Tuesday Tarot – Minoan Major Arcana

Having worked with this deck a few times since I dealt with a gender-role quibble, I am enjoying the deck if I don’t use/look at the most offensive (to me) cards!  So, let’s begin to take a look at the 22 Major Arcana cards, shall we?

minoan-tarot-ma-0-2As I mentioned previously, Laura Perry uses a key phrase for each card.  I find I rather like this for the 22 trump cards of the tarot deck.  I’m still a bit ambivalent about the Linear B phrase on each card – although some of them are a better “fit” on these cards.  Most of her images are adapted from actual murals found in the excavated ruins of Minoan Crete.  I greatly like the colored borders as well.  I find the color use makes for easier reading.  Females and youths have paler skin; the male figures are more sun-tanned.  While I don’t think Minoan women spent less time in the sun?  It is a useful device for rapid recognition.

Perry, working with a civilization that was pre-Christian, somewhat re-defines the cards, generally in ways that I like.  I can more easily ignore a bit of gender stupidity and re-define that for myself than I can constant monotheistic “demonize all else” images on more traditional tarot decks.

The Fool – a Minoan youth whose key phrase is “I am.”  Linear B proclaims “wild” – he doesn’t look wild to me!  Of course, as I type this, it is snowing — so I think he looks likely to chill in his nakedness!  Perry sees this card as a primal beginning, a self-discovery state.  Reversed*, she credits it with speaking of living a non-authentic, entirely too-tamed “playing the crowd” of  “shoulds” life.

I have some issues with this card in any deck; while it is meant to suggest a primal innocence, I suspect it can also mean a willful idiot. In an America where people proclaim a pride in their ignorance, as if there is value in being an intentional moron — someone should explain that ignorance is NOT the same as innocence.  While innocence can lead one to make errors, only willful ignorance can lead to the special kind of harm we see on the news practically daily.

The High Priest – The key phrase is “I act.” and the Linear B is the word for priest.  Perry attributes this to outward action (animus and intellect) – finding one’s abilities and what to most fruitfully do with those strengths.  Again, the reversal of this card speaks of inauthenticity – trouble being other than you are told to be.  I’m sensing a trend in the reverse meanings!  Oddly, the image of this card almost calls to mind something Aztec. — I think it is all the feathers on his head.

This replacement name for the” Magician” works for me; it avoids the problematic idea of trickery and slight of hand.  You see the four representations of elements/suites: dagger-fire, rhyton-water, labrys-air, horns-earth.  I have a feeling my efforts to not be insulted by this “acting” figure may not entirely decline with time.  Of course, Perry would never suggest that her card is gender determinant — insisting it is a “characteristic” available to all.

The High Priestess – “I perceive” is the key phrase and the Linear B says “priestess”.  I still feel there is a bit of gender delineation here, but that could just be my usual contrary nature?  The traditional meaning of this card does speak to anima/intuition and internalization of “mystery” and hearing the inner promptings of spirit/mind.  Perhaps had I not taken such offense to the court cards, this would not be a nagging little bit of bitchery in my head?  It does not help that historically, possibly for every era SINCE Minoan Crete (or Catal Hayuk?) women’s “powers” have been relegated to the “inner mysteries” for the same reason women were known as witches and poisoners — women were denied other outlets of power.  The reversal again connotes being inauthentic — not hearing the inward voice because you fear it brings bad news.

With that in mind, I note to myself that the gender bias I find in the cards is also a reflection of history and FACT.  Just because it hurts me to look at it doesn’t mean the card attributions are wrong.  We don’t really know enough about life in Minoan Crete to know if the bare-breasted beauties of the murals there were so fully circumscribed as later Hellenic matrons and maidens – but I surely doubt it.  I think interpreting the images still vivid on volcano/quake/tsunami battered walls within such limits is an error.  My reading style will evolve beyond those definitions rather rapidly, I suspect.

Designers of tarot cards are human (alas, like designers of religion?) and thus bring their flaws to their design.  Even reading cards even more psychologically than psychically is more like poetry than prose.  So, for the sake of beautiful cards devoid of monotheistic images, I will cope with the perceived flaws in the stated definitions of the designer.

