Monday, September 25, 2017

Testing, Testing: The Everyday Witch Tarot

You can blame this on The Witches of New York.

After reading this book, I'm entranced by all things witchy and New Yorky, and with grimoires. I want one like Adelaide keeps under the counter in her store Tea and Sympathy. Of course I had to dig out the deck, The Dark Grimoire, which features a lovely fat grimoire on each of its Aces (and 11 other cards!).

And then there's the search through the house for an empty, appropriately fat notebook which fits the bill. One's too cutesy, another too drab; this one has the wrong size lines and that one - junky paper which isn't fountain-pen-friendly.
Or maybe I could make one? Put some of those bookbinding 101 skills to work?

Many of my posts this summer featured cards from the Everyday Witch Tarot, but I'm still loving it and decided that it deserves an actual review.

1. Why do I like you so much?
The World 21

What's not to like? I'm cheerful (most of the time), and an optimist. I love life and the world around me.
I let you visit with my cats but don't make you change their litter, and I take you to the beach for picnics with fancy drinks!

2. You're a light-hearted deck. Does that make light of the craft?
Eight of Swords

Absolutely not! I merely try to show the accessible, non-creepy, unscary, earth-loving, do-no-harm aspect of witchcraft. And here we see that a witch can get stuck - in her head, with her problems, in life, just like everybody else. You're going to have to think it through. There's no way to magic yourself out of a dilemma!

3. I'm a serious tarotist; I look to it for fresh ideas and layered thoughts.
Are you too flimsy for that?
The High Priestess 2

Flimsy? You see anything flimsy in here, woman? No way! I can match you, serious for serious!
I may have a few more tools that the average person, like a crystal scrying ball and a bag of runes, but my well-thumbed library is extensive, and I study the cards looking for new thoughts and ideas just like you do. I imagine that your cat is a big help too?

4. Your turn, Deck! You get the last word.
Four of Wands

JOY! That's what I wish for you in your life! Celebrate the small stuff, let go of anything that's outside your hula hoop, light sparklers when it's not even a holiday, get dressed up just for fun, go outside whenever it's nice (and maybe even when it's not), buy something colourful and wave it around, enjoy your friends to the max, dance on the grass!

Time to watch Practical Magic, and then maybe The Witches of Eastwick.
(Now coveting the Owen's house in Practical Magic...)

In neighbourhood news

This perennial (name ?) has the most delightful elusive scent ~ I wish I could bring it to you here.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Retired and...disoriented

What the heck? This happens to other newly-retired people...not to me!

I've given simply MAGNIFICENT advice to friends who are unable to manage their new non-schedules. I see CRYSTAL CLEARLY what they need to fix in their lives. I'm BRILLIANT at it, as a matter of fact. 

What do you mean - every Tuesday isn't exactly the same as every other Tuesday?
What do you mean - I can sit on your board and go to your Tupperware party and attend an extra rehearsal, because I'm not teaching on Thursday nights?

I need advice on what to expect from here on in.

The deck I'm calling in for commentary is the often mystifying, occasionally gross and gory, always interesting Bruegel Tarot. What say you, Bruegel?

On matters of sex and babies:
You're not having any...of either.

It's probably because your feet are too big and you wear ice skates in the house.

Engineering some sort of mammary wardrobe malfunction isn't the solution.

On losing your marbles:
Yes, you are. Quit cooking the kids.

General advice:
Don't run with scissors while wearing tights - you never know who might be watching.

Remember the five-second rule for fallen food.

Never mind that yodeling over there. Keep your lambs away from lions.

There will always be someone whose money is bigger.

It's important for you to rest, even it it means letting a thief make off with someone's feet.
Some people are just complainers. 

The top of your head is what keeps your brains from floating away. Don't slice it off.

Excellent life advice. Thank you, Bruegel, I can take it from here.

In neighbourhood news

Prism on tea.


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Every 52 years I go to the Harrow Fair

Let's see... I missed the one in 1913 - my parents weren't born yet, so they couldn't take me. If I stick to the current schedule, my next visit will be in 2069 and my kids will then be too old to drive my urn to the Fair. So that makes two visits total. The Fair's successful longevity (when it began in 1854, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert had only produced eight of their nine kids) is clearly not due to my attendance record.


