Monday, 30 April 2012

Incidental Banner

Today's card from Holly DeFount's Incidental Tarot (2012) is another Minor, this time from the suit of Arrows (Wands).  I found this attribution a little confusing at first, as I have a couple of other decks (such as the Wildwood Tarot) where the suit of Arrows is Swords.  Still, I can see the sense in Holly's attribution, too, as Arrows are all about acting outside of yourself, and being focused and directed.

So, here we see eight arrows point up, with a ninth crossing in front of them, and with a white flag/ribbon/bandage/banner wrapping around it.  It's not hard to see traditional RWS interpretations of defensiveness and needing to carry on despite previous hardships.  However, once again, very different interpretations are also possible.  For example, the polar opposite of the RWS, saying instead that we are waving the white flag to gain freedom from a limiting situation.

Today, which will it be - push ahead or take a time out?  Man the barricades or make a break for freedom?  Both options may honour what has gone before, so the real question is: what do you want for the future?

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Incidental Parchment

The pips of the Incidental Tarot (Holly DeFount, 2012) are semi-illustrated: there are no people on them, but the suit elements are not identical and are in different environments rather than on a plain background.

This can be seen with today's card, the Eight of Quills (Swords).  Eight dark quills criss-cross over a piece of parchment, which has a wax seal in its centre.  It looks as though the seal, which identifies the person writing a letter, is trapped by the quills, and nothing can be written through their overlapping feathered shafts.  The traditional RWS meaning of being trapped by your own thoughts can certainly be interpreted from this.  The typical "analysis paralysis" is also suggested - too many ideas to actually get anything written.  However, there is also a beautiful, varied yet symmetrical aspect to the quills, and I could imagine interpreting this as using focus and structure to make dark thoughts into something beautiful and productive.

Are there ways in which you limit yourself with your own beliefs?  Today, could you write a list of ten things you "never do", and then challenge yourself to do one of them, at least once?

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Incidental Alchemist

As I've already mentioned, this week I will be drawing from the Incidental Tarot, by Holly DeFount (2012).

For this first draw, I pulled the Alchemist.  This would be the Knight of Swords in traditional RWS terms, but I love the fact that, for all the Pages/Princesses and Princes/Knights, Holly has replaced their hierarchical titles with more action-based titles, such as the Muse (Princess of Cups), the Oracle (Princess of Swords), the Bard (Knight of Cups), and the Builder (Knight of Pentacles).

What we have here is a young man, keenly studying a beaker.  It seems as though a white bird is inside a red liquid, flying upward as though seeking to release itself.  He is also holding a quill (the suit of Swords is renamed Quills in this deck) and writing on a parchment.  So, an early scientist, probing the nature of the universe, and perhaps of the human soul.  There is also a sun in the corner above his head, suggesting his masculine energy and drive, as he clearly works through the night, as seen out the window behind him. 


I get the sense of someone who is intellectually curious, rigorous, and determined - nothing will stop him in his search.  In the negative, this kind of single-mindedness can be quite assertive, if not aggressive.

What might you research today?  How might piercing intellect and determination help or hinder your plans?  Are you looking for a way to purify your soul?

Friday, 27 April 2012

ARC - Gemini

For this last draw with the Astrology Reading Cards (Findhorn Press, 2012), I meet my own Zodiac sign - Gemini :)

All the Astrology Reading Cards are pretty upbeat, and I see that here, too.  Though you'll also get no argument from me regarding Gemini characteristics, I hope I manage all of those things at least some of the time.  I also like the fact that the image shows a library, but which has a real buzz to it, with streaming data and a crystal - all things I love.

In terms of the day, it seems to suggest it's a good time to get out and mingle with others, to share ideas.  This would be a great energy for work: clear communication, working well with others, lively and stimulating, it suggests enjoyable productivity.  And whether it be a trip to the pub of a Friday night, or something more formal, it's a good day to party!

How can you make the most of this chatty energy today?  Will you use it on-line, spreading new ideas or simply catching up with friends?  What social plans do you have, if any?  And what of that mischievious side?

