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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Celtic Dragon Plus Celtic Lenormand: A Reading

About two years ago (Yikes! That long ago?) I did a reading with a spread that uses a Lenormand line of five and two Tarot cards

Just the other day, I came across a two-card Tarot/Lenormand combination spread over at Greylady's Hearth. I loved what Ellen did with the two cards she drew, so I decided it was time for me to try a Tarot-Lenormand combination again.

This two-card pairing features The Celtic Dragon Tarot by D.J. Conway and Lisa Hunt (Llewellyn Publications) and the Celtic Lenormand by ChloĆ« McCracken and Will Worthington (U.S. Games Systems Inc.) I am totally not coming up with a question or concern that I want to address right now, so I am going to challenge these cards to “tell me something I need to know today.”

Okay, Celtic Dragon, you go first: JUDGMENT (Trump 20)

And now, let’s hear from the Celtic Lenormand: LORD (Card 28). This is one of two cards numbered 28 in this deck, the other being titled “Man.”


Well. You know, the first thing that strikes me with this pair of cards is the similarity between the pose or “attitude” of the dragon on the Judgment card and the man on the Lord card. I mean, look at them. But of course there are differences. Let’s see what we can see.

D.J. Conway tells us that the dragon on Trump 20 is tenderly administering healing and comfort to the man in the bed. And, thanks to Lisa Hunt’s artistry, you can sense this by looking closely at the card. Judgment does represent a cycle of renewal or rebirth, an awakening to a new world filled with sunlight.

It’s not hard, then, to imagine the man in the bed on Judgment rising up and embracing a new life, transforming himself into the man on the Lenormand Lord – proud, strong, and dignified. The Lord (or Man) card traditionally represents the querent if he is male, or the most important man in the querent’s life. I think it is fair to adjust this to say “an important man” in my life, without making the distinction of “most important.”

I see this pairing as pointing to my brother, who recently retired from a company where he worked in management for ten years. He thoroughly enjoyed the first eight years of the job, but the last two were filled with health problems, friction between himself and upper management, merging companies, and finally, an attempt by the company to give him less than he deserved in severance or retirement pay. Finally, this has all come to end, and he is free to move into a brand new phase of life with his wife.

As it turns out, my brother is visiting us this week, so this lends even more credence (in my mind) to the theory posited above. What I need to know is that this is where he is right now and anything I can do to support and encourage him will be appreciated.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Old English Tarot: 7 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
7 of Swords
by Helen Howell


What could be more fitting for the Old English 7 of Swords than a Knight fighting a Dragon! Unlike its traditional brother the Rider Waite, it doesn’t give us the impression of a sneak or deviousness in an outright way.

If you remember the Rider Waite shows us someone who has crept into the enemy camp unnoticed and is making off with their swords, which can symbolise for us subterfuge or not showing your hand in a situation to get what you want. Also, though, it speaks of strategy and that’s what the Old English appears to speak of to me, too.

In the Old English image is a Knight bravely (or stupidly, whichever applies) fighting a dragon at close quarters. That old dragon is puffing out fiery flames that look like they could burn that Knight. Our Knight is already pursuing a course of action which could also speak of tenacity, determination to see something through no matter what the risk. But I think for me, this card is also suggesting, that one should look at how we approach it.

As Swords are the element that connects us to clarity, intellect and thoughts, it may well be suggesting to us that perhaps we need to rethink our actions, form a new strategy, one that will ensure success. Now this is a number 7 in the tarot sequence. This, for me, has come to represent wisdom, insight, and gaining personal confidence and growth. It’s a number that urges us to reflect on a situation. From this will come growth and self-knowledge. The number coupled with the image on this card of the Knight fighting the dragon does give me the feeling that together they represent that one needs to realise that an aggressive approach may not necessarily be the best one.

I think the one thing that both the Rider Waite and the Old English do is draw our attention to the fact that one should consider the consequences of their proposed action before they take it.

The LWB says:
Perseverance, new plans, endeavours, fortitude, fantasy.
Reversed: Arguments, questionable advice.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Listen to the Animals: Black Rhino

For this Tarot Notes feature, I pull one card from an animal-themed deck to represent an important message from that animal.

