Tuesday, 31 January 2012

How Can TABI Be A Better Candle?

This is part of the Tarot Blog Hop for Imbolc, proposed by Arwen of Tarot By Arwen.  Welcome to those who have clicked through from Sylvia's Musings of the Quest site!

The title for this post had me a bit flummoxed - what does it mean to be a good candle, and, if we equate the candle's flame to the human spirit, what does it mean for TABI, an organisation, to be a good candle?  I guess it's also about lighting the way, for ourselves and for others...  So, I decided to use the spread I devised on the Inner Whispers blog, to do a reading for TABI.  The deck used is the Watcher Angel Tarot:

Body of the candle - what fuels TABI/gives TABI strength? - Queen of Cups

In this deck, all the cards have a keyword.  I find this is especially interesting in the case of the Court cards.  Here, the keyword is the Seer.  What better energy to fuel an association of tarot readers!

TABI is made strong by its members, so many people with emotional sensitivity and generosity, with an ability and desire to see beyond the everyday. 

I notice the cup in her hands from which steam seems to rise, and above which a star glows.  We are made strong by the hope which arises from emotional sharing and the willingness to look into the well of the unconscious.  One of the things I love about TABI is that people share their readings and interpretations, their support and insights, with generosity of spirit.  This strengthens us all.

Wick of the candle - what lights TABI/inspires TABI? - Seven of Cups

Okay, this is one of the tarot's little jokes - the same card came up in my personal reading in this position!

Let's see: TABI is inspired by the wealth of possibilities out there, though obviously not all of them can become realities.  I notice the white of her dress, and of the mist around the cups.  There is a purity of vision here, as well as a unity - the cups do not each have a little mist, but rather their light joins together and fuses.

We are inspired by each other's visions, and are willing to help try to make these become a reality when possible.  This reminds me of TABI's bursary - £1,000 that is being offered to someone in the tarot community (you don't have to be a TABI member) who has some kind of project that could do with an injection of funds.  If you have a deck, a book, or anything else tarot-related in mind, perhaps TABI will be inspired to help you manifest that vision.

Flame - how can TABI shine its light/how can TABI best serve? - XVI - The Tower

In this deck, the Tower is represented by Mount Hermon.  It is said, in the Book of Enoch around which this deck is based, that the Watcher Angels went to Mount Hermon to swear an oath to descend to earth and walk among humans.  Giving up Heaven for Earth certainly counts as a huge, life-changing event.  However, I notice the aspect of taking an oath, too, which affects everything that follows - a choiceful aspect to this card which is often associated with a bolt from the blue.

Relating this to how TABI can shine its light and serve the tarot community I see two suggestions.  Firstly, like angels choosing to become human, there is a suggestion that TABI needs to stay down-to-earth, compassionate and real.  I connect this with the first card, which talked about how much of TABI's strength comes from its membership, and from sharing openly.  TABI is a volunteer-led organisation, and that is something which neither the membership nor the elected officials should forget - we're all in this together, and I think that's a great example to set for others.

Secondly, there's the aspect of the oath.  This says to me that TABI must make sure to stand by its word.  How can an organisation be valued if it doesn't do so?  I don't think this is an issue - TABI is very transparent these days, with decisions discussed in a roundhouse format that any member can take part in.  However, we shouldn't get complacent, and must remember to live by this: no organisation can be taken seriously if it doesn't live up to its own standards and promises.

I'd be interested to hear what others make of this reading.  It's sometimes a little difficult to "read" for an organisation, as opposed to an individual.  Still, some interesting thoughts came up here, and I hope others enjoyed these musings on what it means to be a better candle.

Please do carry on following the Tarot Blog Hop.  Next stop is Tarot Politico...

*By the way, if you like what you see, check out this link for a video review of the entire deck.

Angelic Artisan

The Watcher Angel Tarot has keywords on all the Minors, and this seems especially relevant and interesting with the Court cards.

Here we have the Knight of Pentacles, a female, as is the Knight of Cups.  Her keyword is "The Artisan".   Compared to traditional associations of the Knight of Pentacles with being hard-working, grounded, but perhaps a bit boring, this emphasises the creative side of this Knight's energy.  The hard work and dedication are still there, but fuelled and directed by creativity.

Where can you direct your creative energy today?   How often do you follow through with projects?  If you could complete just one thing today, what would you choose to focus on?