Thursday, 26 April 2012

ARC - 6th House

I just love this card!  Today's draw from the Astrology Reading Cards (Findhorn Press, 2012) brings us the Sixth House.

Showing a woman practising yoga in the foreground, with another woman digging her garden in the background, the colours are a warm brown highlighted by gold.  This card speaks of work, health and duty, and certainly I can see the commonality between them.  Good health takes discipline, in our day and age, and many see it as being hard work.

Yet I also see joy, both in work and in health.  Even duty offers opportunities for joy, if we realise that all our duties are ones which we choose.  That may not always be easy to see, we say "I have to do this to earn a living" or "My family insist I do that".  Honestly, though, we always have choices.  We could change our career, or trust in the universe to provide for us, go off travelling, or simply disappear from where our family is.  There are many things that stop us doing so, but accepting that these really are choices can help us embrace our duties, even when they are onerous.

What tasks face you today?  How can you enjoy your work more?  What can you do to be healthier today?  How can you find the joy in each thing you must do?

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

ARC Saturn

Another planet hoves into view with today's draw from the Astrology Reading Cards (Findhorn Press, 2012).

In the foreground, a man builds a wall one brick at a time.  In the background, we see the potential fruits of this labour: a fortress castle.  The card  says: "The part of you that accepts challenge to gain wisdom."

Saturn's energy is all about boundaries and restrictions, but it's true we can learn a lot from these.  An easy  life does not make for a rich and fulfilling life.  I have mentioned before a book called "Finding Flow" and one of the things the author says is that for a good life we need challenges that stretch us without overwhelming us.  I see that here. 

Taking the wall one brick at a time, we can celebrate our successes and enjoy the process.  Just thinking about the enormity of the task ahead - a whole fortress to build - might drain us of the will to ever begin.  Restricting our view to what we can do now allows us to accomplish more than a completely open field might, as writers may well acknowledge when faced with a blank page.

What challenges do you face today?  How can you make the most of them to work towards your highest good?

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

ARC Uranus

Once again, the Astrology Reading Cards (Findhorn Press, 2012) show themselves to be uplifting even in trying circumstances.

This deck certainly seems to try to stay empowering and uplifting in all its messages.  Today's image reminds me of the Tower in tarot, yet the lightning here does not destroy, but illuminate.  It feels like it is kept in check or channelled by the bubble that surrounds it, allowing its crackling energy to break apart the molecules in its path without causing damage.  The card states that this represents: "Your potential for sudden change, enlightenment and awakening."

How do you feel about change?  What might help you embrace it and welcome its potential for awakening something new?  What can you do to channel any energy for change in your life?

Monday, 23 April 2012

ARC Pisces

The Astrology Reading Cards (Findhorn Press, 2012) have offered us up a House, a Planet, and now a Zodiac sign.

In the top right corner we have the constellation associated with Pisces, while the image itself, in aqua-green tones, shows two fish amongst waving seaweed, and circular patterns perhaps formed in sand.  The accompanying statement is: "This energy is wistful, endlessly loving, compassionate and forgiving. It confuses and softens resolve."

I think without the text I would be a bit lost with this card.  I see confusion, and patterns that may be unstable, but also someone who can help guide our way.  I really like the colours, and the bright fish near the centre does give the card an overall quite positive feel.

Thinking about traditional symbolism, the fish can represent the soul, and the waters of the deep represent our unconscious.  The soul must swim through these confusing and sometimes treacherous waters, yet despite the dangers, this is its home.  This says to me that accepting our emotions, acknowledging them even if we can't name or explain them, is easier when we stay at a soul level.

Who or what guides you?  How can you be more loving to yourself and those around you?  What or whom do you need to forgive today?

Sunday, 22 April 2012

ARC Neptune

Today's image from the Astrological Reading Cards (Findhorn Press, 2012) is rather magical.

I really like the underwater feel of this card, with a mermaid, a sea-unicorn and dolphins.  The castle off in the distance seems as though on the cliffs above the water.  There is a feeling of movement and light, of being drawn upwards, to illumination.

