Saturday, May 26, 2018

The Miracle of the Forget-Me-Nots, with the Mibramig Magical Tarot

For nearly 20 years we made the trek over the Mackinac Bridge into Michigan's Upper Peninsula to spend a week at a cabin. Perhaps my favourite signpost of we're almost there! was the lawn of an historic inna vast sea of blue forget-me-nots stretching from the highway all the way back to the lake. Oh, how wondrous!
By the time our week ended, that lawn had been cut and the bed of blue was no more. How lucky we were to round that bend in the road at forget-me-not time each year.

When the marriage ended, so did the annual trips to the cottage. That first spring, when Victoria Day weekend rolled around and we were not headed north, was a sad one. But that's when the miracle happened...

In my front yard, beneath the big spruce, were a few tiny tufts of blue forget-me-nots. In all the years in this house, there had never been a single one, and yet they appeared that year, just when I needed them.
And there they return each year, more and more of them, and pink ones have joined the show!

Miraculous! Magical! So I'm heading to the Mibramig Magical Tarot for a conversation.

TW: First, a confession. I only chose this deck because of its name. It's not one I've ever used.

MMT (Magician): Harrumph! Is that any way to start a conversation? With an insult?

TW: I'm very sorry, Mibramig, but I like more smiles in my decks, and yours doesn't crack one until the Wheel of Fortune, and rarely after that.

MMT (Wheel of Fortune): Ha! I told you we should smile more!

MMT (Hierophant): Happy shmappy. You young whippersnappers think you can make everything all sweetness and light. Well, let me tell you, life is a serious business.

MMT (Sun): Hey, what about me? I'm smiling! And without me your blue flowers wouldn't have a chance.

TW: That's so true, Sun - thank you! And you make a good point, Hierophant.

MMT (4 of Wands): To your miraculous blooms!

MMT (6 of Wands): Three Six cheers for the forget-me-nots!

MMT (8 of Chalices): Knowing when to leave off doing a treasured thing like your cottage tradition deserves acknowledgement.

MMT (3 of Chalices): We'll drink to that!

TW: Thank you for your kind words, 8 of Chalices. And now, coming back to my reason for asking you here today: are you a deck that believes in magic, and miracles?

MMT (Hanged Man): Are we going to hang around here 'til we're blue in the face? Will someone please answer the dang question!

MMT (Fool): A creature would be a Fool not to believe in magic! I know what I mean.

MMT (Empress): Of course we believe, dearie. That's what tarot is all about, isn't it? And as for your lovely blue forget-me-nots...I wear blue rather well, don't you think?

TW: I'm convinced, Mibramig Magic Tarot. You'll be out of your box more often from now on! 

In neighbourhood news:

First of four new tarot&book shelves going up today. What started as a modest collection, nicely ordered (or at least, I knew where they all were, and why) has grown to 242 decks. Time to put them in alphabetical order! 


Saturday, May 19, 2018

Testing, Testing: The Elora Tarot

Coming up next weekend (May 26, 27) is the first ever Elora Tarot and Divination Festival in the lovely town of - you guessed it! - Elora, Ontario.

From this creative community comes the work of sixty-five artists, pooling their talents to create the Elora Tarot. Let's have a look!

It seems difficult for 65 separate artists to create a cohesive deck. Did you manage it?
Hell yes! We loved being a part of this much larger body of work.
And if someone was getting cranky or ego-bound, we shared a meal and talked things through.
Which is kind of what tarot does, right?

Is this deck more pertinent to people living in or near your town?
Is it in any way Elora-exclusive?
Art is art, and tarot is tarot, no matter where you hail from in the world.
Of course, the local artists will be familiar to Eloraians (I'm not sure what the townsfolk call themselves; I'm a deck of cards), but tarot interpretations are wide open. As is the appreciation of pieces of art.
We're a colourful deck, and we leave plenty of space
on which you may place your own interpretations. 

You must be excited about the Tarot and Divination Festival coming to your town.
Actually, things are a bit of a blur right now, what with opening day only 6 days away.
This is our first Festival of this kind, and some of us are hanging around waiting to be given our next task.
Of course, there are always those who excel at seeing what needs to be done, and doing it.
And others who are fantastic at taking something mysterious
and shaping it into something wonderful.

Was there a lot of fighting about who got to do which card?
Shh. I'm not telling. What happened in Elora stays in Elora.
I will say, however, that everyone in the crew dug deep to find something new to say in their cards
that also moved them forward as artists.
You'll find a lot of collective wisdom here. 

Are you a good reading deck, or mostly a beautiful art deck?
Well, the art question pretty much answers itself.
As for me being a reading deck as well, I say most certainly! Or to quote the King of Cups: "Hell yes!"
Some of us take a bit of mind-stretching to bring forth a tarot opinion, and surely that is a good thing.
We're not a clone of anything else; we're unique; and we hope to bring you many good perceptions and ideas as you work with us.
You could say that we're a cutting-edge deck. 

And who doesn't love THE HAPPY SQUIRREL?

Many thanks, Elora Tarot, and good luck launching your first Tarot and Divination Festival!

In neighbourhood news...

One cataract surgery down, one to go. So far, so good! With the right eye now seeing beautifully out to a distance, and the left doing its usual I-can-see-fantastically-well-up-to-four-inches-away thing, my world currently looks a lot like the Hanged Man card above!


