Thursday, 31 May 2012

Archangel Metatron

Archangels grace the Majors of the Angel Tarot Cards (Hay House, 2012), and today we encounter Metatron.

Riding in a red chariot engraved in purple and green, a green and red robed male figure with enormous white wings speeds over a misty cityscape.  His chariot is drawn by two dramatic, prancing horses - one pure white, the other darkest black.  The key phrases match well with traditional interpretations of this card, and what I also get from the image is the idea of going your own way: he flies above the city, rather than following a road laid by someone else.  Something which this deck adds is the name of Metatron, an archangel to call upon if these characteristics are something you want to draw on.  It can be helpful to have a name and an image to attach intentions to, which the Majors of this deck very obviously provide.

What do you want to achieve today, and what do you need to do for it to happen?  How can you help yourself to stick to your plans: prayer, a list, someone to act as a coach?

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Unicorn Sadness

I think the Angel Tarot Cards (Hay House, 2012) are playing with me!  For the third day in a row, I'm faced with an Air/Swords card.  And not just any Air card, either: first the Nine, then the Five, and now the Three.  Nightmares, defeat and heartache!  Certainly, the deck seems to want to explore how "safe and gentle" it is :D

The image on this card seems more cute than sorrowful.  Two white adult unicorns stand together, and a little brown foal leans up against them. Only the defensive watchfulness of the adults, and the shadows that are cast across the group hint that all may not be well.  However, when we read the key phrases, a more forthright picture appears.  Great sadness, the need for time to heal and for forgiveness are all there. 

I suppose this shows that a painful image is far more in-your-face than words: the picture is gentle, and open to a variety of interpretations; while the words are more subtle in their influence, but more direct in their approach, and truer to traditional interpretations.  If you want to face the heartache you can, or else just stay with the image. 

And yet, having read the text I cannot fail to see the defensive postures, the shadows, and the murky brownness of the background.  Gentle, maybe, but the bite is still there.

What emotions do you need to heal today?  How might forgiveness help that healing?  Who can you lean on for support?

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Angel Fight

Another card of the suit of Air today from the Angel Tarot Cards (Hay House, 2012).

This time we have five unicorns, horned heads pointing in towards one another as though they might fight.  I base that on the fact that their heads look too close together to just chat - they're in one another's faces!  Also, the unicorn that looks towards us seems to have flared nostrils, as though angry and breathing hard.  Plus it fits better with both traditional interpretations and with the key phrases - at least "an unwise choice" and "review everyone's motives".  Even these, it must be said, are more upbeat than "feeling defeated" or "a lose-lose situation", which would be other possible phrases for this generally inauspicious card ;)  I like, though, the suggestion to "learn what you can from this situation".  Something that could be said for every card of the tarot, perhaps, but it does suggest the challenging nature of the Five of Air (Swords).

How can you check the wisdom of your choices today?  What might help prevent battles?  Who do you have an issue with, and how might you reframe your understanding of their motives, and your own?

Monday, 28 May 2012

Angel King

Today, the Angel Tarot Cards (Hay House, 2012) show us a Court card - the King of Fire (Wands).

Riding calmly atop a huge dragon with peacock-like feathers, this King exudes strength and confidence.  I also see fire, drive and an eye for beauty here.  However, I'm not sure about some of the key phrases - I associate the King of Swords more with communication.  Then again, it's true that I see the King of Wands as being about vision, charisma and leadership, which are also here.

On the principle that a Court card is related to his or her steed, this card makes me wonder: is the King of Fire a bit of a peacock?  Certainly, charisma doesn't require good looks, but can make us feel attracted to someone even without them.

The only thing I really don't like about this card (in fact, it's a quibble I have with a number of cards) is the fact that this character was also seen on the Two of Fire.  Likewise, "Michael" on the Emperor card, is also on another Major and a Court card - and doesn't even get a change of wardrobe, which at least this guy did!

