Sunday, January 25, 2015

Old English Tarot: 3 of Batons

In today's blog entry, Helen Howell continues her exploration of cards from the Old English Tarot by Maggie Kneen (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

Old English Tarot
3 of Batons
by Helen Howell

Now you may take a look at the Old English 3 of Batons and wonder what on earth does a windmill and rabbits mean? But if we take a closer look and compare it to a more traditional card like the Rider-Waite, then it all becomes clear.

In the Rider-Waite card we see a man gazing out across the water towards some hills/mountains (these could represent his goals). Two wands are firmly planted behind him (representing the actions already taken) and one wand he holds steady with his hand (the future action to be taken.) The card is about future action, making the next decision, realising that although the first stage has been completed there is still more to accomplish.

But this message is not so clear in the Old English and that is because its image is not so much about thinking about the next step, but rather showing more about being enterprising -- symbolised here for us by those rabbits who seem to be taking over the foreground. Also it’s about being productive, which is maybe what the windmill stands for -- you know the blades turn and the grain is ground type of thing. The green grass as a colour indicates balance, but also adaptability, potential and expansion, which is the key to the next step.

So although it may not be as obvious in its message as the Rider-Waite card, it still indicates that in order to grow and expand one needs to keep focused on what it is they want to achieve.

This is a number 3 card and in the tarot sequence it often shows us the first stage of completion. As this is a Batons card (Wands in traditional decks) it indicates how the creative energy is used in combining different elements to achieve an outcome.

So when you look at the Old English 3 of Batons, and you see that windmill’s blades turning and those rabbits multiplying, remember the message in its simplest form is keep at it!

The LWB says:
Practical knowledge, business acumen, enterprise, undertaking.
Reversed: Ulterior motives, treachery, diminishing adversity.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day 1/24/15

I don’t plan on doing a Card of the Day (COTD) every day on Tarot Notes, but I thought that for a while, when I don’t have anything else longer that I want to post, I will share a card from one of my Christmas gifts: The Sherlock Holmes Tarot by John Matthews and Wil Kinghan (Sterling Ethos).

So for today, January 24, the Card of the Day is:


The Sherlock Holmes Tarot (Sterling Ethos)

I am a huge fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories by A. Conan Doyle, but in  this deck, The Hierophant is linked with The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, a novel written by American writer Nicholas Meyer in 1974. Published as a "lost manuscript" of the late Dr. John H. Watson, the novel focuses on Sherlock Holmes’ recovery from his addiction to cocaine. The title of the novel (and the card) is a reference to Holmes’ use of the drug in a seven-per-cent solution.

In the book accompanying The Sherlock Holmes Tarot, the creators of the deck write: “While we in no way condone the use of such stimulants, the effect of the drug upon Holmes is a perfect metaphor for the opening of the consciousness to deeper and inner levels offered by the Hierophant.”

As the Card of the Day, The Hierophant may be alerting me to an opportunity to use my insights to inspire others, to transform the mundane into the mystical, or to mentor someone who is young or inexperienced. I am cautioned to be careful that I don’t attach too much importance to myself, that I avoid getting bogged down in rigid procedures, and that I refrain from projecting my ideas onto others. I need to find a way to preserve and honor tradition or heritage without being a slave to them.

Friday, January 23, 2015

What / Why or Who / Best Response

I am using the Celtic Lenormand by Chloë McCracken and Will Worthington (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) to take a peek at this weekend. The quotations below each positional definition are from the booklet that accompanies this deck. This 3-card line is intended to answer:

(1) What may take center stage
(2) Why or Who?
(3) Best response to the situation

(1) What may take center stage: BOOK (26)

“Esoteric knowledge and other secrets may be revealed to someone willing to study its mystery.”

“It may take some study or research to clarify whether these secrets are positive or negative.”

“The Book may also represent a project you are involved with. . . something that takes time, training and sufficient information and expertise to bring to fruition.”

(2) Why or Who? BEAR (15)

“The bear’s appearance suggests someone who may be stocky, curvaceous, broad-shouldered or hairy. Additionally, this card can represent either a man or a woman, and is seen by some as a mother-figure, by others as a protective male…”

“This drive to acquire wealth that may not even be used can be likened to a person who works so hard that he may not have time to spend the money he earns.”

