Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Burning Bough

Today's card from the Fire Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2011) has me slightly flummoxed!

This is the Seven of Chalices (Cups), traditionally about having too many choices, or living in a fantasy land.  What we see in the image is a grey-haired man in robes, in a woodland clearing.  Behind him, the forest presses in, lit by the sun that is just starting to peak out from behind a craggy mountain formation.  In front of him is a boulder with a branch on it, that appears to be starting to burn by itself.  I get the impression that this may be a scene from a biblical story, but don't know enough about the bible to figure out which one or how it might connect to the Seven of Cups.  It's not a burning bush, just a branch...

Of course, one could say that someone who worships a branch that's on fire is living in a fantasy land.  Still, I don't like that interpretation, as I think the allegory goes far deeper than that.  This could be about how we choose to view the world: from a position of faith or one of skepticism.  How do we make our choices?  Based on rationality or on belief and emotion?

I feel most of my decisions are fairly rational, and yet having a certain logic to it does not guarantee that a decision is right.  And part of that rational process includes assessing the emotional impact of choices.  Ha, sounds like I'm getting myself into the unclarity of traditional Seven of Cups depictions.  Okay, today I will try to be aware of what fuels the decisions I make!

I am grateful for the reminder that irrationality can be hidden in seemingly rational places.


Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Astrological Ace

Here is the Ace of Chalices (Cups) from the Fire Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2011).

At the top of the card is a glowing, blue Leo symbol, and underneath it a yellow stone, maybe a yellow sapphire.  The Aces in this deck are all connected to astrology, with Wands, Cups and Swords showing one each of the three fire signs: Aries, Leo and Saggittarius.  The Ace of Pentacles shows a triangle with all three.  I found that a somewhat unusual choice.  To me, it would make more sense to have all three on the Ace of Wands, as the root of all fire...

Other than the blue of the astrological sign, there is nothing much here that speaks to me of the Ace of Cups.  I can kind of see the connection between Aces and the astrological fire signs, like the seed of what a person may become being sown at the time of their birth.  Still, it doesn't really seem  to be associated with love, relationships or connectedness...  Leo is the fixed fire sign, which would also not be my first choice for the watery Cups.  I'd have thought the mutable sign, Saggittarius, would have been more appropriate.

Altogether, then, I'm not sure what to make of this card.  In a reading, I would either use it to suggest bringing Leo-like traits to a situation, or go with a more traditional numerological and elemental reading, ignoring the imagery.

Perhaps for me today, this card suggests being a bit more pushy than I might normally be.  Yesterday, Big Boy didn't end up having his operation, because they didn't have an intensive care bed available on the day.  However, we're still going back to hospital today for an unrelated appointment about another surgery he needs to have before the end of the year *doh*  My Dear One often says that we are the ultimate decision-makers when it comes to Big Boy's health.  So, I shall not let myself be pushed around by the consultant today.  Instead, I shall stand up for what I feel is best for Big Boy.

I am grateful for the strength to protect my son as best I can.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Fire Storm

Another unusual card today from the Fire Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2011).

In this version of the Five of Wands, there is no overt battle or competition going on.  Rather, we see two figures standing side by side a slight distance apart.  Both wear ornate headdresses, one of them with fur around it.  They both also wear different earrings, necklaces, belts and bracelets.

The one on the left wears a flower garland around her neck, and has nothing but a shawl around her shoulders, leaving her breasts semi-exposed.  She carries a little silver pot in her left hand, with her right hand raised as though to warn someone off, or maybe offer them a blessing.  The one on the right, with the fur headdress, has a matching, fur-trimmed vest, and appears fully clothed.  Behind them towers a tornado of fire!  The figures seem unconcerned by the burning column so close to them.

Perhaps, after all, we could interpret this traditionally.  Maybe they are competing to see who can act the most unconcerned, or who can tolerate the most heat...  Overall, though, there is a rather magical feel to this card: they seem to me like two priestesses calling on a fire god/dess.

The challenges I face today are rather more mundane, but may require an equal level of faking being okay with  difficult circumstances.  Big Boy is going into hospital, and I always go with him to the operating theatre, holding his hand while they put him to sleep (this will be the tenth time!)  It never fails to upset me, watching as the life leaves his face and body, and knowing that it could be forever, as there is a risk with any general anaesthetic, any surgical procedure.

I am grateful for my trust that things will work out as they should, whatever that is.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Bite Me!

Today's card from the Fire Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2011), shows the less-than-obviously traditional nature of this deck.

In this version of the Seven of Wands, we have a rather scary-looking woman in tribal dress, whose  little finger is on fire.  She seems to be facing off with a small lizard that looks set to take her finger off!  Is this some strange way to put out a burning finger, or is it more that this is the woman's way of defending against the small beast?  The latter would fit with the defensiveness of traditional Seven of Wands interpretations, fighting off strange attackers.

She appears to stand outside a hut, with a bright, yellow, straw roof, and lit invitingly from within.  This reminds me a little of the traditional Seven of Wands guy standing on the high ground: she has a nice place to retreat to.

