Sunday, March 26, 2017

Welcome, Spring! Welcome, new batch of decks!

Away with Winter's twenty-one decks!

Since last September 21st, I've worked with forty-four! unfamiliar decks, and my mind is tired of looking at so much new stuff. I have declared a brain holiday, and chosen a mere fifteen decks for this season. Eight of them are old friends, so it feels like a vacation!

This time last year (April, actually), I was in Prague, soaking up the city and the company of Karen and Alex's tour group, basking in the pampering at the House at the Big Boot, and loving our guides.
Not going again this year was a good decision, BUT seeing posts from the people making ready to experience that wonderfulness again makes me SO LONESOME for it all! On our tour last year we witnessed the arrival of the newly-redone Tarot of Prague, boxes of them hot off the presses, and just leafing through that deck launches so many memories. 
Where am I going with all this whiny nostalgia? Deck choices. The Tarot of Prague topped the list, and to make sure I felt surrounded by enough Prague-y-ness, I tossed in all six of Baba Studio's other decks for good measure. 

The first card of Spring? The Devil!
OK, Trump XV, what are your devilish suggestions for me this Spring season?

From the Baroque Bohemian Cats' Tarot:
Reread Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. And say 'hi' to Fluffy for me!

From the Tarot of Paris:
Take in some culture. Hit a museum or two.

From the Raven's Prophecy Tarot:
Speaking of culture, remember Joseph Campbell? He was a great guy. He wrote those books called
  The Masks of God. I bet they're a devilishly good read. 

From the Bohemian Gothic Tarot:
Don't try this at home. Visit your neighbourhood opium den. 

From the Alice Tarot:
Didn't your choir sing Jabberwocky, years ago? You weren't as good as these people - just sayin'...

From the Siamese Tarot:
I know you can't afford to visit Thailand, but watch that movie, Anna and the King.
It's the next best thing. Scenery and costumes are diabolically good.

Go dancing. You could use the exercise.

From the Cook's Tarot:
Ah, c'mon. One more piece of devil's food cake can't hurt.

I must fly, my dear. Others are in need of my flowery phrases and cheering thoughts.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Trying not to be ego-driven

This is a tough one for me. Only now, in the autumn/winter of my life, am I beginning to sort of figure out how to not let ego and its irrational demands rule my psyche. 

Here's what I'm learning. (My Mimi's voice is coming in: "Too soon old, too late schmart." Mim was French-Canadian, so I have no idea why she pronounced "smart" in a Germanesque way. But she did.)

1. Ego thinks there's a finite amount of excellence to go around. If they've got it, you don't.

2. Ego is forever on the hunt for fresh meat and new conquests. It doesn't let you stop and smell the roses.

3. Ego is always elbowing you, psst, and pointing out that other person who does what you do, only better.

4. Ego likes you to think that catering to it makes you happy. But, except for teeny tiny slivers of time, it doesn't.

5. Ego carries around a supply of pins to burst your bubble.

This week's card is the King of Pentacles. He's risen to the top of the heap.

The stats from the twenty-one Kings of Pents on the table:
In 14 of them, he/she is all alone at the top, and not one of them is smiling. What is the point of all that climbing if you're going to be alone and not particularly happy?

Three are impressionist-y vague. I can't tell what they're thinking.

One has gone off into its own Midsummer Night's Dream world.

Only three!!!!! show a King looking reasonably content, or engaged in an activity that doesn't involve amassing wealth.

Here's what I know: a wound to the ego is never fatal!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Mourning the Loss of a Blue Spruce

This is not what I'd planned to write about this week, but it's uppermost in my heart and mind.

Wednesday, March 8, was an exceedingly windy day. Anything that could rattle and bang, did. The big evergreens in the front swayed and soughed as they always do when the wind is wild. Garbage cans rolled down the street, running away from home.
Around 11:45 I stepped out to test the temperature. Spring coat day.
Noon - time for lunch with my daughter and delectable one-year-old grandson. I grabbed my coat and opened the door. To this.

A tour around.

The remainder of the day passed by in a shock-y hyper blur of visitors: my lunchless daughter and little Simon strollered over to commiserate; a friend, responding to my panicked call, dropped by with her camera and a can of hard cider as a consolation gift; a neighbour with a long extension cord began sawing off branches that blocked the street or held my car hostage; passers-by and gawkers shared fallen tree stories; my brother sympathized, even though pieces of the front door to his shop were tearing off and blowing away as we spoke; later in the day the city (swamped with similar predicaments) sawed off more tree parts blocking the road and sidewalk, and fed them into a hopper (much to the delight of 5-year-old Emily who by now had been fetched from her school bus to see Gramma's toppled tree). And so it went.

