Sunday, March 30, 2014


Every day a new word from arrives in my emailbox. Some I already know (insert proud feeling), some I don’t care about, and others are too hilarious to pass up. This is one of them.

Bumfuzzled: confused.
I'm confused about a lot of things:
  • directions to practically anywhere 
  • why I still sometimes buy Kraft Dinner 
  • the mass of cords behind my computer 
  • why some people prefer fake chocolate desserts to from-scratch lemon ones 
  • how one cat can fling so much fur around the house and not be completely bald 
  • what shenanigans go on in the Christmas decoration boxes that lead to all the tree lights coming out tangled when they didn't go in that way. 
Any tarot cards that bumfuzzle me? Yes indeed.

Let’s start with this 5 of Chalices from the Tarot of the Journey to the Orient
I really enjoy the artwork and it’s been my card-of-the-day deck for March, but every time this one comes up my first thought is always 
Who’s for dinner?

Then there’s the 4 of Swords from the interesting Bruegel Tarot, which is sometimes rather gory in its depictions of 16th century Holland. Here, some person with a huge hacksaw is walking off with a guy’s feet. Rather than lying on the ground moaning in pain, all the victim displays is some rather mild “what did he do that for?” arm waving. Bumfuzzling.

I love the art in the Badgers Forest Tarot, and the fact that the cards are borderless. There’s a Hierophant in this deck that has me stymied. I cannot seem to wrap my head around this wild boar as the educated guy that is Trump V! 

One last confusing thing. Why does my silverware drawer contain the full complement of forks and knives, but hardly any teaspoons? Where do they go? Utterly bumfuzzling.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring Equinox and Justice

Equal time.

Equal parts day and night.
Equal parts dark and light.

Equally poised between Winter and Summer.

Actions and their equal
and opposite reactions.

Fairness, balance.

I don't actually like the Justice card. It's usually so serious; there's not much of a story going on.
It's a bit boring but I guess necessary in the interest of fairness. I crave fairness.
And the midpoint is a good place in the journey to take an inventory of how things are going so far.

In Tarot, Justice XI is the halfway point in the trumps.
(Some prefer Strength here, but I like the balance of Justice sitting in the middle between I and XXI.)

Legacy of the Divine 
                                          Justice is sometimes blind and thus impartial.
The Fey Tarot
The Dreaming Way Tarot

There are stern Justice cards.
You reap what you sow, you get what you deserve, what goes around comes around. 
Behave yourself or else! 

Others give off a slightly softer aura. Let's see what we can do. Let's weigh our options.
The Goddess Tarot
Wizards Tarot
Tarot Illuminati

There's a kind group that would like to help. 
Are things in balance? Have you got the proportions sorted out? Maybe I was wrong.
Victorian Fairy
Jane Austen
Gaian Tarot

And the whimsical ones are just plain cute!
Tarot of Oz
Housewives Tarot
Tarot of the Burroughs

Happy Spring!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Energy Extensions Part 1: extending the reach

What happens when you e-x-t-e-n-d something beyond its regular reach?
If you look through a telescope, stretch out tent poles and tripod legs, use extension ladders or extension cords, put up an umbrella, add an extension onto your house, take an extension course, apply for an extension to your loan?
You see farther, reach what was unreachable, expand your space or your intellectual horizons or your financial breathing room. You get more of something.
That's what extending the energy boundaries does for reading tarot!

What would happen if you s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d the basic card energy to its extremes, ending up with a dangerous excess of that same energy on the one hand, and an almost pathological lack of it on the other hand? 
You'd reap more choices and winkle out more reading possibilities. Interesting!
Here are examples from three of my go-to decks.

First the Gaian's Seeker. I see the basic energy here as focused anticipation - a bit nervous/bit excited, perhaps butterflies in her stomach - but she's going!

Let's extend that focused anticipation in both directions.

Too much might be frenetic unbridled energy: running heedlessly down the hill, falling, losing her pack, perhaps breaking a limb, failing to scope out the valley for possible dangers, ignoring the wise instincts of her fox companion, racing off without a thought.
Or moving through new experiences so quickly that she can't take them in, enjoy them, or learn from them.

Too little might mean paralysing fear: a dread of moving forward or trying something new, an avoidance of new situations, hiding.
Or no enthusiasm for anything the future might hold: endeavours, meeting new people, travels, knowledge.

Now the Wheel of Fortune from the AnnaK. I see enthusiasm for the game of life, a willingness to
risk falling off the wheel for the thrill of being on top, an eagerness to climb back on and try again. The joy of living.

Too much might be clawing scrambling fighting your way to the top, risking broken bleeding hands and a bruised body, and ruthlessly trampling those in your path.
Not allowing yourself to rest when you fall.
Not taking the time to learn something from the positions you've experienced on the wheel.

Too little might be lethargy, depression, an inability to keep trying, not having enough energy to cling to the wheel as it rises,
staying face down in the mud when you fall, not enjoying the view from the top while you're there.
Poor me. Eeyore, Winnie-the-Pooh's gloomy friend.

Last, the Tower from the Sidhe. Breaking out of a mask, blasting away illusions, a lightning bolt of transformation, shattering the status quo.

Too much of this energy would not only blast through any masks,
pretensions, facades, it might also destroy the person within.
Burn her to a cinder. Render her unrecognizable.
Make it impossible for her to go forward, or retreat back into a protective facade even if she needed to.
It might harm others within range of the explosion.

Too little of this break-out energy could trap a person in the mask forever. No changing one's image for the world, no re-inventing oneself. No release. No freedom. Rapunzel trapped in the tower. The Man in the Iron Mask.
A miniscule amount of this energy might be just enough to crack the facade and render life behind the mask uncomfortable. A permanent stone in one's shoe or cinder in the eye.

My immense gratitude goes to Paris Finley of The Massachusetts Tarot Society, whose work on Card Energy Extremes got me excited about this process in the first place. You can listen to his interview with Donnaleigh on Blog Talk Radio

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Testing, Testing: The Wild Unknown Tarot

This is an unusual deck in its simplicity, lack of colour, spareness. And yet it radiates ideas in full colour! Here are three cards that I particularly like.

VII Wands
One Wand against six, and yet what a Wand! A flame burning brightly above all, holding its own against the darkness. One fire capable of igniting all the others, whether by inspiration or by flaming them all to ash.

VI Cups
You never know what's underneath. That bland old person has a colourful history; a friend is stronger than she appears on the surface; secrets;
there's more here than meets the eye;
as above, so below (or not?).

IX The Hermit
I'm showing the way for travellers who might be out and about. I'm not hiding my light under a bu-shell. (Sorry, couldn't resist.) Sometimes I just need a little privacy.
When the oil burns low, I’ll replenish it with new introspections I'm cogitating on down here.  

Let's hear what The Wild Unknown has to say for itself.

How is your simplicity going to help me read you?     I The Magician
I'm sleek and fast. My magic is accessible because there’s not a lot of imagery to wade through. 
My delivery cuts right to the chase, but be warned - I can be ruthless. I'm possibly tricky. 
Can the leopard change its spots?

I'm used to much more colourful decks.     III Swords
But when I do choose to use colour it really shouts out! 
This III is a tangled bleeding mess. No messing around with this message. Three somethings or someones are stuck together here and it’s not working. Cut the ties!

Tell me something you'd like me to know about yourself.     X Wheel of Fortune
I can be complicated sometimes. If I seem inscrutable, just thread your way through and soon the light will dawn. All my ideas are interconnected, and there’s always something to be learned along the way.

Thank you, Wild Unknown!