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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day: 4 of Deduction

The Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day is:
(4 of Pentacles)

In The Sherlock Holmes Tarot by John Matthews and Wil Kinghan (Sterling Ethos), the suit of Deduction (represented by a question mark) is comparable to the suit of Pentacles. The quotation chosen to represent the entire suit of Deduction is from The Sign of Four: “So much is observation. The rest is deduction.”

The Holmesian Wisdom for the Four of Deduction is: “I presume nothing.” This is a quote from The Hound of the Baskervilles, specifically, from Chapter 12 - Death on the Moor.

The scene on the card is from the story of The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax. In the story, an Australian conman called Henry Peters tries to pawn a jewel belonging to Lady Frances (after drugging her and putting her in a coffin!) As the deck’s creators note: “It is Peters’ greed that brings him down, making his story a fitting one for the classical associations for this card.”

Keys for this card, upright, are: “conscientious ambition, material gain, possessiveness, selfishness, spiritual miserliness.” Reversed meanings: “obstruction, limitations, delays, things are clogged up, financial ruin, failure in exams.”

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 Deduction: “Clinging to your resources. Being careful. Unwillingness to give compliments or encouragement.” Examples from “The Fog”: “Being careless or profligate with money. Time to be generous with others. Breaking monopolies or institutional blockades.”

As a card of the day, the Four of Deduction calls our attention to the physical, material realm – to something that we value greatly and wish to protect or keep. The card can represent a positive attitude toward our health, a desire to improve or maintain a state of health. It can refer to the fear of losing material wealth or perhaps the need to be more careful with our money or possessions.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Journey Through My Decks: Queen of Pentacles (Disks)

Gilded Tarot


The Gilded Tarot deck and book set. 
Deck by Ciro Marchetti. 
Companion book by Barbara Moore. 
Llewellyn Worldwide

On this card: "A stately woman holds a pentacle with quiet pride. Her face is self-satisfied, almost (but not quite) smug." (Moore)

In the book that accompanies this deck, Barbara Moore tells us that Pentacles represent the element Earth, the physical world, money, and resources. She notes that the Court Cards are like actors on a stage set by the Major and Minor Arcanas: "They provide personality, representing either other people involved or aspects of ourselves."

The Queen of Pentacles wears an emerald green robe (health, fertility, prosperity) and a purple gown (power, royalty, imagination, mystery). The other color we notice in her clothing is blue (spirituality, the unconscious, tranquility, truth, thoughtfulness).*

The Queen of Pentacles is accompanied by a peacock, sacred to the Greek goddess Hera (in Roman myth, Juno). In his book Dictionary of Symbols (Chronicle Books), Jack Tresidder tells us that the peacock is an emblem of royalty, spiritual power, and apotheosis. In Rome, it was the soul-bird of the empress and her princesses, just as the eagle served that purpose for the emperor. In Western art, the peacock often symbolizes pride (as in the expression "proud as a peacock"). However, in most cultures, the bird had a wholly positive meaning related to rank and dignity.

In Book T**, the Queen of Pentacles rules "from 20 Degree Sagittarius to 20 Degree Capricorn." The Sun was at 27 degrees Sagittarius. I often consider the Queen of Pentacles as a significator card for myself, along with the Queen of Wands (Fire for Sagittarius).

In The Tarot Court Cards: Archtypal Patterns of Relationship in the Minor Arcana (Destiny Books), Kate Warwick-Smith presents clear polarities in her discussion of the Queen of Pentacles.
Supporter: Healer.............................Detractor: Abuser
Resource: Self-Care.........................Challenge: Self-Destruction

As a Daily Card, the Queen of Pentacles encourages me to examine how I experience and express the traits associated with her -- positive, negative, and neutral. She may also be calling my attention to another person in my life who exhibits these characteristics.

* My color associations are based on several sources and personal study over a period of time.

** Book T - The Tarot, Comprising Manuscripts N, O, P, Q, R, and an Unlettered Theoricus Adeptus Minor Instruction. A Description of the Cards of the Tarot with their Attributions; Including a Method of Divination by Their Use. A public domain manuscript.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Old English Tarot: 10 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
5 of Coins
by Helen Howell

The Old English 10 of Cups has a sort of tranquility to its image but the one thing it doesn’t show us like its traditional brother the Rider-Waite, is any connection to relationships.

In the Rider-Waite we see a man and a woman together and two children playing happily to the side of them. This image hints at happiness and harmony within relationships or family life. Emotionally, because that is what the Cups suit represents, this is a time for contentment. Everything in your world is working as it should be.

Now although the Old English does not show us that combination of harmony within relationships, it does show us harmony. A woman sits playing a harp. I can just hear those notes floating into the atmosphere, soothing to the ear. The player and her music are in harmony with each other. If you look closely at the image you will see a dove sits on the top of the harp. Doves very often are associated with spiritual matters or seen as messengers, but they can also represent peace and here in this image, it does seem to appear to me to symbolise for us inner peace.

Now when I look at this image and put those symbols together I get the feeling of contentment and the joy the music can bring. I’m left in no doubt that the message here is one of emotional peace, happiness and contentment with life as it is.

