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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Samhain Spirits Spread

Samhain Spirits Spread
[Samhain is pronounced sah-win]

To set the stage for this seasonal spread, I am quoting from The New Encyclopedia of the Occult by John Michael Greer (Llewellyn Worldwide):
“Samhain. The beginning and end of the year in the old Celtic calendar, falling around the beginning of November in modern terms. Samhain is the oldest documented festival of Celtic Paganism. . . Samhain was traditionally associated with the spirits of the dead, who were believed to walk the world at that time. After the arrival of Christianity, the feast of Samhain became All Hallow’s Day. The evening before it, the modern Halloween, retained much of the same symbolism.”
The positional definitions for this spread are inspired by the hauntingly beautiful song “All Soul’s Night” with words and music by Loreena McKennitt. You can listen to the song _HERE_.  You can read the lyrics of the song at _this link_.

Fittingly, I think, I am using the Ghosts and Spirits Tarot by Lisa Hunt (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) for this reading. The layout is in the shape of a pentacle.


I stand in darkness at the entrance to the graveyard on All Hallow’s Eve, on Samhain, when spirits walk the world…

(1) This Spirit dances around and around

FIVE OF CUPS

A handsome knight named Guntram dances around and around with his bride, the corpse of a castle owner’s daughter who seduced him when he took shelter in the castle [_The Legend of Falkenburg_]. The daughter slipped a ring on Guntram’s finger before revealing herself as a corpse. Even though Guntram hastened back home to marry his true love, the beautiful Liba, that marriage could not be. The ghost-bride materialized at the wedding, and Guntram embraced Liba as he lay dying. Their dance is a sad one for Guntram, as he can only seem to focus on what he has lost. I must confess, I might do the same if I were in his shoes. Fortunately, I am not in his shoes, and I choose not to focus on what I have lost.

(2) This Spirit brings a hidden memory

EIGHT OF SWORDS

_The Flying Dutchman_ sails into my mind, bringing a memory of a time when I felt a loss of control in a difficult situation, primarily due to my own stubbornness and refusal to see a way out. He invites me to hop aboard his ship, to live in that memory forever. I must decline.


(3) This Spirit carries a light in the distance

SIX OF SWORDS

The Babylonian demi-god hero Gilgamesh holds a light in the distance, as if beckoning me to follow him along the path he travels. He reaches out to his friend Enkidu after summoning his ghost from the grave to ask him about death. I need to think and reflect on my journey thus far, and consider where I want to go before moving forward.

(4) This Spirit waits for me on the bridge

TEN OF CUPS

Perfect. The ghosts of people from around the world gather on the bridge to receive honor from their descendants. The living and the dead join together through merriment, feasts, dances, rituals and parties. It is indeed the Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos), and those who have passed over wait on the bridge for me to celebrate with them, to remember them, and to experience their presence while the veil is thin between worlds.

(5) This Spirit passes by the bridge and me

PAGE OF WANDS

The ghost of a girl known as Acheri descends from the mountains, passing by the bridge and me on her way into the valley. I watch her pass, knowing that she brings disease and devastation. In Native American folklore, it is said that she flies through the valleys at night spreading a shadow of illness over sleeping children. She respects all who wear the color red, and children are given necklets of this color to protect them. My challenge is to try to understand the message this Spirit has for me this Samhain season. What is the story she wants me to hear? How can her message benefit me or help me assist others?


Monday, October 26, 2015

Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day: 6 of Observation (Swords)

The Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day is:
SIX OF OBSERVATION
6 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.”

In spite of that quote, the Six of Observation depicts Holmes and Watson deep in conversation on a train. The creators of this deck note that “The Six of Swords has long been seen as a card of relationships, and especially the things we learn from sharing.” I have not thought of the Six of Swords that way, really, but I think I see what is meant. On the traditional Rider-Waite card, a woman and a young child are being rowed across a body of water towards a land that lies not far ahead. Their voyage is aided by the man who propels the boat. The woman and child have a relationship with each other, and it could be said that the man rowing the boat has a relationship with both of them, as he is helping them travel.