So, what can we learn from this card today?  To prepare for what might face us with innate skills, and a safe retreat, maybe.

For me, I think the worst threats I will face today are from my own mind, worrying about Big Boy's hospital admission tomorrow.  I think I've done all I can to prepare for it, packing and organising things, making sure everyone knows where he'll be and so on...

I am grateful for tasks to keep me occupied.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Fire-Breathing Dragon

This week we're back to tarot, though it's an unusual one from Lo Scarabeo: the Fire Tarot (2011).  All the cards are fiery, making the elemental distinctions between suits rather moot.  And it's what Lo Scarabeo call a 'cultural' deck, with images of people and deities from around the world.

Take today's card, for instance.  Here we have the King of Chalices, showing a Chinese-style dragon spirit emerging from a vase.  The only concession to the wateriness of the suit is the little puddle of water at the base of the vase, and the dragon's two blue whiskers.  Other than that, the symbolism is all fiery.  The dragon is red and breathing fire, the landscape is dry and brown, with some small fires in the distance.

On the one hand, as fire of water I often think of the King of Cups as being a little uncomfortable with his suit.  His emotions run deep, but he isn't always happy about it.  Sometimes, then he needs to let off a little of the steam created by these opposing elements.  In that, I guess he could seem quite fierce, huffing and puffing :)

It's been a bit of a stressful week, between issues raised by Big Boy's carers, and him starting his summer hols.  Next week looks set to be at least as tough, if not more so, as he's going into hospital on Monday, and we've been warned he may have to stay up to three nights.  Plus, I'm expecting more worries from his carers, as we wait for news that may mean restructuring the whole summer schedule and trying to find someone new :(  So, for today, I see this King recommending letting off a little steam :) Something emotionally satisfying that makes me feel powerful, like a kickboxing workout, maybe...

I am grateful for exercise, which helps me work off my emotions.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Lennie Week 9 - Tasmanian Lenormand

We end the week as we started it, with another photographic deck from Lynn Boyle.  As I mentioned last Saturday, as well as having created quite a lot of decks, Lynn also runs a friendly Facebook page devoted to all things divinatory, why not check it out :)

Returning to the cards, today I'm drawing from the recently released Tasmanian Lenormand (2013).  The cards I pulled are: Fish, Snake, Lilies.


In terms of a job, this could be a combo for a hooker - the "other woman" (Snake) who takes money (Fish) for sex (Lilies) :)

On a more practical level, riffing on these cards gives me the following:

Boundaries around money provide a sense of peace.
Some biting give-and-take in a sexual relationship - some people find passion in 'arguing'.
The smart money is found with the elderly - the power of the Silver Surfer buck ;)
Intelligent flow brings harmony.
Spending money on cables guarantees serenity - this is one for my step-dad, who's a total cable freak :D

Hmm, what chimes with me most is actually the idea of spending money intelligently to bring some serenity.  Sometimes, it's worth paying a bit extra, if you know the quality will be better.  On the other hand, the first, about boundaries, suggests budgeting carefully, too.  Combining both, I see a need to figure out what I can spend, then spend it on the best quality product or service I can find.  Yep, that sounds like a plan!

I am grateful for the money to buy things I want and need, for myself and my family.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Lennie Week 9 - Kendra's Vintage Petit Lenormand Mini

This week, I've showcased several mini Lenormand's.  This size deck still reads well, can be used with a regular size deck for easy Houses readings, or to fit a larger reading into even a small space.  Kendra Hurteau's Vintage Petit Lenormand Mini also has the charm of offering some different cards or perspectives on images from her regular size versions.  Overall, I'm a big fan of Kendra's decks, all of which I have showcased on this blog.  So, I'm excited as Kendra just announced yesterday that she and Katrina Hill are bringing out another Lenormand deck, the Lenormand Silhouette - open for pre-orders ;)


Once again, let's get down to the cards.  Here, we see Lady, Scythe and Stars.

This would be a good combination for a female surgeon, or a female researcher in biology (cutting things up in a scientific way, with her hands or her mind).
A sharp-minded woman offers guidance.
Cutting intuition brings clarity.
Scalpel-like precision is required of a woman.
A woman is cut off from technology.

I'm hoping it's not either of the latter two for me today.  Some of the editing for the Celtic Lenormand goes down to the pixel level.  Still, I trust that won't be the case for everything I do today, as it's rather mind-numbing!  I also hope the internet doesn't go down on me, nor my computer fail :o  Instead, I'll focus on seeing my therapist later - perhaps his intuition can bring me some clarity.

I am grateful for the sharp intuition of others.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Lennie Week 9 - Alice in Wonderland

Today's deck is another we've seen before (yep, even my collection isn't unending)!  This is the charming, collage Alice in Wonderland Lenormand from the prolific Pepi Valderrama.  Pepi is soon to release another deck, the Whimsy Lenormand, which will definitely be added to my collection!


Anyhow, back to the Alice and today's cards: Woman, Stork, Ship.

