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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Animal Tarot Time: The Fool

Hopefully this isn’t one of those things I begin with great enthusiasm, only to let it die before it gets very far along (a typical Sagittarius trait, by the way).

In any case, I am beginning a new series here at Tarot Notes called “Animal Tarot Time.” For this series, I will be exploring the choices of animals made by various deck creators to correspond to traditional Tarot cards. My initial goal is to get through the Major Arcana using cards from seven different decks:
  • Animal Tarot Cards by Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine (Hay House)
  • The Animal Totem Tarot by Leeze Robertson; illustrated by Eugene Smith (Llewellyn Publications)
  • The Animal Wisdom Tarot by Dawn Brunke; illustrated by Ola Liola (CICO Books)
  • The Animal-Wise Tarot by Ted Andrews (Dragonhawk Publishing)
  • The Animals Divine Tarot by Lisa Hunt (Llewellyn Worldwide)
  • The Animism Tarot by Joanna Cheung (Self-Published)
  • Tarot of the Animal Lords with artwork by Angelo Giannini (Lo Scarabeo)

And…. big surprise! I’m starting with The Fool! Let’s see what “Foolish” animals we can find.

Animal Tarot Cards (Virtue, Valentine, Hay House)

Titled THE DREAMER rather than The Fool, Key Zero in this deck is represented by a “shepherd puppy.” I love how this could easily have been the little dog shown on The Fool card in the Rider-Waite-Smith and other traditional decks. Here, the dog is on his own, chasing butterflies. We do see a knapsack on the ground nearby, and an angel observing in the background.

Keywords from the Guidebook: “Excitement. Joy. Following your heart even though you may lack experience. Playful innocence and the belief that you can do anything.”

I also like that the shepherd breed was chosen for this card because this is one of the most intelligent dog breeds, very quick learners, with many natural abilities. So although this puppy may appear to be “throwing caution to the wind,” we can be sure that it is very much aware of its surroundings and ready to meet challenges that might arise. And the puppy does have an angel looking out for it.

The Animal Totem Tarot (Robertson, Smith, Llewellyn)

As I understand it, the American television show Kung Fu is the source for the use of the word “grasshopper” to designate a neophyte or trainee who is learning a skill or discipline. That usage seems quite appropriate for “The Fool,” whose lack of experience and training makes him an innocent at the beginning of a journey. Grasshoppers leap – and then, based on conditions they feel or smell, decide the next place they might want to land. Notice that they do not simply jump without any reason or purpose for doing so. It may not be evident on the surface, but The Fool, like the grasshopper, has inner instincts and intuition that play a part.

The Animal Wisdom Tarot (Brunke, Liola, CICO)
COYOTE: The Trickster

I normally think of The Magician as being “The Trickster” character in the Tarot, but the free-spirited, adventurous coyote isn’t a bad image for Key Zero. Coyotes are known for being adaptable, willing and able to adjust to conditions and circumstances in order to survive and even thrive in spite of obstacles they may face. The Fool, too, trusts in his ability to meet an overcome challenges that might arise when he ventures into unknown territory. Far from being a “blundering idiot,” the coyote (and The Fool) tend to be sharp, observant, and willing to take a chance.

Keynotes from the Guidebook: “Originality, Humor, Unconventional Wisdom, Freedom”

The Animal-Wise Tarot (Andrews, Dragonhawk)
COYOTE: Wisdom and Folly

The coyote was chosen to play “The Fool” in this deck because of its reputation as “an extremely gifted animal, embodying intelligence, playfulness, adaptability, and loyalty.” Once again, we see that The Fool is not expected to be a foolish, mindless character. The balance of wisdom and folly is at the core of this version of The Fool. There is a knack to being just foolish enough to take a chance and just wise enough to know why and how to do it. As Ted Andrews puts it, “Even if wrong decisions are made – you will quickly recognize them and have the instinct to correct them.” The Fool reversed brings in the ideas of being inflexible or taking oneself too seriously OR being reckless and careless.

