Sunday, July 29, 2018

Do I have enough courage?

We've had some ugly things happen here in Ontario recently. Hate spewing out all over people, with bullets and words. The most recent one: a white male shouting at a Muslim family:
"This is my fucking province!"

You know those times when you go over things you could've said if you'd been thinking quickly enough, or would've said if you'd been there? Well, my head has been composing rebuttals to that person all day. But it's easy to be brave in your own home, in your own head.

And I wonder...would I have done anything had I been there? Would I have been courageous enough to stand up to that bigoted bully?

I'd like to think so, but of course I don't really know.

So today's post is about the "courage" card - Strength. Not physical but moral courage. Like this breathtaking young woman on a plane who took a stand. Quite literally.

Strength. I have a feeling that we're going to need it for the times ahead.

~~~ Standing your ground ~~~

Little One-Inch (Japanese tale) 

~~~ Getting your fierce on ~~~

 This is the Queen Elizabeth I that was in my head as Strength

~~~ Protecting the defenceless ~~~

~~~ Blowing right back at the bullies and blowhards ~~~

~ Standing quietly by, collecting your thoughts before speaking ~

Blooming where you're planted

Osho Zen Tarot

~~~ Using your strengths to help ~~~

Approaching with an open heart     Animal Wisdom Tarot

Mediating and peacekeeping     The Alice Tarot

Bringing your gifts to the situation     Phantasmagoric Theater Tarot

In neighbourhood news...

Recipe for a 2 1/2 year old's summer activity:

Grasshopper lands on the driveway
* Child runs toward it
Grasshopper flies off to a safer spot
Child shrieks with laughter
Repeat from *

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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Testing, Testing: the Mona Lisa Tarot

Dear Mona Lisa Tarot,

First of all, I am SO intrigued by you.
2 of Pentacles

Thank you.
I am interesting, if I don't say so myself!

As you know, a 16th century woman would not likely have been handling money (unless she happened to be Veronica Franco, the famous poet and courtesan of Venice).

So we're making an attempt to balance that inequity, without having to be notorious prostitutes to accomplish it.

I love this provocative opener in the LWB:
"It is a haunting puzzle, featuring images deliberately conceived to tease you with shifting narratives, tantalizing connections, and subtle hints that point to a larger picture."
How do you feel about that description?
8 of Wands

I would like to shout it to the rooftops!

We are upending society.
We are attempting to remove power from those who have too much, and give it to those with none.
And if that makes some of the powers-that-be be it.

However, did you really think you could get away with ELEVEN measly pages in English? And just leave us hanging, lusting for more?
X The Wheel

Yes, there is that.
We went round and round in circles on this one.
We were hoping that in time, readers would catch on to our spin on things and not need any more information.
Apparently we miscalculated, and we're sorry if you're spinning your wheels trying to puzzle us out.
Give it time. It will come round right.

There is was available a tarot kit which included a BIG BOOK but it is unfindable (so far). At the risk of sounding like I'm asking you to be predictive, which is not my thing AT ALL, I will ask anyway.
What do you think my chances are of finding it somewhere?
6 of Wands

Quite good, I'd say.
Be strong. Be persistent.
You'll conquer the problem.
You'll crush it under your feet.

Your writer, Mark McElroy, must have realized the importance of cluing us in on this intriguing notion of flipping Mona Lisa's powerful male era on its head, or he wouldn't have gone to the trouble of writing a 160-page book about it.
7 of Wands

See how the guy in this card is defending himself from people who are not the enemy?
He's got the wrong end of the stick, right?

Well, I guess the publishers have the same problem. They often do, don't you find?
I mean really, who ever heard of a LWB which is, you know, little, being divided up into FIVE languages!

Ridiculous notion.
Are they listening? We don't know. And we're afraid of that big stick.

The mystery of Mona Lisa has been staring us in the face for centuries.
Were you hoping to unravel her with this deck?
7 of Chalices 