*I admit, I struggle with the issue of reversed cards.  I’ve been told in many books to cut the cards and reverse one stack.  I find this so artificial as to be impractical.  But with this deck, I did take about 1/4 or 1/3 of the deck at random and so turn it.  But my more usual method is to look at the card in the layout and if it makes no bloody sense at all, I try reading it as reversed even if it is upright.  If it makes more sense, I simply turn it in the spread at that point.  I’ve had much more luck, sense, and accuracy with that method.

Day Two – Or, Why My Difficult Contrary Self Is Solitary

I did the astral temple building meditation of Hecate-Demeter a second time last night. Well, that was an interesting mess for me. The idea, if I am reading her rightly, is that everyone participating in the “Magical Battle of America” to halt the progress of the fascist inclinations of the current Administration, must focus upon the same images to create a visual place where everyone then meets to do work together. Thus everyone needs to see the same images, or the resultant temple-scape would look like a revolving slide show! (Worth a thought – would a slide show be a bad thing, an impossible result?)

I cannot lie.  My second attempt was worse than the first.  I simply cannot make the images for the “Banners” of the temple, whether because my imagination is so limited or the suggested images just don’t speak to me, I don’t know.  I was frothing with frustration my second time “out.”

Thomas, 6' tall, standing in the trench just below the palisades at Redoubt 9, Yorktown, VA

My Jester-son, 6′ tall, standing in the trench just below the palisades at Redoubt 9, Yorktown, VA

Banner 1, representing the Northeast, “an image of Walden Pond” is suggested.  I wonder whether the majority of younger Americans even know what that IS.  I’ve read Thoreau’s book, but still cannot make a meaningful image.  If I want an image from the Northeast that connotes a fight for freedom and democracy?  I see Yorktown — a battlefield small enough that one might even throw a frisbee across it, but in that small field, America was born.

Banner 2, representing the Southeast – the American South, the suggested “image of the Underground Railway” is a worthy ideal indeed.  But what does it LOOK like pictorially? A subway map?  So this is a quandary for me.  I’ve lived in the South and while saying this may offend Southern people – I don’t find an image that represent freedom there.  White freedoms are often touted there, but a universalizable sort of liberty is not – having lived in the segregated south, images of freedom there are few in my memory.

Banner 3, for the Southwest suggests an image of a mounted “cowboy” holding a newborn calf.  This is not the Southwest I came to know.  It isn’t the very best cattle country because it is so dry.  The Navaho and their flocks of sheep spring to my mind for images here — or towering images of Hopi Kachina dancers. Do not indigenous Americans deserve a vision in this vision of resistance?

Banner 4, for the Northwest – where I make my home is a “salmon, leaping upstream”.  And oddly, this natural image is the one that works the best for me.  Perhaps if I delved deeply enough into my memories of the South(east), I would find a similar nature-based focus?

unknownBanner 5, for the upward (due North) point of the pentagram is the Statue of Liberty.  I do absolutely get the meaning here; and yet, having driven through that geographical area more than one, my stubborn contrary mind instead shows me Mt. Rushmore because the men carved into that mountainside would certainly have a stake in this resistance: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt!  (Also?  I am struggling with Lady Liberty becoming a torch because my mind derails and shows me the burning camps at Standing Rock.)

So I am banging my head here.  I am telling myself I don’t ALWAYS have to be defiant and difficult.  Except, apparently, I DO.  But I know I can build exactly nothing if I am fighting to use something I cannot SEE, regardless of effort.  I DO see well enough, a glowing horizontal pentagram hovering over my nation and at it’s heart a spinning bright sphere of protection over a “hillock”/Plains sod-house somewhere in the heart of my birth-state Kansas. It is a start, I suppose.

We are modern pagans, 21st century witches – even using the suggested images that Hecate-Demeter surely worked so hard to encapsulate in her meditation, what at the odds of every imagined thing matching?  Perhaps, it SHOULD be a slide show astral temple, a glittering array of what we all find “holy” and “free” in America?