If you are interested in finding out who your Animal Guides are, you can get an Animal Guides Reading through my _Etsy shop_ or my _Web Site_.

Today I am using Ancient Animal Wisdom by Stacy James and Jada Fire (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

My card is BLACK RHINO.


Rhinos are one of the oldest groups of mammals, virtually living fossils. The black rhino once roamed most of sub-Saharan Africa, but today is listed as Critically Endangered because of rising demand for rhino horn (thought, in some cultures, to possess magical and medicinal qualities), which has driven poaching to record levels. Both black and white rhinoceroses are actually gray. They are different not in color but in lip shape.

The Ancient Animal Wisdom guidebook assigns the key phrase “Survival of Self” to this card. The black rhino’s solitary nature can be a signal to me that I need to worry less about what others think or say about me, that I need to focus on the path that is best for me, what helps me survive. Additionally, the black rhino’s thick skin reminds me that I sometimes need to be “thick skinned” when it comes to criticism or questioning of my path.

The guidebook has a small section on numerology. The Black Rhino card is number Two, which the guidebook says represents “Intuition, Feminine Divine, Sensitivity.” This reminds me that “sensitivity” can be either helpful or harmful, depending on various factors. My challenge is to use my own sensitivity wisely, to avoid being hypersensitive while still being thoughtful and perceptive when appropriate.

You can read more about the black rhino at these web sites:
http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/black-rhino
http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/black-rhinoceros/
http://www.bagheera.com/inthewild/van_anim_rhino.htm
http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/6557/0

And here are some photos I took of what I believe are white rhinos. (The word “white” does not refer to color, but is rather a misinterpretation of a Dutch word meaning “wide.”)






Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day - 2 of Swords

The Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day is:

TWO OF OBSERVATION


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 Two of Observation, we see Holmes paused in the act of making an arrest, waiting to hear the explanation offered to him by the villain. Sherlock Holmes always makes his own decisions concerning the outcome of a case, and there are times when hje even allows apparently guilty people to go free. We see this in the Holmesian Wisdom quote linked with this card: “I had rather play tricks with the law of England than with my own conscience.” (from _The Abbey Grange_)

When this card appears, we are advised to analyze a situation before taking action. The best choice may be amnesty, temporary peace, or compromise. Hesitation and indecision are not necessarily wrong or harmful. Reversed, the Two of Observation can indicate treachery, duplicity, betrayal, false friendship, or dishonour.


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Old English Tarot: 3 of Cups

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
3 Cups
by Helen Howell


At first glance at the image on the Old English it is not that clear to see how to interpret it. Unlike the traditional Rider Waite image, which clearly indicates to us, by the picture of three women coming together and raising their goblets in a toast, that the card is a celebration of sorts, the coming together of friends or an indication of a happy time. So what can we surmise from the Old English image?
 
Let’s take a closer look at what we’ve got, which is not a lot. Three cups are spread evenly across the card in a diagonal line. In the bottom left hand corner is a figure of a woman who is banging a tambourine that hangs from a cord. It’s a hard one to decide, but let’s see. First the cups are in perfect balance with each other. Cups being the element of Water which is expressed through emotions and feelings, imagination and inspiration, we can see that this may well symbolise a balance in emotions, no extremes in this image. The figure holds the tambourine out towards those cups. A tambourine is a drum of sorts and drums are often used in spiritual rituals and maybe indicate allowing the higher self to come through. We’ve all heard the term ‘Banging a Drum’ used to illustrate when someone is speaking passionately about something. Also there is a rhythm involved when banging a drum and this can be used at a ceremony or celebration. 
 
Putting what we have together, we get someone who is enthusiastic about something, maybe a celebration or a ceremony - like a wedding for example. We have balance of emotions in the image, illustrated by the cups. Perhaps this figure bangs her drum to announce a sense of wellbeing and achievement.
 
So although the image is not as clear as the Rider Waite one, it does tell us that this is a time for celebration and happiness. You may or may not agree with me. If you do see something different then please do share it with us.
 