A woman faces sea changes to her business.
A woman moves overseas.
Changeable intuition due to nostalgia or daydreaming.
A pregnant woman brings nostalgia - this could be seen as Kate Middleton's hospitalisation leading to a media retrospective on her, and the Prince's own birth.  They're sure to throw Diana in there, somewhere, too ;)
A progressive woman is involved in a business venture.

I'm hoping I can make some progress today on my own project that I hope to send overseas: the Celtic Lenormand.  I finished scanning all the images on Saturday, after a number of false starts, mistakes and reassessments (I blame mercury retrograde).  Today, I hope to send a couple of provisional cards to US Games to get their feedback on whether or not going borderless is feasible. 

I am grateful for being on track to meet my deadline :)

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Lennie Week 9 - Under the Roses Mini

Today's deck is another cute mini :) This time, it is the pared back mini version of the Under the Roses Lenormand, the full-size version of which is due to be released by US Games later this year.  I'm delighted to see this gorgeous deck become accessible to a wider audience, as I think it's beautiful and reads really well :)


So, let's take a look at today's cards.  We have Bear, Whip and Stars, which gives me:

Bad eating habits require guidance.
Discussions about management bring a new plan.
Arguments with or about a mother bring greater clarity.
A mentor whips you into shape with their scientific guidance.

The first and last feel like they could even go together: bad eating requires guidance, which you get from a strict routine from a scientifically-based guide :)

As for me, today I see quite a different message: one of having to marshal my arguments (Whips) with strength (Bear) and clarity (Stars), because of a repeated challenge (Whips) to my mothering instinct (Bear) from a scientist (Stars).  It's time for another hospital visit for Big Boy, to discuss a possible operation in a couple of months time.  This particular doctor hasn't been very helpful in the past, but you get who you get with the NHS...  Still, at least we do get someone, for free, and in a reasonable period of time!

I am grateful for the doctors who are available to my son.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Lennie Week 9 - Magickal Lenormand

This is once again one of Beth Seilonen's beautiful decks: the Magickal Lenormand, which we also saw last Lennie Week.  Still, it certainly bears viewing again, as every time I use it, I see more in the cards.  They are really lovely!  Each card has a creature on it, to represent some of the main aspects of the card, and the ones for today's cards are certainly well-chosen.


Here we have House, Rider and Fish.  The House card has a snail on it, it's shell a home that travels with it at all times.  The Rider shows a corvid, messenger of spirit.  And the Fish shows, well, more fish :D

Brainstorming on these gives me:

Messages from home about money.
News about house prices.
A large quantity of information about a house.
A home gym costs money.
Working out at home brings a feeling of flow.

Obviously, the last of these chimes most with me, given I work out at home most days :)  I love the freedom to choose what I want to do and when I want to do it.  Plus the recent studies that say that working out in front of mirrors is depressing even for fit, slim people!

I am grateful for the enthusiasm to work out at home.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Lennie Week 9 - Lenormand de Marseilles Mini

Last Lennie Week I showcased Edmund Zebrowski's charming take on a Lenormand to match  Marseilles-style tarots.  Today, we see the cute, mini version of this deck.  Compared to the full-size, illuminated edition, these cards are much smaller, and only have hints of colour within mainly black-and-white images.  The numbering is also in Arabic numerals rather than Roman, and the titles are in English rather than French.


Our cards for the day are: Key, Bouquet, Moon. 

A beautiful insight into an emotional situation.
The key to creativity is to tap into your emotions.
A guarantee of fame and beauty - can't see this one happening!
The answer is to express your emotions in a pleasing way - I could see that.  As they say, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar ;)

While I'd love to dig into my emotions to access my creativity, I don't think that will happen today, as it's family day.  Instead, the suggestion to try to put my emotions into words in a way that is pleasing to the other person involved sounds like it's probably a good idea.  It's meant to be quite hot again today, which can lead to frayed tempers.  Keeping things civil certainly seems like a plan.

I am grateful for the reminder that my emotions can be expressed, rather than exploding.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Lennie Week 9 - Something Blue

And now, the time has come for another Lennie Week :) To get us off to a good start, here is a deck I was lucky enough to win!  And how, you might ask, did I win this deck?  No talent involved, I'll admit.  I simply followed a link from a newsletter sent by the author, Lynn Boyle, to her newly set up Facebook page.  By chance, I happened to be the 100th person to join, and so won the right to pick out one of her many decks.  I already had the Byron Bay Beach Lenormand, and this one likewise caught my eye.  All the images are photographic, with blue in some form as the base or main colour, hence the name, the Something Blue Lenormand.  Still, even within that, there is a lovely variety, as can be seen in today's draw.


Here we have: Tower, Paths, Dog. 

Decisive security for a friend.
Choosing between security and loyalty.
Deciding between an institution or a friendship.
An organisation involved with roads proves trustworthy.