Today, who will you inspire or be inspired by?  Is there something in your life that requires you to take charge and act with creative vision?  Do you need to bring a bit of focus to something?  What can you do today to move forward with your ambitions?

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Angel Nightmare

In the Angel Tarot Cards (Hay House, 2012) by Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine, the suits are renamed for the elements, and each suit is represented by a particular magical creature.  So, Wands become Fire, and show Dragons; Cups become Water, with Mermaids; Swords become Air, with Unicorns as their creature; and Pentacles become Earth, represented by Fairies.

Today's card, the Nine of Air, is traditionally the Nine of Swords and shows a female figure, head in hands, wakeful through the night, or with nightmares hovering around her.  In this "safe and gentle" deck, we see instead nine unicorns, with the central one wakeful while his/her companions sleep.  I rather like the key phrases given.  Although they don't actually mention the words "nightmare" or "worry", that sense is definitely there.  This is where, although the deck is "safe and gentle", it still expresses traditional meanings well, and doesn't pull its punches - "expecting the worst" followed by "self-fulfilling prophecies" still puts the emphasis firmly on the querent to own their part in the "sleepless nights."

How might your thoughts be making your situation worse?  What can you do to break this cycle?  Does walking outdoors or meditating or knitting help you clarify your thoughts?  What can you do today to plan for the future rather than worry about it?

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Angel Tree

This week I'll be drawing from the rather controversial Doreen Virtue, Radleigh Valentine and Steve A. Roberts Angel Tarot Cards (Hay House, 2012).  This deck is sold as being "100% safe, gentle and trustworthy!", which strikes me as pretty silly - life is never 100% safe and gentle, so why should something which reflects life be?  Nevertheless, I think the deck itself is better than the advertising, so here goes :)

While the text follows traditional RWS interpretations, the imagery is rather different.  A magical tree creature with seven crystal balls containing the image of a beautiful blonde seems to wave his branches.  At the base of the tree, a fairy with gossamer, multi-coloured wings stands, looking towards it.  Is she there to harvest the crystal balls?  Is that her image they contain?  Will she have to wait for the balls to float free of the tree on their own?  While the hardwork aspect isn't apparent, the idea of waiting for a harvest is possibly there.

What seeds have you planted?  How long will you have to wait before they bear fruit?  What can you do in the meantime?  Can you allow nature to soothe your soul?

Friday, 25 May 2012

Manga Hanged Woman

We end this week of draws from the Manga Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2006) with a Major, renamed to match the gender change it illustrates.

Far from traditional imagery, here we have a naked woman doing a handstand on a rock, beneath a waterfall.  The colours are fabulous, but I have to admit the card itself makes me feel rather nervous.  While she looks athletic and calm, I can't help feeling she must surely drown with the water pouring down over her.  Yet, though it splashes down against her feet, the water doesn't seem to touch the rest of her.  Perhaps, as long as she can hold this pose, her own feet are deflecting the water, allowing her to be washed clean and to see the world through the prism of the waterfall, without suffering ill effects from it.  In that, I can see traditional ideas of a change in perspective, and a willing sacrifice made for the potential to learn.

What change in perspective does life offer you today?  How can you prepare yourself for deeper learning?  What do you need to sacrifice in order to grow?

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Manga Priest

In the Manga Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2006), there has been a conscious choice to reverse the genders of the characters on all the cards in comparison to the RWS deck.  So here, on Major II, we meet the Priest instead of the High Priestess.  Nevertheless, I still get a distinctly Hierophant-like feeling from him.

However, there is also a big difference, perhaps a softness to him compared to traditional Hierophants.  Retaining the idea of institutional power and tradition, he seems not so much to wield it himself, but rather to focus on passing along both knowledge and power.  Instead of acolytes below an officiating priest, here a young man bows his knee to receive a crown from an older figure.  There is deference and reverence, but also a transfer of power.  It might also be that the young man is a king, being invested with spiritual authority by the Priest.  Either way, though, there is more of a balance here, not a rigid "I'm the boss of you" approach.

