Celtic Lenormand. 

I have the images now from Will Worthington, but I still need to edit them, and complete the companion book.  Although most of it is now written, it’s often the last few tweaks and corrections that take the longest.  There is one part that I still have to finish researching, and I see here a warning to not get lost in confusion about how to finish.  If I listen to my inner voice, turning inward rather than trying to apply logic or follow other people’s ideas, I will find the solution I seek.

2)  Where will it take me?  Six of Wands

Now that’s a lovely card for what will come at the end of this dance.  It offers a feeling of accomplishment, and a new creation to show to the world.  Not yet full size, but complete and ready to continue growing away from my care.  That’s definitely my hope for the Celtic Lenormand: that I can hand it over, and then watch as it blossoms in the hands of US Games!

3)  What offer would I do best to refuse?  Five of Pentacles

What I see here is a suggestion to refuse to take on fears from other people, to not let other people’s attitudes be the monster that scares me and stops me sleeping or accomplishing what I can.  I should refuse to allow worries about other people and their perspectives to daunt me.  If I keep my focus on the flame in front of me, the project in hand and my direction with it, then those fears can stay outside, where they belong. 

4)  What will I return with?  Seven of Pentacles

What a nice, restful card to end with!  Seems I will gain a sense of completion if I follow this dance to its conclusion, despite the uncertainties along the way.  There is also a harvest to be reaped, though it may not come quickly.  At the end of this, I will be able to sit back, relax, and wait for the future with the confidence that I have done all I could. 

I hope you like this faery-inspired spread, and that you’ll let me know if you try it out.  Now, to enjoy more creativity and fun, please hop on over to Johnnie Two Brows.

Lone Explorer

It’s Friday, and so our last day with the Tarot of the Black Cats (Lo Scarabeo, 2013).  And to round things off, we have another Major: the Hermit.

This feels like a far more adventurous and daring card than we might expect from the Hermit.  A black cat rides in a tiny boat, barely big enough for himself and a small sack of belongings.  His tail drops out of the back of the boat, as though acting as a rudder to help him steer.  Certainly, that seems to be the only action he is taking to affect his destiny, as his oars lie unused.  Instead, the Hermit holds a candle high, though its light is dwarfed by the brightness ahead of him.  He simply allows the golden waters beneath him to draw him forward towards the light.

It’s interesting, as Hermit cards almost always show someone with a light, illuminating the space around them, offering a beacon for others.  Yet here, the suggestion is that his flame is minute in comparison to the light towards which he moves.  His knowledge, though illuminating, is small and so he strives for more, for a connection with an understanding of everything, or maybe for a sense of being at one with spirit.  The sense of solitariness is similar to other Hermit cards, yet the sense of seeking answers seems focused more externally than I would normally expect.  Or perhaps this is simply a metaphor: he is floating on the river of life, and looking for answers, which he will find in his own responses to what he comes across in his explorations.

As for today, I won’t be spending much time alone.  My mum is coming for a visit this afternoon, and then my Dear One and I are having dinner with a friend.  However, this card is a reminder that self-study and learning are not limited to meditation or books.  They can be found by staying mindful of what is going on within ourselves throughout our daily lives.

I am grateful for the reminder to be mindful.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Flying High

Today we meet our third Court card of the week from the Tarot of the Black Cats (Lo Scarabeo, 2013), another Page, this time of Swords. 

Once again, there is a lot of charm to this young, black cat.  He floats on black, angel wings between two tall, jagged mountain peaks.  In the distance we see a river plain, yet our cat seems far removed for it, flying up with the eagles amongst the clouds.  This Page holds a cat-headed sword, and wears a golden necklace, which matches the eyes that stare out at us in a challenging fashion.

What I see here is someone who will take an idea and run with it, though it may well trip them up at some point.  They play with ideas, taking them to their extremes to see what insight that might bring.  Enjoying having an overview, they may sometimes look down on others who have less vision.  Ultimately, though, they are truth-seekers and, with a little time, will realise that the view from up high is only one perspective on the world.