After Action Report: Summing Up My Fears

Keep CalmI did the first meditation for the Magical Battle of America, as devised by HecateDemeter. Conscious “traveling” as it is called is not amongst my strong points. I struggle with it as my skeptical mind froths and fights with diversions and objections. I will repeat the exercise daily this week. Do I believe a scattered group practicing the same exercise can effect a change, create a mental meeting place?  In theory, yes.  Have I ever experienced it?  Well, sort of, just once — and it was ephemeral and difficult to maintain.

It was the night after my working that disturbed me.  I woke from a dream of trying to enter Washington D.C.  This is, after all in a sense what IS being worked for – to counter the negativity and destruction of what America stands for coming from that city.  In my dream, I was blocked at every juncture — whether by car or afoot, by towering figures in silvery knights’ armor.  They were huge and holding massive double handed swords — to stop me they would step forward holding said swords like a barrier in front of me: one hand at hilt, the other at blade’s end.

Is this the face of the enemy?  Automaton-like giants dressed in spotless silver, but acting perfidious?  Or are they merely an archetype coughed from my bitter and frightened subconscious mind?   Are they both? Can they be both?  Do I simply need a visual representation of what it is I confront?

That is what I settle on, in the calmer morning light with some sustaining food on board.  And so it goes, I will continue to attempt to “shape the invisible” — and therefore, the visible as well.

Ready, Set, Resist….

samhain-walkI have renewed household protections as the moon goes darkest. Tomorrow the first post here will go up on mounting a Dion Fortune-esque battle for America.  As Hecatedemeter says herself, “You come, too.”

My Labyrinth awaits.  It is busy, we are making the garage into living space for a returning Marine.  We have a meeting about Gunsense voters to attend.  We live in interesting times.

There are those who find the experimentation and practice of “magical arts” nonsensical as praying and waiting for some heavenly savior.  I don’t find them at all similar; the first is active, the second passive.  There is a meter, a rhythm to doing magic, to reading cards, a “program” — to me is speaks of the same sorts of perfectly acceptable “algorithms” used in modern life for computers, pollings, science.  It is just the less studied path and the road less taken.

Well, I’m turning onto that particular pike and ignoring rest stops as much as I can for the next four years.  I want to wrap the most essential bits in magical cotton batting, I want to stop cold the hate, the nay-saying, the guilt and misery and shame.  I want to raise a magical army of the dead that would make “Lord of the Rings” Aragorn envious!  Yes, please, you come, too!

Wednesday Woo – and Tarot Bonus

Some years back, after President Obama’s second election victory, but after it became clear that a terrible racial and political backlash was threatening all progress, I engaged in something risky and foolish.  I tried to launch something akin to what Adept Dion Fortune did in Britain in WWII– launch a sort of magical counter-movement.  I got no takers and much criticism for the very “presumptuous” idea.  Nonetheless, I (in this case unwisely) persisted.  First, I experimented with astral travel to explore the “temple” built by Fortune’s group of occult workers.  I found enough with my sparse energy and skills to convince me it did exist, that it was real.

Why was I wrong?  Because at the same time in my life, I was challenged with a foundering marriage and PTSD issues of the mate AND my own.  I was at the low point of my adult life and I still wanted to play white magical knight?  Yes, yes, I can be a totally moronic idealist at times.   I learned much.  My efforts were not so much a failure as inadequate to the need; after about four months, I fell ill.  I sporadically kept up the effort for another year, and then; due to other physical issues not related to my energy work, I got REALLY ill.  I quit and put aside the book in which I kept track of my efforts.  It really was a sort of a Don Quixote mode, and I should never have taken it on all solo.

fullsizerenderToday, I got that book out again and wrote out notes on a tarot spread done to determine the needs of a new effort.  At last, not feeling completely alone and also in good health – mental, emotional, and physical – the Magical Battle for America is to be joined.  I am not sure quite how this will be done yet, but I have chosen to go with this, secrets in the open perhaps for those with the ability to read?  I began with a tarot spread to determine my needs in my effort to join with other practitioners to mount a magical resistance to preserve America from a crowd of venal, greedy, racist, misogynistic, religiously biased, spiritually constipated AMATEURS who are the current Administration.

