Saturday, February 17, 2018

Preparing to continue...

Soon I'll be adding to the Energy Extensions series about the joy of using multiple decks. In the meantime, here's Energy Extensions, part 1. Enjoy!

The pics are from a recent visit to Toronto, Ontario. They're here just for fun, and none of them are blurry in real life - that's all me!

Eaton Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, Ontario

Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, Ontario

Modest doors conceal the wonders within at Wonder Pens, Toronto

Extensions Part 5
There. Now we're caught up and ready to continue...after my Indian adventure!

One-lashed mannequins on Yonge Street

'Bye for now!

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

An Indian send-off from five decks

Ever since reading Jon and Rumer Godden's Two Under the Indian Sun many years ago, about sisters who were British but grew up in India, I've been drawn to that country. Entranced, even.

Now the time is almost here for me to experience those colours, tastes, and sounds in person (yikes!). 

Five India-related decks have ventured off the shelves today to offer some travel perspectives and welcome me to their country.

There will be many new things to see and think about. A bombardment on your mind and senses.
Manage your energy wisely.

I don't know much about Lenormand, so this is a mix of instinct and tarot-mind.
Oh the beauty of the same sky and yet different from my skies.
The peace of a starry night, and the allure of new horizons.

Life and lore in India is unique, singular.
Some will not be to your liking at first, or perhaps ever.
Persevere. Travel here is well worth the effort.

An adventure awaits! Participate in what you find there!
I know you'll love the music. 

This is the sacred River Ganges that flows through the heart of India.
Let its waters temper your extremes and soothe your traveller's mind and soul.

Thank you for your offerings, Decks.
I'm thrilled to be visiting your side of the globe.


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Testing, Testing: Whispers of Lord Ganesha

I know. It's not a tarot deck. But here's why...

Elephants. Ya gotta love 'em. Their flying ears, their hairy snuffling snouts, and oh those babies!

Their loyalty to each other.                                                                       Their wisdom.

The BABAR books

A few years ago I went to Florence, Italy. As it happened, one of my online friends from TABI lived in Italy, although she's really a UKer. And she loved to take the train into Florence (her nearest big city) to stock up on British-y food items not available in her small town. So, we agreed on a day, and actually met in person for the first time. What would an entire day with an almost stranger be like, I wondered?
It turned out to be a delight.

A grand day of hoofing it around the splendour that is Florence!

And we finished up at an Indian restaurant (not in "downtown" Florence but in a regular neighbourhood) where she'd found delectable vegetarian food on past visits.

It was a small, ornate, and yummy place, with a huge brass(?) statue of Ganesha by the cash register. If he'd been smaller, he might have accidentally ended up in my purse. Well, maybe not, but it was a covetous situation.

There are all those movies, exploding with the jangle of life, that take place in India where an elephant is likely to sashay by at any moment. Like the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, for instance.

And coming up soon, a years-long dream, a visit to India - illustrated by Whispers of Lord Ganesha.
Am I nervous about leaving my family for a month, to venture so very far away? YES!
What do I hope to experience in that vast and colourful country?
I'll let Ganesha show you.

The generosity of the Indian people.

Their culture.

May I surrender to the experience and whatever it brings!


Monday, January 08, 2018

Wanting more friends - with the Wild Unknown Tarot

Real ones. In the flesh. In my city, or at least close enough to do things with.
Not virtual friends, although they are lovely too!

Here's what started this.
At the Film Festival recently, I ran into friendly acquaintances who were attending with groups of their real friends. The ones they can call on to go see a movie. I was there by myself, which I quite like, truth be told. So I didn't think much of it.

At Mamma Mia a couple of weeks later, I ran into another friendly acquaintance. We chatted as we moved toward the lobby, where she rejoined the group of real friends with whom she goes to shows. I was there by myself, which I like, but a niggle was beginning.

In an email from a friend (a real one) she mentioned that they'd spent the weekend with this friend on Saturday and those friends on Sunday. And that's when it hit me.

I don't have enough friends! I have lots of friendly acquaintances, musical peers, former students and their families, but that's not the same thing. So I spent some time moping around feeling sorry for myself. And that's when it hit me. (I'm getting bruises from all these hits.) I can do something about this! I can actively seek more friends.

This is where it gets magic. Where you send a thought out to the universe and someone or something takes note.

Three days after realizing that I don't have enough people in my life that I actually hang out with, or would feel free to invite somewhere, my choir did a short taping for the local cable station's Christmas caroling spots. We gathered, rehearsed a bit, sang a few songs. And when we were done, I asked a long-time friend in the choir if he'd like to go have dinner somewhere. And then I invited another long-time singing friend who was standing nearby. So the three of us, dressed to the nines because we'd been on TV, had a beautiful festive meal (white tablecloths, candles, wine) and warm wonderful conversation. Mmmm.