For me, there is also a more literal interpretation to this card: today I fly back home.  Not on angel wings, but British Airways will hopefully get me home safe and sound.  This afternoon I also have a couple of appointments that may well lead to new insights and understandings, so this card really seems very appropriate.

I am grateful for new perspectives on life.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Grist For The Mill

Today we meet another Court card from the Tarot of the Black Cats (Lo Scarabeo, 2013), the Queen of Swords.

An elegant black cat sits on a rather scary throne, with a blackened, dead tree behind her, and sharp black rock all around her.  The throne she sits on goes from gray to steel, with dark blue cushioning, and there is a spiders web holding in a sword at the side.  Our Queen also holds a sword, which she is sharpening on a wheel driven by a little white mouse.  She also appears to have her foot on what may be a skull!  In the distance, we see a river running through low hills under cloudy grey skies, with birds flying high above.

The Queen seems very intent on her task, sharpening her wits, planning her strategy, honing her skills in communication or thought.  She seems less empathic than many Queen of Swords cards: there is less a suggestion that she tries to understand others based on her own experiences, and more a feel that she wants to be sharp and prepared for future troubles.  Which may of course be something that life's travails have taught her - be ready.

I'll need to stay sharp today, that's for sure.  I have four meetings to attend, before heading off to meet up with some friends for dinner.  The fact that it's all in Spanish will mean I get to brush up on that language, as well as communicating with people in quite different arenas.  I shall take this card as a reminder, too, to think of past situations and how they may help in the current ones.

I am grateful for lessons learned.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Reality Check

Another rather challenging card from the Tarot of the Black Cats (Lo Scarabeo, 2013) today.

Here we have the black cat version of the Seven of Cups.  A black cat lounges in what appears to be a sunlit, daisy-strewn meadow, with five cups brimming with milk dotted around on stones and beneath a lovely tree.  Encroaching on this lovely vision, though, is a dark night sky, with the edge of the moon (replete with cat face, which we see fully in the Moon card) peeking in.  The ground is stony and hard, and the only tree is black, whether from fire or winter is unclear.  Here, there are two more cups, but filled with blackness.

This is an interesting take on the illusion aspect of the traditional meaning of this card.  It could suggest someone living in a fantasy where everything is rainbows and butterflies, ignoring very real dangers and difficulties, and so getting into awful trouble when reality rears its ugly head.  However, we could also interpret this as saying that it's important to Always Look On the Bright Side of Life, else we can end up depressed and unable to make the most of anything good that enters our lives, not believing anything good could happen.  The Moon could suggest that the dark side is just as much an illusion as the sunny image the cat holds to...

A bit of a dilemma, maybe, or a suggestion to look for the reality in both dark and light.  Very few things are black-and-white, and if we treat them that way we do no-one any favours.

I can certainly see the relevance of this for me today.  I'm off on a business trip, which has the downside of nearly eight hours travelling, as well as leaving my Dear One and Big Boy at home.  On the other hand, I won't have to get up at all hours because of Big Boy's retching, poo-ing, crying or anything else...

I am grateful for the variety of life.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Cold Comfort

A cold, bleak card greets us on this June morning from the Tarot of the Black Cats (Lo Scarabeo, 2013).

Here we have the Five of Cups, with a black cat on its knees, head in hands.  Around the cat, the wind blows snowflakes about an icy plain amid craggy, snow-topped stones.  In front of the cat, a flower lies wilted on the floor, and two cups have spilled black powder or liquid across the stone ground.  A third cup with black leaking from it is tipped half way over between some stones behind the cat; another treasure gone, perhaps in the past.  However, there are still two upright cups right in front of the cat, which glow as though filled with fire.

