Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Evening Reading

My Daily Draw today was this charming fellow -

The Knight of Cups, in the Archeon Tarot. Now, it seems that when I choose to use this deck, they are most often readings that I would rather not share. This guy, well, I love him. No, I really do. He oozes pure sex appeal, to me, at least in this deck. He is dark, and brooding, and a little dangerous, as he is portrayed here, and I absolutely adore him. He looks a little worse for the wear in this scene, and I don't even care. The LWB says of him, "Afraid to look on such beauty, the knight lowered his gaze..." See, he is humble, too! He showed up with MY significator card, the Queen of Pents, and all I can say is what goes on between them needs to stay between them, haha. For anyone who reads because they like to learn about the card meanings, let me just say that the Knight of Cups represents someone sensitive, sweet, charming, and seductive, on his good side, the knight in shining armor on the white horse to save the day, but along with those qualities he can be insincere, quite the playa, and quite possibility who Britney Spears is singing about in "Womanizer." (Boy don't try to front, I-I know just-just what you are-are-are...)

So this evening I decided to try out a spread that reflects what my day was like. It came from AT, like so many of my tarot treasures, and it is Thorhammer's Daily Spread. I am using my Pictorial Key Tarot because I am thoroughly addicted to it and I love the slick, computer generated art but it doesn't stray from RWS imagery, because I am still such a nubcake and like to stay close to home.

What did I do well today? Six of Pentacles - This card features a well dressed man scattering some coins to a couple peasants in the street. This could certainly reflect me, as I do give ten percent of my income away, as a rule, and I spent a good chunk of today researching where I would like to give this month's tithe, since I am not a member of a church at the moment. I was also careful with my money today, not spending it when I could have. I had a coupon to Borders, and my local one happens to be well stocked with tarot decks, but I chose to only get a necessary for research book and be content with what I have. I was happy to treat my brother to some Mexican food and a couple margaritas. I'm a sucker for a good chile relleno. And a margarita.

I believe that I am always given just enough, with careful management, to meet all of my family's needs, and a few of our wants, and help to lessen others burden a bit. I think that faithful trust in God, and the universe, demonstrated by the act of giving, is key to living abundantly.

What do I need to leave behind in today? Nine of Cups - A balding gentlemen sits in a gilded chair. Nine cups line the wall behind him. Often referred to as the wish card, the Nine of Cups indicates contentment, and having all of one's desires sated. Like all tarot cards, in my opinion, this one can have a shadow meaning, which I believe is beautifully illustrated in the Bohemian Gothic tarot. It can speak to excess of the love of the good things in life, like the Victorian gentleman with his absinthe glass tipped to himself.

My brother is visiting, and he sure loves the good life, and so do, being a Taurus and all. We had a great time this evening, tequila making a wonderful social lubricant. The problem is, that has a time and a place, and it is important to make sure not to let a couple drinks one night become an all out binge, something that is not easy to convince my brother of. I love him, I do, and we have so much fun, but tonight I did not have little ones to care for, and that is unusual. Most nights I have to be in full mom mode, and that means sober. Plus, I don't want our time together to blur in an alcohol haze. I want to fully experience each moment, and remember them clearly later. He is younger, and does not have the kind of responsibilities I do, so he doesn't always understand why I can't party as hard as he can.

What should I take forward from today into tomorrow? Eight of Wands - The wands rush from the sky towards the ground. They are not yet grounded, and it is still uncertain how they will fall. This card always looks like energy to me, motion. Today, I see that the wands are falling into place, rather than just being frantically strewn about. I have few creative projects, as well as mundane ones, that need my guidance to end up how I want them. Tomorrow I need to expend less energy on my fun things to do and more on the things that need to get done, some of which has to do with communications.

I was most pleased with this reading, and while I don't think I will do it daily, I think it has a place in my regular rotation, and it was refreshing to use the cards to look back over the day!