What do you want to learn today?  How could you help someone else in their learning?  What power balance do you need to find or negotiate today?

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Manga Generosity

©Ricardo Minetti & Anna Lazzarini
Today's card from the Manga Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2006) is somewhat non-traditional, adding an interesting new perspective.

Instead of a man dispensing alms to those in need, here we have a well-dressed woman interacting with people dressed in rags, with faces covered.  I get the sense of sleeper community, shunned by others. Yet here is this woman, not only going among them, but even taking off a glove to touch a man, offering the gift of human kindness. 

This card reminds us that generosity and charity come not only in the form of money, but perhaps more especially in what we dedicate our time and energy to.  Also, perhaps, in whether we are willing to see the human in the other, rather than just the neediness.

How can you show generosity today?  Are you able to receive compassion as a gift? 

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Manga Falconer

©Ricardo Minetti & Anna Lazzarini
In today's card from the Manga Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2006), the swapping of genders compared to the Rider-Waite-Smith is very apparent.

A man stands in a forest, with leaves and pentacles blowing all around.  On his left arm is a hooded falcon, and in the other hand a bunch of grapes.  He wears a green robe, loosely belted by a yellow sash, and his black hair blows in the wind.  Other than the fact that he is rather gorgeous, I am struck by the fact that the wind is such a strong factor in this card, which would seem more appropriate to the suit of swords.  While the grapes suggest abundance, the fact that the pentacles are blowing around in a rather dangerous fashion does not speak of calm or prosperity.  Rather, I fear he might be beheaded by one of the flying metal disks!  Still, he seems calm in the face of this danger, perhaps certain of his own quick reflexes, honed by years of training.

This is a card I normally adore - that sense of female independence that has been hard-earned appeals to me on many levels.  Swapping the genders around is, at first glance, disappointing.  Yet, looking deeper at the card, it brings up questions of how men may also feel the need for that supportive sense of their own worth - something it can be easy to forget as a woman in what sometimes seems a very male-centric world.  A good reminder, then, that anyone can benefit from being reminded of all they have achieved, or empowered to go out and do what they really want to :)

How independent do you feel?  What could you do to feel more empowered?  How often do you follow your bliss?

Monday, 21 May 2012

Manga Angel

©Ricardo Minetti & Anna Lazzarini
Today's card from the Manga Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2006) has a rather different perspective from the traditional.

Here we see a golden-winged, feminine angel with a sword.   She looks intent as she flies from left to right - moving towards the future.  She has a pink body cuirass, protection overlaying her enlightened nature.   There is no sign of humans, rising out of graves or otherwise.  However, we look up at the angel from below, as though we are seeing her flying above us, leading the charge into a new day.  She is not focused on us, on judging us, but on where to go next.  Perhaps she is encouraging us to join her...

What does the voice of your Higher Self say to you today?  Do you act from a place of faith?  Can you listen to the call of your heart?

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Manga Queen of Swords

©Ricardo Minetti & Anna Lazzarini
Another Court card greets us today from the Manga Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2006).

I adore this Queen of Swords!  Just look at those swooshing robes in blending tones of communicative blue, emblazoned with flowers and butterflies :)  I'm not sure what to make of her strange, five-pointed headdress: could it be an Asian version of the Pentagram?  In her hands a broken sword: she does not put absolute truth ahead of human compassion, and wields her discernment with kindness rather than a heavy hand.  She is able to communicate harmoniously, and works towards positive transformation for herself and others.

I guess, ill-dignified I might interpret that broken sword as her not standing by her own truth, or shattering other people's ideas with the harshness of her comments, or not being able to handle the truth.

How can you speak your truth and honour someone else's perspective at the same time?  What can you do today to transform your life, even just on a small scale?

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Manga King of Cups

©Ricardo Minetti & Anna Lazzarini
This week, I will be drawing from the Manga Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2006) by Riccardo Minetti and Anna Lazarini.

