Sunday, April 26, 2015

Inspired by the Tarot: Haiku, Part 1

Once upon a time, when the earth was young, my best friend I used to write haikus “together,” meaning that one of us would write the first and third lines (5 syllables each) and the other would write the middle line (7 syllables). The catch was that we did not see the other person’s line(s) until after we had written our own.

Having noticed some of Helen’s wonderful haiku poems on her blog _Writing My Words_, I approached her about doing something similar based on the Major Arcana of the Tarot.

Here are the first five cards. We took turns choosing the deck and writing the alternate lines. We did allow the person writing the first line to share that (plus an image of the card) with the other person, but we did not see each other's second and third lines until after we wrote them.

I hope you enjoy these Tarot-inspired haikus.

THE FOOL

Deviant Moon Tarot by PatrickValenza (U. S. Games Systems, Inc.)
Seize the moment now 
Dancing, splashing, leaping – now!
The adventure starts.


THE MAGICIAN

Chrysalis Tarot : Paintings by Holly Sierra, Written by Toney Brooks (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)
Ravens -- magic, dark
jewels within your mind
Above and Below.


THE HIGH PRIESTESS

The Gendron Tarot by Melanie Gendron (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)
Mysteries, secrets
you have the key to unlock
the door to a dream.


THE EMPRESS

The DruidCraft Tarot by Philip and Stephanie Carr Gomm, Illustrations by Will Worthington (Eddison Sadd Editions)
Potential fulfilled
Giving birth to the Future
The way forward clear.


THE EMPEROR

Napo Tarot Deck. Created by Betty Lopez, Designed by Napo (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)
Past forms the future
In order as he commands.
Be strong in your choice.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Interview with The Winged Enchantment Oracle Deck

(To read my review of this deck, click HERE.) 

Today’s deck interview takes place in a clearing in the forest, surrounded by trees of every kind. The song of birds dance up and down the scale, and the scent of lilacs, honeysuckle, and green leaves perfume the air. I quietly await the appearance of the card chosen by the others to respond to my first question.

(1) How would you describe your essence or essential energy?


FALCON (11) – “I am Falcon, the swiftness of change. I am the sun god, the solar emblem, and the renewal of fortitude. I am victory rising. I am the hunter. . . I am the arrow that hits the mark and will steer you ahead if you allow it.”

(2) Which card do you feel reflects my essence or essential energy?


FINCH (12) – “You  are abundant in curiosity. You are active change. You are blending experience.”

(3) What story do you hope to tell me?


CHICKADEE (4) – I hope to tell you the story of “pure thought and fearless truth.” This story reminds you that you have an irreplaceable role. “It is time to let your actions do the talking and finish what you have started.”

(4) What should I not expect from you?


HERON (16) – Do not expect me to help you dwell on movements already passed, to help you push something it is time to let go, or to cause you to strike too late. “I am the gift of concentration. I am the stillness that allows a greater purpose.”

(5) Which card most closely represents us as a team?


STARLING (33) – We are unity and wholeness, committed to sharing our work and our wisdom. We gather like minds in order to expand ideas. We act as a catalyst, bringing others together in meaningful ways.

(Words enclosed in quotation marks come directly from The Winged Enchantment guidebook written by Lesley Morrison.)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Review: The Winged Enchangment Oracle Deck

R E V I E W

The Winged Enchantment Oracle Deck
by Lesley Morrison (Author), _Lisa Hunt_  (Illustrator)
_U.S. Games Systems Inc._ (March 10, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1572816732
ISBN-13: 978-1572816732
Cards: 3.5” x 5.75”



The Winged Enchantment Oracle Deck
TOP LINE (formerly Bottom Line)

I’m not one who needs to be “sold” on Lisa Hunt’s art. I became a fan of hers a long, long time ago when I discovered her Shapeshifter Tarot (D.J. Conway, author; Llewellyn Publications). I find birds to be intriguing, often stunningly beautiful creatures, so I looked forward to seeing Lisa work her magic with them.

I was not disappointed. I quickly searched the deck for my favorite birds – Starling, Crow, Falcon, Hawk, Owl, Raven, and Seagull – happy to be drawn in by the images, symbols, and spirit inhabiting each one.

I really like the way Lesley Morrison wrote the accompanying guidebook, using first person to give us the feeling that each bird is speaking directly to us about itself. At the end of each bird’s self-description, the reader is addressed as “You,” encouraging us to identify with and own the qualities we have just read about.

One excellent way to get to know the deck is to study the card for a few minutes, then read the page in the guidebook, then study the card again, and read the guidebook page again. From Blackbird to Wren, you will see and understand something new and valuable each time. I will be doing a “deck interview” with this deck in the near future!