The images are from the Pictorial Key Tarot, The Archeon (mine is trimmed), and the Bohemian Gothic.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Daily Draw - Double or Nothing

This morning, I was greeted by the Queen of Swords. Well, hello there, Queenie! How are you today? A little embattled and somewhat bitter for it? Yeah me too. Oh wait, you ARE me today... I am starting to get the picture.

I really, truly despise getting court cards for my daily draws. I don't know what to do with them. I dislike courts so much that I bought the Oracle Tarot for the sole reason it has no court cards (and the artwork appealed to me that day, but not really any since; which is okay because my seven year old daughter has laid claim to it). Since I dislike court cards so, I decided to draw another card from the top of the deck, for clarity only, I assure you, not possibly to cheat and not have to deal with the court card. The Three of Swords. Well, I didn't shuffle again, so that can't possibly be right. You both go back in the deck, and we will try this whole mess over again. Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, ground, center, ground. What do I need to know today, for my own highest good?

Guess who - The Queen of Swords, again, with her little buddy, the Three. Okay, sheesh, I get it. These ARE my cards today. *grumblegrumble* Even though I grumble and I do not feel like dealing with these two today, one of the things I adore about tarot is the synchronicity and you can run but you can't hide mentality. And the cosmic backhands. Some people don't need them, but I do.

There is a tendency of modern tarot to put a happy spin on every card, and being as I am the queen of blowing sunshine out my rear and believing that positivity can only be a good thing, I do not think that is a bad trend. So many people look to tarot as self help and guidance tools, rather than for pure divination, and I think that is great, too. The Queen of Swords embodies a lot of good qualities to embrace, such as a keen (sharp) intelligence, independence, logical thinking, and a general street smart air (my punnies slay me). However, the entire reason I do not read reversals is because I believe no tarot card is inherently good, or bad. They each have a whole range of meaning to them, and it is up to the reader to judge where a card falls in that range, which is what makes the human touch so indispensable for reading cards. There is excellent tarot software available, and plenty of free reading sites, but only a human being has the intuition and ability to really glean out the meanings of a reading. I digress, however.

Back to the Queen - along with all those great qualities about this Queen, let's face it - she can be a real bitch. Sometimes she has reason to be, although taken in that vein, we all do, right? Life has not always been kind to her, and that can make for a hardened old broad. But life is rarely kind to any of us all the time, and we should all be grateful for that, because growth, by its' very nature, is painful.

The Three of Swords has to be one of the most recognizable images from RWS decks, with the three swords piercing straight through the heart as the rain comes pouring down all around it. You do not have to have a good working knowledge of tarot to understand that imagery, for sure. But even though most of us associate this card with the keyword heartache, it's important to remember that grief and loss and crying are all a necessary part of life, and it is important to honor a loss through acknowledging that it hurts to see it go. We can know that it is for the best, and we can be sure that following the three comes the rest and solitude of the four, which brings healing, but to deny emotions simply because they are painful is to cheat ourselves of a very valuable experience. There is no light that does not cast a shadow, and there is no love, of any sort, without a deep sense of vulnerability. C.S. Lewis said, "The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That's the deal."

When we have been hurt, when we have lost something, it can be very tempting to put on a hardened shell, and act like we don't care. It can be a scary thing to let that first teardrop fall, becuse sometimes we don't know if we are opening a torrent or if we can get by with just the one. I think the Queen of Swords can be like that, making herself hard of heart so that she doesn't feel those swords piercing it. The thing that she, and that pesky three, are here to remind me of today is that there is no way around pain. You can't fly over it, and you can't walk around it, and you can't tunnel under it. You just have to go through it. Pain can be numbed, but it can't be alleviated, only time can make it go away, and the numbing of it just puts off the dealing with it. Am I coward? No. Would I rather face this today than have it sneak up on me and ruin another day? Yes. So that is what I have to do, stop pretending my recent loss doesn't hurt, and just deal with the pain. My heart is only poked, not broken, and even if it was I wouldn't die of a broken heart.