Thursday, March 9, was going to be a great day. My calendar said so, in CAPS.
NOON: MARCH BREAK BEGINS! Last lessons to teach before a 2-week break, a nice little list of paper supplies to pick up at a stationery store. Pots of tea, books, Poldark Season 1 on DVD, time completely my own, possible bread-baking ahead. Ah.
So what was wrong? Nothing felt celebratory or fun. No enthusiasm bubbled. I didn't bake anything or watch Ross and Demelza or visit the paper store, even though my (miraculously unhurt) car was now free to travel.
By nightfall, I'd figured it out. I was mourning the beautiful tree and all my years gone by in company with it. The view outside was empty and plain. Yesterday's fallen but still graceful and majestic tree now looked like a broken ugly wreck. Depressing.

I pulled the cards for the week. Leave it to tarot to bring up Six of Cups, the nostalgia card. Fitting.

We're so sorry that you had to see this. The Shakespeare Oracle

Of course you are sad! You will miss its sheltering boughs. Deirdre of the Sorrows

The vista will never be the same. Tarot of the Thousand and One Nights

Perhaps plant a new tree, and watch it grow alongside your grandchildren. Modern Spellcaster's Tarot 

There is no tree in our image, and yet how beautiful it is. You, too, will find some beauty. Vikings Tarot

By some bizarre twist of happenstance, the poem of the day from The Writer's Almanac for that
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 was...

by Faith Shearin

There is weather on the day you are born
and weather on the day you die. (I like to think she's speaking to my tree here.)  There is
the year of drought, and the year of floods,
when everything rises and swells,
the year when winter will not stop falling,
and the year when summer lightning
burns the prairie, makes it disappear.
There are the weathervanes, dizzy
on top of farmhouses, hurricanes
curled like cats on a map of sky:
there are cows under the trees outlined
in flies. There is the weather that blows
a stranger into town and the weather
that changes suddenly: an argument,
a sickness, a baby born
too soon. Crops fail and a field becomes
a study in hunger; storm clouds
billow over the sea;
tornadoes appear like the drunk
trunks of elephants. People talking about
weather are people who don’t know what to say
and yet the weather is what happens to all of us:
the blizzard that makes our neighborhoods
strange, the flood that carries away
our plans. We are getting ready for the weather,
or cleaning up after the weather, or enduring
the weather. We are drenched in rain
or sweat: we are looking for an umbrella,
a second mitten; we are gathering
wood to build a fire.

"Weather" by Faith Shearin from Orpheus, Turning. © The Broadkill River Press, 2015. Reprinted with permission. 

Monday, March 06, 2017

Things to do before I'm 70

A friend of mine recently turned 60, and for the year before her birthday she was working on a checklist of "60 things to do before I'm 60". She managed almost all of it, and had some unique experiences along the way. I was inspired!

I decided to give myself more time by beginning three years ahead, on the "things to do before I'm 70" list. Some are big, expensive, and unlikely to happen, like trips to Africa and India. But what the heck? It's good to dream, right?

This week, I'm using the tarot to come up with more ideas for my "before 70" list.

Near the beginning of the year, someone (sorry! didn't make a note of who) posted an exercise using the Wheel of Fortune card, since 2017 is the Year of the Wheel (2+0+1+7=10). Here's my variation.

1. Shuffle your deck. 
2. Go through it face up until you find the X Wheel of Fortune.
3. Look at the card right after it. Don't think too much! Just blurt out something that comes to mind, even if it's crazy.
4. Put it on your "to do" list.

I chose three decks that have been tossing out thought-provoking cards recently. Here's what happened.
The Chrysalis Tarot (cropped)
In a land which has ancient trees, sit in the midst of some Standing Stones. 
There may (fingers crossed) be a trip to Britain in the fall. The land of ancient forests and stone circles.

Universal Fantasy Tarot
It's time to ride something you're afraid of.
A horse. I've always been terrified that it will turn back its head and bite my leg if I attempt to sit on it. 

Vikings Tarot
Go see where people worked. Visit a World Heritage Site.
This one set off a tingly chain of connections. I LOVE that!
2017 is Canada's 150th birthday year. In celebration, Parks Canada is offering free admission to all our national parks.
The only province I've never visited is Newfoundland, where the Vikings established their first North American settlement around the year 1000.
These images are from the Vikings tarot.
That Viking site, L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland, is now a National Park, and a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site.
My Parks Canada admission card is downstairs waiting for me to use it.