For me, Neptune is associated with the sea, with deep and powerful emotions and forces.  Here, though, a rather brighter aspect is highlighted.  The card speaks of fantasies, yearnings, longings and potential for illusion.  It seems in some ways to combine the Seven of Cups and the Moon from tarot, and yet still with an overall positive feel. 

What do you yearn for?  Could your heart's desire be just an illusion?  How could you gain more insight into what you long for?  What can you do today to move a step closer to your fantasy?

Saturday, 21 April 2012

ARC 3rd House

This week I will be drawing from the Astrology Reading Cards by Alison Chester-Lambert (Findhorn Press, 2012).  The deck is intended to be used split into three groups, Houses, Planets and Signs, as I did in yesterday's reading.  Still, as a learning exercise for someone who isn't up on their astrology, and who is still getting to know these cards, I think I will benefit from drawing a daily card.  I also believe these cards will work just fine that way, too.  We'll see if I'm right ;)

Today's card is the Third House, representing our potential for learning and our neighbourhood.  What strikes me is that the image shows a plethora of books.  Now, I adore books, both paper and electronic, but I am also very aware of the limitations of book learning.  In particular, physical practices like tieing your shoelaces, knitting, yoga, or any sport, can be rather hard to describe in words, or even with images.  They are three-dimensional, moving things, not easily chained to two static dimensions.  When I add to this the second key word, neighbourhood, what comes to mind for me is online and the potential for both learning and community which they represent.

What can you learn today, and how can you best learn it?  Who forms your neighbourhood, both physical and communal?  What resources can you draw on today for learning and a sense of community?

Friday, 20 April 2012

Ferret Family

We end this week of draws from the Ferret Tarot (Elaine Moertl, 2003) with a Happily Ever After :)

Here, in the Ten of Cups, we see a ferret family, suggesting Mommy, Daddy and Little 'Un.  The parents gaze at one another lovingly, coming in for a family hug, with Junior reaching for Mum from Dad's arms.  There is no suggestion here of trouble in paradise, but in my usual slightly cynical manner, I wonder whether ferrets have multiple litters?  Certainly, the Emperor card earlier in the week suggested they do?  And if they do, what has happened to the rest of the litter?  While we may see the sunny side of life, family always has its trials and tribulations, too.

As you head towards another weekend, will you spend time with family?  What does family mean to you?  Where, and with whom, do you feel happiest?  Can you make some room for your own version of happiness today?

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Ferret Devil

Once again, Elaine Moertl manages to express so much in a simple, black-and-white ink drawing!  Here we have her Devil card, from the Ferret Tarot (2003).

A bat-winged, scrawny black-tailed ferret fights an angel-winged, bushy white-tailed ferret over the head of a ferret who looks on and laughs.  Like cartoon angels and devils telling us what is right and wrong, and shaking their heads in disappointment if we don't follow their advice, this ferret seems to have a decision to make.  We can only guess what choice or temptation is being faced, but there are almost always several sides to any question.

There are sometimes good reasons to follow the guidance of our shadow side.  All work and no play, as the saying goes.  Being overly rigid, disciplined and righteous is not only annoying to others, but can also suck the joy and life from us.  However, always giving in to temptation doesn't lead to a happy life, either, as there are always consequences to our actions.

Today, I'm in business meetings all day.  One of the urges I may have to resist is giving in to boredom.  Arguments that go around and around in circles, between people who've been having a variant of the same argument for the last five years or more.  Fun - not!  I guess I also see the the fact that I will be alone tonight, and may need to channel my energy where I want it, with the temptation to just eat something comforting.

What temptations do you face today?  Can you consciously choose whether you want to give in to any of them? 

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Ferret Fun

Don't you just love the expression on this guy's face!  Meet the Knight of Wands, from Elaine Moertl's Ferret Tarot (2003).

He brandishes his wand with a look of delight on his face, though I'm not convinced he knows quite what to do with it.  I love the little spirals in his soft belly fur, and the way he seems to sway to the side, as though dancing. I imagine him taking part in a hoe down, sliding to the left, delighted to be moving, part of a crowd, partying.  I can just hear him saying: "Wow, this is fun!".

When the music ends, though, he may quickly forget the dance steps, or his partner for the evening.  After all, as Air of Fire he burns both hot and fast.  So, use that energy to your advantage while you can!