This first draw was done totally randomly, but fortuitously it gives us a direct comparison with last week's Magic Manga Tarot (AGM Müller, 200?). Here we meet the King of Cups, and I personally prefer this version.  He doesn't seem like a child, for one thing!  Besides, I like the fact that, with bubbles floating up around him, he seems entirely immersed in his element.  He does not fear emotion, nor sulk and pout about it, instead drinking deep of life.  On the negative side, ill-dignified or reversed, he may have a tendency to drown his sorrows in alcohol or other pursuits designed to mask emotions.

Today, what would help you master your emotions?  What would you like to drink deep of?

Friday, 18 May 2012

Magic Manga Machete

We end this week drawing from the Magic Manga Tarot (AGM Müller, 2008)  with the Six of Swords.

Once again, this card does not obviously speak to traditional meanings of movement to a calmer place, the need to leave old thought patterns behind, or conversely to learn from the past and apply knowledge to a new situation.  Here, a man with a sword held high has his back to us.  We cannot see what foe he faces, where he is going, or where he has been.  All we know is that he feels the need to have his sword ready to hand.  Perhaps he is cutting through a forest of incomprehension, allowing himself to move into a clearer space - that chimes with traditional ideas. On the other hand, he could be startling at shadows, plagued by invisible ghosts.

Is there a situation you would like to leave behind? What might you need to cut through in order to open the way to greater peace?  Can you use your mind to distinguish real threat from worries?

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Magic Manga Swords King

Another King greets us today from the Magic Manga Tarot (AGM Müller, 2008).

This one is more kingly in my eyes, though still youthful in appearance. He wields his sword with a more regal air, crossed over his heart, and looks at us straight on, unflinching . The red of his crown suggests that his thoughts are focused on practical matters, that he is connected to ancestral knowledge. The pink diamonds on his cloak imply a certain inner softness, which may not often be apparent. It is this compassion which he sometimes fights against, wanting to be seen as strong and decisive, hence his coving of his heart with the unsheathed blade of his sword, symbol of his sharp mind.

This King is one I would call on when decisions must be made, strategies planned, and when we cannot give in to our softer emotions, but must maintain a certain detached objectivity.  I often see him as a doctor, scientist, politician or judge.  Equally, though, we can call on these traits if, for example, we need to take a child to the doctor and stay calm and focused as we discuss what is happening and what is needed.

How might staying calm and focused benefit you today?  What decisions need to be made?  With whom do you need to communicate coolly and calmly?

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Magic Manga Cups King

Today we meet one of the Court cards from the Magic Manga Tarot (AGM Müller, 2008).  They are all pretty young things, which doesn't necessarily thrill me.

For example, this King of Cups is rather wimpy looking, in my eyes.  A bit of a foppish dandy, who looks somewhat disgruntled with life.  He doesn't yell "King" to me - he could just as easily be the Page!  He lounges on a seat, cup in hand, looking moodily up at us, with a draped white shirt and cravat, a blue waistcoat, and turquoise trousers.  Really, he's a bit of a drip!

So, perhaps he encapsulates some of the more negative traits of the King of Cups.  Moody, sulky, getting caught up in his emotions and washed away by them, and unable to act because of it.  That does sound more Page of Cups-ish, actually, but I think the King, with his slightly rigid and controlling approach to emotion, can end up in that place, too, in bad conditions.

Today, will you control your emotions or will they control you?  Who might upset your emotional balance, and what can you do to keep on an even keel?

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Magic Manga Romance

For a change of pace after yesterday's Tower, today the Magic Manga Tarot (AGM Müller, 2008) offers us what is often seen as one of the nicest cards in the deck: the Two of Cups.

This version of the card is not, perhaps, quite as sweet and romantic as some.  Instead of a couple facing each other, gazing into one another's eyes, we have a woman looking a little surprised as a man comes up from behind her, peering round her privacy screen as she performs her morning ablutions (yeah, something about the image makes my vocabulary go all old-fashioned).

