Tuesday Tarot – Give Me A Moon?

Fingertips very sore today, typing will be minimal!  Yes, there are the final four Major cards – all neatly scanned together weeks ago.

However, since it is painful to type – you get to muse on your own about the final three until next week.  I will discuss only #18 The Moon!  

The moon is full today, so it seems appropriate to focus so singularly rather than skipping the Tuesday Tarot entirely as I first thought about doing.  Laura Perry takes this card in a direction I do not agree with at all.  Her entire definition is what I have long regarded as the proper interpretation of a reversed presentation.  Her operative phrase is “I deceive” and the Linear B tract says “Neither”.  She insists the card means illusion  and specifically self-deceit, seeing reflections and thinking it is reality.  As I said, for me, this IS the correct read for a reversed Moon.

To me, the Moon card always speaks of the tides of life and intuitive pullings.  It suggests being at a low point and seeking a way to rise.  It may suggest occult forces, secret enemies, the need for psychic protection and attention to dreams for a useful psychological clue.  It can suggest a flood tide of change — usually voluntary, but tumultuous all the same.

It is a potent card for me presently; lots of change in my life tides of late have me feeling rather wave wracked.  I am dreaming in significant “Get a clue and a BREAK” ways.  I intend to take the advice of dreams and this card and work some “me” time into my crazy life ASAP!

Tuesday Tarot – Late Again!

The last three days has been intensity in motion. So again, I am late. Thus is life, it is merely peculiar in that my busyness has actually been semi-priestessy in nature instead of mere mundane hectic.

But I now will focus and calm myself continuing the viewing of Laura Perry’s Minoan Tarot!  Again, this week’s selection begins with a card I ADORE as an “instead” of the traditional representation of a Christian devil.  I love the Major Arcana card

#15 The Minotaur – the operative phrase assigned to this card is “I fear.” and the Linear B inscription reads “bindings/ties.”  What more poignant representation of captivity/enslavement/a state of being trapped than the Minotaur?  If the Major cards suggest things that come from outside ourselves, at least partially, or through poor choices that we DO participate in?  Well, the Minotaur – cursed from birth to terrify and horrify, so thus finding himself confined and confused and left to become a monster in his lonely rage and impotence – is there a better image.  It is not about evil; we need no Christian devil (that often demonized the image of older gods).  It is about the darker self, the denied self, the neglected self — the vampire times starved self that we all might lock away in shame.  It is about obsession, fear, addictions, compulsions – it is about material affairs denied spiritual outlet.  This card shouts of the need to embrace and rehabilitate the darkness within so it serves you as your inner ally.  Reversed, it warns you of projecting your darkness onto others and attacking THEM, instead of facing your own rejected self.

This card reminds me of the last three days.  Sunday we attended what was called a “celebration of life”; in other words, a funeral/memorial service.  For a tiny baby girl who had one normal month of life before she was battered and assaulted so viciously that the next two months were spent dying.  It was like being immersed in fire to sit through Disney montages and music amidst bright balloons and an insistence upon forced jollity.  Some bereft mourners fled to the parking lot to weep without breaking the rules of this celebration.  When did we become so ashamed to be justifiably angry and to mourn with understandable tears?  When did we become bound to a convention of pretending there is joy instead of deep sorrow?  Monday, here, we slept — exhausted with anger and grief for those forbidden to show their grief.   And today, we dressed and left to go escort a tiny white casket to the crematorium.  This was no celebration of joy and blessedly private.  There were muted tears, and hands clinging to each other.  This brief all but silent affair felt real and genuine – but it certainly was not public, but hidden.  Are we, as a culture, locking our most serious innermost moments away in a labyrinth with NO public exit?