Could you do with a shot of energy today?  What do you feel enthused about?  How can you bring more movement and life to your day?

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Ferret Safety

A somewhat strange card today from the Ferret Tarot (Elaine Moertl, 2003).

While this Two of Wands certainly gives the sense of looking out at the world, I find it a little confusing to have three ferrets and no wands in the image.  Still, I like the fact that two of the ferrets are looking out from the safety of a box, looking fairly relaxed, while the ferret on the outside looks somewhat more trepidatious.

This speaks to me of the fact that it is easier to plan something from a position that feels safe.  However, it does raise the question of how realistic our feelings of safety, and our plans, may be.

What plans do you need to work on today?  Do you have enough support to feel secure in looking to the future?  How can you feel a bit more safe where you are, both physically and emotionally?

Monday, 16 April 2012

Ferret Emperor

Not a very authoritarian or imposing Emperor this, from the Ferret Tarot (Elaine Moertl, 2003).

With four crying kiddies, he's certainly got his arms full.  Will his rules and boundaries be enough to calm the storm?  How can he impose order on the chaos children bring?  So far, he doesn't seem very confident in his ability to cope.

To me, this card says something about the fact that just telling people what they should do or feel doesn't always (often?) work.  Clear boundaries need to be lived, and maintained.

How do you deal with chaos in your life?  Could you do with some more support to deal with a particular situation?  What structures or boundaries would make things easier for you today?

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Ferret Enjoyment

Today, the Ferret Tarot (Elaine Moertl, 2003) entreats us to drink deep of life.

In this version of the Nine of Cups I certainly see the idea of wish fulfillment, and perhaps of feeling rather pleased with yourself.  Life is offering emotional satisfaction, and this ferret is making the most of it.  Grabbing the huge cup with both paws, he glugs down its contents, greedy for all that life can offer.  However, this kind of indulgence has its dangers.  While it's certainly good to enjoy and make the most of what we are offered, too much of a good thing is still too much.

Today, can you allow yourself to really enjoy any pleasures that come your way?  Or would you benefit from moderating your lust for life?  If you indulge, will you end up feeling satisfied, or repentant?

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Ferret Winner

What a great card to start this week of draws with Elaine Moertl's character-full Ferret Tarot (Elaine Moertl, 2003)!

I love this cheeky chap, representing so well the smug, I'm-the-King-of-the-castle side of the Five of Swords.  No gracious winner this, he grabs his spoils and blows the losers a raspberry just to add insult to injury. 

So, who are you today: the raspberry blower, or the person with egg on their face?  How does it feel to be in that position?  Can you imagine how the other side of the equation feels?  How can you find the joy in where you are right now?

Friday, 13 April 2012

Silenus Queen

A rather unusual Queen of Swords greets us from the Silenus Tarot (Mike Indovina, 2009).

In the image, all we see is a woman brandishing a sword, chasing after a man who is dropping golden apples.  The story goes that Atalanta's father wanted a son, and when his daughter was born he left her out on a hilltop.  Suckled by a bear, Atalanta grew up to be a fearsome warrior.  She  was also famed for her beauty, but swore herself to be a virgin of Artemis.  After reconciling with her father, he wanted her to marry, but she said she would only wed a man who could beat her in a foot race.  Prospective suitors who failed were put to death!

Finally, Hippomenes asked Aphrodite for her help to win Atalanta, and the Goddess gave him three magical golden apples. With these, he was able to distract Atalanta and win the race.  How things went after that depends on the version of the myth you read.  Some say Atalanta loved her husband deeply, following him into battle with the Argonauts.  Others say that she was warned not to give up her oath of virginity, and so could never consummate her love.  Finally, another version says the young lovers had steamy sex in Aphrodite's temple and the Goddess was unimpressed, turning them into lions, who were believed to only mate with leopards, not each other, and so condemning them to be separated forever.