For me, though, this does capture some of the nervousness of new love, or the start of any new relationship.  We want to be seen well, fear the other catching us in something we find embarassing, yet also want to share with the other, to know them and be known.

Is there anything that leaves you feeling breathless with excitement?  How can you bring something of that emotion into your day?  Who will you say "I love you" to today?

Monday, 14 May 2012

Magic Manga Tower

Ah, the Tower, my old friend.  The Magic Manga Tarot (AGM Müller, 2008) may be a very pretty deck, but that doesn't make it gentle or "safe" ;D

A grey building with stairs spiralling up the outside of it is, at the top, a toga-wearing male figure with flowing curls.  His mouth is open, as though crying out in pain or anger, as lightning strikes him and he shatters and crumbles.  Already his arms have been cleaved from his body, falling away, and a deep crack reverberates down to his very foundations.

With this card a quote (from Dylan Thomas) comes to my mind: "Do not go gente into that good night!"  He seems to fight, to try to flee the lightning.  Yet how can a building flee?  Its very solidity, which before may have felt like a protection, which is his identity, is now what binds him to the spot to suffer the agony of destruction.

When life throws you a curve ball, how do you react?  Can you bend with the winds of change, or do they threaten to snap you?  How can you allow growth into your life today?

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Magic Manga Love Potion

Today, with the Three of Cups,  we see the more non-traditional side of the Magic Manga Tarot (AGM Müller, 2008).

A very buxom maid, with a heart on her hat and a love potion in her hand, bursts out of her lace-trimmed, elegantly draped dress.  She looks provocatively towards us through long eyelashes, past a beauty spot that highlights her large, wide eyes.  I see nothing here of the traditional meanings of (female) friendship or celebration.  Unless it's some kind of Viagra-induced celebration, with her as the welcoming gift!

In that sense, I guess this card could be a reminder that sometimes we need to carve out space in our busy days for love and passion, and that the truest gift we can give is our own time, energy and devotion.

Who and how will you love today?  Can you make time to connect at an intimate level with someone else, or maybe yourself? 

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Magic Manga Chariot

This week I will be drawing from the Magic Manga Tarot (AGM Müller, 2008).  This is a somewhat non-traditional deck.  Although it seems largely RWS inspired, the pips in particular have quite different takes on the cards.  Should be fun!

For this first draw we have the Chariot, which has a rather Victorian feel to it - more of a carriage than a chariot :)  From the coachman to the carriage, from the lanterns that fly along with the carriages breakneck speed to the lamppost dividing the card, all have an old fashioned feel to them. 

As for the horses, black and white, the polarity is strong in this image. They seem almost cut in half by a lamppost or wand, as though they are emerging from a singularity. They try to charge in opposite directions: perhaps they cannot exist together, only by separating from the other as much as possible. Yet the driver holds the reins to both, and appears quite calm, focused on moving directly forward, though the carriage beneath him seems as though it may buckle under the strain.

I get a real sense of harnessing violently opposed forces from this card, yet of doing it with panache.  Personal drive is strong, as is the will to move forward, to achieve. Nothing will stop this figure, for while the energies he harnesses are wild, they are also very strong.

What forces buffet you today?  Towards what goal will you direct them?  What can you do to feel in charge of your destiny today?

Friday, 11 May 2012

Sun & Moon Queen

Another of the Wands Court visits us this Friday from the Sun and Moon Tarot (U.S. Games, 2010).

The Queen of Wands reminds me of Beyonce in tribal dress: sensual, passionate, strong and challenging.  This woman holds a burning wand high, casting light around her, illuminating the dark with her focused flame.  No tame domestic cat by her side; instead it is a cheetah, fastest animal on the planet.  I recently saw two cheetahs in a wildlife park, and they are amazingly sleek and powerful, totally beautiful!  Deadly, too, though that stays well-hidden. 