#16 The Tower – has the phrase “I collapse.” and the inscription “Palace” and portrays  a Cretan palace overwhelmed by a tsunami such as destroyed at least one coast of Minoan Crete when the massive volcano on Thera exploded.  Perry attributes this card to upheaval, crisis, ego destruction and revelation.   She credits it to a “force majeur” beyond personal control.  It has links to the 10 of daggers and 5 of horns — cards I personally prefer to never see in a spread (and yet had both of those in one spread together this week).  What she doesn’t say in her book, is what some more traditional mythos attributions do — the “tower” in question is NOT the “house of god” or a palace, but the walls of hell, which Christ allegedly broke in his three days buried and vanished from this world.  In other worlds — this breaking is a necessary, a good breaking.  I think either definition suffices — because no matter how needful, it isn’t going to feel very good while it happens to you!  The reversal means you are clinging to something fallen, and the harder you resist the more you will lose in energy wasted holding up something that needed knocking down.


#17 The Star – I always like to see this card, but this image doesn’t much move me, I admit.  The phrase is “I hope” and the inscription is “everyone/thing” — light at the end of the tunnel is good thing, yes.  Inspiration and a change of heart is a good thing.  But I somewhat dislike it being equated to “hope” as that follows on the oft quoted word “faith” — which I have none of and want none of, either.  Hope can be a poison, keeping you from seeing just HOW dark something is, keeping you in a position of subservience that needs to be over.  The reverse, Perry insists, is clinging to fear and doubts.  I would suggest it means maybe the light at the end of some tunnels is a train.


Tuesday Tarot -Majors 12, 13, & 14

The Minoan Tarot images lure me from the everyday. Even in the currently busy and hectic days, I want to sit down and stare at them. I suspect this is because they contain potent “headology”.  My favorite witch is not one of the classics like vengeful Medea or the pig-making Circe.  My favorite witch is Diskworld’s Granny Weatherwax who says it isn’t about spells and sticking pins in things — it’s about “headology.”  To me, this speaks a real truth about magic and enchantment — the one we usually must enchant is ourself!  Or sometimes the need is to disenchant someone.  I think the images of the Minoan Tarot have the deeply woven clues and hints to do both!

I am pretty sure Major Arcana card #12 – Sacrifice – will upset somebody with the somewhat graphic image of an animal awaiting getting its throat cut.  The card usually called The Hanged Man seemed more upsetting to me because although it had connotations of making sacrifices for future good as well; it also had meanings related to betrayal and treachery – and of being left, somewhat literally “twisting in the wind.”  This card, like most of the ‘big 22’ is more existential with the phrase “I surrender” and the Linear B for “olive tree” – long a symbol of peaceful endings.  This card hits me hard personally; there are things I need to surrender right NOW, for instance.  There ARE patterns in my life that need to dissolve.  Reversed, it suggests that refusing to sacrifice what needs to be offered up for the future results in losing control of it all.

#13 – Death – is likewise unsubtle.  An open tomb instead of a skeletal figure, with the phrase “I transform” assigned, and Linear B for “divine” suggests that our deepest fears and the change we really cannot see the other side of are right there in the NOW where we must grasp till tiller of our lives (and very rarely, our actual physical demise).  Perry insists this card does NOT mean physical death.  I beg to differ with her; while it usually means the death of something, not us – that doesn’t mean it cannot.  Reversal indicates refusing transformation, holding on to something in need of release and increasing personal pain.  Drop the hot rock, Pal, and move on!

#14 – Balance – is a card I much prefer to the usual deck!   “Temperance” always had a bit of a preachy vibe to one raised on stories of Carrie Nation bashing in barrels of whisky or beer!  Besides, who could resist that lovely young man vaulting that beautiful bull — nobody dies, everything is handled!  It IS about balance and focus to achieve and maintain towards a goal; avoiding extremes IS key.  Reversed. the card warns against over focus on only one area – over specialization, perhaps?  Or being all take and no give?

Tuesday Tarot – Majors Six, Seven, Eight

Will this be the last public Tuesday Tarot?  If not, it nearly is; I admit, I’ve not found the nerve to click the “private blog” button just yet!  But when I do it, I may copy and paste these posts over at Herlander Walking for anyone still interested.  These cards, and the layouts I will be doing as part of the work for the Magical Battle of America, are one of the reasons for going private.  I want to discuss those with trusted others I’ve known online for some time.  But I don’t want to put it out there for just anyone to read.  But enough – on with the Major Arcana of the Minoan Tarot!