The Animals Divine Tarot (Hunt, Llewellyn)
COYOTE: Native American

Surprise (or not)! It’s the coyote again. Hunt’s card shows us a coyote on a rocky path covered with entwined roots. He is not leaping into the air, but he still must navigate and negotiate the earthly protrusions in his path. As Hunt points out, in Native American traditions, the Coyote plays “the fool, the teacher, the traveler, the transformer, and the trickster.” Sometimes his brazen self-confidence leads to a positive result; other times, his impetuous behavior creates terrible trouble. But the coyote’s zest for life is unquestionable. He teaches and guides us to “adapt, change, and grow as new situations present themselves to us.” (Hunt)

Meaning from the Guidebook: setting upon a journey, adventurer, inexperience

The Animism Tarot (Cheung)

Joanna Cheung describes the llama on this card as “barreling along without a care in the world.” While we may worry that he is naïve and impulsive, we have to admit he is also confident, positive, and full of potential. Once more we see this balance between folly and wisdom mentioned by Ted Andrews. There is a sense that it is not in The Fool’s best interests to completely give up either of those qualities. I love the rendering of the llama on Cheung’s card – a nice departure from the coyote.

I did a bit of research and discovered that llamas can be divided in two groups according to the length of their fur: short coated called Ccara, and the medium coated called Curaca.

Keywords from the Guidebook: tenacity, curiosity, steadfastness, joy, fortitude, impulsiveness

Tarot of the Animal Lords (Giannini, Lo Scarabeo)

An interesting choice here for The Fool in this deck. Badgers have rather short, wide bodies, with short legs for digging. They shelter underground, living in burrows called setts. Their behavior doesn’t really seem to go along with the idea of The Fool, in my opinion, as badgers seem somewhat stodgy and definitely down-to-earth, unlikely to take a skipping leap off a cliff. (Ted Andrews place the badger on hit Four of Pentacles card in the Animal-Wise Tarot.) However, the badger-man on this card seems carefree and jaunty enough, carrying a puffin under one arm for reasons perhaps known only to Angelo Giannini and Lo Scarabeo.

Keywords from the Guidebook: “Spirit of initiative, desire to travel; Reversed: thoughtlessness, madness, slavery.”

(Interesting side note in light of the prominent coyote-Fool cards, Wikipedia tells us: “In North America, coyotes sometimes eat badgers and vice versa, but the majority of their interactions seem to be mutual or neutral. American badgers and coyotes have been seen hunting together in a cooperative fashion.”)

THE FOOL: Shepherd Puppy? Grasshopper? Coyote? Llama? Badger? 
What works best for you?

Monday, December 11, 2017

Week Ahead Reading with Mystical Wisdom

This 3-card spread looks at the week ahead, with one card pulled for each of these positions: (1) beginning of the week, (2) middle of the week, and (3) end of the week. The purpose is to reveal “what will present itself for the coming week or what issues you need to focus on.”

I found the spread in the guidebook for the Mystical Wisdom card deck by Gaye Guthrie, with art by Josephine Wall (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) I am using that deck for this reading. To read my review of this deck, click _HERE_

(1) beginning of the week

UNICORN - Invite Serendipity

We start the week with a Unicorn – always a nice beginning! In the Mystical Wisdom deck, this card advises us to “invite serendipity,” with serendipity being defined as “the occurrence of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.” I will do my best to invite serendipity early this week, with the goal of having good luck in making “unexpected and favorable discoveries.” I expect magic to happen!

(2) middle of the week

LETTING GO – Learn to Let Go

In this deck, “letting go” is about freeing myself from “situations that no longer serve me.” This is a good thing to do from time to time all through one’s life, I think, and perhaps there is something specific I need to let go of around the middle of this week. Is there an unhealthy attachment or bond that no longer serves me in a positive way? I need to find the courage to acknowledge the situation and welcome change.

(3) end of the week

FRIENDSHIP – Nurture Your Relationships

A lovely card that actually appeared the last time I did this spread with this deck. Clearly an ongoing theme for me. I have an opportunity to focus on how to be a good friend, how to enhance existing relationships and/or develop new ones. There may be an opportunity to offer understanding, compassion, or comfort to someone, or to show someone that they can trust me to be there for them.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Court Case - A Lenormand Perspective

I did a reading about a court case/lawsuit back on November 8 using the Tarot. To read it, click HERE.  

I have decided to do a reading today on the same matter using one of my Lenormand decks. In keeping with Lenormand tradition, I will read a line of cards rather than using positional definitions.

I am doing a Lenormand line of five, where there is a central focus card, plus the following steps:
* The heart of the matter (2+3+4)
* 1+2
* 4+5
* Reflect 1+5 and 2+4

My question is: “What do my nieces and nephews need to expect or understand about the hearing on December 19?” 