I could also stop being such a right ol' bitch too, huh? *grin*

The base card for the daily draw-turned almost-full-reading is the Five of Cups. Not too long ago, I asked my thirteen year old to flip through the deck and pick a card that showed how he felt. He chose the Five of Cups, in all its' melancholy, teenage emoboy wonder. I laughed to myself, and drew him into a hug, which he tolerated for a full ten seconds or so. "What do you see in this card?" I asked him.

"He knocked his cups over and they spilled and he is sad because you can't get liquid back into cups," he answered.

"But he didn't knock over all his cups," I prodded at him.

"Yeah, I get what you are saying, Mom. But it's hard to be happy for what you have when you just lost something. 'Specially if it is your own fault." I have astute children.

I just lost something that mattered to me. I have been trying to act like it doesn't bother me, that I don't care, that I am strong and that I will go on just as I did before. I need to take time to do two things - 1. Acknowledge and honor that loss and then let it go, and 2. Be grateful for all the wonderful things I still have to celebrate in life. I am strong, and I will go on. I have to do these things because I want to be smart and savvy, strong and courageous, like the Queen of Swords, but I do not want to lose my softness, my ability to love and be loved by taking that energy too far.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.” ~C.S. Lewis

My advice card for how to move on came up as the Three of Pentacles. That was my daily draw card two days in a row last week, though I did not blog those daily draws. I need to do work that is fulfilling to me, and I need that to be artistic work, even if I am not getting paid for it. My art is important, and it brings as much healing as it does anything else for me.

Thanks for bearing with me through this long, and kinda emotional post!

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These images are from the Pictorial Key Tarot by Lo Scarabeo.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Daily Draw - Three Of Cups

My card for the day is the Three of Cups, which I drew last month using my Deviant Moon deck. That time, I had a distinctly different impression than the one I am getting today. Today, I look at the three women dancing around the cup, and I reminded to just celebrate the simple joy of living and being alive. I have blessings beyond number, and at the very top of the list is that I get to be a mom to three of the most amazing individuals I have ever known. We have a wonderful, cozy little townhouse all to ourselves, and we live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. The mountains rise in the west in all their majesty, and we are so privileged to be able to partake of their beauty any time we feel. We eat well, we laugh a lot, we read good books, we share inside jokes, and we love each other so much that it is almost disgusting. And really, that is what life is all about, right?

I also received this card as part of a three card draw I did today, in which I asked, "What is the most productive thing I can do for my relationship with S right now?" I was given - the Five of Swords, the Three of Cups, and the Four of Pentacles. I should walk away, not in defeat, but in joy and gratitude for all the ways I have to be happy for my life, and I should manage my finances well so that I can be prepared for whatever may come next, as well as work on making my home really and truly more mine. I have strength of convictions, and some things I KNOW to be true, but now is not the time to try to force anything into being.

I was asked to go into work today, which was not out of line because I am not officially on vacation until tomorrow, but I have been fighting flu like symptoms and my kiddos are not doing the greatest, either. When I was asked, I quickly shuffled and asked (in my head), "Will going to work today be a productive thing for me to do?" And guess who popped up - the Eight of Cups, the card that originally helped me decide a break from work was exactly what was needed to help me get to a better place. Sometimes the tarot really makes me laugh! Needless to say, I did not do it. I need to rest, relax, get better, help my munchkins get better, and generally just not be there right now.

So, here I go, off towards that big, bright moon, cup raised in a toast, and eagerly looking forward to what comes next!

Images from the Pictorial Key Tarot by Davide Corsi for Lo Scarabeo.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Daily Draw - Ace of Pentacles

For Saturday, I have drawn the Ace of Pentacles from my Pictorial Key tarot. What a bright, happy card for a girl seriously contemplating leaving her fairly lucrative job! In this card, I see a large, magnanimous hand extended from Heaven, offering a large golden coin. The gorgeous garden below shows luxury and beauty.