What a wonderful opportunity, something golden and warm to brighten this bleak scene.  Yet the cat doesn't see them, too bound up in the loss of the flower and the cups, too lost in the darkness of what has been spilled.  Perhaps part of the problem is that the cat feels it doesn't deserve anything good and light and joyful in its life.  Not that is ever true, we all deserve happiness, and can find it if we allow ourselves to look.

Today, I take this reminder that life is too short to live it in a pity party.  If I feel down, I will list the things I am grateful for, and look for the good in any situation.

I am grateful for a daily gratitude practice, which I believe improves my mood and my attitude.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Juggling Angel

The Page of Pentacles is my favourite Court card, though I'll admit there are a number I like and aspire to.  And what a fascinating version of this Court card from the Tarot of the Black Cats (Lo Scarabeo, 2013)!

Our Page is a black cat, but with wings.  Crossing a huge ocean, he is suspended on a tightrope that disappears in the clouds behind him.  He is juggling coins, though two already seem to have dropped into or towards the water below.  His position is strange, leant a long way over to the side so it appears he must fall.  Yet, he has wings, so perhaps they give him the lift to maintain his strange position.

Despite the totally non-earthiness of it, this is an excellent card for the Page of Pentacles.  It shows a willingness to experiment in a physical way, playfully.  It's the card I associate with learning things like yoga, or the willingness to try a new diet or exercise regime.

I'll take this card as a reminder to try something new today, if I get the chance.  And if not, to stay playful, and connected with my body.  No ignoring the signals it sends me, whether to say I need some exercise, a rest, or healthier food...

I am grateful for a willingness to experiment.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Renewal

This week, it's another new deck, hot off the presses: the Tarot of the Black Cats (Lo Scarabeo, 2013) by Maria Kurara.  Though the younger brother of the Tarot of the White Cats (Lo Scarabeo, 2005), it is very different from that deck.  The White Cats was a straight-up RWS clone, with white cats instead of people (except for the 10 of Swords, which was softened).  The Black Cats, on the other hand, are far more innovative and interesting.  While still largely influenced by traditional RWS meanings, they portray the concepts in novel ways, and sometimes go off in a whole new direction.

Today's card is a good case in point.  It is one of only two cards in the deck to show a white cat, the other being the Fool :)  I love the sense of renewal - of change, and of embracing an ending and plunging into a new beginning - that we see here.  A white cat has shucked off its black coat, and lifts its face blissfully to the 'rain' of a waterfall.  It half stands half kneels at the centre of a pink lotus (seen on a number of other cards in the deck), in a position of surrender and joy.  The pool trails off,  a river flowing down into the distance, where a mountain can be seen.  Altogether, the geometry of the water is somewhat strange and unnatural, but the symbolism still works.

This card certainly seems appropriate for my day.  My Dear One and I are on our respite weekend, and already feeling nicely relaxed.  We had snuggles on arriving at the hotel yesterday, then an afternoon reading and surfing on-line in the sunshine.  A nice meal, and a good night's rest.  Today, the plan is for more of the same, though we may also brave the shops - we're both in dire need of some new clothes.  Which fits the card, too :D

I am grateful for some time away to rest and relax, and return home renewed.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Confusion

Last day with the Fairy Lights Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2013), and we have another unusual card to see us out.

In this version of the Seven of Swords, there is no person sneaking off with an armful of steel.  Instead, the image is far more reminiscent of traditional Six of Swords symbolism.  A figure who is either a red devil, or wearing a devil suit, sails a boat across a calm stretch of water.  He seems to be almost at his destination, a grassy shore.  The sky above is shot through with lightning, suggesting somewhat hazardous circumstances.  And seven fairy lights shine in his sail, adding to the confusion by making this card seem at first glance like it could be the Seven of Pentacles.

It could of course be that this devil has pinched something, perhaps those fairy lights, and is making off with them in the boat - linking to traditional ideas.  Also, thinking of the idea of working smarter, not harder, he has chosen to sail rather than fly during the storm.  Or else, we could go with a more intuitive reading, saying that though there are some troubles from clashing thoughts, opinions or arguments, still there is a sense of emotional calm, and of movement.  These arguments aren't getting the better of progress.

