Monday, 21 July 2014

Weekly Reading with the Maroon Tarot

This week's deck is another I've had in my collection for years, since it was first published.  I was first introduced to the Maroon Tarot (self-published, 2009) when I won the Majors-only (2007) version in a TABI competition.  When the full deck came out, I was already sold.

Situation - Four of Wands

This Four of Wands has something of the Ten of Wands to it: a figure carrying a bunch of Wands towards a house.  Yet, there are only four wands - the burden is still a light one - and the house is close by, rather than away up a long, hard path.  The house is small, but it is illuminated from above: there is joy here, and a good foundation from which to branch out, seeking additional opportunities without straying too far from our comfort zone.

Don't - Five of Swords

My, what a bleak version of this card! A bald, naked figure crouches before a deep, dark pit.  Swords hang over the scene, shrouded in fog.  Yet, there is golden sunlight piercing the clouds to illuminate the figure, giving hope that they will find their way past this obstacle, beyond this pit of despair.

Do - Three of Cups

A blue, butterfly-winged fairy stands, illuminated by a pale light from behind.  Before her sit two more female figures.  They all seem to be on a rock in the middle of a tumultuous river, with the water dropping over a cliff in front of them.  Though surrounded by wild emotions, they appear calm and confident: strength in numbers, perhaps.

How could you stretch your comfort zone?  What can help you overcome doubts and confusion?  Who supports you no matter what?

Friday, 18 July 2014

Overview of the Mystical Cats Tarot

The Mystical Cats Tarot (Llewellyn, 2014), authored by Lunea Weatherstone and with beautiful artwork by Mickie Mueller, is the latest in a long line of cat-themed tarots.  While I'll admit I'm a total cat-lover, I also think this is a good, readable deck.  While perhaps not as true to the cat's perspective as the Cat's Eye Tarot (US Games, 2011), it has a lot of lovely features, useful symbolism and is very evocative. 

Take the High Priestess; this elegant grey cat sits in an amethyst cave, outside of which a crescent moon glows in a starry sky.  Amethyst is a crystal associated with intuition, and with the crown chakra.  Hence also with wisdom and a spiritual connection to the Universe.  Between that and the crescent moon, there's plenty of symbolism that speaks to the archetype.

The Court cards are another interesting and well thought out aspect of the deck.  Recently, Steve of Tiferet Tarot bemoaned decks with no apparent age difference in the Courts.  In the Mystical Cats Tarot these are indicated by having a Kitten/Page (definite squee factor!), a Tom/Knight, and then the Queens and Kings.  As seen with this Fire Tom (the suits are given elemental titles in line with the most frequent traditional attributions, though Air is titled Sky), the Toms show nicely the dynamic nature of the Knights.  Here, the Tom wends his way between a plethora of burning candles, all without setting his tail on fire.  His focus is on one candle in particular, but who knows how long that will last...

The Aces all have this kind of paw print banner, with a colour and background appropriate to their suit element.  This works quite well, I think, suggesting the possibility of making our mark in a given area or field.  Nothing exists yet but the potential, action is needed to materialise it, make it more than purely symbolic.

Finally, we have the Minors. As we saw on Monday, and as we see here in the Eight of Sky (Swords), these are RWS-based.  A grey cat seems trapped by the branches of a fallen bough.  Meanwhile, eight bats fly towards hir through a darkening sky.  If s/he could get beyond the fear s/he could work hir way out between the branches.  And so, it is not the branches or the bats that trap hir, but hir own thoughts and fears.

Altogether, I find this deck very cute, and also full of wonderful symbolism and ideas that echo the traditional, while also allowing intuitive readings of the cards.  It has many cat-centered delights and pearls of wisdom to share.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Weekly Reading with the Mystical Cats Tarot

This week's deck, the Mystical Cats Tarot (Llewellyn, 2014), is another in the long line of cat-themed tarots.  However, it isn't just a cute, cat deck, it is very expressive and readable.