The choice between loyalty and security resonates with me today.  That's been an ongoing issue for a few weeks, and has also raised its head today quite specifically.  Overall, I tend to the side of loyalty, but often at the cost of my own security, which I'm not sure is the right choice.  Don't worry, I don't do anything actually dangerous, but I've certainly been favouring others over my own needs.  I'll try to take some time today to think about this balance, and maybe make some changes.

I am grateful for the reminder that I matter, too.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Knower of Secrets

Being a cat person, I love today's card from the Animal Wisdom Tarot (CICO Books, 2013).

Here we have the Cat, Knower of Secrets.  Traditionally, that's the High Priestess :)  A whit cat, with green eyes, sits on a tree stump.  Before her is a pool of still water, in which stars and a crescent moon are reflected, somewhat strangely.  She has one paw on a letter or piece of writing, and the waning crescent moon sits just over her head, though she herself isn't reflected in the pool. To either side of her is a tree, with the one on the left side of the card (her right) in light, and the other in shadow.  The branches seem almost purple, and from them flow colourful swirls, leaves and drops.  The Knower of Secrets likewise has a red heart drawn on her breast, with swirls and drops around it, and a fuchsia dot above the outside of each eye.

I can well imagine this cat knowing far more than she's willing to tell.  As well as the traditional scroll, crescent moon and pillars symbolism, the colourful markings have a bit of a henna feel to them.  Decorations that would grace a shaman or a Hindu goddess.  She looks out at us calmly, wisely, but with no intention of speaking.  If we want to learn her secrets, we will have to work for them ourselves, seeking them in silence, in dreams and intuition.

Seems to me that today might be a good day to focus on the Celtic Lenormand, tapping into my intuition to finish up a couple more sections.  I haven't had as much time as I'd like for it this week, with all the stuff for Big Boy kicking off.  I still have some of my day job work to do, but I'll also listen to that inner muse.

I am grateful for a less hectic day.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Calm Cat

What a very different Eight of Wands to last week's version from the Osho Zen Tarot.  Here, in the Animal Wisdom Tarot (CICO Books, 2013), we meet Jaguar.

Once again, though, rapid movement is not as apparent as it might be in the Eight of Branches/Wands.  The jaguar, with a purple hue to its coat, stands calmly, looking off to the right.  I might rather have expected it to be caught in motion, running with that fluid grace that big cats have.  Above it are eight thin branches, with flames at their tips, all pointing to the left.  In amongst them shines a waning moon, and below it floats a blue lemniscate. 

In that way, the image is reminiscent of traditional Strength cards.  It's interesting to think about the similarities between these two cards.  Following RWS numbering, both are numerologically eights.  While Strength is often about balancing our animal instincts and more rational aspects, traditionally the Eight of Wands is full of forward momentum.  Perhaps, though, the author here wanted to suggest that we move forward most powerfully when we do so with precision and calm, rather than just with haste.  That we should balance our intuition with our drive, to maximise our potential to reach our goal...

I have to say, I could probably do with a bit of the Jaguar's calm today.  I have an extremely busy day, running around all over the place and meeting six or seven people.  Mostly stuff for Big Boy, teachers, therapists, nurses...  Hopefully, though, these meetings will get things moving on various fronts, so that's another nod to the Eight of Wands :)

I am grateful for calmness in the heart of motion.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Sad Bird

Today's card from the Animal Wisdom Tarot (CICO Books, 2013) has a lot more of tradition to it than many others in this deck.

In this version of the Three of Feathers (Swords), we see three little birds.  They have black heads and backs, white bellies, and red hearts upon their breasts.  The hearts look very stylised, so I had to google the Grosbeak to see if they really look like that, which they kind of do.  They don't have the little white edging to highlight the heart shape, but otherwise the rose-breasted grosbeak does look like this.

Two of the birds stand on dark branches with little pink flowers, while the third is on the floor between them.  Tracing around the birds, then,  would create a heart shape.  Above the three birds are three crossed feathers, which seem strangely untouched by the rain pouring down from the cloudy sky above. 

All told, there is plenty of traditional symbolism here: the heart shapes, the three crossed feathers/swords, the rain and clouds.  Interpretations of heartache, sorrow, and thoughts at cross-purposes causing pain can all be read from this.  However, as with other cards in this deck, alternative intuitive readings are also possible.  Pain due to wearing your heart on your sleeve is one that jumps out at me.  So, too, is the possibility of arguments: dark words and thoughts crossing like the feathers over the birds' heads.

For myself, I see a message of potential painful thoughts and words, but also the suggestion that, by being aware of this I can try to avoid them. Today, I will make a conscious effort not to get caught up in  some difficult emotions I've been dealing with for a few weeks.

I am grateful for the awareness to recognise my triggers.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Balance or Burn?

Today, we have a card from the suit of Branches (Wands) in the Animal Wisdom Tarot (CICO Books, 2013).

While suitably fiery for the most common elemental association to this suit, the card is still rather unusual.  It features a yellow salamander with its foot on a branch, and another branch just behind it.  The thicker ends of the branches feature yin-yang signs, and flames or brown leaves sprout from the ends of the twigs.  The salamander is in a small valley between two low hills, with what appears to be a line of fire between it and the sea.  And the sun is either rising or setting in the still waters on the horizon.

