Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Journey through My Tarot Decks: Judgment

In this series of posts, I plan to discuss all of the Tarot cards in order, using a different deck for each card. Today I'm exploring Trump 20 -- Judgment -- from The Arthurian Tarot by Caitlin and John Matthews (illustrated by Miranda Gray, published by Aquarian Press).

The Arthurian Tarot (also known as the Hallowquest pack) is described by Caitlin and John Matthews as "a series of doorways into time and space" which depicts the characters and themes of Arthurian legend using the format of the Tarot.




"Here lieth King Arthur that shall raigne again."
~ Lydgate (medieval poet) ~

On Trump 20 we see the gigantic figure of The Sleeping Lord, lying as a hill, incorporated into the land itself. All around him, people rise out of their tombs and look upward to a great eagle flying overhead.j

According to prophesy, King Arthur can only be "awakened" in the time of Britain's greatest need. At that time, it is said, he will reclaim his throne and restore the Round Table.

Caitlin and John Matthews write: "The return of Arthur is a prophesied event which can happen at the changing of the tides of time, at the turning of the aeons. It can happen, has happened and will happen within the circles of eternity. Time is not what we have understood it to be and the ways of regeneration are wonderful and mysterious to us."

Divinatory Meanings provided by Caitlin and John Matthews: "Renewal, resurrection; recapitulation of events or ideas; prophetic vision; ending or beginning; forgiveness; adjustment; recovery of that which has been lost sight of; impulse fo change one's life."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Journey through My Tarot Decks: The Sun

In this series of posts, I plan to discuss all of the Tarot cards in order, using a different deck for each card. Today I'm exploring Trump 19 -- The Sun -- from The Hudes Tarot by Susan Hudes (published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

Keywords from the LWB for The Sun are:
“Power. Energy. Creativity. Happiness.”

In the book Wisdom in the Cards (published by U.S. Games Systems), inspired by the Hudes Tarot Deck, A.L. Samul elaborates: “Not only does the card indicate power and activity, but also the kind of happiness that permeates our existence when we act in accordance with our authentic self.”

In astrology, our Sun Sign is believed to indicate our fundamental personality, who we are at the core. In the physical world, the Sun provides heat and light for our planet. Its power in both regards is significant. The Sun creates heat and light, which in turn support human, animal, and plant life and growth.

Samul writes: “When we manifest the card’s energy in our lives, we approach life in an innovative and creative way. We become like beacons ourselves, throwing light and warmth to those around us.” As catalysts for action, we can have a positive impact on our own lives and the lives of others.

On Hudes’ card, we see a cloudy gray background behind the Sun. Samul sees this as an indication that either the Sun has come out from behind the clouds or that a storm is moving in, which will cause the Sun to retreat behind the clouds. Either way, the atmosphere is changing, things are shifting or about to shift. The dark clouds can represent feelings of compassion, melancholy, or sorrow. It is important to understand that these play an important role and contribute to our growth.

For now, the Sun is out. Just as vibrant flowers bloom beneath its golden rays, our spirits blossom with joy as we experience The Sun’s light and warmth deep within. The Sun not only encourages me to be open to the "sunshine" all around me, but to look for ways in which I can be the "sunshine" in someone else‛s life.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Listening to the Animals

I am currently writing a children's book about animals. I've written several drafts, and I feel I'm ready to polish up the manuscript and send it to the editor. But first, I thought I'd do a reading to get some insight into anything I might need to do or might not be aware of -- as well as a sneak peek at the potential for success of the finished product.

As this is a book about animals, it seemed appropriate to use one of my animal-themed decks. I debated whether to go with a Tarot deck or an Oracle deck. Finally, I decided to throw all common sense to the wind and pull cards from six different decks, one for each of the following positions:

(1) What energy currently surrounds the project?
(2) What do I need to keep in mind as I work on the final draft?
(3) Is there anything I might not have thought of that would be helpful?
(4) What could the manuscript use more of?
(5) What could the manuscript use less of?
(6) What insight can you provide about the potential for the book's success?

The layout looks like this:

1
2.................3
4.................5
6

(1) What energy currently surrounds the project?
SIX OF WANDS
Rooster / Tarot of the Animal Lords

Well, that's mighty nice, if I do say so myself! I love that this deck uses roosters "tooting their own horns" on this card. Roosters are known for strutting their stuff and their proud, "cocky" attitude. I do need to be careful not to count my chickens (er, roosters) before they hatch.




