Saturday, May 24, 2014

Heartburn and Headache with the Three of Swords

Warning: this is a grumpy post.

Here's how I can persuade my body to produce a nice batch of heartburn.
Go to bed with a good book (this is not the heartburn part), a glass of red wine, a bag of black licorice.
Eat a lot more licorice than I intended, wash it down with the wine.
Go to sleep.

Sometime in the middle of the night it will arrive. It will require higher pillows so the acid reflux thing has to fight gravity to make its presence felt. And then checking the alarm to see how much sleep opportunity I have left after all this heartburn nonsense.

Some little known food & wine facts:
Dark wines go well with dark foods. That includes black licorice and dark chocolate 
and prunes.
Light wines work best with milk chocolate and red licorice and sugar cookies.

Which brings me to the Three of Swords which is officially a Head card - the element of Air, the mind, thoughts (clear or twisted), communication (verbal and written).
AND YET, the common Rider-Waite-Smith image is of a Heart pierced by three swords. 
What is this big bleeding heart doing in the suit of the Mind? It never seems right to me.
Efflorescent Tarot
Goddess Tarot (Waldherr)

I love both of these decks,
and of course there are splendid explanations of how to interpret this image. In a less cranky moment I am able to embrace them.
But not today.

The Headache Card
So I'm starting a campaign to get the bleeding Heart off the Three of Swords card, and replace it with the Headache card.
The Headache Card

Here are a few examples of decks which are already on the Headache card bandwagon.
All Hallows Tarot
Victorian Fairy Tarot

Gossiping, backbiting,
uncharitable words.

Regrets which may come

Fears about what others
think of us.


Victorian Romantic (2006)

Wildwood Tarot

The slings and arrows which
inevitably come our way.

Fear that we can't survive a loss.
Remorse, regret.

Jealousy: our mind messing with
our equilibrium. (I know that's a bleeding wooden heart on the Wildwood, but jealousy is surely a head problem!)

Gaian Tarot
Touchstone Tarot

Attempting to journal away our problems.
Writing letters to explain
or air grievances.

The shock of hearing 
something which 
stuns and alarms.
Look at those eyes!

Wild Unknown
Steampunk (Moore/Fell)

All this heartburn is clogging
up the cogs and wheels;
nothing is ticking over;
repairs needed.

What a tangled web
we weave!

Bottoms up!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Victoria Day and the Queen of Pentacles

This weekend, Canadians celebrate Victoria Day in honour of the birthday and long reign of Queen Victoria. It falls on the Monday before May 25 each year, and is the unofficial signal for:

  • opening up the cottage
  • planting out this year's batch of annuals without fear of them freezing to death
  • fireworks

When I was growing up, we called it Fireworks Day. (Actually, as I sit here writing this there are fireworks going off in the neighbourhood!)

A picnic to Point Pelee with my best friend's family started off the day. The weather was often a bit cool, and the trees weren't fully leafed out yet, but the charred hot dogs were always yummy!
The highlight for me was her Dad singing all the way there (in his reedy voice) songs like Found a Peanut, Don't Tell a Lie, and I've Got Sixpence. They all had one thing in common: their multitudinous verse structure, along the lines of 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall only with more plot.

Then it was back home for my family's fireworks, which my Dad launched from the front sidewalk while we sat on the porch steps and were appropriately thrilled. When the big box of rockets was nearly empty, it was time for the Burning Schoolhouse; all I remember about it was watching a small red cardboard school building being devoured by flames. Pyrotechnically it wasn't much, but I liked the concept.
I don’t remember it ever raining on Fireworks Day, although I suppose it must have…

Back to Queen Victoria, her beloved husband Prince Albert, and their nine children. 

It was during her sixty-four year reign that Britain reached such magnitude globally that it could be said “the sun never sets on the British Empire”. This was made possible after the Empire managed to pull the whole of India under its umbrella, causing Victoria to refer to it as “the jewel in my crown”. 
Given that she presided over this period of acquisition and power, it seemed fitting to link Queen Victoria with the Queen of Pentacles.

Touchstone Tarot
What else, besides an aquiline nose, alabaster skin, and a regal demeanour, does Victoria share 
with these other Queens of the suit of Earth?

