Monday, June 27, 2016

Multiculturalism with the World Spirit Tarot

Considering what messes are going on around the world, politically and socially, the idea of nationalities coming together to celebrate each other's cultures seems BIG and NECESSARY and VITAL to the peace and sanity of us all.

Theresa Reed (aka The Tarot Lady) ran a whole series of lines like these a while back. I loved them!
Here's an example:

I would like to add, in honour of Windsor's Carrousel of Nations event running every June:

At the Scottish Club on Saturday:
I ordered a beer and watched the Scottish Country Dancers demo team. Got dragged onto the floor for an audience participation number. I learned that I am woefully out of shape!
Next up was one of the Irish Dance schools. A former piano student whirled, kicked, and stomped her way through some amazing moves and flashy footwork! Her dad bought me a beer, and the three of us chatted about old times.
Sunday at the Hungarian Centre:
Former and current students whirled their crinolined skirts in some traditional Hungarian dances while I ate a deep-fried l├íngos, aka elephant's ear.
Next on the stage, exuberant Ukrainian groups from Windsor and Detroit, and elegant Chinese dancers.

Little Italy on Saturday evening:
The Italian business section closes off the main street - walking on the road always feels so dangerously decadent!
Ate a deep-fried rice ball while a Dean-Martin-ish crooner and his band sang nearby. Then gelato (big line-up, so I got 2 flavours - lemon and hazelnut - to make up for the wait) and a fashion show which began at the storefront and carried on out into the street. The models were all shapes, sizes, ages, nationalities; yay!
Sunday to the Greek Village:
Spinach pie, honey balls, the Mythos band, and a dance floor full of the under-six ground jumping and gyrating to the music. Great entertainment!

The time is up for Carrousel 2016, and all its volunteers - cooks, organizers, dancers, singers, food-and-drink-sellers, and tent-setter-uppers - can rest their weary selves for another year.

Which deck to mirror this kind of pitching in, everyone welcome, cultural free-for-all?
These 4 cards seem to portray the convivial communal mixed-ethnicity spirit I was looking for.

Until next year then:

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Testing, Testing: Animal Totem Tarot

The book! Cracked it open for the first time today, and was blown away! Each card description page begins with a "quote" from the pictured creature. Some of the critters are crazy unusual, like a dung beetle and a blue-footed booby.
Here's a sample from the book: advice from the egg-laying, spiny, hedgehog-y mammal Echidna.
"Although I am hardly afraid of sharp pointy things, I do find it bothersome when they show up where I least expect to encounter them. I have to admit, it does throw a girl off her game. But in this world you have to see what is really there and then change direction accordingly."

Let's get to it, then.
Questions for Llewellyn's Animal Totem Tarot by Leeza Robertson, illustrated by Eugene Smith.

1. Have you used a single species (like birds as Air, for instance) to represent each suit? Many other animal decks choose to do this.
Five of Wands and Ace of Wands

As you can see from these two Wands, one of us is a land-dwelling badass honey-badger, and the other a harmless flying beetle, the firefly.
Our deck's creator has thought and thought until she was able to find the unique set of attributes that would convey the essence of each card in each suit. We are not a matched set; we are individuals with our own characteristics and strengths. Just like you humans are.

2. How can something like a zombie toad or a chicken have useful advice for me?
Nine of Pentacles

Well now, let's just have a nice long slow look 'round, shall we? (You humans, always jumping to hasty conclusions.)
I am a tortoise. I live a very long time; sometimes longer than you do, if I am left to my own devices and not hunted for my interesting shell.
I am peaceful - now there's something that humankind can surely learn from me.
My life is simple; I am satisfied with the possessions that I can carry with me. There are no packrat, overspending, deeply-in-debt, materialistic tortoises.
We don't get ulcers and high blood pressure from trying to live in the fast lane.
Are you getting the idea yet?

3. Are the characteristics attributed to the creature on each card scientifically accurate?
The Tower XVI

We are real creatures living in the real world, going about our daily lives (as you are).
I am a tower built by termites in the desert of Australia. Here in this inhospitable landscape the ants thrive in huge communal cooperative colonies. They dare to build high; it takes time and the work of many to achieve such an edifice.
And when the rains come, these termite structures will crumble. All that work - for nought. Or not?
Like human-built towers, they are bold. They climb skyward and dare to tempt fate, the elements, the gods. And when they collapse, work will begin anew. Lessons will be learned. Egos will be humbled. And life will continue, but not exactly the same as before. 

I think I'm going to love working with this deck/ book combo!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

My Year Card* for 2016 - The Lovers

Frankly, I'm not sure how this card relates to me at this point in my life.

Emily Dickinson, who led a rather strange life within a rather strange family, had this to say about love:
(The odd use of upper case and dashes is hers.)