It's funny, the yin yang signs on the branches make me think of the balance of the Two of Pentacles.  Still, the proprietary foot on one branch is suggestive of making a choice.  And standing between the two branches says that the salamander could have gone either way.  So, there is definitely material here for a traditional Two of Wands interpretation.

There's something, too, about the salamander itself, so often associated with the element of fire.  For example, it is found on the clothes of the RWS Wands court.  On that basis, the salamander could well have been the Ace of its suit, rather than the Two.  It's interesting, as well, to have so much water in a fire card, though balanced by the sun, the salamander and the line of fire.  At an intuitive level, it speaks to me of the deep emotion underlying more superficial passion, be it for an idea, a cause or a project.  Perhaps that is the deciding factor in the balance of the Two of Branches' choices...

I think for me, today is less about absolute choices than about decisions in the moment.  There are several different things I need to work on.  And though I'd love to just focus on the Celtic Lenormand, some of the other bits will have to take priority.  Like chasing medical supplies and appointments for Big Boy, as well as some admin work for my day job.

I am grateful that I do not have to make a single choice.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Big Beaky Bird

Carla from Rowan Tarot commented on Saturday about the surprise of having the icy polar bear associated to the watery Shells/Cups suit.  In the same way, today we have the Six of Feathers (Swords) showing a pelican swimming out in the middle of the ocean - pretty watery for the suit normally associated with Air!  I'm not quite sure how the animal choices were made in the Animal Wisdom Tarot (CICO Books, 2013).  I think it's more based on the individual creature's characteristics, rather than on a suit/element basis...

So, what to make of this Six of Feathers?  A pelican swims in the ocean, with six feathers floating around it in the water, and a tree-lined stretch of land visible in the distance.  Surprisingly, a fish appears to be jumping into the pelican's beak - good for the pelican, not so good for the fish!

Has the pelican lost those feathers in a fight, hence needing to build its strength up again with a little snack while it paddles away from the battleground?  That would certainly seem to fit with traditional ideas about the Six of Swords.  However, this card also seems very open to more intuitive, less traditional, interpretations.  For instance, it could be taken as a message to take the gifts offered by life, to seek nourishment wherever we find ourselves, or even that today is a day for a piece of our soul that we had felt lost to find its way back to us...

I don't resonate with any of the traditional interpretations of this card today.  My day looks set to involve some work, and meeting up with a school friend I haven't seen in over two decades, but nothing there shrieks "moving to calmer waters".  Instead, perhaps this is about refinding a part of myself I wasn't even aware I had lost, by talking with someone who I have known for so long, yet not really known for longer than I ever knew him (if you see what I mean).  Perhaps I will refind something that I dropped along the way over the last two decades, and feel nourished by it...

I am grateful for Facebook, which helped me reconnect with this long-lost friend.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Omen of Death

It's strange, I find the title 'Omen of Death' almost more chilling than just Death.  Perhaps because I've become used to Death and its tarot associations.  In any case, Major XIII from the Animal Wisdom Tarot (CICO Books, 2013) is dedicated to the Moth.

A full moon with a strange vortex within and around it shines from the centre top of the card.  Below it, leaving behind the grasp of shadow-fingered branches, a moth flies upward.  Its wings are delicately patterned in pinks, mauves and white, and on its body is a grinning skull!

There's something in the image for me about clinging to ideas that are no good for us, like the moth's idea that it could reach the moon, which leads so many to burn up against lightbulbs.  And the juxtaposition of Death and the moth also makes me think of the creepy collections so many Victorians made of moths and butterflies, gassed and pinned to sheets of card :(

On a more positive note, if we can recognise the "omen of death", if we can acknowledge a loss or ending, we are better placed to grieve it.  And from there, we can eventually let it go.

Today sees my Dear One leaving on a five day survival course.  I'll admit, I'm a little nervous about it.  Still, I'm sure it will do him the world of good to get away for a bit.  And I have a weekend trip to visit my friends in Spain planned for the end of August, so turnabout is fair play...  So, I shall try to let him go with good grace, and also release my fears about what I'll do if Big Boy gets ill while he's away.  And I'll grieve not seeing him, too, I guess, as it'll be the longest we've been apart since early 2005!

I am grateful for a loving man to share my path with.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Seeker of Shells

Another cute animal deck, this week : D  Here we have the Animal Wisdom Tarot (CICO Books, 2013).  This deck has renamed the suits Branches (Wands), Shells (Cups), Feathers (Swords), and Fossils (Pentacles).  It also renames the Court Cards: Seekers, Guardians, Nurturers and Masters.

Our first card is the Seeker of Shells, equivalent to the Page of Cups.  A polar bear strolls along a chunk of ice, with the aurora borealis sparkling overhead.  The shimmering lights cast rainbow hues onto the snow and ice, as well as reflecting in the calm water all around.  There is also a conch shell by the polar bear's front paws, which glows a pale blue.

