Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pretty Is As Pretty Does

Tarot of the Cloisters- Strength, Two of Swords, Queen of Staves

 I want to give someone a present, but I am unsure how it will be received.  I decided to do a little spread for some insight.

These cards are full of women, which makes sense as I am a woman, and my potential receiver is a woman.  The first card, Strength, I defined as how she will feel about getting the gift.  I see that she will feel loved, and reminded that there are good things in the world.  My first visual instinct was to see this card as the woman embracing the lion.  I think she has been under a lot of duress and could use a hug, in the form of a gift.  I think that affirmation of her value and worth could even help give her the Strength to keep on going.

The second card I defined as how I feel about giving the gift, and the Two of Swords is an accurate representation of my wishy- washiness.  I want to give the present, but I also want to keep it for myself, and as it is likely to be the only one I ever have to give, I am reluctant to let it go, but I know it would bring joy to someone else.  And that is just my Taurean nature, or a better word is probably selfishness, kicking in, because I have one just like it and gave someone else another just like it I found lost year.  There is always more stuff, and this potential gift is just sitting around my home, waiting for someone to love it.  The woman on this card even physically resembles me, long dark hair, scraggly in the wind.  The vast blue in this card makes me think of emotions, and I realize this is an emotional decision for me to make.

Tarot of the Cloisters- Eight of Pentacles
The third card, The Queen of Staves, is the outcome of the situation if I give the gift.  I hate, hate, hate when I get court cards as outcomes!  HATE!  WTF am I supposed to do with that?  But once my irritation cooled, I thought of the keyword for this Queen from Emily Carding's Tarot of the Sidhe, a soul deck for me if I have ever had one; "Gift of charm".  It's nice to give presents, and it feels good to receive them.  I also see this Queen as a progression from the woman in the Strength card, that this gift may help the receiver look outward again in hopeful anticipation.  The Little White Book for this deck describes the Queen of Staves thus, " To receive criticism, good or bad."  That means I must be prepared to have the gift not as well received as I may like, but thanks is not why we give gifts.

Because I despise court cards as outcomes so, I drew another card as well, which is the Eight of Pentacles.  I want to give this gift to this person not only because I believe they have been struggling, but also because they have helped me a great deal.  In that case, the gift is almost like a reward, or compensation, for work well done, though she never asked me for anything.  Combining this card with the Queen of Staves, I believe the gift will be well received, though possibly felt as if they "earned" it.  I am okay with that, because I am responsible for what I put out into the world, and how people react to it, for good or ill, is their responsibility.
Tarot of the Cloisters- The Hermit

My shadow card for the reading, what I most do not want to look at about the situation, is the Hermit.  I'd like the gift to be a bridge to a stronger friendship, because I crave those in my daily life, but it likely won't be.  I'd like the gift to be a token that brings a new light to her world, but I must be prepared for that not to be so.  I'd like to come across as good and noble in the giving, but look how much I am struggling with the decision.  This is my moral issue, not a reluctance to give the gift or concern about the "worthiness" of the receiver.  I have to make sure I am prepared to give freely, for all the right reasons that include the joy of another person, and not for the wrong ones, which would include personal recognition.

Sometimes your cards lay you bare, and that is just a part of reading.  Sometimes, I need to be laid bare, because it is so humbling.

These cards are from the sadly out of print Tarot of the Cloisters by Michelle Leavitt, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

Monday, May 14, 2012


Legacy of the Divine Tarot- The Moon
There are people in the world who think tarot does not work, that it is totally random and at best the images act as an inkblot for our creative minds to impress upon whatever is foremost in our thoughts in a given moment.  Those people don't realize that I pull the Moon card every damn Monday.

I used to pull a Major Arcana at the beginning of each week as a reference point, a study place, and to give some insight as to the flavor of the week I could expect, and then I would write about it.  That was, until the Moon card started coming up for me each and every damn Moon's day, and more the Fool I for expecting anything different.  I sometimes get other cards, too, depending on how much time I am willing to devote to the pulling, and if I am reading a specific question, but I always get the Moon.  It is humorous, really, but I long ago ran out of things to say about the Moon.  The problem is, the Moon has not run out of things to say about me.

I could ask, of course, though most spreads designed around the Moon card seem a bit too heavy for my current needs.  I think tarot is a wonderful spiritual tool, and I do believe it will plumb the depths of ones' soul, but my soul is tender at the moment and wants only to show her pretty surface.  The depths will need to go unplumbed for now, and even when I can no longer run from that eventuality, it will be a private affair.  And I have probably answered my own question about why the Moon is currently haunting me, although it is likely in the Moon's nature to haunt, being singularly well purposed for this.

I can almost never get over the beauty of the Moon card, its' magic and mystery.  One particularly vivid reading it came up for my sitter to remind her to love herself, to believe in her own beauty, to celebrate it, to envision her hair and her limbs and her eyes and her fingernails and her kneecaps all bathed in a silvery white light, of pure love, of pure desire, that emanates only from her and the Divine Lover.

As Mother's Day has just passed, which inevitably churns up for me the drama and the hurt and the thrill and the desperation that surrounds my relationship with my own mother, and as I recently read about the astrological moon in particular affecting that relationship, I wonder if the Moon wants me to start resolving my mommy issues.

In any case, I have pulled the Moon, yet again, and so we dance.

This card is from Legacy of the Divine Tarot by Ciro Marchetti, published by Llewellyn.