The Holmesian Wisdom for this card is a quote from Silver Blaze: “Nothing clears up a case so much as stating it to another person.”

Keys for this card, upright, are: “success after trouble, safety and protection, a journey, new perspectives, clearance of difficulties and blockages as a result of perceptive thought.” Reversed, the card can suggest “disclosure, revelation, unwanted surprise, change of plans or direction.”

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.

Examples from “The Game” for the Six of Observation: “A journey or fresh insights and clues. . . escaping from the present circumstances. . . New approaches to old problems.”  Examples from “The Fog”: “An unwillingness to leave the past life behind. Taking your troubles along with you. . . Maintaining a partnership that is over.”

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Did Brianna Kill Hilde?

Once again, Helen and I are comparing readings using oracle cards and Tarot cards. This time, our Yes/No reading is based on a novel I am currently reading: Die Smiling (Book 3 of the Claire Morgan series) by Linda Ladd.

Having reached a certain point in the novel, I decided to ask the cards: Did Brianna kill Hilde?

In addition to that question, I gave Helen the following background information: Brianna and Hilde are adult sisters. Brianna told her boyfriend (a detective) that she had not been able to reach Hilde for a day or two and was worried about her. The detective and his partner (a woman) went to check on Hilde and found her murdered in the bathtub with her face disfigured. In the book, as readers, we are beginning to get the sense that Brianna and Hilde did not like each other (even hated each other).

For my reading, I am using the Mystical Kipper fortunetelling cards by Regula Elizabeth Fiechter (AGM Urania). In the method I am using even-numbered cards represent the answer “Yes” and odd-numbered cards are “No.” Here is the Mystical Kipper’s answer to the question, “Did Brianna kill Hilde?”

GOOD GENTLEMEN (5) – Odd / No
GOOD LADY (6) – Even / Yes
A LONG WAY (35) – Odd / No

I love the fact that in every one of the Yes-No readings I have done, the cards have never once given me all three “Yes” or all three “No.” It’s always a combination. In this case, it looks like the cards are saying it is very unlikely (but not impossible) that Brianna killed Hilde (2 No, 1 Yes).

Having read most of the book before drawing these cards, I interpret the Good Gentleman as Brianna’s detective boyfriend. It is interesting that the Little White Book (LWB) for the Mystical Kipper states: “He has a lot of power and strength” but “He only becomes a fighting lion in order to help you if others attack you.” This is exactly what happens in the book, very near the end, when Brianna and the detective’s partner are attacked.

The Good Lady, I think, could refer to the detective’s partner. There aren’t any other females in the story that have such positive, caring qualities. Finally, “A Long Way” could easily refer to the difficult, at times horrifying road that Brianna and her sister traveled from childhood to the present day.

Now, let’s see how Helen’s cards answer the question, “Did Brianna kill Hilde?” Helen is using the Wonderland Tarot by Christopher & Morgana Abbey, with Artwork by Morgana Abbey (published by U.S. Games Systems Inc.)

7 Hats (Cups) 
Ace Peppermills (Wands)
Ace Hats (Cups)

Helen writes: “Firstly using the system I use with 2 Aces the cards are saying she probably did, but there is an element of doubt here shown in the 7 of Hats.  When I look at both the Aces it tells me that her emotions towards her sister are overflowing, and this is what drives her into thinking that she can run with an idea. These two cards together show me a burning desire to act against her sister.

However, along with these two cards is the 7 of Hats (Cups) and what this tells me is that she is weighing up what she can achieve and what is just an idea that she cannot possibly carry out.  I think what  the cards are actually saying is that Brianna has the desire to kill her sister but the choice of how to go about it may just be a stumbling block for her - this is the element of doubt that the cards are presenting.

All in all if I had to answer yes or no then strictly going by my system of Aces, I would have to say  it’s likely she did.”

==================

Both readings carry some element of doubt. The Mystical Kipper seems to say it is unlikely (yet not impossible) that Brianna killed her sister, whereas the Wonderland Tarot seems to say it is likely (with an element of doubt) that she did. As a reader, before drawing any cards, I strongly suspected Brianna of killing Hilde.