Monday, 30 January 2012

Angelic Ascension

In the Watcher Angel Tarot (SpiralFire Studio, 2010) all the Majors are associated with the Mythos from the Book of Enoch,.  In today's card we meet with Enoch himself, as he is carried up to heaven to meet with God.

This card is traditionally associated with forward movement, with taking charge of your life, as well as needing to balance different forces within yourself to do so.  The story of Enoch's ascension to heaven seems to run counter to this - being lifted up by an angel.  And yet, there is a reason that he was chosen for this task.  Enoch was ready to witness what he did, to play his given role.  This makes me think of the idea that, when we are ready, what we need will manifest to help us move forward.

What do you need today to help you move forward?  Is it something you can provide for yourself?  If not, can you accept help, even ask for it?  What might happen if you set your intention and then allowed the Universe to respond?

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Angelic Tragedy

Despite its soft-coloured artwork and angelic energy, the Watcher Angel Tarot can still speak to the harder topics in life.  Today's card is a case in point: the Ten of Swords has the keyword "Tragedy".

In the foreground, ten swords plunge into the grassy earth.  Behind them, on a lake or sea, a burning boat drifts away from the shore, a floating funeral pyre.  On a small jut of land, a caped figure stands, windswept and forlorn.

Letting go is never easy, whether it is a person, a pet, an idea or an aspect of ourselves that we must release.  However, turning every ending into a tragedy may not be the most helpful response.  Acknowledging what is ending without turning it into a drama, we can think of all that was, allow it its due time, and then turn our thoughts to pastures new.

Are there situations where you tend to see nothing but the worst?  How else could you see what is happening and your role in it?  Is there some aspect of your self that you need to bid goodbye to?  What would help you to move on?  What do you need to release today?

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Angelic Union

This week I will be drawing from the fascinating Watcher Angel Tarot (self-published: SpiralFire Studio, 2011), which I also did a video review of here.

What a lovely card to start the week!  The Two of Cups, with the keyword "Union", shows a couple with their arms about one another looking up into a sky filled with shooting stars.  They stand at the side of a lake, with young saplings springing up around them.  The man's arm is raised, as though waving to the stars, and the woman holds a golden cup, with another at the man's feet.

Beyond the traditional associations of true love, soul connection, partnership, and seeing eye to eye, there is a sense of wonder and hope to this card.  There is also a suggestion of the spiritual side to union - it makes me think of Starhawk's statement that all acts of love are sacred.

How do you express your love?  And who do you express it to?  How often do you take time to commune with your Higher Self?  What can you do today that would be a sacred expression of love?

Friday, 27 January 2012

Steampunk Teaser

Before leaving Steampunk behind until April, when Barbara Moore's Steampunk Tarot is due to be released, I thought I'd post this picture.  This is a print of the High Priestess that I received from the fabulously generous Barbara at the end of last year.  I think the frame does it justice, though I'm not sure the photo does :/ 

And a quick reminder, if you're a TABI Member, or if you join up between now and March, you can net yourself a copy of this fun tarot deck for more than £5 off the amazon price, and with the companion book signed by Barbara, as well as an additional surprise gift!

Steampunk Family

Charissa Drengsen's Steampunk Tarot offers an image of chaos and yet joy with today's card, the Ten of Cups.

There is something so fun and cheerful about this card, despite the rambunctious bedlam it portrays.  Clowns and showgirls, schoolgirls and teachers, and an eccentric aunt in love with her gramaphone; this card is a reminder that families often have patterns that feel normal to those within them, but feel totally bizarre to an outsider (even if that outsider is a member).

I notice, too, the sign above their heads - Welcome Home.  Home is not just about the place where we live, but about all the people we share our lives with in one way or another.  It reminds me that while our blood family is chosen by birth, we get to choose the family of our heart.

Who is your "family"?  When do you feel like an outsider and when do you feel in your element?  Can you accept others' eccentricities?  Can you allow others to accept your eccentricities?  What can allow you to enjoy the sheer craziness of it all?

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Steampunk Beakers

Today's card from the Steampunk Tarot (Drengsen, 2010) hints at the scientific.

In the foreground, we see a woman's body with her head outside of the frame.  She pours a dark liquid from one silver jug into another.  Her costume is elegant if old-fashioned, yet there is a cartoony tattoo on her arm - a strange mix of old and new.  The background is marked off in grids, and there are scientific objects - a valve-like beaker and other glassware.  I like the association of scientific measuring out of ingredients, which has a very (al)chemical feel to it.  This fits well with my understanding of Temperance, where a carefully thought out balance of different elements or factors is necessary: the right mix to create the desired outcome.