Behold this little Bane -
The Boon of all alive - 
As common as it is unknown
The name of it is Love -

To lack of it is Woe -
To own of it is Wound -
Not elsewhere - if in Paradise
Its Tantamount be found -

The romantic modern view of the Lovers, entwined, bonded physically and emotionally, doesn't fit me.
(Although I do love this rendition from the Druidcraft deck!)

And neither does the earlier Rider Waite Smith, which leaves me absolutely cold (as does the whole deck, I must confess).

So, what to do with this misfit card for a whole year?
I went to the shelves to consult the experts. There are, of course, many more wise people of the tarot; my apologies to all those I'm leaving out. The small table where I plunked this stack was about to tip over.

From the top of the pile to the bottom, here are the bits that I plucked (just for me, for the upcoming year) from the masses of wisdom they shared about Trump VI, The Lovers.

1. Mary Greer (Tarot for Your Self, p.236)
"Thinking about relationship." and "Freedom from inhibitions, guilt, conditioning, or bondage."

2. Juliet Sharman-Burke (Beginner's guide to Tarot p.155) This book/deck set was my first tarot.
"the need to make a choice"

3. Joan Bunning (Learning the Tarot p.124,125)
"finding out what you care about" and "following your own path"

4. Anthony Louis (Tarot Plain and Simple p.70)
"You are at a fork in the road."

5. Kim Huggens (Tarot 101 p.183)
"This card can be seen as a representation of the worlds of spirit and matter. Divine and mundane, interacting and reacting to each other."
"In its modern versions, it speaks of love, deep relationships, fulfillment. But that was not always the case. The older name, or at least theme, for this card is choice."

7. Gail Fairfield (Choice-Centered Relating and the Tarot p.298)
"Experiencing cooperation, collaboration, joining forces; coming together for the sake of a larger, joint purpose..."

8. Paul Quinn (Tarot for Life p.65)
"Joining forces creates possibilities not available in solo efforts. Yet even when our partnerships don't meet these ideals, they enable us to discover who we are and who we are not, what nourishes us and what does not - things we could not have learned had we never entered into relationship." 

Given that I'm contemplating retirement within the next year, expressions like: choices, fork in the road, joining forces, finding out what I care about, freedom from inhibitions and conditioning, the divine and mundane interacting, are certainly apt. There's a year's worth of food for thought in these wisdom-bites!

It's challenging to find atypical Lovers cards which I like. Here are a few.
Zirkus Magi
Wizards Tarot

The Threefold Oracle

Tea Tarot
Siamese Tarot

Sacred Sites Tarot

Ravens Prophesy
Mystical Cats Tarot

Margarete Petersen

Inner Child Tarot
Bruegel Tarot

AnnaK Tarot

*In case you're not sure how to find your year card:
Add your day and month of birth (mine are 9 + 6) to the current year (2016) = 2031
Reduce it by adding the individual numbers until you get a single digit. 2+0+3+1 = 6
It worked out the same if I did it this way:
9+6+2+0+1+6 = 24, and 2+4 = 6

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Beans, Brits, Lies, Tarot? (Golden Age of Hollywood Tarot)

Four hotdogs left in the fridge, and no bread-products in the house. How about beans? Yes! Standing in front of the baked beans aisle at the grocery store, I saw: beans with molasses, beans with brown sugar, with pork, with maple syrup, with barbeque flavouring, with chili. Nah, none of those. Wait - what's that one? Beans, British-style, startling turquoise label. The ingredients read like the usual, but who can resist anything British-style? Not me. So the dogs and two cans of the beans ended up together, with some salsa added for zip. There's a few dinners done and dusted.
Look at that cute little drippy bean in the

Which brings me to lies, British-style. Tim Roth, the crookedy-postured dishevelled irreverent abrasive-with-a-good-heart Dr. Cal Lightman in the series Lie to Me. Based on the facial expression research of Dr. Paul Ekman, an advisor to the series. (I love Tim Roth.)
Cal Lightman is inordinately fond of beans on toast (is that a British thing? I don't know), eating them several times a week. A fact which elicits some razzing from his teenage daughter on the show.

So there we've got beans, lies, Brits. Time to tie in some tarot. Hmm. I'm going off to watch some TV and maybe something will come to me. Or I'll think of a brilliant lie that will suffice.

Full of beans. Of course, there's the obvious gaseous connection. Not that one. I mean the reference to being full of energy (again, not that kind of energy, although isn't methane how the cow was able to jump over the moon?), high spirits, sass, an element of mischief.
And there's also the full of beans used to mean talking nonsense, inaccurate, out in left field, way off base. (Too bad I don't own the Baseball Tarot.)

I'm going with excess energy, friskiness, high spirits. Here are some cards that I think have that quality about them. They're all from the Golden Age of Hollywood Tarot - high jinks and sass!

Gene Kelly again? He was just in this blog a couple of weeks ago!

I hope your week is full of beans!