THE PUBLISHER'S PRODUCT SUMMARY

“Inspired by the majesty and mythos of birds great and small, The Winged Enchantment Oracle invites us to spread our wings as we venture on our own soul journeys. Mesmerizing shape-shifter artwork beckons us to see multiple levels of meaning and new perspectives on our earthly experiences.”

BASIC INFORMATION

The set includes 39 oracle cards and a 48-page illustrated guidebook with custom card spreads, including The Single Card Draw, The Classic Three-Card Spread, The Hidden Influence Spread (5 cards), The Grounding Spread (6 cards), and The Bird in Flight Spread (11 cards).

Author Lesley Morrison (Vancouver, Canada) has studied animals within religious, spiritual, and multicultural frameworks for over fifteen years. She is also an avid bird watcher and wildlife rescuer. In the guidebook that accompanies this deck, she writes: “The companion booklet will guide you as you begin to see each bird as a conduit for expansive knowledge and perspective. It was our aim that the images and words would meld into a single expression of each creature’s spirit, but what truth is gleaned from this oracle will be unique to each reader.”

Each bird has a page devoted to it, incorporating an element from the card illustration in black-and-white, the number and title of the card, a description written in first person, and a message directed at the reader centered in italic type at the bottom of the page.

Here is the page for number 7, Crow:

The Winged Enchantment Oracle Deck

APPEARANCE, SIZE, QUALITY

The cards measure 3.5” x 5.75” and are printed on sturdy card stock. The front of each borderless card features an illustration that takes up the entire card face. At the bottom the number and name of the card appears against a parchment background enclosed in a golden brown oval with a feather design.

The reversible card backs feature a purple feathered background with a circular gold design in the the center.

Please note: The cards have rounded corners. I have squared the corners on my scans.

ART

“The watercolor paintings by Lisa Hunt capture humanity’s deep connection with the avian world, by presenting a visual blending of the two realms. Lisa Hunt is also the creator of Fantastical Creatures Tarot and the award-winning Ghosts and Spirits Tarot.” (U.S. Games Inc.)


Lisa Hunt’s artwork has been described in words such as “mystical” and “flowing.” She is a master at magically blending human bodies and faces with those of animals – without losing the unique qualities of either one in the process. Sometimes, the human presence seems stronger in the image, sometimes the animal seems stronger, and sometimes they seem perfectly balanced.

The Winged Enchantment Oracle Deck
On social media, I recently read the following comment by Lisa Hunt concerning the Hummingbird card from this deck: “A few years ago I sketched my friend Sivabruntha. She is an amazing musician who inspired me to play piano again. Later she became inspiration for the Hummingbird card in the Winged Enchantment Oracle. A lot of people have told me they really love this card.”

Be sure to visit Lisa’s web site to watch a time-lapse video of her creation of the _Chickadee-Shapeshifter_ from this deck. On her blog, she describes and illustrated the creation of the _Mockingbird-Shapeshifter_ card, _Ostrich-Shapeshifter_, and more.





Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day - 4 of Observation

The Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day is:
FOUR OF OBSERVATION
(4 of Swords)


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.”

The Four of Observation is taken from Arthur Conan Doyle’s book The Illustrious Client, in which Sherlock Holmes comes up against serial murderer Baron Gruner. At one point in the story, Holmes feigns illness to the point of death in order to catch the villain. On the card, we see an alarmed Watson tending to Holmes in his sickbed.

The Holmesian Wisdom for this card is “I have been using myself up rather too freely… Have you any objection to my closing your shutters?” This quote is from “The Final Problem,” a short story that was intended by Doyle to be the last of the Sherlock Holmes adventures. One gets the feeling that this is a veiled reference to Doyle’s own feelings of having “used up” his energy on the Holmes books. However, Doyle yielded to pressure from fans and brought Holmes back in The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Keys for this card, upright, are: “respite, hermetic seclusion, meditation, convalescence, rest, replenishment of spirit, solitude, reassessment of your limitations.” Reversed, the card can suggest “economy, taking precautions, careful administration, greed.”

The book that accompanies this deck also provides interpretations for each card under the headings “The Game” and “The Fog.” The former elaborates on the upright keys, while the latter expands on reversed meanings. An example from “The Game” for the Four of Observation: “Convalescence or enforced rest. Self-exile or retreat.” An example from “The Fog”: “Feigning illness. . . A strike or unexpected event breaks your routine.”

As a card of the day, the Four of Observation gives a clear message about stepping back (or lying down!) either literally or figuratively (or both) in a deliberate effort to conserve or replenish energy and resources – mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual. This respite may also be imposed on us from an outside source. It’s up to us to use the time wisely.