(2) What do I need to keep in mind as I work on the final draft?
QUEEN OF SHAPESHIFTERS (Cups)
Cricket / Animal-Wise Tarot

The emphasis in this card in this deck is on intuition and the importance of dreams and beliefs. Crickets are viewed by some as the reincarnation of relatives and by others as familiars or devils. In some areas, their singing was believed to herald good luck. Crickets are mainly nocturnal, and this suggests to me that I need to keep in mind that insight may come from dark places where I must rely on senses other than sight.

(3) Is there anything I might not have thought of that would be helpful?
HEDGEHOG

Beasts of Albion

The Hedgehog is known for its spiny exterior, a solid defense against attack. Those of us who have similar (though unseen) barriers in place may be perceived as aggressive or aloof. It may be that I should be careful not to assume that I am "protected" in this project or perhaps that I need to protect myself from disappointment or hurt feelings.


(4) What could the manuscript use more of?
DOG

Druid Animal Oracle

LOL. The manuscript could use more loyalty, guidance, and protection. It's true that I have been somewhat neglectful lately. I need to demonstrate faithfulness and allegiance to the project, "working like a dog" until it is the best it can be.
(5) What could the manuscript use less of?
TRUMP TWO

Little Owl / Tarot of Reincarnation

Hm. That's interesting. Although not an exact "match," this card is comparable to The High Priestess in traditional Tarot decks. It represents the veil of memory that conceals the secrets of the unconscious, as well as hidden knowledge, intuition, magic, and lunar energy. The LWB that accompanies this deck describes the owl on this card as a Little Owl, an actual type of owl. However, the picture on the card is not that type of owl. Rather, it is a barn owl. In any case, owls in general are nocturnal, lunar creatures. There seems to be a connection between this card and the Queen of Shapeshifters (Cups) or Cricket in position 2. Perhaps the point being made is that intuition and dreams can mislead or deceive as well as reveal.

(6) What insight can you provide about the potential for the book's success?
MOOSE

Wolf Song Cards

In this deck, the Moose represents the ability to assess a situation and the importance of approaching all situations with goodwill rather than with negative preconceptions or anxiety. The key message is: Choose your battles. Do not strike out. Gather information. Assess the situation. The Moose is viewed as a "good thinker," a far-seeing soul who knows that catastrophe is always possible and plans accordingly. It seems that the potential for the book's success depends on these factors, whether on my part or the part of my editor and publisher. A healthy, physically fit Moose is a force to be reckoned with and almost impossible to ignore. That's a good thing, right?

Well, I have a mix of birds, insects, and mammals in this reading -- just like I have in the book I'm writing. None of the animals on the card I drew are in the book, but some of their relatives are. I am particularly intrigued by the Queen of Shapeshifters (Cups) as what I need to keep in mind and the Owl (High Priestess) as what the manuscript could use less of. I need to give that a bit more thought.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
DECKS USED IN THIS READING:
  • Tarot of the Animal Lords. Artwork by Angelo Giannini; Idea and graphics by Pietro Alligo (Lo Scarabeo)
  • The Animal-Wise Tarot by Ted Andrews (Dragonhawk Publishing)
  • The Beasts of Albion by Miranda Gray (Aquarian)
  • The Druid Animal Oracle by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm. Card Illustrations by Bill Worthington (Fireside: Simon & Schuster, Inc.)
  • Tarot of Reincarnation by Massimiliano Filadoro (Lo Scarabeo)
  • Wolf Song by Jeanette Spencer and Lew Hartman (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Free Tarot Readings

All of the free Tarot Readings for this session have been provided, and we are awaiting feedback on several of them.

If you were told you were getting a reading but have not received it yet, please let us know. We'll be happy to re-send it.

A Journey through My Tarot Decks: The Moon

In this series of posts, I plan to discuss all of the Tarot cards in order, using a different deck for each card. Today I'm exploring Trump 18 -- The Moon -- from The Animal-Wise Tarot by Ted Andrews (Dragonhawk Publishing).





I love Ted Andrews's choice for The Moon card in this deck. I like the subtle reference to RWS-style decks, in which The Moon card often includes a wolf.