THEN ~ my first boyfriend and I at 16 and 17 (of course we weren't quite this glamorous)

                                                   NOW ~ the Crone on the move

#1 on the charts that week:
Sonny and Cher's smash hit, I Got You, Babe.
A different kind of 'hit' -
CBC Radio's interview about
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Sauntering the evening fairgrounds
in a smitten hand-holding daze
Sitting on hay bales in the sun,
eating my first corn dog
(it needed mustard)

Checking out the quilts, the prize vegetables,
the junior Lego constructions contest,
the men-only baking and canning competitions

Taking in a "rooster crowing contest" ~
first the feathered ones,
then the "people crowing contest"

Admiring a sow feeding her brand new batch of wiggly piglets,
hoping she wouldn't crush them underhoof while moving her immense bulk ~
noticing a persistent tugging on the hem of my new pink print dress ~
looking down at one of these...
(I guess she wasn't getting enough attention, with all those younger sibs)

Hoping for a piglet reprise, but alas...
all this year's pigs were snoozing,
and nary a newborn or dress-chomper in sight.
(all the pens seemed smaller than I remembered...)

Continuing to saunter the evening fairgrounds
in a smitten hand-holding daze
Enjoying a slice of rhubarb pie from the
bakers of the local church

Regretting missing the Birds of Prey exhibition

Checking out the Beef Barn,
the Poultry Barn,
and a few pieces of
big green farm machinery

Using the hot pink ladies' portapotty

After some necking
in the neighbourhood parking spot
despite lack of necking

In neighbourhood news...

Two-hundred and ninety-three steps along the sidewalk, heading due south from my house, you come to this oak, whose base always reminds me of an elephant's foot.

It's big. I put my purse and flip-flop there so you could see.

Then it came to me! She's the stately matriarch, keeping her elephant clan from stampeding the playground or lumbering onto the road. It makes me feel good to know they're there, standing by at the end of the block, in case I need their help.

Today's cards brought to you by The Housewives Tarot, The Dark Goddess Tarot, and The Animal Wisdom Tarot.  


Friday, September 01, 2017

Shove over, Pages, the Knights are flying in!

I always hope to see some connections within a deck's Courts as they mature. Pages growing up to be Knights or Queens, Knights developing into Kings. Like that.
The AnnaK deck is an example. The Aces age into Queens and the Pages become Kings. You can see what I'm talking about here

Last post we heard from the four Pages in the Everyday Witch Tarot, and now we're moving on to the Knights from that deck.

The little red bandana has become a passionate red cloak.

Tiny salamander? No,
fiery red dragon!

His magic wand has grown a couple more rings.

Walking shoes to serious heavy-duty boots.

Placid scenery has morphed into jagged forbidding mountains.

But what happened to the friendly marmalade cat? Maybe it doesn't like to fly.

His paint cup/beacon bubbles over with joy.

No more placid art by the stream - he's flying over open water! Looks like that's a dolphin ready to catch him if his broom gets unruly and dumps him.

The cat gamely hangs on, tempted by all those bubbles.

He's painted leaping fish on his blue cloak and water goblet-turned-torch.

He's still barefoot and happy. 

From defense to offense, still challenging all comers.

He's traded in his kid's dagger for a full-fledged sword.

His broomstick looks straighter - all the better for flying swift and true.

Macho tank shirt to show off his muscles; leather arm guards to fend off others' blows.

He's turned his blue print shirt into a fighting cloak.

Teen to tough guy!

Coin is tossed, the decision is made, he's ready to go.

His hat looks like Robin Hood's; his travel cloak bears paintings of leaves as befits his earthy Pentacle-ness.

He dons a belt of tools, aims his Pentacle talisman ahead, and prepares for take-off.

Leather wraps will protect his arms from the tools of his trade.

Workboots have replaced hiking boots.

In neighbourhood news

While I was here...basking in the good life on Cranberry Lake...

this happened in the backyard at home...progress!


Monday, August 21, 2017

Courts only today: asking the Pages a question

Every month or so, a newsletter by the creative Nancy Antenucci pops into my inbox. Her most recent one includes what I think is a clever way of putting the often unwieldy tarot court cards to use.
Today I'm focusing on the Pages, from my summer deck of choice, the Everyday Witch Tarot. This deck makes me happy just seeing it laid out on the table! Just what you want for summertime, right?

Nancy says, 'Use each of the Pages in their certain element to determine what part of you is starting to surface or feels like a risk.'
I've decided to make the question What part of me is surfacing AND feels like a risk?

Page of Wands
I love that this Page holds a Fool-like bundle over his shoulder and a tiny magic wand in his hand as he contemplates the entrance to a curvy where's-it-going? path. Oooo, so lushly flowered and deliciously inviting. Just jump over that teeny tiny fire-lizard and catch up to your fun-loving marmalade cat!
Wands-Fire: action, energy, passion, desire, and for me, looking at this image, WANDerlust! That's what is surfacing in my newly-retired mind!

Waaaait a minute! Are those leaves already turning? Is something wintery hidden around the bend? Is it wise to follow my cat-guide into the unknown with only an itty-bitty magic wand and a few possessions? Don't know. Is it scary? Indeed. Am I up for it? Ummmm.....

