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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Week at a Glance: 2 of Deniers

The purpose of drawing a "Week at a Glance" card is to get a sense of the sort of energy, circumstances, or personal qualities I might need to be aware of during the upcoming week.

For the week of February 24, 2013 I am using the 1JJ Swiss Tarot published by AGMuller in Switzerland and distributed by U. S. Games. Versions of the 1JJ Swiss have existed for over a century. One was created by Swiss cardmaker Johann Georg Rauch circa 1831-1838. I owned this deck in the 1970s but was convinced to get rid of it by my then-husband. I later got rid of him, and picked up another set of the 1JJ Swiss cards.

My card is the TWO OF DENIERS
(also known as Pentacles, Coins)


A banner on the card reads "FABRIQUE DE CARTES A SCHAFFHOUSE" meaning "Cards made of/in Schaffhouse" [Switzerland]. 

As you may recall from last week's Week At A Glance post, my mother was hospitalized after a fall, while I was still trying to get over a bad cold/bronchitis. I am feeling much better. Mom has been transferred to a rehabilitation hospital, and the staff thinks she will be able to go home on Friday. She lives alone, so my siblings and I will be reconfiguring her house, getting it ready for her. We'll be making decisions about what sort of in-home care she needs, etc.

So... Two of Deniers. The 1JJ Swiss deck has "unillustrated" pips, meaning that there are no scenes or people on the pip cards. The image on the Two of Deniers communicates balance and harmony to me, with equally sized ornate disks at top and bottom, fitted into a graceful "S" shape. The number Two commonly suggests an emphasis on balancing polarities/dualities, choices, partnership, cooperation, union, and possible tension. The suit of Deniers is the suit of Earth, representing life in the physical, material world (including domestic activities, health, finances, property).

In Stuart Kaplan's illustrated guide to this deck (Tarot Cards for Fun and Fortune Telling / U.S. Games Systems, Inc.), he provides the following Divinatory Meanings:
  • Upright Two of Deniers - difficulty in launching new projects. Difficult situations arising. New troubles.
  • Reversed - Literary ability. Agility in handling matters. Simulated enjoyment. Enforced gaiety.

Taking all of this together, I can easily see how it would apply to the upcoming week. Cooperation will most certainly be required among my family and myself, not to mention my mother! Possible tension? Yes. Choices? Yes. The importance of keeping things balanced and harmonious is obvious.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

REVIEW: I Know You Know

From time to time I hope to review Tarot or Astrology-related fiction that I enjoyed reading.

Below is my Goodreads review of Helen Howell's new novella, I Know You Know, in which a Tarot reader finds herself threatened by a particularly nasty client (I hate when that happens, don't you?)

Go on! Read it -- _paperback_ or _Kindle_. Enjoy!



I Know You KnowI Know You Know by Helen A. Howell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I had the pleasure of reading this novella as it was being written and, believe me, I couldn't wait for each chapter to arrive! I Know You Know is a supernatural, paranormal thriller that you won't want to put down once you've started reading.

The internal conversations between Janice, the Tarot reader, and her deceased grandmother are entertaining, even as Janice's menacing client, Edgar Kipp, keeps the reader on high alert.

From the very start, we are drawn completely into Janice's world and Edgar Kipp's as well (not a very nice place at all). We know that Gran is right -- Janice is in danger -- but who will protect her? Detective Inspector Rob Tate eventually realizes what's going on -- but he may be too late to prevent Kipp from carrying out his deadly mission.

Go ahead. Read it. You Know You Want To.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Week at a Glance: Knight of Pentacles, Rx

The purpose of drawing a "Week at a Glance" card is to get a sense of the sort of energy, circumstances, or personal qualities I might need to be aware of during the upcoming week.

Well, last week's card (_2 of Cups_) sure didn't seem to suggest a major event involving my 91-year-old mother. I visited my doctor on Monday for the cold I mentioned in my February 10th post. That afternoon my mother was rushed to the hospital after a bad fall in which she fractured a pelvic bone, scraped her head, and banged her elbow. Once hospitalized, she was told that an irregular heartbeat may have contributed to her fall. A pacemaker was recommended and inserted. She developed pneumonia, so she's being treated for that. Next on the schedule: a 1 to 2 week stay at a rehab facility to get her back up on her feet as the pelvic fracture heals.

Now, I will say that through all of this my husband has been a rock, traveling to the hospital with me and looking out for me. He finally insisted that I stay home for a couple days, as I continue to cough and blow my nose repeatedly. So the connection I made with the Two of Cups in my post still has a bearing -- but I sure didn't feel like I got a "heads up" about my mom from the cards!