For Andrews, the Wolf / Moon card encourages us to "empower our verbal communication with appropriate body language" as well as to pay attention to body language or undertones that may contrast with another person's words. Wolves use both types of communication in fairly complex ways. The Moon / Wolf also emphasizes the importance of trusting one's intuition and inner voice to guide one along the way.

Reversed or ill-dignified, The Moon /Wolf may caution us that we are not seeing things as they really are or that our judgment is askew in some way. We may be in danger of letting our imagination run away with us. For these reasons, it may not be a good time to take chances or risks.

Every animal deck I own includes a wolf, so I thought I would do a brief summary of some of the meanings attributed to the wolf in those other decks:
  • Knave of Wands (Wolf): Companion, friendship, good news; reversed = rivals in love, bad news, gossip (Tarot of the Animal Lords)
  • Wolf: Community; teaching; cooperation; society; knowledge; nurturing; companionship; instinct; victory; ferocity; guidance; intelligence (Beasts of Albion)
  • Wolf (Faol): Intuition, Learning, The Shadow, Sensitivity to the Otherworld, Shape-shifting, Earth element (The Druid Animal Oracle)
  • Wolf: Creation, healing, purification (Animal Spirits Knowledge Cards)
Andrews offers the following "Questions to Ask" when the Wolf  (or The Moon card) appears: "Are we being clear in our communications? Are others? Are we responding, even though the communications and intuition is unclear? Are we being too sensitive right now? Are we allowing our fears to prevent us from stepping out into new directions?"

------------------------------
Other decks mentioned:
Tarot of the Animal Lords. Artwork by Angelo Giannini; Idea and graphics by Pietro Alligo; Instructions by Bepi Vigna; Editing by Riccardo Minetti; Translations by Studio RGE. Copyright © 2003 Lo Scarabeo.
Animal Spirits Knowledge Cards. Paintings by Susan Seddon Boulet. Text by John Nagiecki. Copyright © The Susan Eleanor Boulet Trust. Pomegranate Communications, Inc.
The Beasts of Albion by Miranda Gray. Copyright © Miranda Gray 1994. Published by Aquarian 1994.
The Druid Animal Oracle by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm. Card Illustrations by Bill Worthington. Fireside: Simon & Schuster, Inc. Text copyright © Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm 1994. Card illustrations copyright © Bill Worthington 1994. This edition copyright © Eddison Sadd Editions 1994.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Journey through My Tarot Decks: The Star

In this series of posts, I plan to discuss all of the Tarot cards in order, using a different deck for each card. Today I'm exploring Trump 17 -- The Star -- from the Morgan-Greer Tarot (Illustrated by Bill Greer under the direction of Lloyd Morgan. Published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)



As Lee A. Bursten points out in his review of the deck, the Morgan-Greer Tarot is basically a "Waite-Smith clone," obviously influenced by an earlier deck by U.S. Games Systems, the Aquarian Tarot by David Palladini. U.S. Games Systems describes the Morgan-Greer Tarot as being "based on the continued knowledge, wisdom and interpretation of Paul Foster Case and Arthur Edward Waite."

On the information card that came with this deck, Bill Greer notes: "In the Morgan-Greer deck, the Case book was used as a primer. There are certain colors used as dictated by Case for symbolic reasons. I sought to incorporate these colors. . ."

The booklet "Highlights of Tarot with Coloring Instructions" (Builders of the Adytum*) notes that the color associated with The Star by occultists is violet. The mountains in the background are supposed to be violet, according to Case, and I guess I can go along with that, although they look blue on The Star from my Morgan-Greer deck.

 "Highlights of Tarot with Coloring Instructions" goes on to note that the Centra Star should be yellow (check), the grass and tree leaves should be green (check), and the background should be blue (check). We also have brown tree trunks, white stars, and blonde hair, as per Case. The vases are supposed to be orange. On my version of the card, one appears to be blue and the other, red.

Divinatory Meanings (DMs) provided by U.S. Games Systems: "Enlightenment, inspiration, purification, finding one's inner light." Reversed: "Arrogance, defeatism." In comparing this to Waite (The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, WeiserBooks), I see that his meanings for the upright Star card are somewhat discouraging: "Loss, theft, privation, abandonment." However, he concedes that "another reading says – hope and bright prospects." Waite's DMs for the reversed card are "Arrogance, haughtiness, impotence."

* Builders of the Adytum is a religious organization founded by Dr. Paul Foster Case.