As it turns out, Brianna and her sister did hate each other while growing up, but only because of the way their their psycho-mother treated them both – she idolized Hilde and tormented Brianna. Hilde took advantage of this and told lies about Brianna. Psycho-mom responded by abusing Brianna even more. Then, a psycho-boy who lived nearby became friends with Brianna and helped her devise ways to torment Hilde. Eventually, Hilde and Brianna became rivals for the affection of the psycho-boy, and he betrayed Brianna with Hilde.

We do see that Hilde and Brianna both carried a lot of hate for each other growing up, to the point where they each wanted to kill the other at different times. Eventually, though, they both realized that psycho-boy was a much worse threat to them both. When they got older, they tried to get away from him, but he found Hilde and killed her because she wouldn’t tell him where Brianna was. Then he found Brianna anyway and came after her, whereupon the Good Gentleman and Good Lady intervened.

So it is certainly fair to say that Brianna was “involved” in Hilde’s death, both because of her behavior in childhood (when she would have happily killed her sister) and because Hilde died trying to keep Brianna’s location hidden from psycho-boy.

Sorry to have spoiled the ending of Die Smiling! But if you like psychological thrillers, there are lots of other books in the same series that might interest you: http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/author.aspx/25421 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Celtic Cross with Book of Shadows Tarot

I have been known to state that I avoid the Celtic Cross spread, mainly because I feel it can give way too much information that can be distracting when trying to answer a specific question about a specific area. However, The Book of Shadows Tarot really wants me to play Celtic Cross with it, and I thought it would be quite interesting to do so, using both the “As Above” and “So Below” decks associated with it.

I will draw cards from the “As Above” deck, but will place the same card from the “So Below” deck next to it in the spread.

The Celtic Cross spread I am using is provided by Barbara Moore in her book The Book of Shadows Tarot, which accompanies the deck(s). The layout looks like this:


1. You: this card represents you.
2. Crossing: this card indicates the conflict
3. Foundation: this card illustrates the basis or foundation of the situation
4. Past: this card shows influences from the past that are affecting the present situation
5. Immediate Future: this card illustrates what is likely to happen next
6. Crown: this card represents the outcome you desire most in this situation
7. Yourself: this is your self-image; how you see yourself in the present situation
8. Environment: this card represents the influence of those around you; it can show how others see you in this situation
9. Hopes and Fears: this card indicates either what you hope for or fear the most in this situation
10. Outcome: what is likely to happen if nothing changes


Ready? Here we go! (By the way, I am not using reversals in this reading.)



1. You: this card represents you.

ACE OF AIR / Ace of Swords

I am delighted with this card representing me. The Ace of Air in the As Above deck is subtitled “Dreams.” The scene on the As Above card represents Divine guidance or the Universe giving us messages or information through our dreams. I have a very active dream life, remembering several dreams almost every morning. I also experience lucid dreaming, in which I am aware of being in a dream and choose to act or interact in certain ways. The Little White Book (LWB) for the So Below card describes the Ace of Swords as indicating “a new approach or solution to a problem.” I do experience the positive effects of dreaming but also experience “nightmares” or “bad dreams” that deserve my exploration and understanding.

The suit of Air in this deck represents how we think – our world view, philosophy, or outlook on life. It represents our words and our thoughts.


2. Crossing: this card indicates the conflict.

NINE OF EARTH / 9 of Pentacles

In my opinion, this position in the Celtic Cross spread is extremely important, and especially important to understand. How I interpret the meaning of this card sets the tone and colors my interpretation of every other card. This is “the conflict” or “the issue” that the entire spread addresses.

The Nine of Earth in the As Above deck is subtitled “Land creatures,” referring to the many animals that walk the earth with us and the state in which these animals exist. The Earth is our symbol for stability. In this card there is a sense of satisfaction and/or satiation, a feeling that all is right and as it should be. On the 9 of Pentacles from the So Below deck, we see a woman who is “justifiably pleased with her work.”