In these shimmering, rainbow colours over cool, still water I see the traditional idea of exploring emotions, wondering at the variety of feelings the world can invoke.  There is something of innocence, too, in the polar bear's white fur and his walking the ice fearlessly, despite the edge that looms so close.  The conch shell speaks of listening to our own inner voice, murmurs from the deep that are actually from the pulsing of life through our veins.

Recently, it seems I quite often see Big Boy in the Pages I draw.  Not surprising, perhaps, given he is exploring himself, the world and his place in society.  Today, we are going to his school fair.  A chance to see his schoolmates in a different context.  And a chance for my Dear One and I to perhaps open up emotionally, too.  We don't often spend time with other families with disabled children...

I am grateful for the chance to see the world through the eyes of a child.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Traveling

Today’s card from the Osho Zen Tarot (St. Martins Press, 1995) is very unusual.

This is the Eight of Fire (Wands), titled Traveling.  While the traditional image shows eight wands flying through the sky, and some more contemporary decks show people moving fast, here we have something quite different.  At first glance, we see a mountain ridge, and the sun in the distance, with low-lying clouds or mist obscuring much of the terrain.  Looking closer, we can see a tiny figure walking the path along the ridge-top. 

Speed does not seem possible here, nor is there any clear point of origin or destination.  There is just the fact of traveling, which makes me think of the journey of life, and sayings like “The journey is the destination”.  We have to keep on the go, there is no turning back, nor even any stopping.  While we may sometimes feel stuck, that sense of walking on the spot is unreal - life is still moving, we may just not see it.  Yet, the sun still rises each day on a new experience of life.  It may be similar to where we’ve been before, but it is never the same.

Ha, I do love the fact that life is always different.  Like the idea that the cycles of our lives follow a pattern like the sun, or like butterflies wings.  It loops around and back again, and it may seem we're in the same place.  Yet, if we look closely, we realise that there are differences.  Given that I'm currently in a place that hasn't been all that great in the past, I'm hoping the little variations hold the key to a different outcome.

I am grateful for the variability of life.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Letting Go

I love the beautiful simplicity of today’s card from the Osho Zen Tarot (St. Martins Press, 1995).

We see a pond, full of green waterlily leaves.  One rises up in the foreground, dotted with dew or raindrops, though if it was rain, it has passed.  The pool is still except for a circle of waves from where a single drop has plummeted from the leaf into the water directly beneath it.  Another drop hangs, ready to let go and join its companion in the deeps.

It can be scary to leave the known, to plunge into something new.  This is especially so when we have little idea of what to expect, when we can’t see what awaits us.  And yet, we cannot cling forever to the situation we are currently in.  Sometimes, we realise the moment has come to move on, to take the emotional chance that where we are headed is where we need to be, at least for the next moment.

Today, I find out whether one of my ideas is feasible or not.  I'm wondering if this card will be the answer: that I'll have to let go of my hope.  Or maybe just let go of the idea that it could be easy.  It could also be about the emotional release of seeing both my therapist and our family therapist - every session holds the potential to plunge us into new emotional realms...

I am grateful for the depths of my emotions.  Good or bad, at least I can feel.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Thunderbolt

Ha, another week, another Tower!  Still, this version from the Osho Zen Tarot (St. Martins Press, 1995) is one of the most positive Towers going, I think.

Although in the foreground we can see two figures falling from a place where lightning has struck, and fires burning in the structure, there is more to this card.  If we look deeper, we see a buddha-type figure sitting in meditation.  So, there is the suggestion that if we can find inner calm, we can weather any storms that life sends our way.

One phrase from the companion book has always stuck with me: “A shake-up that’s a wake-up”.  The challenges in our lives encourage us to take stock of our situation, and make conscious changes: accepting, adapting, and transforming.

My day already has a few clouds on the horizon.  Lots to do and not a lot of time to do it, as one of Big Boy's carers has had a family emergency.  Still, I take this card as encouragement to let go of some of my expectations, and stay with what is.

I am grateful for the reminder to look inside and find a little tranquility, no matter what is going on around me.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Exhaustion

Well, this is a far less cheery card from the Osho Zen Tarot (St. Martins Press, 1995).

Here we have the Nine of Fire (Wands) with the keyword, exhaustion.  Instead of the traditional man standing with Nine Wands planted in the ground behind him, ready to take his last stand, we have a far more modern approach to this archetype.  A man in battered clothes, with a haggard face, and something that may still be a bandage wrapped around his head, sits looking disgruntled within the body of a huge machine.  Leviathan-like, the machine has eyes above the man’s head, and a hand below, as well as various knives on pulley arms, bits of connecting wire, and springs.  The man seems trapped in the machine, forced to work beyond what he can manage, yet still he holds on, though he sure doesn’t look happy about it.

The traditional idea of having to push on despite tiredness and injury is definitely here.  But also a kind of exhaustion with the demands of modern life, with feeling disconnected from nature, and having to work at something you may not enjoy, defend something you don’t believe in.