What different ingredients make up your day today?  How do you need to balance them to achieve what you desire?  What might help you show self-restraint as you work towards your goals?  Can you express your individuality through your choice of varied elements, be it in clothes, work or character traits?

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Steampunk Tophat

After yesterday's Queen, today we get the King of Pentacles from the Steampunk Tarot (Drengsen, 2010).

I quite like this cheerful chap's expression.  There is a certain droll challenge in his look, and a jaunty tilt to his tophat.  He holds his golden roulette wheel nonchalantly, yet at the centre of his chest.  The wallpaper behind him is opulent, very colonial.  I do wonder, though, at the fact he is wearing a t-shirt under his jacket.  Perhaps this points to this King enjoying the finer things in life, yet also prioritising his own comfort.

What can you do today to take charge of your material or physical well-being?  How can you prioritise you own comfort?  What is at the heart of your well-being?  How can you make that a bigger part of your life?

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Steampunk Queen

After yesterday, with one of the cards I most like from this deck, today Clarissa Drengsen's Steampunk Tarot ups the ante, offering me a challenge in the form of the Queen of Pentacles.

In my video review I identified this as a card I'm uncertain about.  Someone holds a mini-roulette wheel in front of the woman's eye (the hand that holds those scissor/tong things can't be hers - look at the way the hand is facing!)  Across that eye is a swathe of material with cogs on it, and the Queen has a hand to her chin, pensive.

Does she look at life through a prism of material and financial understandings?  That feels more like the King of Pentacles to me.  How about seeing what lies underneath appearances to how things tick?  That would seem to be the Page of Pentacles' purview.  Is she crafting things together from different bits and pieces to make something worthwhile for herself and her loved ones?  That would represent more of what I traditionally associate with this Queen's entrepreneurial nature.

If there's a crafty project you've been wanting to work on, why not make today the day?  What different things do you use or put together in your life to make things run smoothly?  What would you see if you stepped back and looked at your life from the perspective of assessing not just your finances, but what you have on a physical level: health-wise, home-wise etc.?  How can you make the most of things?

Monday, 23 January 2012

Steampunk Whip

I'm not quite sure why, but I find today's card from the Steampunk Tarot (Charissa Drengsen, 2010) incredibly powerful.  Hmm, perhaps taking a deeper look will show me why...

In this version of the Ace of Swords we see that Charissa associates the suit of Swords with whips.  It's an association that I think works well - whips are still a weapon, and one with which we can beat either ourselves or others.

Here we see a whip held high, ready to be brought down on some unsuspecting person.  It is held aloft by a hand, the only bit of colour in a cold, grey, wintery scene.  In the distance, a man walks under a bridge.  Is he walking towards us or away?  Overhead, a dark branch reaches down, intimating that we are surrounded by trees.  Yet there is clearer air in the distance.  With this whip we can get things moving, and pass into greater clarity.  There is no promise of warmth, but there is the potential for movement and opening up ideas.

What new idea or way of communicating might you be able to get in touch with today?  And where might it lead you?  Can you be open to the new, to hearing something unexpected?  How can you make the most of a truth, whether easy or hard?

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Steampunk Generosity

In this Steampunk Tarot by Charissa Drengsen, Pentacles are represented by what I take to be roulette wheels.  I think it's a great symbolic association!

I also like the decorative effect achieved in this card, where the aspect of give and take is suggested mainly by the scales and the difference in dress between the high class lady and the ragamuffin children.  A lovely touch, too, to have the lady in colour and the kids in sepia tones!

Will the lady give the children some food?  Might they, in turn, steal her rings?  As the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished...  Still, I would rather think that she will feed them and give them a few coins to take back to their family, and they will thank her, bring a smile to her face, and help her out should they ever have the opportunity.

Where has the Wheel of Fortune landed you today, this card makes me wonder? What good deed could you do for someone else?  How easy do you find it to accept help from others?  Can you ask for what you deserve? 

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Steampunk Death

This week I will be drawing from Charissa Drengsen's Steampunk Tarot, which I reviewed earlier in the week and also used for a video reading.  It is a lovely self-published deck which first came out in 2010.  I think the photo collage aspect with old-fashioned images juxtaposed with scientific implements and strange costumes works very well for a genre that calls itself retro-futuristic and which highlights reusing and re-functioning objects of all kinds.