I can't imagine for me that this card heralds a financial windfall, but I suppose it is called a windfall because it is unexpected *grin*. I would take one, if it came my way, but I think this card is showing me how I would best spend my time off from work. I work in a fairly busy breakfast restaurant, which is not what I envisioned when I took all those lit classes in college, but truthfully, I cannot figure out how to make the same amount of money in the same amount of time, in hours that basically allow me to be home with my kids when they are home. Unless I were to be a writer, at home all the time, which is what my true dream in life is. I write stories, specifically urban fairy tale types and high fantasy, and some modern fiction that I try to weave with the magical thread I see in my own life and I would like everyone to be able to embrace as well. The biggest problem with being a working writer, for me at least, is the discipline needed, and also that creativity can't be called just because the light bill is due.

I plan to take my time off from work to get my home organized and beautiful, and to instill the routine needed to be a productive writer, as well as a mom and a full time student, on top of doing what I have to do to keep the bills paid in the meantime. I am going far out on a limb here to make the assumption that if I do the work, I will be financially blessed to be able to follow that dream. Julia Cameron admonishes in The Artist's Way that we are to worry about the quantity of our art and to let God worry about the quality.

I don't want a lot of material things, just to know that the rent is paid, and my kids are going to eat, and that they can get new shoes when they need them, and a new tarot deck here and there would not go amiss. I don't long for designer shoes, or fancy cars, or even really a car at all, since I choose to ride the bus as often as not. I don't want a big house, just a cozy little one that holds me and the kiddos, and some lucky man, if he ever manifests, and our simple little things.

I am reminded of Sheryl Crow singing in Soak Up The Sun, "It's not having what you want; it's wanting what you got..."

Later on in the day, I was messing around with my Tea Leaf Fortune Cards, which is an adorable, but out of print, oracle deck of 200 hundred cards that brings the wisdom of tea leaf readings without the mess. I randomly drew two cards from the purple Crown Royal bag I keep them in (don't judge me...) and they were : Bridge - Successfully overcoming a problem. & Bowl - Plenty of material things. I love the synchronicity tarot and oracles offer sometimes! It looks like I am deep in a phase of making my life work for me, and I can expect to be comfortable, at least, while doing so. That is a just reward (an Ace of Pentacles keyword, by the way) for being authentic to one's self.

I spent the evening giving my gorgeous, evocative, surreal Archeon tarot a haircut (again don't judge me. I KNOW it was a Saturday night, but I am not feeling all that hot, in any sense of the word, except I am running a fever, and dating takes more time than I have), which for me has give the deck a new lease on life. Although I loved the images, I was not particularly fond of the large and overbearing borders, so I got brave and decided to take them off. This was my first experiment with deck trimming, although I am eyeballing a copy of the Thoth with scissors in hand now. I can see myself using this deck more often now, likely in writing exercises, as the images fit well with my slightly darker themes. I really feel this has opened the deck up and made it more readable. What do you all think?

These images are from the Pictorial Key Tarot, Tea Leaf Fortune Cards by Rae Hepburn, and the Archeon tarot by Timothy Lantz.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Daily Draw - Eight of Cups

Today my card is the Eight of Cups. I simply adore this image in this deck. She is so clearly done with the cups, so fed up, and she is just walking away in disgust. She has thrown her hands up on the air, and she is out of there! From the LWB : "The woman in red has abandoned her old ways, for they are no longer relevant to her life.Wanting no part of the past, she moves on to new, brighter situations." This image lacks the poignancy of most RWS decks, with the lone figure turning his back on the cups as a bright moon looks on. As a matter of fact, though the moon plays prominently into the artwork of the Deviant Moon deck (obviously) the soft light of the lunar body is nowhere to be seen on this card. I feel much more like her, walking away in disgust, than I feel like the sad figure in the traditional image.