I used my new Minoan Tarot deck and a Tree of Life spread.  It told me much I needed to know, but did not tell me to not try it.  Briefly, below, my read of the cards — not entirely analyzing all the linkages here, but hitting the high points of the new government Administration setting off my mental alarms, demanding I take action on every front:

#1 The Query’s Reason – (why I am asking).  Youth of Labryses, reversed. A card signifying lies for approval and as foundation, telling me of an amateur who lies to gain place and power – I think this card represents Steve Bannon.  The “fool” line connects to

#2 -Forces at Work – the Major Arcana16, the Tower also reversed, signifying a holding on to that which is already hopelessly fallen – in this case, old white guys demanding the past “good old days” be revived for their profit and comfort, regardless of the cost to the rest of the world. The “empress” line (female political power)crosses to

#3 Deeper Query – the Youth of Horns – and here is the President, not young, obviously — but a youth in experience of government, another amateur; this one financially motivated and inexperienced and connected to the card connoting Bannon by the “magician” line — signaling in this case an unhealthy “follower” relationship to the “idea man” Bannon.

#4 Projected development – the Maid of Rhytons – since this reading is to show me where I want to go, this card talks for first time of how to get there.  It suggests I must be guided my my own oft-mistrusted intuition and empathy, using my own inner voice as guide.  The “strength” line connects to card

#5 -Energy of Querent (me) – Major Arcana 9 Labyrinth (Hermit) – reinforces command to go within and mayhap USE my own Labyrinth in my efforts.  So, even as one of a group, I suspect I may be rather solitary?

#6 Saving Grace – Ace of Labryses – a new beginning needs logical rational work, and a willingness to examine and shake up not only ideas, but ideals in my tasking.  The “death” line of transformation connects to card

#7 Relationships encountered – Seven of Rhytons – suggesting I reward of emotional drive and operative pipe dreams, not only in others I suspect, but in myself.  The “Tower” line crosses to the next card, with a hint of knocking down those emotive drives for a colder rationality.

#8 Feelings of Querent – Lord of Labryses – telling me I feel deciding and active, my opinions here have knowledge to back them up; so I am not all fluffy bits of dream.

#9 Thoughts of Querent – Ten of Horns – an admission of my need to count on a sturdy physical base of operations, financial security and a home to operate from safely, securely.

#10 Physical Manifestation – Major Arcana #5 The Adept – (The Lady) I will seek knowledge – arcane/occult at need to re-create balance and harmony that seems to be draining out of America right now.  I must become adept….

#11 Secret Knowledge Needed – Major Arcana 13 Death – Ok, I admit it, I took a deep breath seeing this card as the secret.  Some, yes, would read it as a direct warning that I could be risking my life.  But I’ve see the Death card in so many layouts in my life and I am still here!  It really IS the card of transformation — I am seeing this working to EFFECT transformation; one should expect personal transformation in the process.  BE the change you wish to see in the world!

So, onward, braced and informed of what I need to pay attention to as I go forward…here we go.

 

A question for others?  Do you, if you do energy/magic work, do tarot before a working to get a forecast of how your planned action will go?

 

 

Tuesday Tarot

minoan-tarot-ma-backplateI have been excitedly awaiting the Minoan Tarot. I studied the book, which I often do not do, to be honest. Because this deck uses images from a pre-Christian period of history, I thought it was my best bet of getting a deck without the whole original sin/judgement day mentality of many traditional decks.  I was not wrong and this delights me!

However, as I mentioned last week, this deck has some different court cards — and the precise import of those cards also made me study the book Laura Perry includes with her tarot deck.  Most decks have face cards titled something like knight, princess, queen, king – four face cards per suite.  This deck has youths/maids, lords/ladies, and priest/priestess – six face cards per suite.  I find the youth/maid cards much like the more usual knight/prince/princess cards and those are more or less acceptable.

The real issue is her “defining” phrase – something she assigns to every card.  Perry goes to a lot of work explaining what an egalitarian culture Minoan Crete was in history — one of the things that has always appealed to me.  But with the court cards, her chosen phrases raised my hackles and the final pair?  The priest/priestess set really just jangled my nerves enough that for now I removed them from the deck completely.  So let’s get that roadblock out of the way at once, before going over the deck as I usually do — from Major to Minor Arcana portions.