On both cards, we see little Earth elementals gathered around – nine of them on the As Above card and three on the So Below card.

So how can such a lovely card represent “the conflict”? It makes sense to consider the reversed meaning or shadow side as described by Barbara Moore: “doing things or creating things in order to meet emotional needs” (So Below) and “a pre-occupation with the past or the future.” In other words, a failure to appreciate and enjoy the gifts of the moment, the things that bring satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment right now, today.

As the Ace of Air, perhaps I am living too much in my mind instead of allowing myself the satisfaction and enjoyment that can be experienced in the physical, material world. On the other hand, another possibility is that I am focusing too much on the physical, material realm, on the things that bring satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment in this world rather than a higher world. Either way, this is the area in which there is conflict.

3. Foundation: this card illustrates the basis or foundation of the situation.

THE ELEMENTS / The Magician

Whereas I am represented by Air and the conflict is represented  by Earth, the Foundation or basis of the situation consists of all four elements: Air, Earth, Water, and Fire. These four elements are pictured on the As Above card. For the So Below card, we have a Magician with all her tools in front of her as she prepares to manifest change in her life and in the world. The number ONE does seem to be an excellent number to represent a Foundation on which something is built.


4. Past: this card shows influences from the past that are affecting the present situation. 

FIVE OF WATER / 5 of Chalices

In the As Above deck, the Five of Water is subtitled “War.” Featured on this card is Bellona, an Etruscan goddess of war. In the suit of Chalices, we are talking about “a clashing of wills and desires, when one party wants something that the other party does not want.” (Moore) We are likely looking at a highly dramatic situation from my past in which all parties involved felt highly charged and restless. We may be looking at chaos and wanton destruction – physical, emotional, or relationships.

On the So Below card, a woman is mourning the fact that her expectations were not realized. She experiences loss and grief, as things did not turn out the way she had hoped they would.

I know exactly what this refers to in my past, and I also know that it does influence my present situation.

5. Immediate Future: this card illustrates what is likely to happen next. 

CRONE OF WATER / King of Chalices

On the As Above card, the Crone of Water holds dear memories in a bottle, knowing that there will come a difficult time when these memories will be needed. The people on the King of Chalices card in the So Below deck appear to be creating the sort of memories that the Crone of Water might choose to cherish and preserve in her bottle. The two cards contrast strongly in terms of color and “mood.” The Crone of Water seems deeply serious or sad, as if the “difficult time” is already upon her, while the King of Chalices card is filled with joyous color and smiling faces.

With the “conflict” (position 2) being related to Earth (physical, material world), I am wondering if what happens next (A loss? A difficult time?) will bring that conflict to the fore, causing me to face it and deal with it.

6. Crown: this card represents the outcome you desire most in this situation. 

NINE OF WATER / 9 of Chalices

Another Water card, pointing to relationships as well as how our feelings and emotions shape our relationships and vice versa. Like the Nine of Earth (Crossing / conflict), the Nine of Water suggests prosperity. The Hindu goddess Lakshmi governs over abundance and wealth – both material and spiritual. On the So Below card, a girl makes a wish while blowing out her birthday candles. She is surrounded by friends and family.

The outcome I desire most in this situation is material, emotional, and physical well-being that arises from my own generosity and willingness to share abundance with others. In order to fully enjoy my blessings, I need others with whom to share. This relates quite well to the conflict represented in the material, physical nature of the Nine of Earth (Pentacles). The conflict may stem from a feeling that I am not giving as much as I could, that I am not going beyond merely appreciating what I have.

7. Yourself: this is your self-image; how you see yourself in the present situation. 

MOTHER OF AIR / Queen of Swords

It is so interesting that I am represented by the Ace of Air in position 1 of this spread, and by Mother of Air in position 7 representing my self-image. I am especially intrigued by Barbara Moore’s description: “The Mother of Air writes books and creates language. She builds bridges with words and ideas, helping you communicate more effectively.” Well, yeah, that is exactly how I see myself. The So Below Queen of Swords depicts one woman helping another “focus her actions by eliminating the unnecessary and highlighting the essential.” I see myself in this mostly through my Tarot-reading and astrology work, teaching both subjects at an online school and doing free readings through the American Tarot Association.