My work situation, with a certain manager, has escalated to the point I no longer feel that I can work with him. I have asked for the next week off, and I plan to use that time to try to make a decision about whether that particular juice is worth the squeeze. I am by no means rolling in cash, but I will be okay for a few months while I look for something that will suit me better, or possibly by taking this time off I will be able to heal and gain a better perspective that will allow me to continue where I am. I have been getting The Star card frequently in my readings as my foundation in a Celtic Cross, which I take to mean I need to retreat for some rest and spiritual healing. Either way, I am walking away from the situation. Whether I return or not, we shall see. You never step in the same river twice, it is said, and I am ready for it to be something completely different, at that job, or at another.

When I asked for guidance about how I could best handle the situation, before I made the decision to ask for the time off, I was given the Queen of Pentacles, which is the card I associate with myself. I took this to mean that I am on the right path, and that me being me is the best way I can handle this, or any situation. I grow and stretch and strive to be the best I can, in every situation, and the energy of the Queen of Pentacles, with her pragmatic, hard working ethic, is always a good one to apply to work.

In other news, I have discovered that basically I have no taste in tarot decks *laugh*. Now, if you enjoy some of the ones I am about to list, please don't take offense, because I am saying I ADORE them. It's just that they are not classy tarot, like a Vieville or a nice Visconti or a proud Thoth. My latest love is the Pictorial Key Tarot, by Lo Scarabeo. I started out with a traditional Universal Waite, and though I find it so easy to read with, I felt I had absorbed most of what it had to teach me. That will always be a trusty reading deck, but I seem to love the slick glossiness of computer generated tarot decks. For example, the Tarot of Elves really is not a fabulous deck. Even I, who like it, can say that the artwork often leaves the characters looking like plastic, and it should be hard for me to connect with the, but it's not. It's a dream to read with, for me at least. I think that the writer in me appreciated the mini novel that went with the cards. Incidentally, both of those decks are by the same artist, Davide Corsi, and I do have his forthcoming vampire deck preordered. And it is no secret that I just love my Deviant Moon, in all it's glossy glory. Some readers look for cards that are not as laminated, but I like mine to be able to withstand dunkings in lattes and three kiddos running around the house, so the thick lamination suits me well. Just a little observation!

I hope this Friday finds everyone happy, healthy, and wise, and less befuddled than I!

These images are from the Pictorial Key Tarot and the Deviant Moon Tarot.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

New Deck Interview - Gothic Tarot of Vampires

I received a new deck, The Gothic Tarot of Vampires, done by Lo Scarabeo. It is a bit darker than I would usually choose, and the artwork is not what I am usually drawn to, but I have wanted this deck for some time, and upon opening it I did this spread that is all the craze over at Aeclectic, FireRaven's New Deck Interview Spread. It looks like so :

****** 5 ****** 6 ******
********** 4 **********
****** 3 ****** 2 ******
********** 1 **********

1. Tell me about yourself. What is your most important characteristic? Six of Swords. In this deck, there is a small girl holding the hand of a woman. They make their way through treacherous landscape. This deck can help the inner child connect with the grown up, and they will take turns leading each other through the darker parts of the psyche.

2. What are your strengths as a deck? Two of Swords. Two figures bust through a glass window, taking a huge leap of faith. They have no fear. This deck will get straight to the point, and I can trust it (which of course really means myself as I read with it).

3. What are your limits as a deck? Seven of Chalices (Cups). Seven figures gather together to be photographed. With my ever growing collection, because I do like to collect decks whether I read with them or not, this deck is in danger of becoming just another face in the crowd. Because of its' dark theme, I may not choose it often enough for a true relationship to form.

4. What do you bring to the table - what are you here to teach me? Ace of Swords. The male figure is agonizingly stabbed through the gut with a cruel blade. This deck will help me deal with pain directly, rather than prolonging it.

5. How can I best learn from and collaborate with you? Nine of Wands. A woman bends over to tenderly kiss her long time love, as their younger self looks on from a photograph. I will have to invest the time and care into this deck that it deserves to reap the rewards of a rich and long lasting relationship.