I have to admit, one reason why I got this deck was as a place-holder while I wait for Barbara Moore's fabulous-looking Steampunk Tarot, due out this April.  I am more of a fan of cartoon art than photo collage, and I think Barbara is a fabulous writer and tarotist, so it's high on my wishlist for this year!  For any TABI-ites reading, or anyone considering joining, there's a wonderful offer for those going in on a TABI group pre-order.  Not only do we get more than £5 off the Amazon price (that's already over half of the TABI annual membership fee!), but the companion books will be signed by Barbara, and she's promised a little something extra, too (don't you just love surprises?!)  For those outwith the UK, you'd have to pay whatever postage costs were beyond the UK postage, but it's still a bargain, and a treat!  So, if you're a member head over to the forum and search for Steampunk, and if you're not, think about joining!

Anyhow, back to Charissa Drengsen's Steampunk Tarot, and for this first draw I pulled Death.  One benefit of a self-published deck is that it can be quirkier and less mainstream than if it went through a big publishing house.  That is certainly the case here, as this is a rather racy version of Death.  There is a naked, veiled woman with a skeleton standing over her, his scythe poised between her legs.  I like this, suggesting as it does the link between death, sexuality, and new beginnings...

Sexual pleasure has an aspect of death to it: we let go of our sense of self, if only for a few moments, to become one with another.  This letting go can be quite hard, it feels scary to be so vulnerable, and to lose our everyday control and notions of who we are.  And it can be so messy ;)  Yep, definitely like death.  As for the benefits, though...

What do you need to let go of today?  How can you release yourself from the strictures and structures of your life and your sense of self?  What would you be sad to lose, and what would it be a relief to be shot of?  Does your dignity sometimes get in the way of your pleasure?  Who do you want to be tomorrow?

Friday, 20 January 2012

Visions of Magic

I'm not sure I like today's card from the Oracle of Visions much. 

He reminds me of the tarot Magician, but there's something in his face and clothes that screams mountebank.  Rather than manifesting his ideas, he seems to be just for show, perhaps trying to trick us into something.  Delighting in the impossible, and pretending it's all real, I certainly wouldn't buy a used car from him.  This card reminds me to beware of things that seem too good to be true, or people who are offering something that seems amazing.

Is there something improbable you would like to make into a reality?  Has something wonderful come into your life recently?  How can you be sure it is what it seems?  What can you do to check the reality of a situation that appears beneficial?  Or perhaps something seems impossible, but may in fact be a reality...

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Visions of Love

Today's card from the Oracle of Visions (Ciro Marchetti, 2011) certainly has romance going for it!

A woman in a purple, bustled dress faces left, a wax-sealed letter in one hand and a red rose in the other.  Behind her, a flock of black swans (or geese?) fly.

The juxtaposition of the  letter and rose with the woman's dark clothes and demeanour, and the birds flying off, makes me think of planning or announcing an elopement.  Although there is love and passion involved, there is also sadness at leaving something behind.  Of course, in this day and age not many people feel the need to elope, but the point is more about the things we do for love, and the price we may pay for them.  Another interpretation might be that this is a Dear John (or Jane) letter, which once again would hint at the price of love, and the choices we make.  Or, of course, it could just be telling us to expect or to send a message to someone.

What choices have you made for love - of a person, idea or thing?  What have been the benefits and the losses associated with these choices?  What wisdom will you bring to future choices?  What do you need to communicate with love today?

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Visions of Nature

I think this is one of my favourite cards in Ciro's Oracle of Visions deck!

First and foremost, I love the way a tree is growing up her spine.  I don't really see it as a tattoo, more as a symbol of her connection with the world about her.  Strong roots and reaching branches echo the muscles and veins in her body, and the trunk curves as her spine moves.  This is emphasised in the way she forms a perch for a nest with two eggs, and a beautiful bird. 

It was only on about my fourth viewing that I noticed the horse was actually a unicorn, and it took another glance before I spotted the squirrel in the tree.  I also love the little waterfall - a bit of movement that emphasises the calm stillness of the water beneath it.

For me, this card is all about our connection to nature, our ability to nurture, and the strength and clarity we gain from being in nature.  Like a cross between the Empress and the World, it is Gaia at her most wonderful.

Is there something you can do to bring beauty to your environment?  What do you offer to Mother Gaia?  What is growing that you can protect?  What can you do today to connect with nature?  How can you best nurture yourself? 

