Friday, 25 April 2014

Overview of the Goddess Tarot

The Goddess Tarot (U.S. Games, 1998) by Kris Waldherr is in some ways a fairly traditional RWS clone.  However, many of the Majors have been renamed, for example Death becomes Transformation.  And all of them have been attributed to a Goddess, such as Isis for Magic (the Magician), and Inanna for the Star.  Likewise, all the Minors have female characters on them, instead of a mix of men and women.  Almost the only male figures are the Kings and Princes.  In addition, the suits also have "cultures": Staves (Wands) are all shown as red-heads (Celts?); Cups are blondes (Anglo-saxons?); Swords are Egyptian; and Pentacles are Hindu.

Despite these "themes", the deck works well, and is very readable.  I like that there are myths attached to each of the Majors.  For example, I can see why Isis was chosen for the Magician, as she worked magic to bring Osiris back to life (twice) - using the resources she had to hand, and her own focus.

I also like that the Courts are Princess, Prince, Queen and King.  It's a ranking I appreciate, with its gender balance, and the mix of youth and maturity.  Obviously, a Princess doesn't necessarily denote a female in real life when it comes up in a reading - I think we all have aspects of any of these archetypes, no matter our apparent gender.  Still, it brings a better equilibrium to the depictions.  So, in this Princess of Cups, I see a somewhat immature energy, willing to sip from life and explore the emotions around them, yet not ready to plunge deeply into anything, though they may think they are.

The Aces don't  have the traditional RWS hands in the sky offering the suit symbol.  However, they are otherwise quite standard, with nicely illustrated elements, such as the upright wand with lively green leaves seen on the Ace of Wands.  I like that there is also a large sun shining brightly behind it (plenty of energy), a soft green field with flowers at its base (a good basis for growth), and hills in the background (challenges, but not overwhelming ones).  The cards have plenty of symbolism to make them easy to read.

As for the pips, although you can't tell from the card I drew (the Six of Cups), these continue the cultural theme of their suits, and certainly the colour schemes used in them.  In addition, all the male figures in the pips are replaced by females, or left out entirely.  So, for example, the Five of Wands shows five women holding wands aloft.  In the Six of Cups this isn't as apparent, given that it has simply removed the human figures entirely.  Still, the traditional house and garden, little stairway, and flower-filled cups are still there, and I think the notion of an idealised past is still available from it.

All the Tens also have the human figures removed, making the Ten of Wands and Ten of Swords rather less "negative" than they tend to be.  Yet, the meanings are still available, in the way of semi-illustrated pips, from the colour schemes and the shapes formed by the ten objects.

Overall, it's a pretty, pleasant deck, with a woman-centric focus, easy to read, and fairly "gentle".

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Shout-Out: Spike Peregrine

My name is Spike Peregrine and I am TABI’s Free Reader Monitor. I was asked to write a blog as a “face of TABI” kind of thing, but I’m not really one to talk about myself and actually asked if I could be excused, (please miss), but I’m here, writing, so you can guess how that went?¿!

Just like my style of Tarot reading, I’ll be succinct and to the point (sort of).

I read the Tarot, I have done for a good few years and I’m told I’m quite good at it, even though I don’t get the chance to read that often.

I drink, smoke (occasionally), and swear (profusely). Political correctness is not my forte, and if the cards contradict what a client is telling me, I’ll always side with my cards. If I feel that you are not getting the point of what the cards are telling you, an F-bomb will be delivered.

I live with my wife and soul mate (both the same person), and our four cats in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, Andalucía, far away from the hullabaloo that is the Costa del Sol.

I taught my wife, Vanessa the basics of Tarot reading*, she then went on to do a course and is now a brilliant Tarot reader with a worldwide client base.

I love hiking, mostly around the hills near to our home, but I did the Camino de Santiago (route Camino Francés) the other year and I’m planning to walk the Pyrenees, west to east, next year.

Conversely, I am a couch potato who watches as many films as I can get my hands on. Sci-Fi and fantasy mostly, although I have watched Titanic over twenty times, and Fiddler on the Roof is just the best!

We try to live as green as we possibly can. We grow a lot of our own food, tomatoes, lettuce, beetroot, chillies, melons etc. We find uses for things that we find, things that the everyday folks leave behind. Reduce, reuse, recycle is the maxim we try to live by.

I try to live a spiritual life, I meditate most days, I am an Usui Reiki master, a novice Shaman journeyer, and I practice magic in the kitchen, (my paella is to die for).

I have never played Dungeons and Dragons. I prefer the Rolling Stones over the Beatles, but Bob Dylan is my hero.

The finca (Spanish farm) where we live is surrounded by orange, mandarin, lemon and avocado trees, with some almond trees further on down the valley. As I sit in the sunshine writing this, I can catch the scent of strawberries, orange blossom and jasmine on the breeze.

The Peregrine of my name is the archaic definition, meaning to come from another country; foreign or outlandish.

I handcraft wands from almond wood, and then consecrate them under a full moon, it’s a real hippy thing to do and it makes me happy.

I applied for the job of FR Monitor to pay my debt of gratitude for the TABI course that I survived in 2012. I was surprised that they allowed an oik like me on the panel though.

My “online presence”** is a bit dusty at the moment, I’ve not been to my website for a while, shame as I was half way through something that when finished, could produce a book. Finding me on Facebook is probably better though (at least more fun), especially if you live in the UK and you want to see photos of strange things, like the sun, and blue sky ;-)

I read with the Rider-Waite-Smith and the Tarot Illuminati, and on occasion the Thoth. On a recommendation I am purchasing the Druidcraft soon. I have just started to venture into the world of Lenormand.