As I mentioned earlier, the element Air in this deck represents words and thoughts, including world view and philosophy of life.

8. Environment: this card represents the influence of those around you; it can show how others see you in this situation.

SIX OF AIR / 6 of Swords

I love that the woman on the As Above card is surrounded by papers, books, and a cat. That’s how others see me, I’m pretty sure. Animals (cats among them) have a strong influence on me, as do books and other written documents. The card is subtitled “Familiar.” It emphasizes our relationship with and connection to special animal companions, guides, or familiars. The 6 of Swords from the So Below deck is quite different in mood and coloring. On this card, a woman is seen leaving a “dark or dangerous situation” as she seeks the truth for her highest good, knowing that her search will reveal guidance for the way out. She is obviously very happy doing so.

I am being shown the “way out” of the conflict represented by the Nine of Earth – or at least the way to find the way out. Guidance is available all around me, in the form of my connection with nature and other resources, whether on the physical plane or another plane.

9. Hopes and Fears: this card indicates either what you hope for or fear the most in this situation.

OSTARA / Temperance

A common keyword for the Temperance card in any deck is “balance.” Pagans celebrate Ostara (Spring Equinox) around March 20, as the world is filled with new life (in the northern hemisphere). This idea of balance is shown on the As Above card by the white rabbit in the Goddess’s arms and the brown rabbit at her feet. The So Below card depicts moderation and control, “the right thing at the right time in the right place.” I certainly hope for all of these things (and perhaps fear that I won’t achieve or experience them). Going back to the “conflict” of the Nine of Earth, my hope is that I will learn to put my focus on the physical, material realm in its proper place, in balance with the other elemental realms in my life.

10. Outcome: what is likely to happen if nothing changes.

LITHA / The Sun

I have to love this! As an outcome in this spread, The Sun suggests that the conflict represented by the Nine of Earth is already in the process of being resolved, or that I have the ability to resolve it right now. Nothing actually needs to change in order for that to happen. I already have the tools (Magician) I need. The As Above card shows us the Oak King in his full power at Litha (Summer Solstice, Midsummer, around June 20). DMs are: “a time of pleasant success, enjoyment of everyday life, happily reaping the first fruits of your efforts.” The So Below card depicts “connections, generations, and cycles that bring joy.” With the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas) now approaching, I have every opportunity to address the conflict and achieve balance in my life.

GENERAL OBSERVATIONS

Of these ten cards, three are from the Major Arcana (Foundation/Magician; Hopes & Fears/Temperance; and Outcome/The Sun). This suggests a certain level of significance and “higher self/higher power” involvement, especially in the areas represented by those positions. The elements represented are Water (3), Air (3), and Earth (1) – and that lone Earth card is HUGE, representing the conflict that the entire reading is supposed to address. Two of the Air cards represent me and how I view myself, revealing the large impact that thoughts and communication have on my identity.

I keep going back to the Ace of Air (representing me) and the Nine of Earth (representing my conflict). The chaotic swirling of images and thoughts shown on the As Above Ace of Swords is such a strong contrast to the pastoral scene on the As Above Nine of Earth. It seems no wonder that I am conflicted about life in the physical, material realm when so much of who I am exists in a dream state, entirely in my mind. The lines from an old hymn keep running through my head: “This world is not my home; I’m just passing through.”

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day: Page of Evidence (Wands)

The Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day is:
BAKER STREET IRREGULAR
Page of Evidence (Wands)


In The Sherlock Holmes Tarot by John Matthews and Wil Kinghan (Sterling Ethos), the suit of Evidence (represented by a shoe print) is comparable to the suit of Wands. The quotation chosen to represent the entire suit of Evidence is from The Copper Beeches: “Data! Data! Data! I can make no bricks without clay!”