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Visions of Communication

Today's image from the Oracle of Visions (Ciro Marchetti, 2011) seems like a cross between steampunk, magic and the performing arts - three influences that all seem quite strong in this deck.

Looking at this image, the song "Reach Out and Touch Somebody's Hand" echoes in my head.  What kind of magical contraption is he holding to connect to his distant love?  These days we have so many means of communication at our disposal.  Do they make our messages clearer?  How close do we really feel to those who are not with us in the flesh?

I notice, too, the juggling sticks he holds, and the stars that decorate his body - an ability to shine at something we do, even if we have to balance different projects or aspects of life.  His muscular acrobats body speaks of years of practice and hard-work to achieve this mastery.

Below the magical communication device are a face mask and a flame - the soul burns brightly, with no need to hide, yet he keeps his options open - we do not always have to show all that we are to everyone.  Communication involves a willingness to be seen and heard, as well as a willingness to see and hear the other - both sides are necessary to truly connect.   

What are you able to express to others?  Can you listen with your whole heart?  How can you communicate with those you care about?  Who can you reach out to today?

Monday, 16 January 2012

Visions of Faeries

Ciro Marchetti's Oracle of Visions if full of wondrous and magical images, and today's card is no exception, offering up a vision of faeries.

Wearing a large, ornate-yet-delicate crown, with a veil, and sitting between two pillars, she has something of the High Priestess to her.  The woman watches as faeries pour forth from the lidded cup she holds open.  A combination of intuition and magic, then, an opening to the Otherworld through introspection and ritual.

How I would interpret this card would definitely depend a lot on who I was reading for.  From a suggestion to open oneself to the magic of the everyday, seeking joy in everything and looking around oneself with eyes of wonder rather than scepticism, to a suggestion of opening to psychic powers and communing with the faeries, this lady offers messages of magic available to whatever degree we allow ourselves to believe in it. 

Seeing the faeries as creatures who could gather information without people being aware of their presence also allows for the interpretation of being open to messages from our unconscious, from our intuition.  A suggestion that, if we pay attention, we will know the answers we seek about those around us.

What degree of magic do you allow in your life?  How could you open yourself to wonder today?  When do you find it easiest to trust your intuition?  What do you want to have answered today?  Can you allow yourself to know that answer?

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Visions of Transformation

I find today's card from Ciro Marchetti's Oracle of Visions a little confusing.

While the person has obvious (though subtle) breasts and long hair, their chin looks like it is stubbled.  The butterflies released from a cage suggest breaking out of old ways of being, and transformation.  Is this meant to be a nod to Orlando

I notice, too, the chess set with just the Red King left on the board, checkmated.  When there is nowhere left to go, perhaps we need to think outside the box?

Finally, there is the little kitten, gazing in wonder at the yellow butterfly flitting above.  There is joy in transformation, as well as necessity.  The person, too, gazes at the butterfly, flying free.  Perhaps they do not feel that same freedom to be themselves, fully and without question.

In what ways do you feel restricted in your life?  Would you like to transform some element of yourself?  How could you make a first step?  If you feel pushed into a corner, is there a back way out?  Can you access joy at the thought of change?

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Visions of Time

Drawing from the Oracle of Visions (Ciro Marchetti, 2011), today we meet Mother Time.

To me, she feels like a cross between the inward-looking intuitive aspects of the High Priestess, and the time and wisdom aspects of the Hermit.  She reminds us to be true to ourselves, to seek spiritual knowledge.  She also reminds us that this often requires us to let go of the past, to let go of received wisdom, and to be in the moment.  She doesn't try to cling to what was, but allows time to flow, knowing that there will be beauty in each moment, magic always at our fingertips.  She may light our way sometimes, but she also tells us that only we can walk it - that each one of us has our own journey in life.  And that ultimately we must trust that we will find the path that suits us best.

One of the messages here is about not letting past failures stop us from acting now.  Just because we have not done something, or not done it to our satisfaction, in the past, has no bearing on what we do now.  We get to choose anew in each moment.

So, what do you choose to do today?  Can you forgive yourself past mistakes and enjoy what is?  How can you find the beauty in what surrounds you?  Do you have a bucket list?  What could you do today that would feel magical?

Friday, 13 January 2012

Universal Wisdom

The Universal Wirth Tarot ends on a run of Majors.