How does all of this mesh with the Queen of Swords archetype?  Well, I certainly see her as a headstrong woman who has been through a lot emotionally, but is able to find a balance between rationality and feeling, privileging the former without ignoring the latter.  Mike gives the keyword for this Queen as "perception", and I guess I can see her being perceptive, but also raising the question of from which standpoint we base our perceptions.  Certainly, having been abandoned at a young age by her father, Atalanta would have had plenty of painful emotional experiences from which to develop her brand of tough love and decisiveness, so typical of the Queen of Swords.

Is there a situation today that calls for a blend of empathy and rationality?  Do you need to keep your eye clearly on your goal?  How can you be more decisive today?  What other perspective might help you see things clearly?

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Silenus Gold

The Silenus Tarot (Mike Indovina, 2009) doesn't pull its punches with this card.

At first glance, the image is very reminiscent of the RWS Nine of Cups. A well-fed man sits in front of a table draped in a blue cloth, with ( in this case, and rather annoyingly) seven golden cups on it.  Here, there are also some golden apples and grapes, which become clearer later. 

Some see this as the wish card, but right from the first course I took my teacher asked, what might be hiding under the table?  And a few decks, such as the Maat, or the Ancestral Path (which was my second deck ever), more clearly suggest that we take care with what we wish for.

Here, then, the myth Mike associates with the card is that of King Midas, who wishes for wealth. He is granted his wish, and all he touches turns to gold, which is small comfort when he finds he can no longer eat (gold grapes, anyone?) and he accidentally kills his own daughter!

What does your heart desire? And your head?  What of your body?  How can you find a happy medium between all of these?

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Silenus Labyrinth

Today's card from the Silenus Tarot (Mike Indovina, 2009) is a rather hopeful version of the Devil.

Here we see Theseus about to enter the Minotaur's labyrinth.  The people of Athens had been condemned to send seven youths and maidens to Crete every seven years (or nine, depending on the author).  Theseus, a prince of Athens, stepped in, vowing to kill the Minotaur and rescue the young people who had gone before him.

In the foreground we see Theseus and Ariadne, daughter of King Minos, who had fallen in love with the foreign prince.  She helps him ready for his task with a reel of thread to guide him back out of the labyrinth.  The Minotaur looms on a pillar above them, echoing the traditional position of the Devil.  The Minotaur  is the punishment for the Athenian's hubris.  Theseus, by slaying the Minotaur, releases the burden on his people, perhaps allowing them to own their collective Shadow.  Also, the presence of Ariadne speaks of a kind person, or our own softer side, helping us to overcome our challenges.

All in all, then, I see this card as offering all the interpretations traditionally associated with the Devil.  However, it also explicitly adds the notion that we are freed from addiction, doubt and other shadow aspects when we own and accept them, when we are willing to brave their shadowlands.  This may be helped by a gentle influence, be it internal or someone in our lives, and by being grounded, so we can find our way back to ourselves.

What challenges do you face today?  Is there a helping hand you could reach out to?  What would be strong enough to pull you back from self-destructive behaviour?  How can you centre yourself to brave a difficult task?

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Silenus Rocks

As I've mentioned before, I find some of the Silenus Tarot (Mike Indovina, 2009) Court Cards a little tricky to understand.  That isn't the case with today's card, though :)


Here we have Jason on his ship the Argo, sailing through the clashing rocks.  These rocks were said to smash together, breaking any ship that tried to pass between them.  However, Jason had been warned by Phineus of the danger, and how to get around it.  Jason released a dove through the rocks, which clashed together just catching the dove's tail feather.  Then the Argonauts raced through the gap as fast as they could, while the rocks were still resetting, getting through with just a slightly splintered stern ornament.  After this, the rocks stopped clashing forever (perhaps they represent the Knight of Wands Rx - getting pouty because they were foiled). 

This bit of mythology expresses perfectly my appreciation of the Knight of Wands as someone who is daring and courageous, perhaps a little foolhardy, but with a fair bit of charisma to encourage others to follow his lead.  He may not have the staying power of the King of Wands, but he's still quite a force to be reckoned with!  He can move quickly and decisively, and also is a people person, earning other people's liking and help.

How can you be more sociable today?  Is there a situation that requires fast, decisive action?  What could you achieve today if you were willing to take a risk? 