The Holmesian Wisdom for this card is a quote from The Sign of Four: “Dirty looking rascals but I suppose every one has some little immortal spark.” The actual quotation continues with “concealed about him.”

The Baker Street Irregulars were a group of ragged children who were ready to take any risk for their hero, Sherlock Holmes. He paid them a shilling a day to ferret out information, with a bonus to anyone who found something highly significant. On the Page of Evidence we see Wiggins, the leader of the Irregulars, about to pick the pocket of a villainous-looking man.

Keys for this card, upright, are: “resourcefulness, loyalty, enthusiasm, candour, uninhibitedness.” Reversed, the card can suggest: “bad news, fables, concern, indecision, instability.”

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. Examples from “The Game” for the Page of Evidence: “an adventurous person who acts as an emissary or ambassador. . . a catalyst for change and improvement. . . devotion to a particular interest.”

Examples from “The Fog”: “someone easily influenced. Occasionally over-zealous or bored, he likes to grab attention. . . Strange or unsettling news.”

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Chakra Spread with Legacy of the Divine

Today on Tarot Notes I am sharing a reading I did for myself using the Chakra Spread from Barbara Moore’s book A Collection of Spreads (Llewellyn Worldwide). My deck is Ciro Marchetti’s Legacy of the Divine Tarot (Llewellyn Publications).


In her book, Moore explains that Chakras are spheres of energy. Our bodies have many chakras, with each chakra governing many facets. Below are the names and descriptions Moore provides for the chakras in this spread, along with the cards I drew in each position.

1) Self-Preservation (Root Chakra): Your survival instincts and how you seek health, prosperity, and security.

NINE OF SWORDS

My first reaction to this card is that I don’t have good survival instincts and I do not seek health, prosperity, and security very well or very successfully. Instead, my mind tends to spend a lot of energy going over past and current problems, potential future problems, worst-case scenarios, worry, guilt, doubt, and pain. At one level, I know this is NOT the way to survive and thrive, nor is it going to help me attain health, prosperity, and security. In fact, it does the exact opposite. In the book that accompanies this deck – Gateway to the Divine Tarot – Leisa ReFalo offers the following two “Gifts” related to the Nine of Swords: “Priorities, perspective.” These are the Gifts that can help me improve my self-preservation abilities.

2) Self-Gratification (Sacral Chakra): How you connect to others through feeling, desire, sensation, and movement.

KING OF SWORDS

A fascinating card to see here. The realm of this King is the mind, theories, and science. I don’t see him connecting to others “through feeling, desire, sensation, and movement.” He would prefer a “meeting of the minds.” I always get a sense of detachment and calculated analysis from this King. These traits are beneficial in many situations. When trying to “connect to others” I think these same traits can get in the way. I may focus so much on getting on the same wavelength mentally that I fail to make an emotional, spiritual, or physical connection. The good news is that the suit of Swords is the suit of communication, so perhaps my “impartiality, precision, logic” (the Gifts assigned to this card by Leisa ReFalo) will be useful after all.


Look at how the Sword hanging over the woman on the Nine of Swords lines up perfectly with the Sword in the hands of the King. It is as if the King (at the Sacral Chakra) is responsible for the worrisome thoughts of the woman on the Nine (at the Root Chakra). My connection with others (Sacral Chakra) seems to have a strong influence on my survival instincts and ability to seek health, prosperity, and security (Root Chakra).

3) Self-Definition (Solar Plexus Chakra): How you express personal power, will, autonomy, energy, and spontaneity.

FOUR OF CUPS

It appears that I express my personal power, will, autonomy, energy, and spontaneity by imagining, contemplating, and examining what I have vs what I do not have but want. I see all of that power and energy wasted on fueling discontent and dissatisfaction, with an overly keen awareness of missed opportunities. Self-Definition turns to Self-Absorption. The only way out is to accept the reality that nothing will ever be perfect or totally to my liking, but it can still be enjoyed.

4) Self-Acceptance (Heart Chakra): Your ability to love deeply, feel compassion, and experience peace and centeredness.

