Sunday, May 31, 2015

Dealing with Disappointment

Am I disappointed in myself? The situation? Someone else? Wounded ego? Trampled self-esteem?
Which of these is causing this mysterious mental malaise?
Danged if I know.
I'm digging all 'round in my brain for clues so I can unearth this troublesome niggle and dissect it, dissolve it, dismiss it.
No luck. The shovel is coming up empty.

Tarot to the rescue. Clues for the clueless. Questions to pry loose this reluctant puzzle piece.
1. What was lost?
2. What was gained?
3. The missing piece 
(This last is gleaned from watching a lot of Masterpiece Theatre. Master piece...Missing piece...gotta love that British TV!)

First deck up to bat - the Siamese Tarot.

1. What was lost?     My illusion that I was on top of the situation.
2. What was gained?     Some humility. 
3. The missing piece     Things were learned and added to my toolbox.

Next - Tarot Nova

1. What was lost?     Some gung-ho exuberance.    
2. What was gained?     Acceptance of taking a step back. 
3. The missing piece     I forgot the sheer joy of sharing.

Finally, the Intuitive Tarot
I received this deck in a swap a while ago, and cropped it but never used it until now.

1. What was lost?     Some resilience; it got dented.    
2. What was gained?     Learned that I'm fighting the devil within, and it's a disturbing image. 
3. The missing piece     When I'm ready, I'll fire up the brain-forge and revamp the plan.

Are my interpretations biased? Yup.
Does it matter? Not in this case.
Did tarot come to the rescue? Yes indeed.
Pull up your sox, there's no permanent damage, you'll be fine. You're no worse off than you were before. Sigh a few times, shrug, and start something new and stimulating.


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Testing, Testing: The Fairy Lights Tarot

I looked at this deck online when it first came out and didn't want it. Too unclear, too busy, too weird, too something.
Enter the supreme enabling thread: the Trimmed Borders/Altered Decks Index on Aeclectic Tarot. How does the deck look when the side borders are trimmed off? Splendid.
I left the thin white line intact for continuity with the white at the tops and bottoms. The trade-off is that the adjoining edges have a teeny bit of white between them. I'll live with it like this for a while. I can always remove it later, but can't add it back once cut off!

The Fairy Lights Tarot began life as 39 paintings, in a style nudging Impressionism, with a hint of Klimt and a bit of odd thrown in. Each drawing was then cut in half to make 78 tarot cards. This is a LoScarabeo deck, and it comes with the usual LWB in 5 languages, 11 pages devoted to each. Are Lucia Mattioli's card pairings listed in these 11 pages? Only two of 39. I spent a pleasant hour finding the other 37 and getting acquainted with the deck. And then wrote them all down in the LWB!

I find this to be an intriguing idea. Let's see how it works.

8 of Pentacles working her earthly magic and sending it forth into the world.
8 of Wands seeing those plans come to fruition in a fiery splashdown.

9 of Cups, where feelings fly free, independent of wealth and walls.
King of Pentacles, whose hard work and husbandry built the walls that shelter.

4 of Pentacles taking such care with his hoard, loading all his earthly possessions onto his burro.
XVI The Tower, where the inhabitants have abandoned all their goods in a flight to safety. 

2 of Wands, entering an oasis of what-might-be, if one brings enough insight and energy.
7 of Pentacles, appreciating what is manifest after sufficient work and perseverance.

VI The Lovers and the beginning.
10 of Cups, wondering how far have we come? Contemplating the next step.

Happy World Tarot Day!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Some Assembly Required

This past winter I embarked upon a little project requiring only a screwdriver.

There were a LOT of pieces in the box. 

REALLY a lot. Many more than seemed necessary for one measly chest of drawers.
The fact that I could fit into the empty box should have raised a red flag.

My trusty screwdriver and I began. I think a house could be built more simply. I got some of the frame together but the tiny drawers were another thing entirely. The holes for the screws seemed uncooperative. It would surely be a year before I finished it, and in the meantime no one could walk through or sit in the living room.
Would it end up looking like the picture on the box? Doubtful. Would it be functional? Probably not.