There are slightly different images and I am at peace with the four suites  as Perry represents them.  Daggers equate to swords, but interestingly, are assigned to the element Fire, which has long been my personal instinctive preference. This is at variance with most tarot attributions.  Rhytons are Watery/emotional cups, Labryses are not Fire, but Airy/mental wands, and the Horns are Earthy Discs/Pentacles.  I like the color assignments as well – it gives a nice immediate image in the layout of what is most prominent.

minoan-tarot-court-priestsHere are the priests.  I like Perry’s use of color.  Male figures are rather more darkly complected than female figures – useful in images where both might have long hair and robes!  The little almost pictogram like figures printed on each picture are Linear B – the written language that archeologists DID manage to decipher.  (It is not, as first assumed, a real language of Minoan Crete – but an adaptation later by the Mycenaean Greeks, unlike the apparently unbreakable Linear A in the lost language of Crete.). Each card has one of these inscriptions meant to be significant to the card.  Some of these get very awkward, indeed – but that is a minor quibble.  The priest of Daggers, for instance, has a word meaning “leader” – but she doesn’t tell what it is, exactly, for it is a title, not a mere description.  But that does bring me to the deal-breaking quibble.  Each set of four cards has a descriptive phrase, you see?  The one for the priests is “I lead.”

minoan-tarot-court-priestess

Here are the priestess cards.    So, what would you think this most prominent female imaged court card might represent?  What might the important operative phrase be?

I embody.”

Mind you, the other court cards had this, to me, disturbing dichotomy for an allegedly egalitarian cultural milieu, too.  Maids merely “consider”, while Youths “explore.  The Lord “reacts, but the Lady “emotes.” (Emotes?  For fucks sake, emotes?!)  Perry does say a “Lady” can represent a male — one that emotes, apparently?  But the whole division of labor/effect bothers me.  The feminine faced cards of the court all seem relegated to passive roles.  Maybe with time, I will get over this quibble.  Maybe not.

But thus far, this is the only thing that gives me pause.  It seems rather grating to have masculine and feminine roles defined so narrowly.  Gender reinforcement is not what I expected of the alleged egalitarianism of Minoan civilization!  I greatly liked everything else about this deck as I went through it.  I may just decide to ignore her choice of phrasing.  Time will tell.

Tarot Teaser

minoan-tarot-ma-backplateNope, it is not yet Tuesday. But since I’ve scanned in my newest deck, I wanted to post a mini-teaser for the same.  My newest deck is the long awaited Minoan Tarot by Laura Perry.  Since I’ve long been a fan of Minoan Crete’s history, I was oh-so-ready for this deck!

And it may become my favorite and last deck once I get the bad taste of a couple minor quibbles out of my mouth. That will be the topic of Tarot Tuesday — those quibbles.

Today, I simply wanted to show you the backplate of the deck.  Very elegant and simple, right?  The stylized horns and the labrys.  One thing I like about this design is that you can’t tell which side is up and which is down (reversed).  Another deck I enjoy has this flaw – the backplate image, although attractive, has a clear up or down apparent. So, if I allowed a reader to select cards from the fanned out deck, the querent could easily avoid choosing reversed cards.

This deck very nicely avoided that issue!  While I rarely do cards in that way, I do offer the few I read for the option of selecting their own cards or the choice of me shuffling and dealing like a hand of poker!   Most people prefer to let me deal their presumed “destiny” – which strikes me odd.

Onward, tomorrow!  I must say, I feel a bit like nobody is interested at all — stats for the last tarot post said only 4 views happened.  Perhaps it is the odd way WP counts them making me feel invisible?  In any case, I would really appreciate comments and conversation about use of cards for either psychological inner work or divination.  I’d like to get the opinions of others on the cards I will show in the weeks ahead.  So please don’t be shy.