I am using the Mystical Lenormand painted by Urban Trösch (AGMÜLLER). Here is the line:

CHILD (13) …........ MICE (23) …....... PATHS (22) …... ANCHOR (35) ….. PARK (20)

The Heart of the Matter: MICE + PATHS + ANCHOR

Guidebook: Loss, sorrows, theft PLUS alternatives, decision PLUS work, job, training, stability
This does describe the situation. The court case stems from a loss (death) and therefore sorrow, plus each party in the lawsuit considering the other to be a “thief,” taking things that belong to them. Both parties are seeking stability (Anchor) for themselves.

Regula Elizabeth Fiechter describes the combination of MICE and PATHS as “all ways blocked at the moment.” PATHS combined with ANCHOR = “way with a lot of work.” ANCHOR combined with MICE = “unemployment, difficulty at work.”

I get a sense of delays, blockages, or obstacles at the heart of this court case, that may make a resolution difficult and time-consuming. The Anchor can indicate being “stuck.”

1 + 2: CHILD plus MICE

Guidebook: Children PLUS loss, sorrows, theft
A very appropriate reference, as the children of the person who died (mentioned above) are on one side of this lawsuit, in danger of losing what they feel rightfully belongs to them.

4 + 5: ANCHOR plus PARK

Guidebook: work, job, training, stability PLUS public places, many people involved
There is a possible connotation here of a profession that involves working or contact with the public. Certainly that would apply to the attorneys and the judge in this situation.

Reflect 1+5 and 2+4:

CHILD plus PARK: If we take the “Child” as a reference to the children of the deceased person, we see them here in a public setting (the courtroom?).

MICE plus ANCHOR: Can suggest loss of a job, which could refer to any number of things here. Perhaps one of the parties will fire their attorney(s)? Perhaps the judge will be replaced? It is also interesting to consider that both parties are petitioning to be named “personal representative” for the deceased. One of the parties will be given that job officially by the court; the other will "lose" that job.

I can’t help thinking that things may not be completely resolved on December 19. There may be delays, perhaps due to a change in attorneys or judge or something being “stuck” in place causing a postponement or delay.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Loved One on the Other Side - Tarot Reading

Today I’m doing a reading that I came across on Jeanne Mayell’s website at https://www.jeannemayell.com/

This spread is designed to explore a possible connection with a loved one who has passed on. It's called _LOVED ONE ON THE OTHER SIDE_.

It seems appropriate to use David Corsi’s Ghost Tarot (Lo Scarabeo) for this reading.

Jeanne Mayell does not provide a layout, so I decided to use a simple “diamond” shape, as follows:




(1) How is my loved one doing?
(2) Anything my loved one wants to say to me.
(3) What's it like on the other side?
(4) How can I best support you?

Let’s begin…

(1) How is my loved one doing?

THE CHARIOT: I get the sense here that my loved one is moving forward towards a destination. I am not certain if he is the driver of the chariot or a passenger, though. The driver guides the horses along the road, sure and steady. This is such an interesting image. The “death coach” is part of the folklore of north western Europe. It is particularly strong in Ireland but is also found in British and American culture. It is said to warn of imminent death or, in some cases, to collect the souls of the dead.

(2) Anything my loved one wants to say to me.

TEN OF SWORDS: There are thoughts, conflicts, and perceptions that I need to release, to let go. I may need to even “let myself go” in the sense of focusing less on my own anxieties and insecurities. My loved one has let go of his earthly form and existence, and perhaps I need to release some of the things that tie me down or limit what I can do and what I can be.

(3) What's it like on the other side?

THE LOVERS: On the other side there is union and harmony. I get the sense here that those who have passed make choices or decisions about where they will go and what they will be on the other side.

(4) How can I best support my loved one?

THE STARS: I can look towards the sky and keep hope always in my heart. I can seek the world of the spirit, of “the heavens,” to maintain a link to my loved one and to all who have gone before me.  In a way, it is strange to think about “supporting” someone who has passed, but that is what we need to do in order to smooth the way for them – as opposed to refusing to let them go or causing them unrest with our attitudes and actions.

This is a compelling group of cards, with three from the Major Arcana – appropriate when dealing with such a substantial subject. The Ten of Swords also has a lot of meaning and weight here.