I needed help from an expert, one with experience and better tools. I hired one. He spent the first half hour disassembling the upside-down and backwards things I had done.
Was all this trouble, time, and expense worth it? YES! This beautiful and slightly quirky piece of furniture holds a LOT of decks!

Tarot decks, like chests of drawers, are receptacles. They hold ideas and inspirations at the ready until we come to open them up. However, there are some which require more than a casual glance before they can be put to work. A quick flick through the deck's instructions doesn't quite cut it. Here are three that definitely need (for me, at least) some help from their creators and some effort on my part to reach their full potential as working decks.

The New Orleans Voodoo Tarot
As the author, Louis MartiniƩ, writes in the introduction to his companion volume, "This book does not present the understanding of Voodoo: what it does do is give one understanding."
New Orleans and its unique blend of culture, food, ambience, atmosphere, and architecture, is high on my bucket list. The mysterious world of Voodoo, blended with New Orleans - yes!
276 pages
The images are somewhat dark, as you would expect. The suits and court cards have been renamed.
The Majors are similar to RWS-based decks, and readable (in a shallow fashion) without much research. The Minors, however, are a different story, and I'm curious to find out who these characters are!
Here are examples from Fire, Water, Air, and Earth, with tiny elemental drawings identifying the suits.

The Shining Tribe Tarot
Rachel Pollack's drawings are crammed with imagery from tribal traditions around the world. I'm not familiar enough with most of them to understand this deck without her book by my side...yet. Most of the cards have an optimism and lightness about them that lift my mind and spirit.
331 pages

The suits are renamed Trees, Rivers, Birds, and Stones. The Courts (Vision cards) are Place, Knower, Gift, and Speaker. There's a simplicity about these drawings that links them, and thus us, to the wisdom of the ancients. I find that reassuring.

(Rachel is in need of our help right now. Find out more.)

The Mary-El Tarot
This is by the most sophisticated deck of the three artistically, and it took Marie more than ten years to complete. Each painting is a gorgeous work of art in its own right. For me, it's also the least intuitive as a tarot deck; I'm glued to her book when I try to read with the cards. Perhaps I need to just let go and let my mind fly wild!
192 pages

This deck, subtitled Landscapes of the Abyss, sticks with the traditional suits and card titles. Some cards are a bit scary, and none are what I would label light or humorous. All are thought-provoking.

Lots of interesting reading ahead!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Bloomin' Lazy

Today is Mother's Day. I'm a Mom and a Gramma. So I'm forsaking my usual Sunday blogging
to smell the lilacs,

walk through the violets (and dandelions - yes, my neighbours are gasping in horror),

and go out for supper with my family. 
Now that's what I call a good Mother's Day!

Sunday, May 03, 2015

What exactly IS a good online reading?

Different things to different people.
How to produce one that I'm happy to send out? There's the rub! I don't know yet.
Which is why I've opted out (at least for now) of offering them in their usual format of n number of cards, this or that spread, for x amount of $.

How does one get the chatty back-and-forth of an in-person reading from such a dry format?
You can exchange a series of emails, which is a time-consuming type of chatting. The problem may work itself out without any reading at all!

There's always that potential for misunderstanding because email lacks vital clues like facial expressions and vocal inflections.
What if the querent gets the wrong idea? Is insulted or hurt?
What if I miss the point entirely?
You see the difficulty.

Some people are brilliant using this medium (Theresa Reed, for instance.)
Many readers employ a series of "intake questions", which go a long way to matching reader and querent language and thought styles. James Wells is one reader who uses these well.

Yes, the querent can choose a deck or a spread. That personalizes things.

The wording of the question can be bandied about until both parties agree on its impact and value.
What can I do to...?  How can I...?  What might be the best way to...?

Perhaps this is where one's "psychic abilities" enter the equation? I'm up the creek, if that's the case.

Having decades of readings under your belt is helpful. As is beginning your tarot career in grade school.
I went to grade school. Will that do?

Email is the ideal comfort-zone type of reading for querents who just want an answer.
Just tell me yes or no. Never mind all the self-help blather.

As for me, I'm stirring the pot, tossing in possibilities, tasting new approaches.
And simmering until I get the blend of flavours I'm looking for.

Hm. Needs salt...