The Queen of Wands, too, covers her fierce strength with bonhomie: she is sociable and fun, but beware if you cross her as she may turn on you with claws bared.  She lights up the room when she comes in, and has the determination to see things through.  Her focus  is often on others and how she can support them rather than on how she can manage and control them, which would be more the King's domain.  However, she may well want things done her way, even if they are for someone else.  Still, if she takes up a project, her own or someone else's, she will give it her all.

This is a great card for a Friday: the Queen of Wands certainly knows how to party ;)  She will also help see us through the work day: if there are any projects that need finishing up, she offers us the energy to make that last push so we can go into the weekend with a clear conscience.

What do you need to get done today?  Who are you willing to fight for, and do they need your help?  How can you express your sensual nature this weekend?

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Sun & Moon Princess

Despite being a fully illustrated pip deck, the Thoth influences on the Sun and Moon Tarot (U.S. Games, 2010)  are perhaps most apparent in the Court Cards.  The Kings are youthful-looking and ride horses, the Pages are Princesses, and some of Lady Frieda Harris' perspective and symbolism is maintained.

That is certainly the case with today's card, the Princess of Wands.  Standing atop a pillar of flame, and with a stripey tiger wending its way around, the most "Sun and Moon" part of the aesthetic of this card is provided by her striped stockings :)  With great enthusiasm she holds aloft a red, five-petaled flower, or perhaps one of those mini-windmills, which would certainly spin fast in the updraft from the fire.  She is alive with potential, reaching for the stars, fierce and playful.  She could yet fall from her podium, but we have to marvel at her courage in climbing it in the first place.

How could you bring some of this creative, passionate energy into your life today?  What project could do with having a match put to its wick, to start it burning?  What situation asks some bravery of you?

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Sun & Moon Retreat

The Sun and Moon Tarot (U.S. Games, 2010) has a very laid back feel to it today.

A figure rests atop four swords, balancing perfectly calmly like an extreme bed-of-nails yogi.  I love the huge, blue sky, suggesting the vast potential of the mind, and the possibility of deep, all-encompassing calm.  I imagine lying there, feeling as though I was floating in clouds, warmed by the sun, rocked by the breeze, at peace.

I am reminded by this card that taking some calm time, even during the most hectic of days, does not require a full vipasana retreat, or a spa day.  We can achieve this with some calm breaths and a few moments of meditation.  Though, of course, if you can take longer and do something amazingly relaxing, pampering and/or meditative, then all the better.  Most of us live in the world, which goes at a breakneck pace and demands a lot of us.  And so we need these moments to prepare us for the rest of our life.

What can you do today to find a moment of calm?

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Sun & Moon Priestess

Today, the High Priestess from the Sun and Moon Tarot (U.S. Games, 2010) flaunts her stuff.

She is rather more in-your-face and raunchy than most versions of this archetype.  She stands, hip-cocked, between two large pillars, a hand on each, and her feet rising up from foamy waters.  In front of her is a book on a tripod, and in the background are palm trees silhouetted by the light of a crescent moon.  Her dress is elegant, if rather diaphonous - she's showing plenty of leg!  She also wears a crescent moon tiara in her hair.

I have to say, this super-elegant High Priestess seems more Hollywood than deep Mysteries.  Still, I like the way that her hands on the pillars suggest a communing with the wisdom of ages.  Her actually standing in water emphasises her connection with the unconscious.  And the crescent moon and starry sky suggest her connection with the Goddess and the idea of being guided by the divine.

What helps you connect with the wisdom of the ages?  Do you trust your intuition?  What can you do today to feel at one with your deepest emotions?

Monday, 7 May 2012

Sun & Moon Debauch

Today's card from the Sun and Moon Tarot (U.S. Games, 2010) is an interesting one.  At first glance, it seems to owe allegiance to no-one.  Although the title is the same as in Crowley's Thoth, visually the image is extremely different from the slime-dripping cups painted by Lady Frieda Harris.  It doesn't reflect the RWS tradition of cups with different things peeping out of them, either.