Monday, 9 April 2012

Silenus Burdens

The Silenus Tarot (Mike Indovina, 2009) today offers us a commentary on back-breaking work and responsibility. 

In this mythologically-themed deck, the Ten of Wands shows Sisyphus pushing a boulder up hill.  Having acted in an avaricious, deceitful and murderous way, annoying several different Greek deities, he was condemned to forever push a rock up a slope only to have it roll back down, requiring him to begin again.  So, this adds elements of thanklessness and compulsion to the hard task taken on in this card.  Sisyphus would gladly put down his burden: he did not take it on by saying yes to too many projects or being enthusiastic about too many things - ideas often associated with the Ten of Wands.  In that respect, this card might be seen as more to do with the unending grind of work we "have" to do, rather than choosing.

A song comes to mind for me with this card today: Pink's Dear Mr President

What burdens do you shoulder today?  How could you enjoy your tasks more, make a game of them rather than doing them on sufferance?  In taking on responsibility, are you denying someone else their independence?  Can you honour other people's sacrifices, even in the face of your own?

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Silenus Music

I find some of the Court Cards in the Silenus Tarot (Mike Indovina, 2009) a little challenging, which is not a bad thing.  It makes me stop and think about my own preconceptions concerning these people cards.

Here we have the Page of Pentacles, who represents Marsyas, a satyr who challenged the god Apollo to a music contest.  As such, Mike's keywords for the card are study and development.  In that, I certainly see what I would consider traditional attributes of this Page.  However, music is something that I would more normally attribute either to Swords (element of Air, which transmits sounds, as well as to do with communication) or Cups (for the emotional impact of music).  Still, the competitive aspect, and the studying, do chime with my feelings towards the Page of Pentacles. 

I guess I tend to see this Page as very much about the physical - it has come up for me with reference to my yoga practice time and again.  Playing an instrument feels far less grounded, to me.  Ah, preconceptions.

As a satyr, Marsyas is certainly quite earthy, with a strong physicality.  And in the competition with Apollo, the sun god, he is clearly the earth-bound aspect of the duo.  I like the mountain peaks in the background, a reminder that studying anything, no matter how material, is a path to higher truths.  I am reminded of Rachel Pollack talking about spirituality needing to be grounded, and so seeing Pentacles as also being connected to spirit, despite their earth element association.  I guess I see all of that here.


What do you need to put some time and effort into learning today?  Could entering into a competitive state of mind (even if you just compete with yourself) help you get something done?  Is there something physical you could do that would connect you with your more spiritual side?

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Silenus Hope

This week we get to explore the Silenus Tarot (Mike Indovina, 2009) - an interesting, mythologically-themed, self-published deck - a little more intimately :)

For this first draw, the Star comes out to shine.  In this deck, the Star showcases the myth of Prometheus, who brought fire down to humans from the Gods.  As such, he represents hope in the darkness, a guide to lead the way to better things and times, as well as sharing and generosity.

It's interesting that here we have a larger-than-life masculine presence to represent this generally feminine archetype.  Challenging traditional patterns, both in the cards and in our assumptions, is one of the benefits of using a variety of decks.  What difference does it make that hope here is represented as male, active, forceful and wily?  Does this say something about hope more traditionally being seen as female, subtle, gentle and encouraging?  What kind of hope would feel more helpful to you today?

What do you hope for?  Do you need someone or something to help guide you on your path?  What can you do today to bring greater light to your life?

Friday, 6 April 2012

Steampunk Fears

The Steampunk Tarot. Text by Barbara Moore,
artwork by Aly Fell. © 2012, Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. 2143 Wooddale
Drive. Woodbury, MN 55125. All rights reserved. Used by permission of the
publisher.
For this last day with the Steampunk Tarot (Llewellyn, 2012) by Barbara Moore and Aly Fell, the Eight of Swords pays us a visit.

I find this version of the card rather more menacing than many, a notion confirmed by Barbara's edge-of-your-seat description of this woman's fear (beautifully written, this book really is a gem).  The Eight Swords are all attached to the throne-like chair she sits in.  So, presumably, if she just stood up she would be free.  However, because the swords are attached to a clockwork mechanism, I wonder if they move, if they are already about to slice her up?  Also, the way that they are all at different angles makes it so if she leans just a little one way or another she may be cut.