Four days after that, one of my adult students came in with big news. He was at the tantalizing beginning of a brand-new relationship with a woman he'd met through friends, while traveling. He was SO excited! And of course I was happy for him, but...would my place in his life slip down a few notches? Well, we talked and talked, through most of his lesson (as often happens with adult students) and he filled me in on all kinds of details, because, as he said, "Well, I can tell you this because we're friends." Bingo!

So, what do you think, Wild Unknown?
Ace of Pentacles
We Pents are a slow-moving suit. And an Ace? Starting small. A friendship tree isn't grown in a day, you know. Layer by layer, cup of tea by cup of tea. Conversation by conversation, concert by concert.
And check out this warm glowing centre at the heart of it all - it all starts with a warm heart.

The Tower XVI
You know what the Tower looks like in a lot of decks: boom, crash, destruction, the end.
This isn't that. 
No need to fry the entire structure of your life. Just burn off some of your outmoded notions
on the subject of friendship. 
Maybe look down deeper into some relationships that have been there with you for many rings around the tree, lo these many years - still there, still alive, the sap of life flowing through them.
Give them a bit of love and attention and see what happens.

Temperance XIV
This image reminds me of how much I love watercolours.
I wish I knew more about the artist's vision for this card. I'll just have to wing it.
Try not to sweat it too much.
Try not to get all hot&bothered.
If your flame of enthusiasm is waning, fan it a bit.
A few tears along the way are OK too.
Temperance is often equated with alchemy, the blending of two different substances to make another third substance. Friendship is kind of like that. Two different people come together with their unique components and put together a new entity - a friendship. It's magic. 

In neighbourhood news

Went to Cirque du Soleil's latest touring production, Crystal, this past weekend. If you have the chance, go to see it! It has all their usual fantastic trapeze-gymnastics-live musicians-dance-costumes-original music-creative props-comic/drama mix but ALL ON ICE! I'm still awe-struck!


Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year's Eve, and not a clue...

what to write about.
The pixel equivalent of crumpled balls of paper is strewn all over the computer. Rejected ideas, foggy barely-formed notions, ill-conceived concepts. 

Yesterday on CBC radio I heard a beautiful interview with a young woman whose New Year's resolutions included donating her bone marrow to a needy recipient. Astonishing. So, forget any paltry post about what I might be considering for 2018!

Which tarot deck could help? 
Randomly scanning the shelves...The Lover's Path Tarot? Nice, but nope. Maybe the Osho Zen. Nah, not feeling zen-y today. Halloween Tarot? Love you, but it's not your season.
The Pearls of Wisdom? Yes! Drop those little moon-like orbs right here, Roxi Sim!

Next decision: choosing cards. Deal from the top of the shuffled deck? Cut the deck into little piles and use the top card from each? Just keep shuffling until some cards fly out and land on the floor?
I know! Today is December 31, 2017, or  12 + 31 + 2017 = 2060, which reduces to 8. Every 8th card it is.

King of Cups
Three of Pentacles
Knight of Cups

At first glance
There sure are a lot of Cups here! Relationship work in store, apparently. And three of Pents, the apprentice card. Learning about...?

Looking at it from an elemental (Fire, Water, Air, Earth) point of view
High-level Cups (the suit of Water) flanking a measly 3 of Pentacles (the Earth suit).
All that water sloshing around a tiny bit of dirt makes for slightly muddied water, but there's not even enough Earth to make mud, or mud pies... This is a reading dominated by the world of Water: emotions, feelings, relationships, with a wee bit of the practicality of Earth thrown in.

The cards one by one
King of Cups 

Be generous with what you have.
This isn't Pentacles, so we're  not talking about literally being generous with material goods.
With what, then?
With your cheerfulness, your emotional support for those around you who might need it. Even though they may not be in your immediate circle of family and friends, offer it anyway.
Issue more invitations to your home. Ask people over for picnics. 
You don't need to be a King to let generosity flow. Just do it! 

Three of Pentacles

Oooo, that looks like fun!

Try some stuff.
Like what?
Who cares? Pick something that looks shiny and give it a whirl!
I'll be terrible at it.
Yup. Probably. Your point?

Got any unfinished projects lying around? 
You're kidding, right?
Pick one. Eeny-meeny... Dig it out. Do something with it, or discard it. Next...