That’s all I can think of to say, can I go now?¿!

I beg your pardon? My favourite colour? Oh good grief, it’s yellow.

*I gave Vanessa Marchetti’s Legacy of the Divine, a notebook and asked her to draw each card and write how it makes her feel and what she thinks the card means. I hid all my Tarot books away so that Vanessa couldn’t peek.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Weekly Reading with the Goddess Tarot

This week I pulled out an old deck, the Goddess Tarot (U.S. Games, 1998) by Kris Waldherr.  Truth to tell, I was trying to catch up on blogging and pulled these cards using the app, which is pretty good.  It doesn't have the open functionality of some apps - you can't create your own readings, just use the set ones provided.  Still, it's reasonably priced, as well as allowing you to journal about your draws...

Body - Eight of Staves (Wands)

Eight Wands fly through the air as though in formation.  Their tips point down, they are descending, approaching their goal.  Always being in a hurry can be deleterious to your health.  What physical reaction do you have to things coming to a head?

Mind - Six of Staves (Wands)

A woman with a creamy golden dress rides a dun horse in a white dressage blanket.  She holds up a wand crowned with a red ribbon and a laurel wreath.  Around her are another five staves.  She looks happy with life, enjoying her success and with more potential around her.  As a card for the mind, this suggests taking time to think about what you have achieved.  How do you celebrate your successes?

Spirit - Nine of Disks (Pentacles)

A beautiful Hindu lady with long black hair and a golden sari, stands in a lovely garden.  Around her are bushes on which large, golden disks are hung.  Behind her are dramatic mountains, and a white dove swoops down to her upraised hand.  There is so much peace and fulfillment here, yet it being the Nine of Pentacles suggest these come only after disciplined work.  Spiritual peace also takes work, often at a very physical level: such as practising yoga or working through the discomfort of seated meditation practices.  What can you do to find some spiritual fulfillment?

Friday, 18 April 2014

Overview of the Tarot de St Croix

Having said on Monday that one of the cards which originally put me off the Tarot de St Croix (self-published, 2013) was the Fool, wouldn't you know it popped out to show its face in this brief overview!  As ever, though, reading the companion booklet makes sense of this stripy Fool, and makes me like the card better than the image alone.  The artist explains that this is based on "the Pueblo Indian sacred clown Koshare."  This Coyote-masked trickster reminds us to be playful and look beyond our fears.  Lisa tells a story of a time when she played the unwitting Fool in a Zuni Indian ceremony, with a reminder to laugh at ourselves.

This is a fair representation of what is found in the description of all the Majors: culturally varied and interesting takes on archetypal ideas, with personal anecdotes and interesting key meanings.  There are plenty of insights, too, into the inspiration behind the cards, from everyday experiences to different artistic masterpieces.

Although I normally see the King of Wands as quite dynamic and charismatic, and generally associate him with a younger figure than that shown here, I like this Magician-like character.  This King is good at getting things done, whether through enthusiasm, his own skills, harnessing those of the people around him, or a combination of these and more.  Lisa de St Croix chose to base this card on a marble "pavement" showing Hermes Trismegistus, who is used for the Magician in a number of other decks.

Moving on to the Aces, the Ace of Cups shows a perfect wave cresting in the background, with a champagne flute spilling over in the foreground.  I love this variation on traditional Ace of Cups imagery.  To me, it speaks of the sometimes overwhelming nature of love, and also of the joy and celebration it encompasses.

Finally, we have a regular Minor, the Seven of Wands.  This card clearly indicates the multi-cultural nature of this deck, which is another aspect that appeals to me about it.  I guess California is as much of a mixing pot as my home city, London.  So, it's good to see different ethnicities and cultures represented.  In this instance, the card shows Brazilian Indians marching to defend their land.  I like Lisa's keyphrase: stand up for what you believe in!   I sometimes see the Seven of Wands as fighting enemies that are more in your mind than truly around you.  That could also be read here, in the sense that challenges to traditional ways of life may or may not be a bad thing, depending on your perspective and the context.  So, the card is open to many interpretations, always a good thing in my eyes.

Altogether, this deck has already become a firm favourite.  It ticks so many of my boxes: beautiful, well-executed artwork; a thoughtful, varied take on traditional meanings; diverse cultural elements; and a well-written companion booklet.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Tarot de St Croix Weekly Reading

I saw this deck a while back, and wasn't sure about it, put off slightly by the orange borders, and the stripiness of the Fool.  Yet, something drew me back to the Tarot de St Croix (self-published, 2013), and I ended up clicking to buy it.  I'm very glad I did, I can see this becoming a regular reading deck!  Anyhow, more about that on Friday.  For the moment, here's this week's reading.

Body - Two of Pentacles

A woman stands on a dark/silver pentacle, and reaches her arms up to a gold/white pentacle above her.  She is naked, back to us, with energy pouring like a cleansing shower from the pentacle above her.  A lemniscate of energy flows through her, and the background is a starry sky.

How can you help your body be more balanced this week?

Mind - Ace of Wands

A wooden wand burns at one end, while little white and pink flowers bloom along its length.  There is both energy and growth here, a card full of potential.

What new project will you put your mind to this week?

Spirit - Six of Wands

Three women stand together, lighting the candles of those who come to them.  In unity is strength and the ability to share that passion, that light, with others.  Looking in the companion booklet, this is Brigid in her triple goddess form, lighting the candle of inspiration in those who come to her.

How can you inspire others this week?