Yesterday had a bit of this feel for me.  Several problems came up that were extremely stressful and are still not fully resolved :(  I guess I'll take this card as encouragement to push on through, despite the red tape and paperwork.  There's no way I can escape the system, so I'll just have to fulfil its requirements.

I am grateful for the ability to read legal documents without getting totally confused.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Tripping the Light Fantastic

After two days of youthful, playful, adventurous Page energy, today's card from the Osho Zen Tarot (St. Martins Press, 1995) follows the same lines, writ large!

Our Harlequin Fool wears diamonds in the colours of this deck's suits: red for fire, blue for water, grey for clouds, and rainbow for, well duh, rainbows.  His undershirt is an innocent white, his trousers the green of growth, and his boots the red of passion.  Above him glows a star-spangled night sky with a sliver of waxing moon.  In the distance, snow-covered mountains shine in the light of the rising sun, while below him a river meanders through the valley between steep hills.  As for our Fool, he holds a pure, white flower in his hand, and has already walked right off the cliff!

I'm not sure we can even talk of a leap of faith, it's more of a gentle step, seemingly unaware that there is apparently nothing there to support him.  He is stepping out into the unknown with absolute confidence and a song in his heart.  Either that, or he's taken way too many psychotropic drugs ;)

Despite the apparent craziness of his actions, I love this Fool and his insouciant air.  He is full of the joy of life, a desire to experience, an openness to whatever comes his way, and the confidence to embrace new possibilities.  While we may sometimes come down with a bump, what a ride!  And strangely, that trust in life often seems to bring luck our way, providing a ladder where before there was none, guiding our steps so that we dance lightly through life.

Today, we have some friends coming round who may need this Fool's luck.  They are off to New Zealand later in the week, with their three kids and a bump, based on his new job.  It's not the first time they've moved across an ocean, but they've not had much luck with previous spots.  Still, I hope that this time they will have a smooth transition, and find a place for their kids to grow up joyfully. 

I am grateful for the surprises life throws our way.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Adventure

Wow, another Page comes out to play today from the Osho Zen Tarot (St. Martins Press, 1995).

Here we have the Page of Rainbows (Pentacles).  A little girl in a blue dress walks down a forest path, cresting a rise to wander into a wondrous rainbow. 

As with the Page of Fire, there's a definite feeling of magic and potential to this card.  The Page of Rainbows is off on an adventure, exploring the world around her with all its secrets and delights. 

Hopefully, we'll have a little more time to explore our environs today, before heading back home.  Even a walk in the park can be an adventure, if you open your eyes to the marvels of flowers and insects and the play of sunshine through leaves.

I am grateful for the reminder to drink in the beauty of nature.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Playfulness

This week's deck is another of those that I suddenly realised I'd never blogged with, because it was one of the first I ever got.  Still, it's a deck that has stood the test of time, with beautiful, interesting imagery, and a buddhist take on life: the Osho Zen Tarot (St. Martins Press, 1995).  The deck's concept was created by Bagwan Shree Rajneesh, later called Osho, and was painted by Ma Deva Padma, who later also did the Tao Oracle, a beautiful depiction of the I Ching.

In this deck, the suits are titled fire (Wands), water (Cups), clouds (Swords) and rainbows (Pentacles), and each card also has a word or short phrase to describe it.  Here we have the Page of Fire (Wands), titled Playfulness :)

A figure wearing a diaphanous, rainbow-hued clown outfit over a unitard dances towards the right side of the card.  Her head is thrown back, and her arms stretch out, disappearing in bright sparkles.  Her expression under the clown make-up looks joyous. 

I love the keyword of Playfulness, mixed with the imagery.  This Page may be clowning around, but she's also passionately moved by what she's doing.  Yet, instead of simple intensity, there is also a light-heartedness to her attitude.  She is open to trying new things, unafraid of looking silly, delighting in whatever experience life offers her.

Part of my plan for the day is to go dancing with faeries.  So, I shall try to adopt this Page's outlook and dive into the experience.  Hopefully, we'll be far enough from 'human civilisation' to avoid too much embarrassment ;D

I am grateful for the chance to seek joy in silliness.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Pierced

What a way to end a week that started on such a positive note!  Though admittedly, the Three of Swords from the Dream Raven Tarot (Schiffer, 2013) is still a beautiful card, with plenty of splashes of colour.

A raven raises its beak to caw in pain, it's heart breast pierced by three swords.  Its wings flutter, curling up around itself, their colours those of life blood, while it's breast seems leached of colour in comparison.  Those wings swoop up, seeming to form another heart shape around the bird's head.  The ground beneath it is almost grey, and there are a few hills rising in the distance. 


This card makes me think of the classic tale by Oscar Wilde of the Nightingale and the Rose.  A nightingale sang and bled her heart out pressed against a rose thorn to create a beautiful red rose for a student who fancied himself in love.  The student and his love both proved fickle, and the nightingale died for naught!  It's a good story for the Three of Swords in many ways.  Each person in the story has their own thoughts and ideas about love, and all those who feel it suffer.  Yet, it is because of their thoughts, rather than their emotions, that they hurt.