Will she ever not be a mystery?
Will we ever know if Lucrezia Borgia was a "predator or a pawn"?
How about Mozart and Salieri?
The chicken and the egg?
What is life without its sweet mysteries?

But we do know this, from our LWB about this card:
"Small actions can engender great change."
And small sips of insight can lead to greater draughts of enlightenment.

Now please go away. It's time for my painting lesson.

Oh...okay. Thank you for your time.

🔒🔑🔓    🔒🔑🔓    🔒🔑🔓    🔒🔑🔓

Saturday, July 14, 2018

First Tries at Making Tarot Boxes

When you've run out of decks to trim, and you've spiffed up a few naked edges with gold and silver Sharpies, then what? What will be your next tarot craft?
Well, the trimmed decks are now rattling around in their original tuck boxes like marbles in a shoebox. And what about that box with the ripped flaps? And...

Here's the video I used. It`s over an hour long, quite chatty but thorough. 

Here are my first three attempts. You'll see that my learning curve is running backwards as I go. 

Box #1 for the Dark Grimoire
Its tuckbox is perfectly healthy, but I had papers that went so well with the deck!
Cardboard used: book board, several mm. thick
Papers: outside - handmade from mulberries; inside - Japanese
Mistakes: you can see the little slivers of plum paper covering bare cardboard in the inside corners of the last picture. Not too bad for a first attempt.
Time to make: many hours plus glue-drying time

Box #2 for the Cat's Eye Tarot
Tuckbox flaps tearing off, and trimmed cards are now too small for the box.
Cardboard: an empty cornflakes box (this is pretty flimsy, don't recommend it, but it was SO easy to cut compared to the heavier book board which needs a heavy-duty X-acto-type knife).
Papers: outside - from the scrapbooking section of Michael's (a craft supply store chain); inside lid - plain old computer-weight red paper left over from some Christmas project.
Mistakes: more than for the first box. Mismeasured for the lid and had to make another one. See last picture, where the first lid fits like a kid wearing his dad's shoes. I was out of cat's paw paper so the second lid is striped, which luckily I prefer anyway! And I have a spare paw print lid for...?
Time to make: many more hours plus drying time.

Box #3 for the Tarot Nova
The original adorable very solid tuckbox for this one showed its face only AFTER I'd started on its replacement. It's a tricksy little deck.
Cardboard: a Walker's Oatcakes box, slightly sturdier than the cornflakes one
Paper: outside - photocopied the deck backs side by side for most of it. (DO NOT DO THIS! The ink rubs off when the paper gets damp from the glue. And then you have to cut out teeny-tiny matching bits from leftover paper, to glue over the whitey bits where the colour rubbed off.) Lid top - photocopy of tuckbox. Inside - sturdy nubby yellow from Michael's. 
Mistakes: see above
Time to make: a ridiculous amount plus drying time

In neighbourhood news ~ 

I finally have this in my backyard!

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Summer Planning with the Impressionist Tarot

Here's the card I chose from the Impressionist Tarot to represent the kind of summer I'd like to have. The idyllic Nine of Cups: waterside, al fresco dining, placid afternoons, boats, cottages. Ah, life is good!

Inspiration for this image came from two Claude Monet paintings: The Luncheon, 1873, and 
The Basin at Argenteuil, 1874.

All the paintings for this deck were drawn by Arturo Picca, inspired by various Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists. 
The other four cards were dealt randomly, with suggestions for:
My head (Air), my passionate energetic self (Fire), my heart (Water), and the work of my hands (Earth).

Here's how the whole spread looks...

Ideas for my mind (Air)
from the fiery Queen of Wands (the gung-ho hutzpah suit)
Inspired by an 1862 portrait entitled Lola de Valence by Edouard Manet.
Lola was part of the Spanish dance troupe, Lola Melea, which came to Paris to perform.
Manet was captivated by her fiery finesse.
I love her skirt; set up my sewing machine again?
Dress funkily! Don't be a chicken!
Read some historical novels set in Spain.
What's on a queen's menu when she dines al fresco?
Write down a list of tempting summery projects. Use a flamboyant ink in the pen.
Who do I know with a cottage or a boat? Can I invite myself? Maybe if I ask in a queenly fashion? 

Ideas for my passionate energetic self (Fire)