There's something about this image of swords attached to clockwork which acts as a strong reminder that the suit of swords is often associated with the mind, with thoughts and doubts.  Barbara Moore also associates it with systems and communication.  In any case, it brings to mind the expression "I could see the wheels turning in her mind."  So, our own churning mind brings these thoughts and doubts within cutting distance, slicing up our self esteem, making us fearful.

I notice that her dress is orange - as well as, of course, fabulous, as the genre demands ;)  While I suspect that Barbara has notions of the meaning of different colours, she doesn't specify this in the book, so I will go with my own.  For me, orange represents the second chakra, the svadhisthana, associated with sexuality, and with our role in society.  So, these fears which plague her may be to do with how others perceive and respond to her, about her place in the world.  She also wears a white blouse, suggesting a pure heart.

All this leads me to a sense of being paralysed by worries about what others will think of you, while trying to do your best.

What assumptions do you labour under?  What are you afraid of?  How do you feel others see you?  What can you do today to feel more at ease with yourself?

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Steampunk Tweaking

The Steampunk Tarot. Text by Barbara Moore,
artwork by Aly Fell. © 2012, Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. 2143 Wooddale
Drive. Woodbury, MN 55125. All rights reserved. Used by permission of the
publisher.
The Steampunk Tarot (Llewellyn, 2012) today offers us the Three of Wands.

I think this is a great version of this card!  No merely decorative wands these, the man is actually using them to form a tripod for his telescope.  They also hold beacons to signal to the ships in the distance.  Add to that the fact they represent the three pillars of his credo "clarity of vision, strength of will, and unshakeable determination" and you really have a winning combo, symbolically speaking


For me, this card is all about setting things in motion, watching the results, and then tweaking what you're doing.  Or as Barbara puts it: "This is not simply waiting for dreams to come true.  This is active waiting, with active being the key word."

So, what are you waiting for?  How can you move things along in whatever projects you currently have on the go?  What do you need to assess in order to make the best use of your time and energy?  How can you signal your intent to others in your life, or perhaps to the Universe?

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Steampunk Angel

The Steampunk Tarot. Text by Barbara Moore,
artwork by Aly Fell. © 2012, Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. 2143 Wooddale
Drive. Woodbury, MN 55125. All rights reserved. Used by permission of the
publisher.
When I first went through the Steampunk Tarot (Llewellyn, 2012) this card was the only one that I didn't "get".  So, today the deck offers me the chance to remedy this lack of understanding.

In the lower part of the card we see a family, who seem to have been in a private dirigible accident.  Above them, an angel in a pilot's uniform and goggles winds a gramophone.  I can see here a variation on the traditional image of an angel with a horn calling to a family rising up out of caskets.  This angel is rather higher tech, and better dressed.  I love the golden glow of her wings and the way the grey billows of smoke edge towards the purple of wisdom as they approach the angel. 

Fundamentally, for me this card is about being drawn towards a higher state of consciousness, heeding something which has been calling you.  Whereas Death asks us to mourn and let go, and the Tower tells us we have to destroy the old before the new can come, Judgement is about a positive calling towards something new and better.  It can be about finally listening to your heart and changing jobs to something which is more of a vocation than a trade.  Or perhaps deciding to live our dreams. 

Of course, Judgement doesn't always herald such radical alterations.  Still, as Barbara puts it, "When the music beats to the rhythm of your heart and echoes the melody of your soul, you can only ignore it for so long."

Today, what message do you need to heed?  Can you listen to the angelic call of your soul?  What can you do to move towards your spiritual purpose? 

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Steampunk Choices

The Steampunk Tarot. Text by Barbara Moore,
artwork by Aly Fell. © 2012, Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. 2143 Wooddale
Drive. Woodbury, MN 55125. All rights reserved. Used by permission of the
publisher.
Another gorgeous card from the Steampunk Tarot (Llewellyn, 2012)!