You're talking about the dreaded D-word, Decluttering, aren't you?
Perhaps. But with the F-word thrown in. FUN!

Knight of Cups

Go for a ride.

Visit some friends. 
Bring a little gift - maybe some wine or homemade liqueur or a jar of butterscotch sauce.

Doesn't need to be mapped out in advance. Go where your nose leads you. Follow some path to its end and spend some time there. Maybe that nearby town you've been meaning to explore? Chat with some of the locals. Ask them which restaurant they recommend. Buy a new mug from the pottery shop.

Take a riding lesson at that stable out in the county. Maybe you'll get over your fear of horses!

And last, but certainly not least, the first card I saw before shuffling the deck - 
The Fool

See the name of my boat? It's SERENDIPITY. You do believe in serendipity, don't you?

Relax and enjoy the ride! 
Go with the flow. 
Look up! not down at the possible perils below.

You old fool - live your life while it's still your turn!

Many thanks, Pearls of Wisdom

In neighbourhood news

I spatchcocked two chickens for Christmas dinner!


Wednesday, December 06, 2017

What the heck?? So stressed about all this good stuff!!


My Christmas tree is in a bucket of water in the garage, waiting for Emily and me to drag it in.
The house is scented with gingerbread and my Gram's thimble cookies.
Three fruitcakes are nestled snug in their beds, awaiting this year's tasting.
Singing gigs (are they still gigs if you don't get paid, except maybe with dinner?) are ramping up.
Jacquie Lawson's Advent calendar presents a new treat every day.
Kids and grands will soon flood in for Christmas dinner. (OK, maybe flooding is an exaggeration, but there's definitely some bit of exponential multiplying magic thing that happens when exuberant six-and-seven-year-old cousins are reunited.)
Friends and I are heading to Toronto for a couple of concerts, some festive dining, the Toronto Christmas market, and my first ever in-person visit to Wonder Pens. Woo-hoo!

All great stuff, right? So why the frazzle?

I figure there must be others out there who feel this way. Just in case, here's a small gallery of a few of my favourite comical or relaxing tarot images.

Breathe deeply, release your shoulders from where they're tucked up around your ears, and enjoy!

First, a chuckle from the AnnaK Tarot

                                                       Warm friendly purrs from the Cat's Eye Tarot

Mmm, a winter moon ~ Badgers Forest

Inhale...exhale... from the Gaian Tarot

Love the golden glow in the Victorian Fairy Tarot!

This one from the Whimsical Tarot needs no explanation!

In neighbourhood news

Who knew the lengths to which a resourceful two-year-old would go to get his little fingers around a gumdrop on a gingerbread house windowsill? Not me.


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Testing, Testing: Triumph of Life Tarot (Cancer Sucks)

This deck is just out, initiated and overseen by Andrew McGregor of the Hermit's Lamp in Toronto.
The Triumph of Life Tarot is a kick-in-the-pants to cancer, and a leg-up to cancer research via the Terry Fox Foundation. It's a collaborative labour of love by 75 artists from both sides of the Atlantic, all of whom have been affected by the C-word in some way.
I was privileged to see Terry on the Trans-Canada Highway near Thunder Bay, Ontario, just before he was forced to give up his courageous journey in the summer of 1980. He looked exhausted and so alone.
It's not an image one forgets.

There are seventy-five artistic visions in this deck, and yet it manages to look cohesive.
Was that your intent?
TOWER 16 (artist Ellen Lorenzi-Prince)
As you can see from this image of the Tower, the angel is fractured into many pieces, and yet our eyes perceive it as whole. We hope that this visual phenomenon applies to our entire deck.

The images running right to the edges of the cards seem to help them blend into each other. Cancer knows no borders.
Your thoughts?
3 WANDS (artist James Wells)
When it comes to cancer, we're all equal, all naked, all vulnerable. We may have some choice about our treatment, but much of what lies ahead is out of our hands.

Would you mind if I chose several cards to show some of your vision?
Be our guest.
Thank you. I've chosen just a few of so many beautiful alliances.

SWORDS KING (Yara Messer)                                           4 WANDS (Michael Patrick Mackid)
2 WANDS (Ellen-Mary O'Brien)

EMPEROR 4 (Markus William Kasunich)  4 DISCS (Karen Leeflang)  4 SWORDS (Lydia Knox)

9 CUPS (Lisa de St. Croix5 DISCS (Shari Lynn Smith JUDGEMENT 20 (Neil Lovell) 

Many thanks for putting your work out into the world. May it make a world of difference.


In Neighbourhood news

GINGERBREAD HOUSES are a sugary business