Today's card is the Hermit, though he's rather a temerarious one: I wouldn't want to go rashly poking at a snake with a stick!  He holds his light high, to better see what he's doing.  Interpreting this card as I might a dream, I take the snake to be another aspect of the Hermit.  Thus he tries to illuminate his own capacity for transformation.  Self-study, then, for the purpose of spiritual development and change.

In some instances, self-development is best aided by other people.  However, with the Hermit the suggestion is that we take time out, by ourselves, to look inward as well as possibly studying from books.

What would you most like to learn about today?  Do you have a book or something else that would help you in your studies?  Perhaps you already have all the knowledge you need inside yourself, and just need to take the time to process and examine it?  Can you take some time to be by yourself today?

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Universal Forces

Another Major from the Universal Wirth Tarot graces my screen this morning - my old friend the Tower!

Two men fall from a crumbling Tower.  Both wear Fool's motley, though one bears a crown, while the other has a peasant's hat on.  Yet gravity cares not for status, age or any other GRACES - both plummet to earth just the same.  Nothing can protect us from having our ideas challenged, our lives turned upside down, our sense of self forever altered.

Tower moments come in all shapes and sizes, from looking in the mirror one day and seeing your mother, to a car crash that leaves you wheelchair-bound.  What matters is how we respond to them, the ways we find to deal with them.  I notice, too, the grass into which the figures are falling.  So, perhaps something about how we can soften our landings.

Do you try to deny the challenges that life throws at you, or can you embrace them, finding the silver-lining to every cloud?  Have you found anything that helps you bend rather than break when battered by the storms of life?  What, or who, can you rely on to soften any fall?

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Universal Energy

The Universal Wirth Tarot Majors, with their old-fashioned colours, nevertheless manage to bring some interesting twists to traditional archetypes.

Today's card, the Sun, is a case in point.  Instead of a boy on a horse, or two children dancing, we have a man and a woman clothed only in cloths tied around their waists.  She wears a blue cloth, colour of communication and emotion, while he wears a red cloth, colour of passion and life at its most basic level.  They stand in a circle of flowers, under a bright Sun, with sunny droplets like beads of sweat around them.  Is the Sun dripping its energy down to them, all that brightness brought into a more human, useable form?  The message I see here is about the need for balance in order to best utilize the energy at our disposal.

Do you have several different things that you need to get done today?  How can you prioritise between them?  Can you do a bit of each, or do you need to focus on one?  Would combining action and communication help you get some support in doing them, or achieve your goals better?  How can you be both enthusiastic and clear about what needs doing?

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Universal Fire

It's always nice to get a cross-section of cards from a deck, to assess it, so I'm glad that today the Universal Wirth Tarot offers us a Court card: the Knight of Wands.

This Knight is all armoured up, charging forwards with his sword in hand.  In front and above him is a ram's head, suggesting his connection with Aries.  Below him is an armoured helm at the centre of two crossed wands, with fire running around them.  It seems as though he is charging across a blue, somewhat cloudy sky.

I have to say, this image offers somewhat mixed symbolism.  While the wands, the fire and the ram all point to typical traits of this Knight, the sword and the skyscape are more suggestive of the Knight of Swords.

As with Ciro Marchetti's Legacy of the Divine Tarot, the Knights all have a helmet on their card.  Ciro says he made this choice to represent the fact that Knight energy is often rather brash - putting on a face and a role, rather than really having incorporated the suit's energy the way the more mature Queen and King have.  I rather like this take on the Knight status.

So, what I see here is the energy to be decisive, passionate and enthusiastic, perhaps beyond reason.  Charging into things on a bit of a whim, there is the danger that there won't be much follow-through.  Still, if there's a decision to be made and action to be taken then this Knight is your man, so to speak.

Is there anything you do that blocks you from acting?  If you had the energy to break through indecision, what could you achieve?  Do you have any projects that you want to get going on?  How can you best put to use your enthusiasm?  What could you do today that would use some creative energy?

Monday, 9 January 2012

Universal Network

Another card from the Minor Arcana today shows again the very different perspective which the Universal Wirth Tarot offers us.

In this version of the Three of Wands, we have three wands arranged in a triangle, point up.  In the centre of the triangle is a caduceus, symbol of healing.  Below is the trunk of a bush, from which branches sprout, reaching out in all directions.  Above the triangle we have the head of a dog.