Page of Cups
Oho, another connection to my colourful retirement plans - painting! I just LOVE the look of watercolours! As luck would have it, friends and I recently attended another friend's opening at a local gallery, where I bought one of her smaller, unframed watercolours. She felt so uncomfortable taking money from a friend (I'd rather just give it to you) that I spent the rest of the evening thinking up ways to make her feel better.

How much nicer to have the work of artists I actually know in person hanging on my walls.
I get Airmiles on my Mastercard for this purchase.
OK, how about a trade. Will you show me how to do a watercolour wash? Bingo! Win-win!

Cups-Water: relationships, connections, WATERcolour.

What am I afraid of with this Page of Cups? Well...not much. The risk of getting stabbed with a paintbrush seems rather low. And I don't really care if I'm any good at it (painting, not stabbing) so my ego is safe. Worst case scenario? Paints all over my clothes. No problem - that's what the babbling brook is for.

Page of Swords
What have we here? A defensive stance - unusual for a Page. But look at that bag full of books and a quill pen and paper - my kind of travel kit for sure.
Swords-Air: communication, writing, thinking, planning, worrying, stewing.
What is surfacing? This Page is on the move. (There's the travel notion again.) All those books? Research, or finding authors from other countries I'd like to visit, or filling in the time on a really long train journey. Maybe this Page has written that delicious trilogy of books himself. Wow, there's something to aspire to!

So why's the sword out? Perhaps I'm defending my right to be a booklover to my very core and own a million books and prefer fat tomes to skinny ones. Since you ask, yes, I DO decide which books are going on a trip before I know what clothes to pack. And I'm defending my right to write, if I so choose. Or if you're a bully and want to steal my books or throw them onto a bonfire or tear them into little pieces - begone, scum!

Page of Pentacles
Even the slower-paced Page of Pentacles is on the move (or will be soon!).
Pentacles-Earth: finances, how and where you live, your job or how you otherwise fill your days, security, family, health and welfare.
This Page has saved up money for his travels, he's bought a map, his travel cloak hood is already up, and all that's left is to toss that coin! Which way? Which destination beckons?

What seems scary to me about this? Projecting my own travel fears onto him ~
Will he be alright on the road?
Is where he's going safe for travellers?
Does he have money for emergencies?
What if he gets injured or falls ill when he's far away?
What if there's no wifi?
What if he goes the wrong way, makes the wrong choice?

Aw, Mum, quit worrying! I'll be fine!

In neighbourhood news



Sunday, August 13, 2017


It happens during each of the seasons, but is particularly LOATHESOME and UNWELCOME during the summer. Yes, August is still the summer. The days are still long compared to most of the year's.

People are still taking SUMMER vacations.
Gaian Tarot

I don't want to hear about the shortening of the days, the cooling of the temperatures, the harvesting, the moving into the dark time of the year, the preparing for winter. NONE of that stuff!


Yes, I KNOW that the wheel of the year is turning.
Gaian Tarot

I KNOW that after August comes September, then October, then a pile of cold weather. Just stop trying to make it go faster, will ya?

Here I am, minding my own business, adjusting the A/C, washing shorts and tank tops, buying peaches and corn and field tomatoes at the market, making a list for the next cottage excursion, trying to wring EVERY LAST DROP out of today, and someone's out there yakking about next month, next season.

AAAAAAAAAAA! Everybody just QUIT IT!
Gaian Tarot

The same goes for seeing back-to-school stuff in the stores when the school bus engines have barely cooled after their end-of-year run, or Christmas displays across the aisle from the Halloween candy, which in turn is being set out while the kids are suffering through their first day of school. So you go on ahead and gallop over to some other month if you want to. I’m staying right here in wonderful hot fantastic summery August until it... isn’t.

Whenever I'm steamed (or tired or thirsty or sad or exultant or...) I pour a big mug of tea. So, from Marcia McCord's Tea Tarot, I've drawn two cards to simmer me down. Let's see what they have to say.

Oh you poor thing, you look like you could use a nice cup of tea. Come, sit down and we'll have a good chat. Would you mind bringing over that plate of cake, the one on the kitchen table? There - thank you, dear. I always find a little sit-down at this time of day to be so soothing - don't you?
Ah, breathing easier already. 
Tea Tarot

This popped up, begging to be heard.
Now listen here, you - that man or woman or waitperson or tearoom may not be your cup of tea, but I love it there. The same goes for the passage of time - we each have our own way of dealing with it. Some of us dig in our heels, like you, and others stride and glide right through. We need all types or the world would be so very dull. Yes?
She's right. Deep breaths. Relax shoulders. Put the kettle on.

In neighbourhood news

The world's largest rubber ducky came to neighbouring Amherstburg this weekend as part of our ongoing Canada 150 celebrations. Not sure what the duck connection is, but it was a delightful afternoon!