Today, my Dear One and I head off for another respite weekend, much needed after the last month.  So, I see in this card our journey.  There are still worries, will Big Boy be alright without us, will the weather be even half way decent (not looking likely).  However, hopefully we can leave those behind and just relax.  And should anything happen, we'll only be half an hour away in any case ;)

I am grateful for the wonderful carers who look after BB.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Riding High

On this Thursday, the Fairy Lights Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2013) offers us its version of the Chariot.

This card feels very elemental to me.  There's the fiery flow of brown and white at the bottom, then a wave of blue crashing into white spume, and then some airborn glowing creatures which seem to draw the Chariot itself.  Earth is the least present, but is seen in some green between the fire below and the water above.

As for our charioteer, he rides the waves of life with bravado and confidence.  His perch looks somewhat precarious, his Chariot only having two wheels.  And he's being pulled along by two floating orange balls shooting out lightbeams, which seem to be trying to head off at an angle from each other, held in only by the light reins the charioteer holds.  Harnessing all that elemental energy can be no easy task, but what a ride!

The main thing I need to harness today is my own energy.  Been feeling pretty tired, and it's been a rather hectic week.  Still, I need to get a fair bit done before next week, when I have another business trip.  So, a reminder here to keep my goals in sight, and not get distracted by Facebook or Instagram ;)

I am grateful for lists to keep me on track.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Scary Hunter

Sheesh, yesterday the Tower, today the Ten of Swords, what kind of message is the Fairy Lights Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2013) trying to send!

Instead of a man stabbed in the back with ten swords, here we have the one who may put those swords there.  He hunts with spears on his back, and a baying, black three-headed snake/puma on a silver leash.  Stalking through the verdant countryside, he wears a fierce frown, a spiky headdress, large, ornate tattoos, and rough, brown trousers.  Altogether, a pretty scary chap!

One thing that springs to mind is that, as in traditional images, there is an element of overkill here.  A dramatic flair, shall we say :)  Which lends itself to interpretations that our fears are painting a worse picture than the situation deserves, or that there is really no hope for a particular situation, as fate comes a-calling.  Taking a non-traditional tack, we could see it as suggesting it is time for us to go hunt for what we want.  And linking the two, when one thing is over, we may have to search for what is next...

Today, I'm tempted to be a bit of a drama queen.  Big Boy had another rough night, and having been up off and on since 2.15am, at 4.50am I shook my Dear One and asked if he could take a turn.  He got up, and tootled off to the bathroom.  Fair enough.  Big Boy was still crying horribly, so I went to calm him in the meantime.  After my Dear One got out of the toilet, he just went back to bed!  So, do I throw a total strop when he does finally get up?  The temptation is there, that's for sure.  I think, though, I should simply make it my mission to find ways to improve Big Boy's and my sleep.  More research coming up, another nice swordsy pursuit...

I am grateful for a sense of purpose.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Run For The Hills!

Another week, and another deck where the Tower comes out to challenge us.  As with all the other cards, the Fairy Lights Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2013) version is quite unusual.

A Tower sits atop a bluff on a cliff.  A path curls up and around to it, down which a number of people and creatures are racing.  Presumably, these are the inhabitants of the Tower, now making a run for it as a beam of light strikes the highest point of the building, sending stones crashing down on the rooves and courtyard below.  It's interesting, the lightbeam doesn't look like lightning.  For one thing, it seems to be an otherwise bright and cheerful day.  For another, it is such a straight ray of light, almost more like a laserbeam.  Is this attack from a more scientifically or magically advanced group/species?  I also find it curious that the Tower's inhabitants include a pig, some geese, and a humongous butterfly. 