What I see here is a message about the power of friendship or companionship to help us both heal and grow.  Often, people in our society feel they have to be self-sufficient, to be able to take care of themselves physically and emotionally.  In reality, though, we are social creatures who need others for our well-being.  Even when we are alone, we hold conversations in our head with imagined others, or think about how others would see us.  This doesn't mean we are weak, it just acknowledges that we are all part of a web of relationships.  Without that human contact, as children our brains wouldn't develop, and as adults it is hard to stave off depression.  We need others, to be whole mentally and physically.  Denying that is one of the worst side-effects of individualism.

What can you do today to strengthen the web of connections that surrounds you?  Do you take the time to say hello to the people you see in the shops, who you may have dealings with regularly?  How often do you offer your help and support to people you meet?  And how often do you let others help you?  Do you tell people how much you appreciate them?

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Universal Home

The Minor Arcana in the Universal Wirth Tarot are a new addition to the deck which, as with most pre-RWS decks, had unillustrated pips.  They are very unusual - quite simple yet still expressive.

Today's card is a perfect case in point.  This Seven of Wands shows the wands in two formations - a square and a triangle, stability and creativity.  Within the square, animals representative of the four main apostles or the four elements - an eagle (air), a ram (fire), a bull (earth) and a crustacean (water).  The sense I get from this is that we need a solid foundation, a good grounding in our subject, before we can get creative.  The passion and excitement of the Ace of Wands has, in this card, been shored up by hard work so that it is ready to manifest in creative ways.  This is true whether we are talking about a work project, and hobby, or spiritual seeking.

I notice, too, that the overall shape formed is like that of a house drawn by a child - a triangular roof on a square house.  That sense of being able to do something you believe in, based on solid foundations, can also feel like a home-coming, arriving at who you really are.

What do you feel passionate about?  Do you feel at home with yourself?  Have you created a strong foundation for yourself on which you can build?  What do you need to set your creativity free?

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Universal Devil

After last week's bizarre, sci-fi/fantasy/horror deck I decided to go for something more traditional this week.  Though admittedly this is a re-imagining of a historic deck, rather than the real deal: the Universal Wirth Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2008).

And starting the week off with a bang, today's card is the Devil.  Harking back to early depictions, we see a figure with huge horns and breasts, and the suggestion of male sexual appendages covered by the devil-horned mercury symbol worn over a loincloth, and cloven hooves.  On the Devil's arms, the words "solve" and "coagula" (dissolve and coagulate, sometimes translated as separate and join together) with their alchemical implications.  At the Devil's feet, two demons or imps, brightly coloured, one male and one female.

For me, this card is a reminder that many times it is in our search to perfect ourselves that we fall into the worst binds, trapped by our own prejudices which blind us to any other option.  Or it might be to do with our inability to live up to the high standards we set ourelves.  This can lead to a downward cycle, the "well, I've messed up so I may as well give up and mess up even worse" mentality.

Do you have particular behavioural traps you tend to fall into?  Can you be aware of what sends you over the edge, and try to avoid those triggers?  What prejudices do you hold, about yourself or others?  Can you acknowledge that others may have a different point of view without being wrong?  And that you can be ok even if you don't live up to your own ideals all the time?  If you haven't read this beautiful post by Tierney Sadler about impartiality and integrity, I highly recommend it!

Friday, 6 January 2012

Morphing Time

OK, today's image from the Tarot of Metamorphosis is almost Dali-esque in it's surreality...

A snail woman stands at the edge of the sea, her shell decorated with the symbols traditionally found on the RWS Wheel.  The woman holds a huge daisy, and to the side and behind her are a skull and an apple.  Behind her, a ram-headed male statue has trees growing out of his shoulders.  A ship sails in the distance.

This card makes me think of a number of things.  Firstly, the fact of being on the seashore puts her in a liminal place, like the woman in the DruidCraft version of this card.  Secondly, I hear phrases or sayings that may relate to the Wheel archetype, for example: "going at a snail's pace", "the sands of time", "that ship has sailed", "gone but not forgotten", and "hope springs eternal".  I guess it's not the phrases so much as their juxtaposition that hints at the changeability of the Wheel.  Thirdly, there's the comparison of the live female and the dead (or is he?) statue, and then the phrase "this too shall pass" pops into my head.  A very chatty card, somehow...