I am still not weary of the color scheme, tho’ I did not expect that to be one of my favorite parts.  It appeals to my Elemental Magic affinity!  Also, I am just now beginning to attend to the color backgrounds on the Major cards — emotive blue, for instance on the Loves and the Chariot; but airy yellow on Justice.  I could see this deck being excellent for intuitive readers, in spite of the simple format of images.

So, the Lovers #6 –  The operative phrase is “I choose.”   I really like that one; I have ever been a nay-sayer about the old saws about “not being able to choose who you love” – calling that nonsense and existential bad faith!  The Linear B designation means mother/father — perhaps a none too subtle reminder of the results of one sort of love?  Perry defines this card as a union of opposites, a definite choosing and a consequence for every choice.  That sounds a mite preachy, maybe?  But in some ways, it is a useful warning; even NOT choosing is actually a choice, simply an unacknowledged one.  That is the gist of the reversed meaning, too: avoidance of responsibility for choices.  And I have to admit I giggle at this card – isn’t the guy angsty?  Fist to forehead?  The woman’s fist to chest, too?  Wait — is she saying men decide with the head and women with the heart?  Laura, Laura, Laura — you little sexist, you!  I hope she just ripped random images from murals and combined them withOUT that idea.

The Chariot #7 – The phrase is “I control.” and the Linear B means “wheels”.  One certainly hopes to control; I admit the image of a flying courser on the chariot gives pause.  This card is all about taking charge, direct honest action, not manipulation — that said, would not a fiery red background been better than emotive blue?  This card, Perry says, means success by controlling OTHERS.  Ouch.  Not so much my reading, but possibly one to keep in mind.  I’d look at other cards to see if he/she you read for IS into controlling others by some force majeur?  I’ve ever read this card as self control and focus to maintain one’s own course in life.  The reversal connotes a lack of self-discipline and blaming others, flailing and drama, upon losing control.  (Gee, who does THAT remind me of?  Is there a trend here in my reminded-ofs?)

Justice #8 –  I find this card peculiar.  Most of my decks make Strength the 8th card, since multiples of 4, in numerological symbolism, connote stability and strength, I get that.  But #8 and #11 are often switched about in tarot decks; it is the image that confuses me.  The image dilutes this card for me — four guys stomping grapes?!  “I evaluate” is the phrase and the Linear B inscription is “must” — meaning unfermented grape juice.  Perry attributes this card as meaning cause and effect shape your life.  That is a pretty dilute meaning for “justice”, don’t you think?  I think I will consider that line from the Battle Hymn of the Republic about ” trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored” to give it back some vigor!  This card, for me, is always more about a can of whup-ass being opened, not making unfermented grape juice.  Perry gives the reverse a bit more punch – but still leaves it a very personal card, saying “you” might be the focus of injustice, or your own bad act chickens could be coming home to roost.  That can be so, of course – but I’d find that more the meaning in something like a ten of swords/daggers.  With the Major Arcana, I tend to think it is less personal and more archetype-related: bigger trends/beings beyond yourself or your actions and desires.

To me the 22 major cards symbolize the forces outside your own sway to a certain degree.  So while I find a sort of existential satisfaction in Perry’s definitions; I also find it waters down the concept we are all (be honest!) completely uncomfortable with — some things in life do simply NOT respond to OUR cause and effect.  I use a layout with eleven cards; if I find half or more of them are the Major Arcana cards I read that as a time to buckle down for a ride.  A ride in which you are likely NOT driving!

Anyhow, that is it for this week.  If you are a reader who gives a hoot about still seeing these Tuesday Tarot posts?  Let me know in comments, and I will then make the decision whether to post them over on ever-public Herlander Walking!

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.

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.”


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.