Here, a couple seem to tread water in a sea where seven cups float down towards the seabed, trailing bubbles.  Quite unlike the RWS, it seems more as though their choices are slipping away from them, rather than having too many.  It also doesn't seem overtly debauched: they are both fully dressed (which isn't true of all the denizens of this deck), although wrapped in a passionate embrace.  However, they are so caught up in one another that they pay no heed to the sinking cups, locked in their own little world of all-consuming emotions, with only their heads just above water.  Perhaps this is the debauchery - being blind to everything else because of the intoxicating emotions in us.

On the more positive side, I see this card suggesting being really passionate about something, willing to immerse yourself in it.  The crescent moon suggests that this focus will allow something to grow.

Are you caught up in something emotional?  How does it affect other areas of your life?  What do you hope to gain from it?  

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Sun & Moon Strife

The Sun and Moon Tarot (U.S. Games, 2010), takes a quite modern-feeling approach to the tarot archetypes.  The lack of faces on the people at first struck me as strange, but actually it leaves their emotions more open to interpretation.  And body language also speaks loudly!

Here, in the Five of Wands, we see two people with five wands between them.  Similar to all the Wands cards, the sky is black, the earth is brown, and there are flames in the foreground.  I rather like the keyword "strife", with its connotations of conflict whether in the form of a quarrel or a fight.  And yet, it takes co-operation to hold a stick between two others the way they are doing with the top most stave.  So, there is some agreement and some disagreement - it isn't an out-and-out battle.  Then again, friends can hurt us far more deeply than strangers.  I notice, too, the way that their clothes echo one another - a yellow top on one side, yellow trousers on the other, and red trim on one t-shirt, red stripes on the other.  An interplay of similarity and difference, and which makes them more likely to fight?

What relationships and desires do you have to juggle today?  Do you battle more with those who are like you, or those who are very different?  How can you resolve conflicts with your nearest and dearest today?

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Sun & Moon Puppet

This week I will be drawing from the Sun and Moon Tarot (U.S. Games, 2010).  Although I've had this gorgeous deck since it was published, I've not used it on the blog, except for a spread I designed at the TABI Conference 2010 :)  So, about bloomin' time!

For this first draw I pulled the Eight of Swords, titled "interference".  I have to say, I considered trimming these titles off in the scanning process, as I don't much like them.  Still, sometimes keywords do act as a trigger for something, so I left them on.

Just looking at this card, the song "Puppet On A String" comes to mind (no, I wasn't born when it came out!)  In the song, it is love that controls her, though a rather unhealthy, dependent love.  What I more often see in this card is being controlled by our ideas, and in this case these are not necessarily even our own ideas, but ones that have been drummed into us (by parents or society), or imposed on us from above.

Who pulls your strings?  What would help you to think outside the box? And how could you cut those ties today, at least in a small way?

Friday, 4 May 2012

Incidental Archer

For this last daily draw with Holly DeFount's Incidental Tarot(2012) we have yet another Arrows card, and another delightful Court card at that.

I really do like Holly's Courts, they feel more approachable than many.  This young man is a little defended, wearing a chainmail shirt under his purple and gold doublet.  Some wisdom there, though perhaps also a sense of invulnerability.  Overconfidence comes to mind.  His bow is strung, his arrow knocked, his goal in sight.  He is focused and calm, intent on his target.  Will he watch the arrow all the way there, though, or tire and look for the next object of his interest?

What will be the focus of your interest or passion today?  Might someone else have their sights set on you, and how would you feel about that?  Which do you value more, commitment or desire?

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Incidental Arrows

A lot of fiery energy is coming out of the Incidental Tarot (Holly DeFount, 2012) this week!

Here we have the Eight of Arrows (Wands).  Eight arrows fly in organised formation towards a green hill, beyond which the sun seems to be rising.  Or perhaps that is the shining light of the arrows themselves...  I can certainly see traditional ideas of getting things lined up to move forward in a concerted, structured way.  Less clear is the sense of movement, of things happening quickly.  If anything, these arrows seem almost suspended in the air.  Still, sometimes that's how it feels, the calm eye of the storm.  Everything may be whirring around us, yet we find our calm centre, and move through the maelstrom as though through a calm summer's day.