LWB says:
Healing, resolution, solace, compromise, satisfactory conclusion.
Reversed: Excessive pleasure, overabundance.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day - The World

The Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day is:

21 THE LONDON TIMES


For Trump 21, The World, the creators of The Sherlock Holmes Tarot give us The London Times, explaining that this great London newspaper “remained a major source of information throughout Sherlock Holmes’ long career.” Many scenes from Arthur Conan Doyle’s books depict Holmes consulting it and quoting from it to Watson. In its pages, Holmes also discovered news about various crimes and events, many of which became cases that he solved.

When this card appears, the deck’s creators tell us,  it is “time to rethink your life and begin anew. Look at the bigger picture and see what it means.” Keywords include “Restoration, Culmination, Triumph, Attainment, Perfection, Rapture, Spiritual Healing, Creative Growth, A Fresh Start,” along with “Obstacles, Imperfection, Lack of Foresight, Despair, False Leads.”

Holmesian Wisdom for today is: “Breadth of view is one of the essentials of our profession.” (from _The Valley of Fear_)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Empress Times Four

This is the fourth 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 Empress, we have:

  • Tarot of the Cat People by Karen Kuykendall (U.S. Games)
  • Cat’s Eye Tarot by Debra M. Givin, DVM (U.S. Games)
  • Celestial Tarot by Kay Steventon and Brian Clark (U.S. Games)
  • The Celtic Dragon Tarot by D.J. Conway and Lisa Hunt (Llewellyn).




The Empress Is. . .
by Zanna Starr

In her helmet headdress and rich robes,
With her leopard companion at her feet,
The Empress is a sensual creature,
Forceful when necessary.
Strong.  Satisfied. Serene.

In her cloak of thick white fur,
With her children curled in her shadow,
The Empress is a nurturing creature,
Protective when challenged.
Monarch. Matriarch. Mama.

In her guise as Venus, goddess of love and beauty,
With her child, Cupid, close at hand,
The Empress is a captivating creature,
At home on earth or in heaven.
Compassionate. Cultured. Creative.

In her vibrant red robe and soothing blue gown,
With her dragon companion on her shoulder,
The Empress is a life-giving creature,
Offering birth, hope, and magic.
Goddess. Guardian. Guide.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Old English Tarot: 3 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
3 of Swords
by Helen Howell


Today I’m looking at the Old English Three of Swords. The first thing to remember is that the Swords energy comes from the Air element and is expressed through clarity of thought, mental activity, logic and reasoning.

Again if I compare the Old English Three of Swords against the more traditional Rider Waite, we have two very different images. The Rider Waite image shows us three swords piercing a heart, which immediately gives us the impression that there is some sort of heartbreak going on. Perhaps a relationship has failed. So this card speaks of a situation that alters the way one thinks and causes emotional pain. It’s also interesting to note that in this image Waite has included rain -- stormy days, eh! We all know that rain makes things grow, and can symbolise for us the growth that comes out of experiencing these upsets.

The Old English image however, doesn’t portray that at all. We have a castle, quite an elaborate one ( security) perched on top of a very rounded hill (lifts one up, also very breast-like in appearance, so it could represent nurturing). The hill could represent, with the castle on top, the situation that gives you security and protection and nurtures you.

Above it hang three swords. This could indeed indicate that this security/goal is being threatened. The image shows us that what once looked secure and held promise, now has changed. It could indicate that one has changed the way they think about this situation. Again our thoughts have been altered in a way that causes us disappointment, for what once felt secure and nurtured us, no longer does.

The big difference between the two images is that the Rider Waite gives the impression of a relationship torn apart, by the symbolism of the heart, whereas the Old English gives the impression that a situation we once thought was safe, may not be any more. But what both cards do indicate is that whatever has caused this change in thoughts has also caused an emotional response too.

The LWB says:
Disappointment, strife, abandonment, dispersion.
Reversed: Confusion, mistakes, anxiety.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Starstream Oracle Reading

Back in July of 2014, Marcus Katz posted a video in which he demonstrated how to use a simple cut-deck method to talk with a Tarot or Oracle deck. (To watch the video, click on this link: http://youtu.be/_-5TvZZ4g0s )

I am using this method to engage the Art Through The Starstream Oracle by Cheryl Yambrach Rose (Published by Dagda Vision; Distributed by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) To read my review of this lovely oracle deck, click HERE.