6. What is the potential outcome of our working relationship? XIV, which corresponds to Temperance in most decks. This card does not look much like the traditional angel pouring water though, *grin*. A man stands in the rain, which is washing the blood away from him. He cries out. This deck will cleanse me psychically, though it might not always be a pleasnat experience in the moment.
The base card from the reading was XVIII, which is The Moon in most decks. A woman is seated before a mirror, face buried in her hands, distraught. Her reflection, however, shows a different self. This one is stronger, and surrounded by spirits eager to help. If I trust my intuition and look for the help that is available, I will suffer less is the message.

The lack of Pentacles in this reading tells me that this deck will not deal very much with my physical self. The plethora of Swords tells me that it will help me deal with some painful, darker issues.

Overall, this looks to be a very readable deck. I cannot, of course, simply forget the "book" meanings of cards, but I read these purely intuitively, and that is always a lovely experience!

These images are from The Gothic Tarot of Vampires for Lo Scarabeo.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Where Ya Been?

Well, I have been hit hard by life over the past few weeks. The semester started off with a bang, and though that is good, it also makes for busy! My work has been crazy, which is part of why I like it, probably, but I have been needing a lot of time to decompress from it. I'm a busy girl, but aren't we all in these hectic times?

I have been having a bit of technical difficulties with the computer, too. The camera seems to have developed a deep and lasting dislike for me, so much that it refuses to work at all, and the technophobe that I am, I have no idea how to run the scanner, which wasn't a problem before, when I had THE MAN to do it for me, but he has decided to make a run for the border, so to speak, and his technical skills are what I am missing about him most at the moment. But I digress...

Today, I am beset with the image from the Eight of Wands. I will have to admit to not being the happiest to see this card, as to me it speaks frantic energy, in its' traditional RWS form, and all I wanted today was to stay curled up in bed all day with a book and a hot cup of tea. Kidkins were out of school for the day, though, and since I worked for 13 days in a row the prior two weeks, my housework had definitely piled up to the point of not allowing for a day like that. So, what else do I know about the Eight of Wands? In most RWS cards, they are flying through the air, not really grounded, and not yet certain about where they will land. This card usually speaks to swift actions and communications, and "now" being the time to act.

In the Deviant Moon deck, a woman dressed all in red stands before seven branches growing from the ground. She wields a scythe handily, and appears to be about to cut the branches down. I wonder what they did to her! A raven flies above her, letter unfurled in its' beak. There is writing on the paper, but it is unreadable, at least for my old eyes! In this way, I feel the Devinat Moon addresses the "communications" meaning of this card most thoroughly. Whenever I see this card from this deck, I always wonder with an almost greedy jealousy what the letter says. Is it for the woman, from the woman, concerning the woman, or does she have nothing to do with it? Why can't I get messages from ravens, ala George R.R. Martin in his Song of Fire and Ice series (completely off track here, but I have a burning fear he is going to make his way to the great unknown before finishing the series, much like Robert Jordan last year, and he and his publisher are certainly taking their sweet time getting the book that was supposed to have already been written almost completely in 2006 released)? But today has been a day filled with long distance type communication for me, even without the class and certain flair being delivered by raven would bring to them, from a brother who needs rescuing from a South Dakota winter, and a long time, long distance, almost love that seems to be rekindled. I don't know if I am up for either of those two men making a swift and decisive return to my life, but ready or not, life happens at its' own pace, right?

In addition, as I look at this fiercely determined woman, and consider why she wants those branches gone so much, I realized that it is not really the why of it, but the fact that she has made the decision they should go, and nothing is going to stop her. She is taking action, right now.

Oh yeah, I also made a decision to go ahead and go see this rather difficult love of my plane...

I apologize for the lack of images. I realize it makes reading a tarot blog kinda hard when there are no card images to accompany it, so that is why I have not posted recently. I will work on figuring out the scanner or the camera post haste, though!

Edited to add images after working through my technical difficulties. These are from Pictorial Key Tarot by Davide Corsi for Lo Scarabeo and the beloved Deviant Moon by Patrick Valenza for US Games Systems Inc.