I rather like the idea of running for the hills.  When trouble strikes, sometimes the most sensible idea is to make yourself scarce for a while.  That might mean distancing yourself from a person in whose presence you feel bad, or it could mean leaving a situation that doesn't allow you to grow or feel nurtured.  And sometimes we have to actually move, while other times we can simply go elsewhere in our thoughts.  This isn't always the answer, but sometimes retreat really is the best option.

For me today, I think this is about just getting away from the stresses of home and focusing elsewhere for a time.  My Dear One and I are going to meet up with Will Worthington and his wife today, to pick up the final paintings for the Celtic Lenormand.  If that doesn't distract me from Big Boy's poor sleep and breathing, nothing will ;)

I am grateful to be involved in such a fascinating project.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Bird Tree

Today's card is the Six of Wands from the Fairy Lights Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2013), yet it bears little relation to any card of that name I've seen before.

Instead of a man riding in a triumphal parade, surrounded by others, there is a single female figure.  Her top half is naked and bathed in light.  She holds a bird on a branch-like hand, while her hair seems to morph into a large bird, or else it's sitting on her head, wings spread.  Her bottom half, though, is dark and seems clothed with bark, melding into the earth.  Is she a tree or a bird?  Or influenced by what is around her, maybe?

I see nothing of victory here, nothing of success and the accolades of others, nor of many hands making light work.  Instead, the message to me seems to be one of communing with nature and adapting to what is around you.

Tuning in to nature, to the sound of birdsong often outside my window in the morning when I meditate, is something I do often.  Perhaps a suggestion to make it more of the focus of today's meditation...  As for adapting to the circumstances you find, I may well have to do that today as I'll be taking Big Boy out of school early for a consultation with a neurologist at GOSH.  Hurry up and wait is so often the motto of the NHS, but at least they are there and knowledgeable.

I am grateful for the birds outside my window each morning.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Fairy Lights Video Review



Yesterday, a friend came over and we talked about the Fairy Lights Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2013), and had a look and a play.  We decided to try to find all the card's pairs (each card has a 'soulmate' card with which it creates a larger picture).  It took us a while, and after all the time and effort we'd put into it I thought I'd make a quick video showing all those images.  So, if you want to see the pictures hidden within the deck, click here.

Horn of Plenty

What a contrast after yesterday's dark Star card!  Today, the Fairy Lights Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2013) offers us a bright and beautiful Queen of Pentacles.

A sweet, pale-haired woman wearing nothing but a diaphonous skirt, a likewise-diaphonous ribbon across her breasts, and a huge golden crown holds a horn from which flower petals flow.  She stands in the centre of what looks like a fiels of ripe corn, and little fairy lights glow around her.  The only contrast: to the right of the card it seems as though a dark cloud is encroaching.  Perhaps she is holding the day in place with her very presence, while the rest of the area is in night...

Certainly, this Queen of Pentacles seems the epitome of generosity and warmth.  And though not traditionally 'motherly' in appearance, there is an aspect of that to her abundance.  Nor is she as 'practical' as I would normally expect of this Court, yet if you're a fairy with a horn of plenty, why would you need to be practical? :)  The Queen of Pentacles always seems to find a way to make what she has available be enough, or even plenty, and she fills the space she is in with warmth.  Both of these traits are clear in this card.

As for me, the message I take from this card today is to be warm and generous in my contact with others today, be it someone in a shop or on the street, or my own Dear One (back tonight from a weekend away with friends).  And especially with Big Boy, who is still recovering from a fall at school on Friday, with a huge shiner!

I am grateful for the flow of love in the world and in my life.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Dark Star

This week, I wanted to draw from the recently released Fairy Lights Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2013) by Lucia Mattioli.  This is an amazing deck, not your regular cute fairies, but a world of dark and light, fierce and charming creatures.  Many of the cards don't seem particularly Rider Waite Smith-based at first glance, and there are plenty of surprises in here.  Another thing about the deck is that there are always at least two cards that are set in the same landscape, yet they aren't obvious choices.  I have yet to find all the pairings, but it'll be fun to give it a go.