Tuesday Tarot – From Silly to Sublime

dragon-tarotI am NOT a collector of tarot cards. That said, I admit I have eight decks.  They range from curiosities that are rather silly, like a deck with dragons on every card.  I wish I had not somehow lost the wee booklet that came with this, it detailed where each mythical beast came from in culture/history!  I’ve never read a single spread with this tiny deck of brilliantly colored cards.  The reason is, I rarely use tarot for divinatory purposes.  I use it to get a psychological compass “fix” on where I am in my own head.  These images are not evocative of anything so personal.

walker-tarotNo, for the old unsubtle head-slap of self-awareness, I rely on more obvious images.  My oldest deck of cards is the “Barbara Walker Tarot.”  I don’t care for her revisionist history, although her knitting books were quite good.  Her cards, are for me more like the knitting books — direct and unmistakably punch-to-gut effective.  I admit, I use them less frequently these days – only when so emotionally roiled that nothing except a direct zap would get through my drama!  To this day, these are the cards I read most instinctively.  They are full of mythological characters and dire images.

cirqueThe prettiest deck I still own is the Gateway to the Divine Tarot.  I call it my “Cirque de Soleil” deck!  The “Hanging Man” looks like he is silk dancing.  The face cards are mostly stultifyingly boring.  The 15th Trump, commonly called the Devil, is SO mouthwateringly handsome that he would tempt anyone!  Apt, I suppose, for a card signifying addictions and compulsions!  The King of Wands looks like Elrond.  This is a nice “public” deck for people ooky-spookied out by tarot readings because it IS beguilingly beautiful.  For me, while it can be evocative, my mind makes a needle screeching on record (sorry, whippersnappers, if you don’t know what that is!) sound when I hit cards like “Judgement” with obvious  angels of Christian derivation.  (But I promise you, the “Devil” in this card is very much the son of morning, not Old Scratch!). Still, since most of the “public” one might conceivably read for likely IS nominally Christian — that would not bother them.  Thus, I keep this artful deck for parties and the public.

A word about that mental screech, ok?  Yes, I know the cards were developed in the Middle Ages when Europe WAS Christian, and likely as a sort of portable paper “Mystery Play” about how fallen man could resume a heaven-bound existence….there IS that theory.  For MY purposes, however?  That means diddly to me.  So I have tried numerous decks seeking to find one not so monotheistically inclined.  Even one purporting to be a  “Pagan 2000” deck failed utterly, with a very scary Devil and bodies rising from graves on Judgement.  I cut the prettier cards of that deck up to use in crafting projects!  

steampunkOne of my longtime favorite decks is Barbara Moore’s “Steampunk Tarot” – other decks of hers have left me cold in the over-artsy approach; but these are amusing.  They are also astonishingly non-sexist to look at; female trumps and face cards have a beautiful efficacy to their appearance.  The only Christian bit IS Judgement with a metal-winged angel.  The Devil is a horrific looking war machine, which certainly is a valid comment on modern life and death and addiction!  I always enjoy reading this deck.  Some of the cards are astonishingly lovely – like the Moon (upper right hand of photo) and black-winged Death with her Scythe!

vicsteamNow, a recently (last year) acquired novelty deck that is curiously neutral and takes a bit of getting used to is the Victorian Steampunk Tarot.  As you can see, the four Minor Arcana suites are using insects to represent the elemental values: Dragonflies for watery Cups, Moths for fiery Wands, Bees for airy Swords, and Beetles for earthy Coins.  The Major Arcana are more traditional with some pretty steampunk additions; Death is Poe-ish with a raven and skull with a ruby eye, the Hanged Man is a upside-down moon-faced clock pendulum.  The most overt Christian bit IS the Judgement card with a stone angel.  But over all, it is a nice novelty deck that would also be a great party deck — interesting, but not terrifying.  I do use it now and then, but admit to still stumbling over wanting to make Bees into FIRE, not Air because of those stingers I encountered SO often as a beekeeper!