Teaching her brood                                                                                     Presiding over India's wealth 
the rules of etiquette                                                                                       as did the Goddess Lakshmi
Goddess Tarot (Waldherr)

             Fantastic Menagerie


Hiding from the tabloids a la                                                                       Like Gaia, she had the whole
Taylor and Burton                                                                                                    world in in her hands
Golden Age of Hollywood
Inner Child

Queen Victoria as she might be today? Not bloody likely!
Tarot of the Burroughs

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mother's Day and the Empress

My Mom and I go grocery shopping and have an early-bird dinner together most Fridays. She'll be 91 this June, and is an amazing example of what a positive old age can be like!
She's a pleasure to talk with, enjoys her home with its bird feeders and gardens, and is unfailingly interested in the lives of her kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids.
She listens to the news of the world and keeps me clued in, cooks and eats healthy, dresses more trendily than I do, has a great sense of humour, and is brave about facing the discomforts of an aging body.
She's plucky as all get-out and I love that she's my Mom!

In honour of my Mom this Mother's Day, I've chosen a few Empress cards that reflect the various facets of her personality and things about her that I'm grateful for.

   Her lifelong love of gardening
Gaian Tarot

  Good cooking, and her "recipe for success" - never give up   
Housewives Tarot

         Her strong faith
Dark Goddess Tarot

Reading to me when I was little
Inner Child

                         Welcoming and loving all the new generations
Victorian Fairy Tarot
Sharing her deep regrets about her own Mom
Bohemian Gothic

                                                   Presenting a brave face to the world
Fantastic Menagerie

Enjoying life and all its sweetness
Elora Tarot

Happy Mother's Day to my darling Mom!
And to all the nurterers we encounter in our lives.

Friday, May 02, 2014

My Cup Overfloweth! with the Ten of Cups

Readers Studio 2014, New York, NY

Poster by Robert Place


Take one weekend packed with presentations and products, saturated with speakers and socializing, laced with lunches, lazing (albeit briefly) in the readers' lounge, and the luxury of a king-sized bed.
Add an experience interspersed with introductions to new people and their interesting ideas, complemented by conversations with creators of decks, books, bags, apps, weaving, and jewelry.
Toss in a tasty banquet, a few glasses of pinot noir and a ride in a limo.
Mix and enjoy!

The Ten of Cups, a surfeit of goodness and well-being. Too much to last but wonderful while it does!
The watery suit of connections, intuitions, relationships, feelings, family & friends.

It seems appropriate to begin with the 10 of Cups set right in the Big Apple itself - Courtney Weber's Tarot of the Burroughs. A compatible couple, walking their love and togetherness into the next stage.

Another romantic couple, reading to each other on the beach.
The Victorian Trade Card tarot by Marcia McCord shows us an earlier, more formal version of coupledom.

Sometimes whole families are featured on the 10 of Cups card.
The Victorian Romantic from Baba Studios brings us an idyllic multi-generational family scene.

The dark cousin of the Victorian Romantic, also from Baba Studios, is the Bohemian Gothic. It's a family all right, but there's a lot of drama seething beneath the surface. Something is about to go south; the Ten is clicking over and it's not going to be pretty.

Not all families in the Ten of Cups are human.

The Elora Tarot,
a collaborative deck
 from Elora, ON,
portrays a family of elephants, among whom caring for their young is a communal project.
Kind of like "it takes a village to raise a child."

Swans usually mate for life. Here are five nesting pairs in Dwariko Von Somaaruga's delicately drawn Songs for the Journey Home.
Perhaps the next phase, as the wheel turns from ten to what comes next, will be the hatching of the little "ugly ducklings".

Here's the Shining Tribe's Ten of Rivers. 
Rachel Pollack herself says it best:
The waves on their feet,
the joy in their bricks.
They throw sand to the gulls,
pearls to the wind. 

Julie Cuccia-Watts' Maat Tarot depicts abundance in all things
material: home, gardens, flocks of chicken and geese. She looks
like she might be pregnant (although it's hard to tell for sure).
It's the "happily ever after" of fairy tales.
And the icing on the couple's cake - a rainbow!

Sometimes the gratitude for blessings bestowed is being expressed by a solitary figure, as in the AnnaK's image of a woman replete, standing surrounded by her ten cups, soaking up the warmth of the sun. 

The Art of Life tarot by Charlene Livingstone
presents us with a slightly different slant on gratitude.
Its focus is on the cheer-spreading people in our lives.
Thank goodness we're not all Eeyores!

The Gaian Tarot (Joanna Powell Colbert) eloquently reminds us, in the Ten of Water, that time's wheel is always turning. Yes, death is inevitable; but without the way being paved by the generosity and sacrifice of those leaving, the new arrivals would have no blueprint for how to continue the cycle.

The last two Tens are all about the cups running over and spilling into each other. Life is good!

The Wild Unknown by Kim Krans 

The Wildwood by Will Worthington, Mark Ryan, John Matthews
Thanks to Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone of the Tarot School for another wonderful event!