Sunday, March 29, 2015

Old English Tarot: 10 of Swords

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
10 of Swords
by Helen Howell

The Old English 10 of Swords just like the Rider Waite card, leaves us in no doubt that something is coming to an end. Both cards show us an image that we cannot mistake the meaning of. However, the images do tell a slightly differing story. Let’s take a look at the more traditional Rider Waite card first.

Rider-Waite Tarot (US Games)
In this image we see a man that lies face down with ten swords sticking into his back - you could say he is pinned down by some sort of personal pain. But it is worth noting that the fingers on his visible hand appear to be held in the sign of forgiveness/blessing (benediction). This indicates, at least to me, that in order to move on from this situation, and allow this ending to take place, one has to realise that it is over, finished with, etc. Because this is a number 10 card (1+0 = 1), it represents for us endings and beginnings all in one number.

The key element, I think, of the Rider Waite image is that whatever has caused one the pain, the only way to begin again is to forgive and move on. Because when we forgive what we do is actually free ourselves. So the image of the man shows us that he’s already been stabbed in the back. What else could happen? The worst is probably over, and now is the time to recover from it.

The Old English however, doesn’t appear to show us any recovery. What we get is a stormy sea and a sinking ship. I see no life boats, do you? How do you recover from that? What this card suggests to me is that some disaster has taken place. What was or is, has now come to an end. I get the sense that unlike the Rider Waite image, which tends to give me a sense of personal pain, the Old English image speaks more of some material loss – unless, of course, we put ourselves on the actual ship. But there is nothing to depict this. We are left in no doubt that this could foretell for us some sort of trouble or loss.

But wait! If we look closer at the image, we will see in the background there is land, and if we place ourselves in the ship then perhaps that is an indication that we can swim to safety. One just has to acknowledge they are on a sinking ship to get off in time to save themselves. So hidden in this image is the suggestion of recovery, and an ending and a beginning.

It appears then that the Old English has more in common with its traditional brother the Rider Waite than I first thought.

I think the fundamental message that both these cards bring home to us is that the worst is over and that we need to make an effort to bring it to its conclusion before a new beginning can be embarked on. How does one do that? By recognising that whatever it is, is over. The choice is always our own.

LWB: Ruin, desolation, trouble, sorrow.
Reversed: Benefit, temporary gain, passing success.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day - 9 of Observation

The Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day is:

In The Sherlock Holmes Tarot by John Matthews and Wil Kinghan (Sterling Ethos), the suit of Observation (represented by an eye) is comparable to the suit of Swords. The quotation chosen to represent the entire suit of Observation is from The Red-Headed League: “This is a time for observation, not for talk.”

On the Nine of Observation, we see the body of the great Sherlock Holmes lying on the cobbles after being beaten almost to death by two “toughs” sent by the infamous Baron Gruner, a serial bigamist and murderer featured in The Illustrious Client. Watson is horrified to read in the newspaper that the detective is near death, but upon arriving at 221 Baker Street, he finds that Holmes has deliberately exaggerated his condition.

The Holmesian Wisdom for this card is “Now is the dramatic moment of fate” from The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Keys for this card, upright, are “suffering, cruelty, despair, depression, grave doubts, guilt, premonitions that weaken your resolve, inability to take responsibility for your own path.” Reversed, the card can suggest “gossip, shame, disgrace, ill-favoured rumour, struggle.”

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Emperor Times Four

This is the fifth entry in a series in which I share four versions of a particular Major Arcana card, and write a poem that takes us through all four versions. To read all of the poems to date, search “Times Four” in the blog search field.

To simplify the process for myself, I am going to go in alphabetic order by deck. In this post, representing The Emperor, we have the Tarot of Color by Leisa ReFalo (The Tarot Connection), the Chrysalis Tarot written by Toney Brooks with paintings by Holly Sierra (U. S. Games, Inc.), the Crystal Visions Tarot by Jennifer Galasso (U.S. Games, Inc.), and Tarot Draconis by Davide Corsi (Lo Scarabeo).

The Emperor
by Zanna Starr

Son of the Morning,
Chief Among the Mighty,
He is bold and fiery Aries,
A blazing Light, a purifying Flame.

Green Man,
Patriarch and Father,
He is balanced structure, 
Energy devoted to sustaining life.

The Emperor,
Guardian and Authority,
He is the Ram and the Eagle, 
A mighty protector and leader.

Inner Warrior,
Guide and King,
He is L’Imperatore and El Emperador,
L’Empereur and Der Herscher.
He is O Imperador.

The Emperor.
Son of the Morning.
Chief Among the Mighty.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Old English Tarot: Ace of Coins

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
Ace of Coins
by Helen Howell

What a nice visual the Old English Ace of Coins makes. Very different again from the Rider Waite traditional card, although the message conveyed in both cards is much the same.

The Rider Waite has a hand that offers a large pentacle, again the hand a symbol of a gift, the gift is the tangible. The Pentacle or Coin, whichever you choose to call it, can very simply mean that the time is right for going ahead with a money making idea, or that prosperity is in the cards! In the Rider Waite card, the garden is shown as lush and green, green being a colour that can represent adaptability, growth, balance, expansion and creativity.

The Old English shows us a house with a tree each side and that stands facing a field of wheat that is ready to harvest. When I look at this image I get the message that it says the time is right now to harvest that crop if you want to make the best of it. What I do see in this image more than I see in the Rider Waite one is that it shows us how the process through the other three suits has brought us to this moment. In other words, how the thoughts (swords) and the emotions that drive us (cups) have resulted in the necessary action (wands) to now manifest that initial idea into something tangible (coins.) If we look at this image we know that the farmer who lives in the house had the idea (swords) to buy wheat seed and a good feeling (cups) about how successful it could be, and so went ahead and planted and tended it (wands) in order to manifest it into a viable crop.

If we know our traditional meanings then we know the Rider Waite card speaks of this, but the Old English doesn’t just speak of this, it clearly shows us the results of those previous three suits and how this has manifested into the material form.

So the message may be the same for both cards: Manifest those ideas into something tangible. Whenever you see an Ace in a reading it always heralds new beginnings unless of course you’re reading its negative form. The one thing to remember, though, whatever the goal is, it is dependent upon your action to set it in motion.

A nice thing to also remember with all Aces is that its corresponding Major Card is the Magician and I like to think of that card as saying “The magic lies in your hands!”

LWB says:
Perfection, material and spiritual prosperity, bliss, attainment, treasure.
Reversed: Prosperity without happiness, wasted money.