Monday, September 22, 2014

Pulling My Faves Part 2 - the Ace of Cups

The next group of nominees for my conglomerate deck of faves is pulled from the Aces of Cups.
If I continue at this pace, the final deck will have 468 cards and be the size of a small toaster.

As with the Aces of Wands, the selected cards must:
  • be engaging
  • have a sense of excitement and/or possibility
  • make me think

The AnnaK's Ace is tranquil and thoughtful;
winter's frozen feelings 
melting into a brand new spring. 

The Alchemical Renewed layers a river supporting a fish which carries a beaker of heart's blood which supports new growth. Its symmetry pleases me.

I like the expression of cranky feistiness in the eye
of this little nautilus from the Animal Wisdom.
You can't just throw your feelings around; be sensible.
And don't make a mess - I just cleaned up around here!

Such eagerness to embark on life in the Fantastic Menagerie. I can smell the brisk sea air and hear the surf.
She's not even out of the shell and is already making a fashion statement; now that's confidence!

In the Gaian Tarot a young salmon sets out alone, intuition driving him forward. An evocative beginning to what we know is a journey with an heroic finish.

The Ace of Summer from the Victorian Fairy makes me feel so peaceful. All the tension in my shoulders dissolves as I look at it. Do water lilies have a scent?

Six nominees for the Ace of Cups-Water-Summer-Shells.
Difficult choice!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Leaving the Island and the Eight of Cups

In the summer of 1971, my new husband and I took our small black mutt-dog and our camping gear and rode off to find the vacation property of our dreams. Bypassing the expensive waterfront within a weekend’s drive of Toronto, we ended up one thousand miles from home, proud owners of a 4 ½ acre island. Densely treed verging on wild, it came with a ramshackle log cabin and tilted outhouse. The lake was pristine, potable, deep and cool, populated all round by cottagers.
The island's previous owner, a local character named Doris, boasted that the fishing was so good that the muskies, (a large pike-related fierce-toothed fresh-water fish) came up and rested their jaws on the rocks. This did not prove to be true, thank goodness, and the island was our beloved summer home for the next ten years.
I learned to negotiate baking with a wood-burning stove named Climax, paddle a canoe, and tell red pines from white ones. We read by oil-lamps, painted signs for the paths we were clearing, and eavesdropped on the spluttering of otters at play. Our son managed to imitate the loons' quavering call so accurately that they answered back. There was the immensity of the Aurora Borealis, and the intense, can't-see-my-hand darkness of northern nights. We sauteed fairy ring mushrooms, and canoed across to the mainland when the wild blueberries were ready for picking.

Gaian Tarot

It’s been thirty years now since I was there.
Lives have changed, partners have moved on, kids have grown and started their own families. I still mourn the loss of that small parcel of trees, rocks and moss, and the sweetness of times spent there, but have finally come to accept that I cannot hold onto it forever.

The sale of the island was final this week. It deserves a new family, new explorers, new pathfinders. I hope they will cherish it as much as we did, all those years ago.

Which bring us to the Eight of Cups, a watery card of leavetakings.
Our emotional lives ebb and flow, times and people change; sometimes an exit is of our own devising, and sometimes we are forced away from someone or someplace before we are ready.
Whatever the reason, the Eight of Cups is about coming to grips with letting go and moving on.

The AnnaK and the Cat's Eye show us endings where someone leaves brokenhearted and rejected. Their situations have become emotionally untenable.

In the Sidhe, this card is called "Escaping Stagnation". From the scary look of the pond, I'd say this image opens the door to possibilities of unhealthy or even abusive relationships. To escape takes courage, but the reward is emotional sunshine. Breathe deeply; the air is clear and fresh.

In the Buckland Romani, memories are sweet, but the time has come to move on. Oh dear, we see a jarring parting of the ways in Songs for the Journey Home.

It's been great spending time with you in the Bruegel, but now we must say our goodbyes; thank you so much for your hospitality! We're all packed up and on our way in the Journey to the Orient. It's a difficult climb up into the mountains and the wind is biting; we'd better get going while there's still daylight.

Am I idealizing the summers spent on the Island? Quite possibly. The Fey looks like she's leaving the Holy Grail. The Maat wonders if I'm blinded by sentiment. The All Hallows suspects that I think of the Island as hallowed ground. They're all probably a little bit right.

The Art of Life knows that with every loss there comes a gain, even if we can't see it through our tears.

To endings, mendings, and new beginnings.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Testing, Testing: The Silver Witchcraft Tarot

The Silver Witchcraft Tarot shimmers on the desk. It's a moonlit pool inviting me to dive in and explore.

This new deck from Lo Scarabeo is a collaboration between artist Franco Rivolli and writer Barbara Moore.

I haven't yet cracked open the accompanying manual; these comments are coming from the card images alone.

1. I don't know anything about Witchcraft. Will you still speak to me? 
4 of Pentacles

I do not exclude anyone from working with and enjoying my images. As you can see, I am not one to panic if a non-witch comes to visit. Anyone who revels in nature and the outdoors will find me accessible.

In many decks, the 4 of Pentacles is about hoarding one's possessions, hiding them for safekeeping, being fearful of others' coveting glances.
I do not set great store by material goods, and am pleased to share what I have for the peace and well-being of other creatures.
I cultivate and nurture the threads that bind us all on Earth, and find a great peace in our interconnectedness.

2. Every Major Arcana figure except the Fool  is placed on a pedestal. Do they think they are better than everyone else?
XI Justice

We, the Major Arcana cards, feel that we appear as guideposts along life's journeys, as part of the larger team of cards that make up the tarot.

A seeker, preoccupied with the things of earth and the necessities of living, may have her focus aimed downward on the path underfoot, and forget to look upward from time to time to see the greater picture.
So, in placing ourselves on plinths, it is our hope that we will be easily findable to those in need of our guidance.

We stand between the known and unknown; we strive to be fair, just, and balanced between the bright and dark times of life. It is our wish to lighten a seeker's burden during the difficult days by releasing colour and life into the darkness.

3. What do you feel is your greatest strength as a deck?
8 of Wands

My willingness to exert myself on your behalf.

I try to present you with ideas as quickly as possible. I gather inspiration from the skies, the land, and Earth's creatures, to help with your search.

If what you need is in the past, I will attempt to run back, retrieve that information, and illuminate it for you.

All my creative resources and passionate energy will be on deck.
(My wry humour escapes from time to time.)

I welcome the Silver Witchcraft to my collection!