prophecyAnother deck I got very recently, and that I’ve guiltily ignored in hectic life ever since, is the “Illuminating the Prophecy” deck.  It is possibly the most artistic deck I own, beautifully evocative and frankly pagan.  The Judgment card is a fallen crown, the Devil is a leering malevolent mask.  The Cups are represented, oddly, by corvid birds, which I frankly would have assigned to something Air-ish!  But crows and ravens ARE emotional creatures rather like us, so I get the attribution. Coins are plant based — mostly roses, so since I adore roses, that is a sweet softening of Coins for me.  Airy Swords mostly feature images of human HANDS; how is that for owning responsibility for our mental actions?  She gives Wands to Fire, not only in elemental attribution, but in much of the imagery.    No suite imagery is absolute, however — you go reading along and there, suddenly is a traditional Cup, or Sword — or marvelous things like the head of a ten point buck deer sporting lights for the ten of Wands!  This is one of the decks I must work with this year; it is beyond the beauty of the Cirque deck and is a very feeling deck.  This is one of the sublime examples, for me!

soulI also have a deck that is not tarot at all.  It is the Soul Cards (I) deck.  Mine was a sample deck being sold off cheaply and is missing one card.  I don’t care.  I use these rarely and I usually don’t do a tarot style spread.  These, for me, are to be read only by the evocative images — I most often select three cards and meditate upon them for quite some time.   I consider these my most therapeutic deck of cards.  Even just holding the deck and looking through it brings you to focus upon how you feel, where your reactions are coming from, and such.  The same card might get a different reaction on different days – and this in itself is revealing, don’t you think?

boxes-of-secretsBut finally?  I DID say I had just gotten what would likely be my last* tarot deck, didn’t I?  That deck is ensconced in the lovely round lidded chest carved with a tree.  That box was my first Yule gift in 15 years from my youngest son, upon his return home in 2014.  It has sat empty since then awaiting the new deck with EIGHT extra cards ever since!  Yes, at long last, The Minoan Tarot Deck (by Laura Perry) is here!  I am studying the book by its designer and finding it, since images are based on a long pre-Christian society in Minoan Crete, FREE of Christian images.

My only gripe thus far is that young male face cards are labeled with things like “I explore” and “I react” and female face cards do things like “I consider” and “I EMOTE” — for pity’s sake?!  Hmmmm?  But I think I am going to like it more than dislike it.  I like that most of the images are from actual historical art.  “What,” you say, “no pictures of the cards?”  Nope.  Not yet.  (Oh, fine – a sneak peak.) I will do this deck in detail beginning next Tuesday.    Then I have the Steampunk Victorian and the Illuminating the Prophecy decks to detail.

What a relief – at least one day of the week to read cards NOT news – to go inward and not outward!  Such a GIFT!  Oh, and that other box with the big “X” carven upon it?  That is where the Soul Cards live, because they ARE a gift of a sort — very hard to find these days and very evocative and clarifying!

*Unless I also wind up with THIS Minoan Tarot.  But that would mean some other deck would have to vacate it’s carved wooden box!  And looking at this deck feels like something “pumped out” — not something meticulously researched and thought through.

Coming Back Soon – Tuesday Tarot

On earlier blogs, I did a Tuesday Tarot post, discussing decks I’d tried and rejected.  Like the deck that had the nifty “eye” back-side, for instance.

I own several decks and just got one as a Valentine’s Day gift (early) that may be the final deck.  It may become the only deck I use for personal readings, it has been long awaited (almost 3 years)!

I am still studying it and will have to scan in the images to use.  But within the month, I will begin discussing my new treasure.

Until then?  Enjoy what others say about tarot — what poets say about it and how it helps them, opening their eyes!

I almost never use my decks for divination; it is more like a psychological “thermometer” for me.

Tuesday, I will discuss the decks I already have, why I have kept them –and which ones may be gifted away at last.

Maybe after that, I will be ready to share what may be, for me, the PERFECT deck! Finding the right cards, for me, is as hard as finding the right counselor!

 

Remnants and Resistance Round My Neck – From Bowling Green to Reality?

Being a humanistic pagan who wonders (as she wanders) whether what is commonly called magic is not a lost art/ability of human kind, I do engage in experimentation. Perhaps it is mere wishfulness? Perhaps it really sets something in motion in the real world?  It is certainly more honest and thoughtful than most of what I see coming out of T-45’s White House.  He thinks mere saying something makes it so; I am nowhere near so naive as that.