What projects do you have lined up, or do you need to get going?  How can you find a way to deal gracefully and calmly with the challenges you face?  What would help you find enjoyment in getting moving, perhaps physically, or in terms of projects you have on the go?

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Incidental King

Another Court card greets us from Holly DeFount's Incidental Tarot.

The Arrow King (King of Wands) holds a golden bow, but no arrows.  Instead, these are emblazoned on his shirt: two steel-grey arrows that cross over his heart, linking him to the Two of Arrows.  He wields responsibility for more than just himself, so he does not simply hold arrows (projects, actions, or beliefs), but the tool to guide these into the world.  When faced with decisions, the purple of his shirt shows he brings wisdom to them.  Also, a fundamental respect for life and nature (the green undershirt). He will listen to different viewpoints, indicated by the two braids that hang down by his ears, then make up his mind and speak his own truth (the thicker, third braid beneath his mouth). 

When faced with choices today, what would help you bring this King's wisdom to the fore?  How do you react to responsibility?  What can you do today to make the world a better place?

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

The Fire Tends To All

Welcome to the third Tarot Blog Hop!  Whether you’ve popped in from Rosered's site, or stumbled across this some other way, I bid you welcome and hope you will follow along the chain of blogs, finding new delights at each stop.  And if you stumble across a broken link, you can always refind your way by checking the Master List here.

This blog hop is taking place on May Day, sometimes called Beltane.  This is a holiday which is important to people all across Europe, never having lost it’s place as some of the other sabbats have.  Not many people these days build bonfires to jump over and dance around, more’s the pity.  Still, the energy of growth and enthusiasm is still to be found, as is the practice of dancing around a May pole.

For this post, I decided to draw a card to see what TABI can do in the coming month and a half to tend the fire of inspiration, and to create sacred space for its membership.  For this, I drew a single card from the Wheel of the Year Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2011).

Pulling the Princess of Wands (traditionally the Page) seems very appropriate here.  Wands are the suit associated with Fire in the majority of decks, and the Princess of Wands suggests burgeoning enthusiasm.

I notice the way she is looking out into the distance, with a letter open in front of her and a red rose in her hand.  TABI encourages people to look outside of themselves by sharing ideas, by reading and exploring.  Whether it be on the forum, with thousands of threads on hundreds of tarot-related subjects, or through the Ezine and monthly newsletter, or even through discussions and messages on our Facebook page.  These are all ways that TABI keeps its membership connected to each other, and exploring our passion for all things tarot.

However, there is also a feeling of something new with this Princess.  Perhaps in the next six weeks or so TABI can help members look further afield.  Maybe through a group order that brings a new tarot deck into our lives, or through connecting with someone new who is distant, either geographically or in terms of ideas.   All these things enrich us, as they broaden our horizons.

Well, that's it for now, I hope you'll hop along to Mary Caesto's Harmonic Spirit site, to find more Beltane Tarot Blog Hop goodness.

Incidental Empress

It isn't yet the season for the Corn Queen and King, being Beltane, but that is what this card from Holly DeFount's Incidental Tarot (2012) makes me think of.

A warm, auburn-haired, curvy and very pregnant woman in an orange dress is framed by the sun.  She wears a corn crown and holds more corn and some flowers in her arms.  The upper corners of the card are also decorated with flowers.  I love this version of the Empress.  She looks so welcoming and happy, and abundance just shines from her.

Representing creativity, motherhood and nurturing, she does fit well with Beltane, I think.  As a Spring festival, it is all about new growth and beginnings, hoping for future harvests, and about the creativity to make those new endeavours grow.

How could you nurture yourself today?  What creative projects do you have in the pipeline?  How do you feel about mothering: is it something you do with everyone in your life, or something that you don't feel very connected to, either for yourself or with your mother?  What could you do to improve your balance around mothering?