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Friday, July 14, 2017

The Mary-El Tarot Answers: Who Am I?

The Who asked the question best in their song: “Who are you? Who who, who who?” I decided to combine this idea with a popular meme that uses humor to illustrate categories such as “what my friends think I do,” “what society thinks I do,” and “what I really do.”

Here are the positions I am using:
(1) Who I think I am
(2) Who my friends think I am
(3) Who my family thinks I am
(4) Who my colleagues think I am
(5) Who my spouse thinks I am
(6) Who I really am

I am arranging the cards as follows:


The Mary-El Tarot by Marie White (Schiffer) was looking sort of lonely and put-out over on my shelf, so I’m going to work with her today. To read my review of this deck, click HERE.

This should be interesting.

(1) Who I think I am


I know that I can get bogged down by what I perceive as my failures and shortcomings, my own negativity, anxiety, and pessimism. This card shows someone riding a white horse, a symbol of ultimately overcoming and rising above the burdens in my life, many of which I have taken on myself. At heart, I do believe that I am one who can see above and beyond my past and current problems, difficulties, disappointments, and bad choices/decisions. I do have the ability to recognize and tap into the divine spark or life force and energy available to me, and to reach my potential. I like the quotation from Rumi that Marie Claire uses in connection with this card: “Burdens are the foundations of ease and bitter things the forerunners of pleasure.”

(2) Who my friends think I am


Looking at this one way, I could say that my friends think I am “one step above or beyond” who I think I am (with the Page of Wands being the card that follows the Ten of Wands). They see me as perhaps having progressed farther than I myself can see. Marie Claire describes the Page of Wands as “initiators of spirit.” Inspired by Joan of Arc, this Page of Wands represents divine inspiration, faith, enthusiasm, and a great heart. As number 11 it can be associated with Key 11, Strength. It is not a card of physical strength but strength of heart and faith. My friends think I am someone who follows her heart.

(3) Who my family thinks I am


Awwww, this made me a little bit teary-eyed. Who wouldn’t want their family to think of them as “The Sun”? (The fact that my father used to sing the song "You Are My Sunshine" to me contributes to my emotional response.) In the Mary-El Tarot, The Sun is a symbol for God but also represents the full potential of a human realized. I doubt my family thinks of me in quite those terms, but I am fine with the more down-to-earth keywords such as happiness, joy, creativity, energy and vigor, glowing, shining, good luck, celebration, enthusiasm, and success.

(4) Who my colleagues think I am


This is quite appropriate, I think. When I worked in an office setting, surrounded by people, I did socialize and interact with them, of course, but I also greatly valued time I could spend alone, focused on whatever project I needed to finish. I do not like to be interrupted by the telephone or by someone asking me questions or interrupting me when I am concentrating. I keep to myself in many ways. My colleagues these days are “virtual” for the most part, that is, we work together or work on the same kinds of tasks while communicating via the internet or email. I love this. It suits my somewhat reclusive personality perfectly. People have told me they don’t feel they know me, which fits with The Hermit’s tendency toward solitude and self-containment. Often I conceal or disguise things about myself – not in an attempt to deceive but in an attempt to preserve my privacy. I am fairly sure that my colleagues in the past and present have picked up on this about me. The other chief quality I associate with The Hermit is knowledge or wisdom and experience, which The Hermit can use to guide others along a path, as a mentor. I feel my colleagues of the past and present have seen me that way as well.

(5) Who my spouse thinks I am


Boom, we get to the spouse and right away the suit of Cups shows up. The title given to the Five of Cups in the Mary-El Tarot is “The Guarded Heart.” On the card we see a pure white unicorn guarding a well in the garden of paradise. This card is about a wounded heart and the need to release pain. It incorporates the qualities of compassion, kindness, and empathy. My spouse said at one time that I am one of the kindest, most compassionate people he has ever known. He is also aware of the heart-wounds I have suffered and the fact that I tend to hide or deny the power those wounds have in my life. I think it is fair to say that he thinks I am someone who needs to deal with heartache and emotional challenges in a different way than I do.

(6) Who I really am


Wow. In the Mary-El Tarot, the Knight of Wands is the power of transformation and transmutation. The type of animal shown on the card is not meant to be clearly determined. It is intended to be ambiguous. Is it a wolf, rat, bat, bear, panther, human? Here there is darkness and the possibility that the holy flame could be turned into something destructive if a different goal is not actively pursued. It seems that I am someone who needs to be cautioned to use my energy and power for good rather than something malignant. One of the reversed meanings of this card in this deck is “alienation,” and that sounds like a caution as well. The reclusive nature of The Hermit, if taken to extreme, can create alienation on many levels. I also note that we are going "up" one more step in the suit of Wands, from the Ten (Who I think I am) to the Page (Who my friends think I am) and now to the Knight (Who I really am).

The predominance of Fire in this reading is interesting, given that my natal Sun is in Sagittarius. The Ten of Wands even depicts a person with a bow and arrow riding a horse – a very Sagittarian image. The Hermit is linked by the Golden Dawn with the sign Virgo, my rising sign. I can't help noticing the striking contrast between the bright, fiery cards in the first three positions and the deep, dark image on the last card. The Knight does have the lightning bolt in his hand/paw, though, doesn't he?