I am starting with the question: What would you like me to understand about you? The answer to that question will lead to further questions and answers.



What would you like me to understand about you?
Card: “You are Not Alone in the Universe” (card 9)
Answer: “I know that I am not alone in the Universe because I adapt to things outside my comfort zone, and I am willing (even eager) to interact with what is unfamiliar and evolutionary.”

How can I begin to interact with the unfamiliar and evolutionary in my own life?
Card: “Go Forward and Leave the Past Behind” (card 12)
Answer: “Stop suppressing your feminine wisdom and knowledge. Strike out on your own if you must. Let no one intimidate you and compromise your integrity.”

What will help me stop suppressing my feminine wisdom and knowledge?
Card: “Be Open to a Communication from an Unexpected Place” (card 1)
Answer: “Listen carefully for answer and directions from the inner earth and star beings.”

What else might help me?
Card: “You are the Oracle” (card 20)
Answer: “Visualize and embody the Goddess of Avalon. She is directly linked to our deepest spiritual origins. She knows all.”

What can I look forward to if I follow this advice?
Card: “Acclimate – Accept Where you are.” (card 11)
Answer: “You will no longer feel like a ‘stranger in a strange land.’ You will integrate into your community and surroundings, even if you feel different initially. You will continue to explore new territory.”

Lots to think about here! All of the cards that came forward for this reading resonate with me, and I am sure I will remember their messages as I go forward.

Thank you, Starstream Oracle, Cheryl, and Marcus!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day - King of Cups

For February 3, 2015, the Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day is:

INSPECTOR (Suit of Analysis)

In The Sherlock Holmes Tarot by John Matthews and Wil Kinghan (Sterling Ethos), the suit of Analysis (represented by a magnifying glass) is comparable to the suit of Cups in traditional decks.

Inspector Bradstreet of Scotland Yard appears on this card, having appeared in three of A. Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories. The scene on this card is from The Man with the Twisted Lip. It depicts Holmes, watched by Inspector Bradstreet, preparing to reveal the disguise adopted by Neville St. Clair.

The Sherlock Holmes Tarot “King of Cups” is viewed as a “generous and caring person, calm, wise, and considerate.” His keys also include broad-minded, a mediator, and someone who offers a support network. Reversed or ill-dignified, the Inspector of this suit can represent “embezzlement, injustice, bribery, a swindler, a dissolute man, a highwayman.”

The Holmesian Wisdom for today is: “Every fresh advance … only reveals a fresh ridge beyond.” (from The Bruce-Partington Plans)

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Old English Tarot: 6 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
6 of Coins
by Helen Howell


This week’s card from the Old English Tarot is not too visually different from its more traditional brother the Rider Waite.  In the Rider Waite card we see a man holding scales in one hand (to address the balance) and giving coins from the other hand to a beggar who kneels at his feet (sharing, gifting). Of course the card is about sharing your wealth, addressing the balance, etc. It’s all about kindness and being generous with what you have, regardless of whether that be money, skill or knowledge, and in that act it creates harmony.

The Old English image shows us a similar balance. We have scales in the foreground; one side is loaded with money (wealth) and the other side with fruit (abundance.) Each balances out the other. The scales are coloured gold. A colour associated with the sun, gold can symbolise for us illumination, insight and understanding. Perhaps the hidden message in this is the understanding one gains in sharing, that the real gift is in the giving. By giving we address the balance and it reminds us that by doing such an act, we ourselves feel happier.

It helps to remember that it’s a number 6 card and I have found in tarot that it can often represent harmony gained after the disruption of the 5’s. In the Secret Power of Numbers (The Aquarian Press), Mary Anderson tells us that “happiness for this number is essentially sharing and harmony in relationships.”  This fits in perfectly with the Six of Coins.

The LWB says:
Generosity, charity, kindness, gifts
Reversed: Selfishness, avarice, bad debts.