I'm not one for grand romantic gestures, like the Nightingale giving her life for love.  What I do see in this card, though, is the importance of exploring the thoughts around our sorrows, staying with them even though they hurt, so we can come to understand them better.  Today should give me a chance to do that, I think, as I'm meeting with a good friend.  Hopefully, for both of us, the old adage of "a problem shared is a problem halved" will hold true.

I am grateful for good friends to talk with.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Waves

Another bright and cheerful card today from the Dream Raven Tarot (Schiffer, 2013).

On the surface, this looks like a very propitious card.  Our raven has a heart shape on her chest, and vibrant feathers ranging from yellow at the face to peach on the body, and orange and pink reaching up the wingtips.  In front of her are seven pretty cups, all decorated with different designs, including a dragon, a rainbow, a cross and a flower.  The cups are held aloft by waves, an offering from the Universe.  And yet, those waves will crash and the cups will disappear into the depths of the ocean!

Messages from this card, then, include having too many options, needing to assess your choices, illusory options, and a prompt to seize the moment before it disappears!

I'm in a bit of an emotional limbo today, not sure either about what my options or about what I actually want.  I'll take this card as advice to get as much information as I can on a practical level, but also take some time to listen in to the whispers of my heart.

I am grateful for at least the illusion of choice.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Blue Fire

Another colourful and interesting card today from the Dream Raven Tarot (Schiffer, 2013).

This fiery chap is the Ace of Wands, head lifted to cry out his joy in life.  There is a fencepost behind him, and the sun rising in a flaming ball.  Our raven, too, is like a set of flames: green flames trickling down his yellow flame chest; red flames at the base of his wings, rising through more yellow flames to end in bright, blue flames at the tips.  Even his tongue seems like a lick of blue fire!

I find it notable that this Ace of Wands raven is on the ground.  He hasn't yet taken flight, but it can only be a matter of time before his energy and enthusiasm propels him up and away :)

Yesterday, with that King of Wands energy, I managed to get a lot of work done, both organisational stuff and more exciting, creative stuff.  In today's card, I see an encouragement to brainstorm, to go wild with crazy new ideas.  They don't all have to take off, but it's nice to have them.  And some of that energy can then go into the more mundane chores that still need doing...

I am grateful for the Universe lighting a fire under my butt.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

A Glint In His Eye

Today we have another colourful, bright card from Dream Raven Tarot (Schiffer, 2013).  Until Carla from Rowan Tarot mentioned it, I didn't even think about the fact that corvids are mostly black.  Still, I rather like the whimsy of such vibrant colours - I guess that's why these are "Dream" Ravens.

Certainly, I get the impression that today's King of Wands wouldn't let a little thing like normality get in the way of his plans and desires.  He has little flames at the ends of his feathertips, a swirly globe on the top of his wand, and wonderful colouring from green to purple, through yellow, orange and pink.  There is a bright, yellow sun right behind his head, ringed in purple and crimson.  I especially like the cheeky glint in his eye, the way he stares out at us as though daring us to join him in whatever crazy idea he's hatching.

He seems like a rather fun-loving King.  Determined, maybe, but with a focus on enjoying life while getting as much done as possible.  Or maybe that's just what I'd like for the day :)

It's true I have a lot to do, today.  Still, it's also important to find the fun in my daily tasks, otherwise I won't manage them as well, I know.  Hmm, I shall have to think about ways to make some of the duller bits more fun, if only by giving myself lots of little goals and prizes for achieving them...

I am grateful for the encouragement to make work more fun.


Monday, 1 July 2013

To Build A House

Wow, we're really having a slew of Pentacles cards with the Dream Raven Tarot (Schiffer, 2013).

Today, it's the turn of the Three of Pentacles.  A lilac and pink raven once again stands on a fence post, or maybe it's just a tree stump, as we can't see any other posts nor a fence between then.  Our raven holds what looks to be the plans for a basic house or kennel structure in one claw.  S/he (the colouring tempts me to say female, but that's such a human perception, as amongst birds the males tend to be more colourful) has an orange and yellow flower on hir chest.  Vines trail down from it, and also twine around from the edge of hir eye to hir chest.  S/he has one pentacle under hir lower wing, one on the elbow of hir upper wing, and one just above hir beak, at the third eye.

The interpretation of team work is not really apparent in this card, as it is in so many Three of Pentacles images.  We might intuit it into the picture, based on the plans in our raven's claw, which couldn't be drawn by a bird.  Or we could simply see that the three pentacles all require a different kind of work to keep them in their place.

At a more intuitive level, I see someone who gives generously of their creativity, expressing their love through what they compose and bring into being.  This is done in part through an openness to spirit, to the source of creativity within them and around them.

Ah, that plan in hir claw!  I wrote a plan on Friday that I haven't made a start on yet.  So, today's the day to get down to things, and tick some stuff off my list.

I am grateful for Big Boy going to school.