For the week of February 17, 2013 I am using Tarot of the Cat People by Karen Kuykendall (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

My card is the
KNIGHT OF PENTACLES, reversed


Hmmm... my typical interpretation for this card is something along the lines of slow and steady, organized, determined, self-disciplined, reliable. So in the reversed position, I get a vibe of stagnation or inertia, no forward progress, an irresponsible approach, impatience, neglect, lack of direction. 

My first instinct is to see this as a caution about my health and the fact that if I do not take better care, I'm simply going to stay in this coughing-nose blowing rut another week, without improvement. The question is: What needs to be done to prevent this? Do I need an antibiotic? Should I go back to the doctor? Do I just need to stay home and rest? My mother is going to need my help or at least my presence at least some of the time this week. My sister is here, but works full time, so she can't do it all.

Perhaps the message is that I need to protect (not neglect) my health this week, and make health-conscious decisions -- because if I don't, I will only get sicker and be unable to help others who need me.




Sunday, February 10, 2013

Week at a Glance: Two of Cups

The purpose of drawing a "Week at a Glance" card is to get a sense of the sort of energy, circumstances, or personal qualities I might need to be aware of during the upcoming week.

For the week of February 10, 2013 I am using The Baroque Bohemian Cats' Tarot designed by Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov (Magic Realist Press).

My card is: TWO OF CUPS
 


Awwww. How sweet, given that Valentine's Day falls this week. My husband and I don't usually do anything specifically for Valentine's Day. Well, sometimes we go out to dinner. But we both kind of see it as a "Hallmark Holiday" that places significance on one day as if it carries more meaning than all the other days of the year. (Please don't misunderstand. I think it's lovely when couples agree to shower each other with extra attention and affection on February 14. It's just not something my husband and I choose to do.)

At the moment, I am suffering from a bad cold (hopefully not flu, but who knows at this point?) I started feeling bad last week, beginning with stomach problems that morphed into nasal congestion, coughing, sore throat, and fatigue. Why do I bring this up? Because the way my husband has responded to this is really, to me, far more important than buying chocolates or cards or jewelry or flowers on February 14.

He has gone out and procured all kinds of things that I need and/or want in my sorry condition: medication, honey, lemon, Kleenex, ice cream (yes, ice cream). He is taking care of several other things around the house that I normally consider my responsibility. He tucks me in at night and tells me he loves me as I sniffle off to sleep.

So -- Two of Cups it is! For those who do Valentine's Day up royally -- have fun! Enjoy! I'd rather not have this illness, but it has raised my awareness of how "lucky in love" I am all year round.

Friday, February 8, 2013

5 of Wands = 5 Creative Projects?

In a previous post -- HERE -- I drew the Five of Wands from the Bruegel Tarot by Guido Zibordi Marchesi (Lo Scarabeo) in the position "Important but not urgent. Can be set aside for now, but don't forget."


The keyword provided in the Little White Book for the Bruegel deck is "Ambition." The accompanying proverb from the LWB is: "Those who rise too high often fall. (It's easier for those who rise too much to fall.)"

In my previous post, I mentioned that the Five of Wands can refer to internal conflicts that need to be acknowledged and addressed to restore peace and calm to my life. In a Comment on the post, Helen Howell wrote: "I wonder if your 5 Wands card is more about translating your ideas into a reality, perhaps it indicates keeping your ideas real so that they can be manifested rather than end up a disappointment to you."

I started thinking about the fact that I have several creative projects in process in my life, each of which has sprung up from my own ideas, and all of which are at some stage of becoming a reality. When I took a moment to count, I realized I actually have FIVE of these projects going on at the moment: (1) a new book coming out this month to promote; (2) a book under consideration by a publisher which needs a little work; (3) my jewelry making business (I just made a list of at least five themes for which I want to create pieces); (4) this Tarot blog; and (5) a book for children that I plan to self-publish (I'm currently working with an illustrator).

So I am wondering, is it possible that the Five of Wands in this situation is simply a caution to me not to let these projects clash or compete for my time and energy to the point that I am exhausted. Creativity can be difficult to maintain at a high level. At the moment my health is kind of "iffy" (in a minor way) -- congestion, cough, aches, fatigue. Could it be that constantly pushing myself in all five areas mentioned above is taking a toll? Am I trying to do too much (due to ambition, drive, or whatever)?