How do you mark the passage of time?  Do you notice the cycles in your life?  Mary K. Greer suggests plotting the tarot card associated with every year of your life, and seeing if you notice patterns between what happened and the Major associated with that year.  Or you could create a scale with happiness on one axis and the year on the other, and take a look at the ebb and flow of your life.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Transformed by Trust

I’m not quite sure what to make of today’s card from the Tarot of Metamorphosis

In traditional Six of Wands cards we see someone being feted for their success.  The fact that there is generally a group around them is often taken as indicating that team work is needed, and should perhaps be appreciated, rather than just basking in the joy of individual achievement.  I guess there is a touch of that here in the fact of two figures back-to-back - acting as mutual support in the creation of something bigger than either of them alone.  I notice the strange butterfly figure in the water below them, too, speaking of transformation and perhaps of being inspired by larger-than-life figures.

Who has your back and whose back do you have?  Is there someone who inspires you, whose way of being leads you towards transformation?  Have you told those close to you how much you appreciate them today?  What success have you not celebrated, and how could you honour it?

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

World Morphing

Back to sci-fi today with the Tarot of Metamorphosis.
A metallic gargoyle figure looks out over a strange pagoda, while in the sky beyond two moons or planets float low to the horizon, one pink, one turquoise.  Despite the unusual imagery, I still see the message of balance coming through strongly here.  Balancing nature and machine, large and small, masculine and feminine, beauty and horror.  Seeing the winged, taloned figure gazing down from his perch makes me think of the view he would have from up there.  It must be easier to balance different things if you can get an overview of the situation... 

There's also something awe-inspiring about the two moons - their beauty and size, and the idea of something so alien.

What different worlds do you have to balance - work, family, play...?  And how do you balance these different spheres?  What things help you achieve this, and which things make the juggling act harder?  Can you get an oversight, or an external perspective, on the whole situation somehow?  And can you keep a sense of joy in the beauty of it all?

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Morphing Page

Hmm, maybe there's also a bit of the horror genre in this deck.  Certainly, today's card from the Tarot of Metamorphosis gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Like a weird cross between Mary Poppins and some horror movie (can't think of the name, I don't tend to watch them, but I'm sure there was one like this), this Page of Swords takes flight, dissolving into his constituent wasp parts.  There is certainly a sting in the tail of this Page, and I can imagine his comments being sharp - lots of small, pointed quips that hurt. 

On the up-side, I guess he doesn't see truth as a single thing, being open to numerous perspectives.  Also, he allows his ideas to raise him up, taking flight on a whim and a dream.

Do you sometimes feel like you're coming apart at the seams?  How can you hold yourself together, or would it be good to just let go and remake yourself in a new image?  Can you get a new perspective on things?  What idea intrigues you most today?  Can you let it move you onward and upward?

Monday, 2 January 2012

Cyborg Metamorphosis

Today, the Tarot of Metamorphosis shows its Sci-Fi side...

I don't see much of the apprentice in this card, though I guess the aspect of working hard could be seen in having to follow so many different perspectives at once.  I notice, though, that his "face" is blank - information overload?

This cyborg fellow with his old-fashioned computer monitor head and strange long-limbed body also makes me think of how people are attached to machines.  Watching an episode of the first season of Two and a Half Men two nights ago, Alan and Judith were trying to organise their calendars - PDA's which in this day and age would be half the size with a hundred times the functionality.  We get so used to seeing people everywhere gazing at their smartphones, it seems bizarre to think back to the early '80's when the Filofax was the accessory of the year!

Today, is technology your friend or your foe?  Information overload, or information adventure?  What can you learn today, and how can you best learn it?  And after you've worked and processed, will you turn on the TV or FaceBook, or will you spend some time with another human being, face to face?

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Morphing Into Disguise

Happy 2012 everyone!  On this New Year's Day, the bizarre Tarot of Metamorphosis (Lo Scarabeo, 2005) offers us a rather eery version of the 7 of Swords.

Thinking of traditional notions of trickery or deception, I notice one "person" hidden in the foliage at the centre of the card, and possibly another hidden behind the tree creature.  So, ideas of camouflage, and hiding in plain sight.  There also seems to be an all-seeing eye at the bottom of the card.  Makes me wonder, in a given situation, who sees what...

I also notice that the tree person is sustained by branches that act like veins and arteries, with no obvious bones.  This suggests we think about what sustains us and what holds us up or holds us together.
What do you choose to let others see of you?  And what do you see in those around you? What sustains you - friends, family, pets, chocolate, alcohol, meditation, yoga?  And what might help shore you up, strengthen you from the inside?