Sunday, May 13, 2018

Pulling My Faves part 5: the Death card

This is instalment 5 in a series about building my ideal deck, put together out of cards from many different decks. (Here's the first post in the series.)
I set out to choose just ONE of each card - 78 cards in all. 
Ha! What a ludicrously impossible idea that turned out to be - ONE favourite of each card?

Why Death?

Because after 52 years of faithful service, my beloved contact lenses are being retired. The end of an era.
Well, this hardly warrants bringing out the Death card. Bit of overkill, wouldn't you say?
Was that pun intended?
Sorry, couldn't resist.
I know, it seems silly. But I've relied on them for most of my life. I knew what I could see with them, and what I couldn't without them. All that is about to change, and I'm not sure how.
Upcoming cataract surgery has me tied up in knots of knervousness.
Was that alliteration intentional?
Couldn't resist - sorry.
  • What if the surgeon screws it up and I end up blind in one eye?
  • He's done 5,952 of these. I'm sure it'll be fine.
  • After all those thousands, he's probably getting careless. 
  • Oh for Pete's sake!

So Death, with its undertone of endings and overlay of beginnings, seemed appropriate.

This is who presents himself first when I think about the Death card.

No skeleton on a horse here.
A dark angel invites us to cross over with him.
Step over his sickle and embark upon a new path.
I like the light on the horizon:
it feels hopeful.

Another non-traditional Death card, from the Gaian Tarot

This way of looking at Death
makes it seem so natural.
Sad, yes, but also respectful, with the sun lighting up the water and plants blooming around both the heron and the old boat.
Their span has come to an end.

The Art of Life Tarot has a slightly different slant.

Make hay while the sun shines.
Live now while it's still your turn.
"What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" Mary Oliver

I just love the look of this one:
something about the colours, the balance, the combination of up close and in the distance.
It makes me feel calm and visually satisfied.

The Dreaming Way is a somewhat melancholy deck, which suits Death just fine.

The full bloom of youth meets the necessity of death.
Life and Death co-existing.
Is she the recipient or the wielder of the sickle?

This is a food-chain take on Death. One creature dies to feed another.
It's unfortunate, but I'm glad it's not me. I live to hunt another day.
The heron dominates this frame, but may meet his nemesis farther along the path.
The circle of life.

The Steampunk Tarot (B.Moore/Aly Fell)

By all means mourn your losses.
Weep for endings.
Miss your beloveds.
Rail against changes.
It's how life works.


Sunday, May 06, 2018

The Perils of Pigeonholing People, with the Japaridze Tarot

In just two days, I've been clobbered thrice. Not badly - more like a bonk with a well-aimed Nerf ball.

Within a 24-hour period, I learned BIG new things about three people, one of whom has been a dear friend for decades. In each case, she blasted right out of the compartment I'd put her in and skyrocketed into a whole new arena of expertise. 

This required some mental tinkering and fidgeting on my part, because the balance between us had shifted. What now?

Over to the beautiful Japaridze Tarot for some fresh perspectives.

1. I'm going to need a bigger boat bigger pigeonholes.
Thoughts from looking at this image:
  • You get burned if you try to shove people into tidy little slots.
  • Apparently everything I thought I knew has gone up in flames! 
  • Why run the risk of fighting all that painful fire, when all you have to do is unlock those little boxes and let your friends fly free?
  • Don't just stand there like a ninny! Back up, re-think, re-start, re-fresh! 

2. Things feel out of balance between us.
  • You're losing this game.
    • Wait a minute! Since when is friendship a win/lose thing?
  • I thought I was the king.
    • Nope. Does it really matter whose turn it is to shine?
  • Life is always moving and shifting. Sometimes you're the white, other times you're the green.
  • In this image, the King appears to be on top, but in reality the board is a level playing field. 
  • Always coming out on top is tiring. Enjoy the back seat!

3. My relentless ego keeps a graph of how I stack up against others. The "me" line on the chart took a few dips and dives in the last couple of days. Why is it that the ego only works in terms of me versus them?

A wise teaching friend* of mine once referred to the "simmering kettle of doubt" that we all keep on the back burner. If you lift the lid on this kettle, its insidious coils of steam will wind their way around your sense of self-worth and strangle it. She advised keeping a lid on it.
Oh how soothing that this watery Queen came up here!

  • The tendrils of the steamy kettle of doubt are no match for her cooling tides.
  • Breathe, loosen your shoulders, let your arms hang loose by your sides, dance around a bit.
  • Know what you know. It's unique to you.
  • A wise Queen appreciates her friendships.
    • Does this mean that I'm a "wise Queen"? 
      • That's entirely up to you.

And just for the sheer beauty of them...

In neighbourhood news...
Yesterday morning I was sailing along the highway on my way to a friend's surprise retirement party. She was an amazing mentor and teacher, and plans for this gathering had been in the works for months. It was going to be fantastic! I was happily humming along to the radio when a great noise sounded from somewhere underneath, and a large piece of my car fell off onto the highway behind me. I pulled over, waited for a more normal heart rate, headed back trepidatiously, and landed at the mechanic's at 7:30am.
(Turns out that piece is like the tonsil of cars - they don't really need it. So I could've kept going, no problem. Grrrr. Who knew that cars have bits they don't even need?)
Back home, sulking, I pulled out one of the drafts I'd begun earlier in the year - Perils of Pigeonholing - and re-read what I'd written earlier.
Gasp! *The wise teaching friend quoted above and the retiree? One and the same. So I got to spend time with her anyway, albeit not in the way I'd planned. One of life's whimsical substitutions!