TWO OF WANDS

This card could suggest that a choice or decision needs to be made, or it may be that the key shown on the card opens both of the boxes, not just one. Either way, an opportunity is presenting itself for me to seize control with self-assurance and clear intent. The “ability to love deeply, feel compassion, and experience peace and centeredness” is something I can choose to own and cultivate, channeling my desire and will power toward that goal.

5) Self-Expression (Throat Chakra): How you communicate with others and express yourself creatively in the world.

ACE OF CUPS

This card stands in stark contrast to the King of Swords (how I connect to others). My communication with others apparently has a much stronger emotional component. The suit of Cups is about all kinds of relationships. Love, intuition, and the subconscious influence how I express myself creatively in the world. My connection to the emotional world around me affects how I communicate with others. It is important for me to replenish my emotions regularly so that I can continue to express them freely.

6) Self-Reflection (Brow or Third Eye Chakra): How you see the world, both physically and intuitively; your ability to see the big picture.

TEN OF SWORDS

This appears to be a sad commentary on how I see the world. As Ciro Marchetti writes in his description of this card: “Our worst fears are realized. Everything did go wrong.” The threats and worries that interfere with my ability to survive and thrive (Nine of Swords / Root Chakra) color my view of the world and block my ability to see the big picture. I am awash in defeat, ruin, pain, envy, loss, betrayal... overwhelmed and overburdened. Some of those fears (at the Nine) were real and justified. So where does that leave me? Leisa ReFalo offers the following “Gifts” related to the Ten of Swords: “End of illusion, fresh start will be possible.” Her advice: “Quit the struggle and surrender completely.”

7) Self-Knowledge (Crown Chakra): Your ability to know and understand yourself; your wisdom and spiritual connection.

TEN OF WANDS

Another Ten greets me at the top of the spread, representing the Crown Chakra (Self-Knowledge). Like the Ten of Swords, it depicts being overwhelmed and overburdened. The man on the card struggles, crawling through the underbrush with ten wands tied to his back. My quest or journey for Self-Knowledge is exhausting, but I am committed to carrying it through to completion. This is not a struggle that I want to quit. I could never be satisfied with that. One thing I might want to consider is asking for help, to ease the burden somewhat. The Gift, according to Leisa ReFalo, is “Sense of accomplishment.” Her Advice is “Take it one step at a time.”

My first reaction to all of these cards taken together is that I seem like a “tortured soul” in many ways, struggling, suffering, striving, sinking. I do seem close to turning over a new page in several areas, though, with the Nine, Tens, and Ace. Swords, Wands, and Cups – no Pentacles, so I’m missing that practical, stable (but potentially stagnant) energy.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Old English Tarot: 8 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
Eight of Cups
by Helen Howell


I have the Old English 8 of cups card by the side of the Rider Waite and as I study the two I can see similarities and also differences. Because this is a Cups card we can take it that this is all about emotions, feelings, etc.

In the Rider Waite we see a man abandoning the eight cups. I like that there is a gap in the top row, to me indicating that something is left unfinished. He heads towards a mountain, perhaps seeking higher ground. This card speaks fairly loudly of letting go of that which isn’t working, emotionally breaking those ties and finding a better ground from which to stand.

When we look at the Old English we get an image of 8 cups and beneath them stands a figure playing his flute. Behind him is a drum that has quite obviously been abandoned. The question here though is, has the figure abandoned it for the flute? Or did someone else leave it and the figure to play alone?

The similarity I see between the two cards is one of abandonment for whatever reason, but the difference is that the man is not walking away. However, the fact that he chooses to stand and play the flute could indicate that he is not going to allow the relinquishment of the drum to hold him back but rather to play on.

Again I can draw a similarity to the RW card at this point of emotionally breaking the tie of something that is not working but seeking to get on with his life in his own way.

Both cards therefore, in my opinion, offer the interpretation of letting go and moving on.

LWB says:
Abandonment of previous plans, discontinuing a project, shyness, modesty, disappointment.
Reversed: Festivity, happiness.