I do try to balance my time and energy among my pursuits, while also paying attention to family matters, friends, and daily activities. Perhaps the Five of Wands is raising my awareness about the need to step back out of the fray once in awhile to a place of silence and rest.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Lovers - Wonderland Tarot


Valentine's Day is approaching, and it is with pleasure that I turn the blog over to Helen Howell for one of her fabulous rambles.

Love is in the Air:
A Ramble through the Wonderland Lover’s Card

by Helen Howell

The Wonderland Tarot was designed by Christopher and Morgana Abbey, based on the illustrations by Sir John Tenniel, and published by U.S. Games Systems.

The Wonderland Tarot (U.S. Games Systems)

"Tweedledum and Tweedledee
Agreed to have a battle!
For Tweedledum said Tweedledee
Had spoiled his nice new rattle.
Just then flew down a monstrous crow,
As black as a tar-barrel!
Which frightened both the heroes so,
They quite forgot their quarrel."
Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll

Now you may be thinking what an unlikely pair Tweedledum and Tweedledee make to represent the Lovers Card. I grant you that on first sight I too had to think about it. But the answer lies in the poem up above and that last line ‘They quite forgot their quarrel.’

Here we see the couple standing together arms around each other's shoulders. I grant you that the look on their faces is grim, but hey that’s how they always look! Above their heads the crow that broke up their battle hangs in the sky and behind it the sun shines down.

Did they forget their quarrel or did they choose to forget? The thing about this image on this card that got me thinking, is that there is more to this than first meets the eye. It seems to say it’s how we choose to interact with each other that brings us together. The Wonderland tarot emphasises to me at least, that love can be expressed by true friendship.

If I look at the colours in this card then I get a sense of the deeper meaning: The yellow representing positive mental activity and awareness. The crow itself is black with purple edged wings. It is a bird and flies in the air, so I put this colour combination to mean something from the higher consciousness—here we have the wisdom of the subconscious emerging into the day light. Blue is a colour that often symbolises reflection, and as a sky colour, can indicate the balance of the spirit and body. Purple again on the mountains (mountains can represent changes in circumstance and or goals) could indicate the wisdom to meet those changes/goals that a relationship offers. And finally the green grass where their feet are firmly planted can represent growth, balance, expansion and adaptability.

It looks like Tweedledum and Tweedledee had enough self awareness to recognise that their relationship was worth more than a little quarrel, in order to overcome the challenge of a disagreement. Perhaps it sometimes takes an unexpected change, e.g. the crow turning up, to make people realise that they always have the choice of how to interact within their relationships.

I think the biggest message the Wonderland Tarot delivers with this cute image of the tubby boys is the importance of interaction and how we express our love towards our family and friends. From a more personal point of view, its message deep down is fundamentally about the reconciliation of opposites, or dualities, whether it be with another person or within oneself.

So Tweedledum and Tweedledee
are now the best of brothers.
With their friendship so secure,
They're now the Wonderland’s Lovers.
ditty by Helen

"They looked so exactly like a couple of great schoolboys, that Alice couldn't
help pointing her finger at Tweedledum, and saying 'First Boy!'
'Nohow!' Tweedledum cried out briskly, and shut his mouth up again with a
snap.
'Next Boy!' said Alice, passing on to Tweedledee, though she felt quite certain
he would only shout out 'Contrariwise!' and so he did.
'You've begun wrong!' cried Tweedledum. 'The first thing in a visit is to say "How d'ye do?" and shake hands!' And here the two brothers gave each other a hug, and then they held out the two hands that were free, to shake hands with her."
~ Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Week at a Glance: The Empress

The purpose of drawing a "Week at a Glance" card is to get a sense of the sort of energy, circumstances, or personal qualities I might need to be aware of during the upcoming week.

For the week of February 3, 2013 I am using the Animals Divine Tarot by Lisa Hunt (Llewellyn Worldwide).

My card is: THE EMPRESS


Like last week, a Major Arcana card has come forward, suggesting that I am looking at energy at a "higher" or "deeper" level than usual. The card depicts the Greek goddess Hera, who presided over women, marriage, and childbirth. This is in keeping with the traditional interpretation of The Empress (Trump 3) as representing mothering, nurturing, fertile energy.

When The Empress appears I get a sense of a powerful creative force that brings something important to life. I also see The Empress as a signal that I may be more involved than usual with people who act as a "mother" to me or to whom I act as a "mother."

Astrologically I link The Empress with the planet Venus. Just for fun, I took a look at Venus transits to my birth chart to see what might be going on there this coming week. As it turns out, Venus is in the sign Aquarius, entering my Fifth House (House of Joy, Creativity, and Self-Expression).  

I think I'm going to like this!