All in all, this turned out to be a thought-provoking, emotionally engaging reading. I would expect no less from the Mary-El.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Old English Tarot: 9 of Cups

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
Nine of Cups
by Helen Howell

Old English Tarot

Today I’m looking at the Old English 9 of cups and comparing it to the more traditional Rider Waite card. At first look neither card bears a resemblance to the other. With the Rider Waite it is more obvious from the image that this is a card about satisfaction and emotional fulfilment. We see a man sitting in front of nine cups and looking very happy with himself. Very often this card has been called the “wish card” and it represents for us that what we desire emotionally can be achievable.

Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot
Now when I look at the Old English I don’t get that impression so much. What I like about the Old English Cards is that they make you think. What we have here is a boy doing a handstand and his drum is on the ground beside him. I suppose one could ask themselves why is he doing the handstand? Is the same as jumping for joy? Perhaps he has just mastered a difficult drum routine and this is his way of shouting “Yay!” I think from this image we can at least take the meaning of success and one that can make you feel good about yourself. By looking into the image and analysing it, we can determine that this is representative of emotional happiness and one of achievement. 

So although at first look it is not so obvious what it means as the Rider Waite image is, both cards do seem to be delivering the same message. Basically satisfaction, celebration and emotional happiness.


Positive: Success, abundance, victory, Celebration

Reversed: Mistakes, material loss, imperfection

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Not Only, But Also with the Wisdom of Avalon

Today I’m doing a two-card spread where the positional definitions are (1) Not Only and (2) But Also. I have used this spread in my “Day of the Druids” series here on the blog, but today I’m using The Wisdom of Avalon Oracle Cards by Colette Baron-Reid (Hay House).

The question is: What do I need to keep in mind to have the best day possible tomorrow?

Not Only...................................But Also

Not only THE STAG
(pride, leadership) . . .

. . . But also THE EARTH FAERY
(physical health, grounding, foundations)

Not only do I need to make sure I have the highest intentions, that I take responsibility, and take pride in what I do, I also need to pay attention to my health and physical body, to appreciate the sensual world, and to avoid over-analyzing and focus on staying grounded and connected to the basics.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Should I Buy a New Deck?

I have come across some awesome Lenormand decks for sale, self-published by the amazing Lynn Boyle, at www.etsy.com/shop/AquariusWellbeing . We all know that I already have enough Lenormand decks, right? (Right?) So what could be more fitting than asking one of those decks: 

Should I buy one of Lynn’s Lenormand decks?

I am using a system in which cards from a red suit (hearts, diamonds) indicate a "yes” or “very likely” answer, whereas cards from a black suit (spades, clubs) indicate "no" or “not likely.”

The Celtic Lenormand by Chloƫ McCracken, illustrated by Will Worthington (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) has agreed to help me answer my question with a 3-card line. (To read my review of this deck, click HERE.)

And the cards say….

CROSS (36 / 6 of Clubs): NO
SNAKE (7 / Queen of Clubs): NO
WOMAN (29 / Ace of Spades): NO

So, my first reaction to this is: “Hey, who asked you?” Then I remember… oh yeah, I did.

Starting with the third card, WOMAN, I feel this could refer to me or to Lynn, the creator of the decks I am considering. The woman on the card faces and looks toward SNAKE (who faces and looks towards her).

In ChloĆ« McCracken’s guidebook for The Celtic Tarot, interpretation of the SNAKE card focuses on the idea of transformation or “shedding” something that is no longer useful. There is a female association to this card as well, along with the possibility that this female is either deceptive or simply making big changes in her life. If I am the female, is it possible that I am trying to “deceive myself” into thinking I need another Lenormand deck? Could the cards be saying I need to “shed” some of the decks I currently own before I think about buying a new one?

By the way, I do have several oracle decks for sale on eBay! Here are the links if you’re interested:

Journey to the Goddess Realm Oracle Deck: http://www.ebay.com/itm/122550482655
The Chakra Zodiac Healing Oracle: http://www.ebay.com/itm/122550482476
Art through the Starstream Oracle: http://www.ebay.com/itm/122549935479
The Inner Wizard Message Cards: http://www.ebay.com/itm/122549935192

Back to the line of three. Looking at the first card I drew, CROSS, I personally get a strong “religious” or “religion” vibe. Secondarily, I think of the expression “a cross to bear,” suffering under a burden. CROSS can refer to the ethics of a situation or to overcoming difficulties through spirituality.

Now, left to right:

CROSS plus SNAKE: I am getting a sense of the need to transform, change, or “shed the skin” of something related to religious or spiritual beliefs.

SNAKE plus WOMAN: As I mentioned above, perhaps a deceptive female or one who is making or needs to make big changes in her life. Self-deception?

WOMAN plus CROSS: A woman who turns to or needs to turn to religion or spirituality to deal with a burden or important issue in her life.

Well, then. Please do hurry over to eBay and buy one or more of the decks I am “shedding.” Perhaps then I will get the go-ahead for one of Lynn’s decks from my cards.