(3) Best response to the situation: CHILD-GIRL (13)

“sincere, honest, open, childlike”

“This young girl is learning tasks that will serve her well in later life. . . Beginning with small chores, she will gradually take on more. . .”

“There is only one cure for inexperience, and that is life itself. So, approach it playfully…”

Interesting! Can’t wait to see how this plays out…

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Review: Celtic Lenormand


Celtic Lenormand
Chloë McCracken (Author)
Will Worthington (Illustrator)
U.S. Games Systems Inc.
ISBN-10: 1572817550 // ISBN-13: 978-1572817555
45 cards; 187-page companion book

TOP LINE (formerly Bottom Line)

As a follower of Chloë McCracken’s blog _Inner Whispers_, a fan of Will Worthington’s art, and a lover of all things Celtic, I was pretty sure I was going to like the Celtic Lenormand. As it turns out, I don’t just like it, I love it. The art is exquisite, as expected, and Chloë delivers much more in the accompanying book than I could have imagined. I am looking forward to trying some of the spreads provided in the book and sharing them here on Tarot Notes.


“Celtic Lenormand brings elements of nature-based paganism to the Lenormand divination system. This 45-card deck, with beautiful artwork by Will Worthington, provides additional tree, animal and people cards. In-depth descriptions for each card include spiritual messages, affirmations and suggestions for use in spells. The illustrated book also presents interpretations based on the phases of the moon and the Wheel of the Year.”


In the Celtic Lenormand, the images are Celtic versions of the traditional Lenormand deck images. In addition, symbolism shown in the images is designed to represent important aspects of the pagan path and perception of the world. The eight sabbats are represented, as are the phases of the moon. Specific cards are included for the god and goddess, as well as suggestions for deities appropriate to the other cards. The deck contains two tree cards for the God (the Oak and the Holly), three different Birds cards that reflect the three aspects of the Goddess (Maiden/Mother/Crone), an additional snake card that reflects the more positive aspects of the snake; a cat card (cats are traditional familiars); and four additional “people” cards.

The 3 by 4-1/2 inch book that accompanies the Celtic Lenormand offers information about the structure and intentions of the deck, the spiritual tradition in Lenormand readings, The Wheel of the Year, Dark and Light, and Affirmations. For each card, the book presents the card number, card title, a small black and white scan, Keywords, Timing, Person, Playing Card Association, Description, Meanings, Spiritual Readings, Dark and Light, Spell Use, Affirmation, and Deity. A section at the back of the book provides information on combining cards, working with deity, using the cards in spells, and several card spreads, including a five card Lines spread, a five card Inner Cross spread, a nine card Mini Tableau, an eight or twelve card Paths spread, Dual and Triple Goddess spreads, a Moon Cycle spread, and a Year Ahead spread.


The deck and book are packaged in a sturdy cardboard box with a lift-off top. The inside has an inset for the cards.

The cards are 2-1/4 by 3-1/2 inches and made of sturdy card stock. The backs are a medium yellow-gold, with a darker yellow-gold border on the two long sides. There is a dark yellow-gold circle in the middle. The result is a soft, glowing effect. Card backs are reversible.

The card faces are borderless. The card number, enclosed in a golden torc, is placed in the upper left hand corner. The playing card association appears in the lower right hand corner inside a solid gold circle.


_Will Worthington_ is familiar to the Tarot community, well known for his illustration of such popular decks as The Druid Animal Oracle by Philip Carr-Gomm and Stephanie Carr-Gomm (Touchstone), The Green Man Tree Oracle by John Matthews (Connections Book Publishing), The Wildwood Tarot by Mark Ryan and John Matthews (Sterling Ethos), and The Druidcraft Tarot by Philip Carr-Gomm and Stephanie Carr-Gomm (St. Martin's Press).

The backdrop for the cards in the Celtic Lenormand is the landscape of Brittany, in the north of France. Chloë McCracken explains that “this area was populated by Celts for over five hundred years, and is still considered one of the six surviving Celtic nations.”

The colors are intense, expressing a variety of tones or moods. The images are sharp, clear, and realistic.

In accordance with the FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, I hereby disclose that this product was provided by the publisher for free. Other than the occasional review copy, I receive no monetary or in-kind compensation for my reviews.  The substance of my reviews is not influenced by whether I do or do not receive a review copy.