To start us off this week, we have a rather tenebrous Star card (it's darker in the flesh than scanned).  Flowers glimmer from a drab and leafless tree, as a spindly female pours water from two jugs into a still, black pool.  The female has a headdress that seems almost to be made up of fireflies, or of the same glowing flowers and twigs as the tree above her.  And she herself seems to have a furry fishtail, if such is possible!

Despite the strangeness and the murky colouring of the card, I like the way the glows illuminate her from above, and how the water she pours from the jugs enters the black pool in two little glowing patches.  It is like she is bringing light to this somewhat sinister landscape, helped along by the sparks that glow above her.  There may not be some of the traditional symbolism here: no actual stars in the sky; the water simply flows into the pool, not onto the earth; she is not naked and hence vulnerable.  And yet, she seems vulnerable in her spindliness, and in her fish-out-of-water quality.

The message I get from this card is one of spreading the hope you find, and of being attuned to the world around you.  It is in being a part of the world around you that you are able to find your direction, and also to share that with others.

For myself, what I see today is that pouring out my emotions in some tangible way may help me to find a sense of hope.  I have a creative project, totally unrelated to work, which is calling my name...

I am grateful for the beauty of nature.

Friday, 7 June 2013

You Dirty Rat!

Yeesh, what a card to end the week with the Jolanda Tarot (AGMüller, 2008)!

Here we have a somewhat scary Five of Pentacles.  In the centre, a huge-looking rat gnaws at a pentacle-etched coin, while standing on the heads of little stone people.  Another coin is held by some of the stone people, and bears a Queen's head, while the remaining three are being dropped from a rather grey hand in the sky.  These last three have a bird's head, a mercury symbol and what might be the number five on them.  The sky above is dark, with a waning moon hovering up high, and a black bull stands off in the distance.

This card makes me think a little of the Mice card in the Lenormand system: of the bounty of the universe being nibbled away by the less pleasant aspects of the everyday,by people and situations that undermine or impoverish us somehow.  And yet, the coins keep falling from the sky, so as long as we don't give up, we can surely reap some of that prize...

After a bit of a tough week, I take this card as a reminder that there is no off-switch on the Universe.  For good or ill, things will keep falling from the sky, and it is up to us whether we bemoan the good things that are taken from us, or focus on what good may still come and how we can make the most of it.  So, I shall try to see the good in life, and let go of the bad.

I am grateful for meditation, good friends, and the ever-renewing possibilities of life.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Sowing the Seeds

As soon as I saw today's card from the Jolanda Tarot (AGMüller, 2008), I thought of the old Tears for Fears song "Sowing the Seeds of Love", which rather dates me!

This is such a lovely, peaceful Knight of Pentacles.  He rides a cart pulled by a bull across a plowed field, scattering stars/pentacles as the goes.  He also wears a bull helmet, and holds what looks like an inverted Venus symbol, while right-side-up ones decorate the front of his cart.  Above him, three white geese fly off to the left, and some little stone people are walking across the field to the left in front of him.

Plenty of symbolism, both astrological, esoteric, and just plain weird, here again.  What I mainly notice is that the Knight is putting in the work to sow his dreams.  He knows it'll take some time before the fresh-plowed field starts to sprout, and longer yet for the harvest to ripen.  Still, he looks in no hurry, enjoying the task at hand.

I can certainly get with that energy.  Yesterday ended up being quite a nice day off, as we took care of Big Boy, did some shopping, went for a walk on the Heath, and played at building crazy cars to race and crash.  Not much work got done though!  So, I hope to make up for some of that today.  After having printed a prototype copy of the Celtic Lenormand deck, I'm eager to do some more readings, focus on the cards, and work on the companion book...

I am grateful that Big Boy seems well enough to go back to school.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Holy Cow/Elephant/Parrot!