There is so much energy to this version of the Two of Swords, which is a card I associate with being static, or perhaps being in dynamic tension.  Here, we see a woman standing on one of three clockwork cogs that are mainly immersed in a lake with rocky borders.  She seems to be getting a charge from the cog, rising up through her feet as she stands in pointe.  She holds her two swords out to either side of her, and directly above her head is a full moon.  Her outfit and hair are more 1980's than 1880's :)

This card really speaks to me about feeling your way through a situation, guided less by clarity of vision and more by intuition, and perhaps a bodily sense of energy and balance.  Opposing ideas challenge us to find the path that will work best for us, that will lift us up.  The environment suggests the answer lies in our unconscious and our emotions.  Or perhaps, quite simply, we need to stop acting as though we're treading on eggshells, and just take the plunge.

Barbara Moore describes this as putting an awful lot of energy into not achieving anything, and I guess I can see that, too.  Balancing ballerina-style while holding two swords would be no mean feat!  As she says: "Eventually she will tire, and something will give way.  She will have to take off the blindfold, take stock of her situation, and make a decision."

Do you sometimes feel like the Queen in Alice in Wonderland, who had to run full speed just to stay where she was?  Is there a decision you are avoiding?  What could you do today to lighten your load?   

Monday, 2 April 2012

Steampunk Page

The Steampunk Tarot. Text by Barbara Moore,
artwork by Aly Fell. © 2012, Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. 2143 Wooddale
Drive. Woodbury, MN 55125. All rights reserved. Used by permission of the
publisher.
Another Court Card pays a call today from Barbara Moore's Steampunk Tarot (Llewellyn, 2012).

This time it is the Page of Cups who raises her glass to us as she stands by the seashore.  Above her flies what looks like a jet-powered dirigible.  And as for her clothing, well, I don't know where to start!  Barbara Moore describes her as someone with "a rather alarming wardrobe" :)  Still, I have to say I love the clockwork detail on the hem of her jacket!  Everything else she's wearing though...

The sea behind her is gently rolling in, not powerful waves that would crush us, yet still a force to be reckoned with.  And the fact that there is an extremely fast-moving dirigible above her says something about the speed with which her thoughts and fancy flit from one thing to the next.  Because this Page invests herself emotionally, but the "depth" of her feeling does not equate with commitment.  The cup in her hand holds red wine, speaking of the intoxication she feels from her emotions.

Still, there's something to be said for this Page's willingness to fall in love, be it with a person, a thing, or an idea.  Emotional openness and a joy in experimenting, in trying new things, are good qualities if we want to stay young at heart.

When did you last fall madly in love?  What or who can you open your heart to today?

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Steampunk Queen

The Steampunk Tarot. Text by Barbara Moore,
artwork by Aly Fell. © 2012, Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. 2143 Wooddale
Drive. Woodbury, MN 55125. All rights reserved. Used by permission of the
publisher.
A rather unusual Queen of Swords greets us from Barbara Moore's Steampunk Tarot (Llewellyn, 2012).

At first glance, she seems rather delicate and dependent, accepting a man's hand as she rises from her throne, sword held lightly in her right hand.  Upon her head is another clockwork crown, and her dress is an amazing silver, with white organza sleeves.  She also seems quite young, though I suppose that in Victorian society a woman might be considered an old maid by the age of 25.  I think what shocks me most is the fact that she is being offered a hand by a man, whom she looks at seemingly adoringly.  Neither of those are behaviours I associate with this normally headstrong, independent, sometimes harsh Queen.

However, reading Barbara's text, a different perspective comes to light: "Of course I will accompany you to the private garden.  Don't mind the sword, it is just part of the outfit."  LMFAO!  Now, that's my girl!

Barbara describes her as someone who can come across as cold and aloof, if only because she's been hurt before and learned to protect herself.  Likewise, she won't suffer fools gladly, nor waste time on banalities.  She cuts to the heart of any matter, and will not sugar-coat the truth, but will try to be diplomatic as she knows what it's like to be on the receiving end of harsh words.

What truths do you need to share today?  Where might it benefit you to be underestimated?  In what aspect of your life do you need to bring some clarity of focus and willingness to look beneath the surface?