I decided to use it for a Situation-Don't-Do Reading, and drew:

Situation: Seven of Earth (Pentacles)

A grey tabby lies in wait outside a hole at the base of a tree.  Hoping hir patience will be rewarded with a tasty meal, having already gone to the effort to scope out this spot.  Isn't this an interesting and evocative depiction of the Seven of Pentacles?  There is perhaps less evidence of hard work, and a rather faster expectation of reward than with the traditional figure tending plants, but the overall feel is maintained.

This speaks of a situation where there is a need to wait, perhaps to assess what has gone before and plan for the future.  It could also suggest being ready to pounce when fortune gives us the opportunity!

Don't - The Sun

A statue of Bast watches over three kitties sunning themselves in an elegant patio.  Bast, an Egyptian female cat goddess, is associated with the fiery energy of the Sun.  She is also a playful goddess, compared to her fierce sister Sekhmet.  These attributes fit in perfectly with the Sun card, an image of energy with a sense of refound joy and innocence, and an openness to life.

However, in this position the card tells us not to let down our guard at that mousehole, not to become complacent or slack off.  There will be time for joyous celebration once we've finished what we're doing.

Do - Six of Fire (Wands)

Another grey tabby (or perhaps the same one!) sits at the front of a glade.  Around hir are the spoils of the victor, toys and treats.  Other cats come, bringing hir offerings. 

What would success look like to a cat?  I suspect they are too solitary for this kind of feudal behaviour.  Still, it's certainly true that cats like their creature comforts and happily accept gifts and treats as their due ;D

As what to do, it suggests to me accepting help when offered, in order to be more successful in what we do.

Where do you need to exercise patience?  How can you prepare yourself to seize an opportunity when it presents itself?  What will help you stave off complacency?  How easy do you find it to accept help from others?

Friday, 11 July 2014

Overview of the Whimsy Lenormand App

Article first published in the TABI Ezine, Summer 2014:

The Whimsy Lenormand app for iPhone/iPad uses the deck of the same name, created by Pepi Valderrama (2013).  The 36 borderless cards are bright and playful, and have the card title in English, the Lenormand number, and an abbreviated playing card association.

As for the app functionality, you can draw a single card, a line of 3 or 5, or a 3x3 square.  Going into the settings allows you to chose between the app shuffling automatically when you choose your reading, or when you shake your device :)

There is also both a journal and a 'share' function.  The journal works nicely, with plenty of space to write and a saved screenshot of the cards so you can track your readings.  As for the share function, you can send yourself or someone else a pretty screenshot and commentary by email or text, or either tweet it or upload it to Facebook.  Finally, it also gives you the option to save the image to your camera roll, assign it to a contact, copy it, or print the reading out: so, a really full range of possibilities.

In terms of card meanings, these are easy to access by tapping to enlarge a particular card in a reading and then 'turning it over'.  The meanings give keywords, and positive and negative interpretations, all taken from Pepi's own book on the subject (originally published in Spanish).

There are three things I had thought might be there which aren’t: the option to look through all the cards; the ability to draw a GT, and the ability to create your own spread.  Overall, though, it is a handy, fun and very user-friendly app.  There is a free version, which doesn’t give the journal option or all of the spreads, and then the full version, which costs £0.69 - definitely a good deal!

Monday, 7 July 2014

Weekly Reading with the Whimsy Lenormand App

This week, I'll be drawing from the Whimsy Lenormand App, by Pepi Valderrama.  It's a cute, whimsical deck, as the name suggests.

And this week's nine square has at the corners: Bear, Book, Clover, Lady.  A project manager brings luck to the querent/secret eating reduces intuition/a mother's secret brings an opportunity. 

At the centre: Dog - loyalty, friendship, dogged approach.
Action cross: Cross, Ring, Dog, Flower, Ship.  Loyally commit to dealing ethically on your creative journey/burdens require a creative commitment to a business venture.

What burdens are you carrying this week?  How might committing to something creative help you move forward?