Another bizarre-yet-interesting combination in today's card from the Jolanda Tarot (AGMüller, 2008).

Here we see the Hierophant, holding just a single key in one hand (see a recent post by James Ricklef on the possible meanings of the two traditional keys).  The Hierophant's robe is blue and decorated with pink elephants, and he wears a bindhi spot on his forehead, and a mulit-tiered crown.  In front of him is a cow or bull, with a woman somehow attached to its side, her hair fanning out around its flanks, and a sword covering her groin and pointing up her chest towards her throat.  In front of that is a parrot that has a cheeky look in it's eye, a green chest (the colour of the heart chakra) and purple wings (the colour of wisdom).  Above the Hierophant, holding ribbons that seem to attach to his crown, are two little windged creatures.  One has a tail, horns and cloven hooves, while the other looks a little more leonine, with paws and semi-circular ears at the top of its head, as well as a tail.  

Altogether, this card shows a weird mix of angel and devil, traditional and alternative, holy and just plain strange.  In all of that, what stands out is that it is a card of spiritual traditions and understanding, and the authority to express those.

Perhaps not spiritual traditions, but certainly authority is something it seems I'll have to deal with again today.  We couldn't get an appointment with the GP for Big Boy yesterday, and then he developed a temperature - another bug, I guess.  So, we'll definitely see the doctor today.  And yet, in a strange way, I also see myself and my Dear One in this Hierophant.  Despite their medical degrees, it is the parents who are the ultimate authority on the health of their child, who make the decisions, and who best know what their child's symptoms and mannerisms mean.

I am grateful for the confidence to fight for what I believe my son needs.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Frenemy

What a very busy version of the Tower this is from the Jolanda Tarot (AGMüller, 2008)!

In the centre is a tall, brick Tower, with flames coming out of the window about halfway up, and a huge snake wrapped all around it.  The snake's head is actually a hindu deity, perhaps Kali, with a single-eyed snake's ruff behind a woman's head.  The female figure has four sets of arms, and her naked breasts seem almost to rest on the lower edge of the card border.  To the left of the Tower is a dark storm cloud with lightning bolts boiling out of it, and a spider with a cross on it's back dangling over a floor of heads.  To the right is a black sun, and a crow with a worm or small snake in its beak.

Kali is a great deity to associate with the Tower, given her moniker: the Destroyer!  Yet, what she is also called is the Goddess of Change.  Destruction does bring change, and though we often resist it, different does not necessarily mean worse, though it may feel that way while we process the shock.

Big Boy is still not better, despite having been assessed by five different doctors in the last three weeks, and despite having taken steroids, nasal spray, analgesics and antibiotics.  So, today we'll traipse to the GP again, in the hope that they will have something else to offer us...  While I wish for change, I also fear it.  In the grand scheme of things, change is neither good nor bad, yet it can certainly feel that way.  On the other hand, maybe the worst thing right now would be no change, remaining in this feeling of stuckness and despair :(

I am grateful for divination, which acts as a support and a distraction.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Levitating

After the strangeness of yesterday's weight-lifting bull, I rather like the mainly calm image offered here in the Four of Swords from the the Jolanda Tarot (AGMüller, 2008).

A white-bearded man sits in lotus pose and with his hands in namasté, levitating off the cold ground beneath him.  In the sky above are a crescent moon and a single golden star, while directly above him is a star-spangled canopy under a blue and gold onion dome.  The canopy seems to be held up by the eponymous four swords.  The grips and pommels on the front two swords are designed like cats, with the one on the left looking as peaceful as the meditating man, and the one on the right looking rather shocked ;)  In the background are a number of mountains, and the cold of the scene is highlighted by the icicles dangling from the levitating yogi's legs :o

The cold of this card reminds me of the rune Isa, a rune of ice, and the stillness of winter.  This stillness gives us time to look inward, to develop patience and concentration, which I certainly see in this levitating yogi!  In terms of the Thoth influences of this card, it is normally called Truce.  A truce, perhaps, between the demands of the everyday and our spiritual needs, or just the need to have some time for and with ourselves.