As alchemy grew into modern chemistry, I wonder if certain forms of magic didn’t somehow miss a cue to grow into something?  So I “play” from time to time, sometimes getting completely un-repeatable results (of course!) and other times not being sure of any result.  Unlike those pagans so sure magic is potent enough that I should NEVER do what I am uncertain of for fear of releasing something Chulthulu-like into the world, I do not believe I have anything to lose OR fear by my attempts.

corvettineSo when something synchronistic happens?  I feel the need to experiment.  Yesterday, my Minotaur husband gave me an early 40th Anniversary gift, since I gave him his gift early, too.  Mine was a pretty pendant made of what is called “Detroit Agate” or “Fordite” — it is the multi-hued hardened enamel paint prised off automotive paint lines.  Mine came from a Corvette* line in Bowling Green, Kentucky!  BINGO! (*Since I am not a huge Ford fan, I prefer to say my pendant is made of Corvettine!)

But looking at it, I knew it needed a chain to wear it round my neck and resolved to make one.  When I make jewelry, it often has a ritual or magical significance; I find pretty things used often a marvelous focal point for “things I want changed”!  The moon is waxing at the moment and the ground outside is covered in a layer of thick pure white snow — such a mental canvas to imagine upon, eh?  I am a physical sort, merely lighting candles with intention never feels enough to me.

I went to my altar and took five little bi-cone bead bracelets down.  They were in colors emblematic of the four archetypal elements: green (Earth- material powers), blue (Water- emotive powers), red (Fire-intention, passion), yellow (Air- thought and clarity) and a final nigh colorless bead for that elusive “fifth” called “aether” or “will” or “spirit”.  As I wired each bead, I absolutely fumed with magical intention based on the quality symbolized by the color.  With green beads, I invoked finances drying UP to hateful groups and individuals, or the very Earth itself defending itself.  Blue beads made me call out for empathy to impress itself upon hardened, hate-filled, fear-flogged minds.  Seeing red, well, that one is rather obvious and easy, no?  Yellow beads made me want clarity and REAL facts to take priority and acceptance.  The colorless fifth, well, I sometimes free-floated there, letting my longing for justice and fairness simply play the “song of my people”.  My people being progressives who don’t want to be fear-flogged into stupid hostility, of course.  My wire choice was silver coated, because YES, I do want the future to be female!  Then, a strand of thin leather, because I DO want to bind my Will to this reality in need of changing.  Over and over…I wired the beads together, speaking of purpose and hope, anger and despair; it was like a meditation that poked fingers and stabbed under fingernails and I mindfully put it ALL into my working.

On the clear beads, the “fifth” that unifies the other four?  My mind wandered to DNA, the map of life; and guanineadeninethymine, and cytosine, the four nucleobases of DNA.  My mind would like to think that equates in some symbolic way to the four elements (hey, I SAID I was wishfully thinking!)  Would guanine be Earth – first isolated from batshit?  Would adenine be Air – since meteorites might have brought it from space/sky and since it has to do with cellular respiration?  Of course, such talk is just an impossible analogy; a would-sure-be-nice metaphor trying to birth itself!  Four elements, four constituents of the map of life?  And so it goes, I completed my Resistance Remnant necklace and hung it round my neck.  With every perception of it there?  I think on how to propagate truth instead of propaganda; facts instead of fear.  I make red-minded phone calls.  I write emotive blue letters.  I keep saying “NO” in capital letters.

I keep my mind together and on the ramparts in the wild waves of an America where too many think “resistance” means saying no to humanist behaviors — like NOT hating people not your skin color, like NOT thinking women are walking wombs instead of full human beings.  In times like this, I muse bitterly; that might be magic enough — since some of my allegedly progressive friends have already stated their intention to “put my head down and wait it out” instead of mounting any resistance, magical or otherwise.  I voted for Hillary, and I stand with Hannah.  Did I mention that the rune of this house is H for hagalaz, because we are always up for the fight, and find the “hard way” is usually our only way?

It would be magic, if America, over all could come to that realization right now!