from the Nine of Pentacles (the "doing" suit)
Based on the painting Actress before the Mirror in her Dressing Room, by Edgar Degas 1879
She's getting ready for the stage. Stratford Festival! Book tickets online! Email that cheap B&B!
(Now that I think of it, Stratford sits on the Avon River. It has swans.
I bet they're just around the corner in my 9 of Cups!)
I love ballet. Go to see one! Google possibilities now! (Swan Lake?)
She seems to be putting the finishing touches on her performance ensemble. What unfinished projects that fired me up in the past can be revisited? I bet there's a dress or wall hanging in there,
just waiting to see the light of day!
Tai Chi! It's outdoors, it's sort of a dance! Wanna try it?

Ideas for my heart (Water)
from Death, Major XIII
Inspired by Vincent van Gogh's 1890 Wheatfield with Crows
The dreaded Death card, for my heart. Hmm.
Well, I LOVE crows, so they're not scary.
They're leaving - something, somewhere. Here's what I get from this Death card, for my ideal summer:
Acknowledge the lovely lakeside memories of past summers and fly onward.
Crows are carrion-eaters; they clean up dead messes. Good reminder to sweep up my emotional debris.
The summers of memory are behind me and cannot be recaptured BUT... I have new summer memories to make, and time's flying by. So get going! Follow those clever crows!

     Ideas to occupy my hands (Earth)
from the Two of Pentacles (the "doing" suit)
Based on Dancers Practicing at the Barre, 1877, by Edgar Degas
A match! Earthy tips from Pents, the Earth suit.
They're at a barre. I could go to a bar too. Meet friends there.
Go dancing. That one's already started; I began line dancing class last week. Maybe suggest a drink at a patio bar after class?
That sewing machine I talked about in the first card? Make one of these floaty-skirted dresses.
Talk to a neighbour over the fence.

This is a sumptuous art gallery of a deck; 78 framed prints. Have a look at the card backs... 

In neighbourhood news

I arrived home on Sunday night to find a manhunt taking place on my block. Guess I can cross that particular thrill off my bucket list.


Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Six Fairy Decks for Firefly Season

One of life's small pleasures - fireflies.
Watching and waiting in the warm of a dark yard, trying to predict where one may next appear. They don't seem a part of our matter-of-fact busy world. Too magical.
Last night I wondered if fireflies are really fairies? 

I asked each of the following 6 decks a question. You know how flighty and unpredictable the Fey can be; they each stayed around just long enough to give me one sentence!

Fairy decks:
1. Faerie Tarot by Nathalie Hertz
2. Fairy Lights Tarot by Lucia Mattioli (review of this deck, trimmed, here)
3. Fairy Tarot by Antonio Lupatelli
4. The Fey Tarot by Mara Aghem & Riccardo Minetti
5. Tarot of the Sidhe by Emily Carding (post about trimming decks, including this one)
6. The Victorian Fairy Tarot by Gary Lippincott & Lunaea Weatherstone (review of this deck here)

1. Why do we no longer believe in them, especially here in North America?
Eight of Pentacles
You're all too busy building big important lives, accumulating things, climbing job ladders, messing about in the artificial online world. 

2. Are you sad that most of us can't see you as many did in days gone by?
Four of Swords
Not sad, exactly, but we hope this is only a resting phase and you'll come back to us when your heads aren't so busy.

3. Are you watching the human world?
King of Leaves (Swords/Air)
I've got my eye on you, Earthlings!

4. Are you afraid of us?
King of Chalices
No, we're afraid for you.

5. What would you like us to know?
Maker Nine (Pentacles/Earth)
We're still here, all around you; all you have to do is look.

6. Can you help us with this mess we're in?
XVI The Burning Oak (The Tower)
Not directly, but we see that things are heating up on Earth in a terrible way, and we'll offer advice if you ask nicely.

The last words go to The Heart of Faerie Oracle by Brian & Wendy Froud

Just when are you humans going to get your act together?


Novels about/starring/mentioning fairies:
The Chronicles of Faerie by O.R. Melling
The Legend of Holly Claus by Brittney Ryan
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black & Tony DiTerlizzi
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

In neighbourhood news ~ 

Happy Canada Day, Everyone!