I often find my morning meditation sets me up for the day, a time to fix an intent which helps me be productive later on.  Certainly, I hope that will be the case today.  Yesterday, my Dear One asked me how much I have left to do for the Celtic Lenormand companion book, and so I took the time to assess where I am.  Still a long way to go!  I hope, though, that having the images before me will make it easier to focus...

I am grateful for meditation: a good start to my day.

And perhaps in a moment of peace you'll be inspired to write a poem or a comment for either the TABI competition to win a mini Under the Roses Lenormand (details here) or the Tarot x Lenormand Giveaway brewing all over the interwebs, find out about it here!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Weightlifting Bull!

Today's card from the Jolanda Tarot (AGMüller, 2008) is definitely a strange one!

Here we have the Six of Pentacles.  Instead of a merchant giving out alms, or some other interpretation of generosity, charity and/or sharing, we have an anthropomorphic bull.  He stands on a coin inscribed with a woman's face, and his weights bar holds two coins with the six-pointed Star of David symbol.  Above the bar is another golden coin with a sunflower on it.  And in the strange, rocky landscape, around which a few little rock people wander, we see another two coins with a moon on the left one and an eye on the one on the right.

What to make of all this?  One thing I see is that we can only carry a load with support, from others and our environment.  Another thing is that our faith can give us strength.  Thirdly, we could say that we need to exercise to stay in shape - be that exercising our faith, our mind or our body. 

Well, I'll definitely be making time to exercise my body today: I'm planning a mellow pilates workout for today.  And hopefully I'll exercise my mind, too, as I've meditated every single day for the last six weeks now!  I'll also be relying on the support of my Dear One as we take Big Boy off for an excursion somewhere. 

I am grateful for the strength to persevere.

Thinking of the abundance of coins here also reminds me of the two giveaways that are currently running: the TABI competition to win a mini Under the Roses Lenormand (details here).  And the Tarot x Lenormand Giveaway brewing all over the interwebs, find out about it here!

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Fishy Angels!

Jolanda Tarot (AGMüller, 2008)
This week, I decided to go with a rather different deck.  Originally published as the Swedish Witch Tarot, it now goes by the name of the Jolanda Tarot (AGMüller, 2008), after its creator, who is actually called Rosie Björkman ;)  Jolanda the Third, or Jolanda den Tredje, is her magickal name/nom de plume...  The deck has Thoth influences, as well as a very different take on many cards and a whole heap of playful whimsy.

We see some of that whimsy in today's card.  This Knight of Swords, far from showing someone on a horse dashing in where angels fear to tread, instead shows an almost sedate figure.  He rides an eagle-headed chariot drawn by four little angel figures (two male, two female), with purple fishtails for hair.  His robe is black and decorated with red roses, and he wears a sunny, golden crown, as well as a frowny gold belt.  In his right hand he holds a sword, tip pointing straight upward, and in his left a sickle.  The sun shines brightly from behind him, and his chariot rides across a fluffly, cotton-ball cloud landscape.

While full of energy and determination, I see in this Knight of Swords also an awareness that we reap what we sow.  He seeks truth in word and deed, with a passion that is pure and yet hot.  He believes he is guided by spirit in what he does, and who knows, he may well be right!

Despite a slightly crusader-ish feel to him, I can't help but like this Knight of Swords.  In particular, his fish-haired angels delight me!  While we may not always follow the right path when we listen to our inner guidance, it still feels worth doing.  So, today I shall take some time to be quiet, so I can hear that voice, and then try to follow its suggestions.

I am grateful for the stillness of meditation.

Talking of harvesting, if you haven't seen it yet there's a TABI competition to win a mini Under the Roses Lenormand: details here.  And there's also a MASSIVE tarot and lenormand giveaway brewing all over the interwebs, find out about it here!