For me this was one of the easier images in the Old English Tarot to lend an interpretation to.

LWB says:
Happy home and family life, pleasure, contentment, love.
Reversed: Loss of friendship, unhappiness, quarrel.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day - Ace of Deduction

The Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day is:
(Ace of Pentacles)

In The Sherlock Holmes Tarot by John Matthews and Wil Kinghan (Sterling Ethos), the suit of Deduction (represented by a question mark) is comparable to the suit of Pentacles. The quotation chosen to represent the entire suit of Deduction is from The Sign of Four: “So much is observation. The rest is deduction.”

The Holmesian Wisdom for the Ace of Deduction is “There should be no combination of events for which the wit of man cannot conceive an explanation.” This quote is from The Valley of Fear. Holmes himself makes this statement.

Keys for this card, upright, are: “accomplishment, contentment, happiness, prosperity, wealth, good fortune, profit, a new phase of life.” Reversed meanings: “materialism, greed, meanness, misuse of wealth, fool’s gold.”

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 Ace of Deduction: “You consolidate resources and marshal the facts. Abundance, attainment and fulfilment are available.” Examples from “The Fog”: “Learning the hard way. Money difficulties or responsibilities trouble you.”

As a card of the day, the Ace of Deduction encourages us to observe, analyze, and sift the evidence in order to understand what is happening in the area of resources, money, responsibilities, or other things that fall under the purview of the Earth element. We can used this understanding to form the basis of a new phase or direction in life that will lead to success.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

In the Dream - My Home

I have many recurring dreams that I remember. In one of these recurring dreams I return to the neighborhood where I lived from about age 9 until I went away to college at age 17. (My parents moved to another town about four or five years after that.)

The other night, for the first time, the dream was different in that I was on the right street but none of the houses looked familiar, and a different house stood where my house was supposed to be. The following poem expresses my experience in that dream.

Below the poem is a reading I created to further explore the meaning of the dream. For the reading I used Twilight Realm: A Tarot of Faery by Beth Wilder (Schiffer).

The Poem

In the dream
I am standing on a street
In the neighborhood where I lived
From middle-childhood to late teens.
But none of the houses
Look familiar.
I don’t see my house
Anywhere on the street.
Where is my home?
What do I do now?

The Reading

Where is my home?


My home is somewhere outside the self-created cage or prison I have built to protect myself, to keep myself safe. I have erected a barrier between who I am and who I could be. I limit and restrict myself to a narrow point of view, one that fosters anxiety and depression. My home, where I belong, is outside those self-made walls.

How will I get to my home?


I will get to my home seeking open places where my energy is free to propel me upward and onward. Great speed is possible on the journey, as long as I remain sharply focused on my destination and goal.

When will I arrive?


I will arrive when I have learned and mastered the desire to explore new places, to rebel against the self-imposed limitations I have placed on myself that keep me from traveling to my home.

Who or what else lives there?


A new idea, action, or beginning filled with possibilities, energy, and opportunity lives there.

What do I need to understand about my home?


My home is my Self, released from constraints and free to use the powers of mind, spirit, body, and heart to control my surroundings. I need to understand that I am in control of my own situation, and I have the ability to create the home I desire.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Interview with the Journey to the Goddess Realm Oracle Deck.

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

Here are the questions I asked the Journey to the Goddess Realm Oracle Deck by Lisa Porter (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) and the answers she provided…

(1) What would you like me to understand about you?

FREYA / Free Spirit (11)

I wear a cloak of falcon feathers that gives me the gift of flight. I love beautiful things, especially my magical Brising necklace. The Runes are my sacred symbols. I am uninhibited, childlike, sociable, and flexible. I offer you love and fertility in every form.

(2) What would you like me to understand about myself?

RHIANNON / The Mystery (26)

You are a mystery made of secrets yet to be revealed. Like Rhiannon, you have the potential to be Queen of serene acceptance and patience, with a clear understanding of what you can and cannot control. Let the mystery unfold as the Universe intends.

(3) What strengths and/or weaknesses do we have as a team?

REVELATION (Confirmation 3)

As a team we contain both positive and negative energy as two sides of a whole. Together we become mindful of natural support from the spirit realm. Through meditation comes revelation.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Inspired by the Tarot: Haiku, Part 2

I am pleased to share the next installment in the “Great Haiku Experiment” undertaken by Helen and me. We took turns choosing the deck for each card, then wrote alternate lines of the Haiku. To read the first set of poems, click HERE.

Ghost Tarot with artwork
by Davide Corsi (Lo Scarabeo)


In darkness, faith shines, 
a comfort in times of need.
We walk towards the light.

Wonderland Tarot by Christopher & Morgana Abbey
Artwork by Morgana Abbey
Published by U.S. Games Systems Inc.


Love, your choice to make.
Look both ways before you choose.
Life can change for you.

Tarot of the Mystic Spiral by Giovanni Pelosini
Artwork by Giuseppe Palumbo (Lo Scarabeo)


On the road of life,
draw on courage and your strength.
Steer a steady course.

Tarot Bella
Unfinished deck by Helen Howell


Face the lion within,
your touch gentle, your voice firm
a quiet strength prevails

Morgan-Greer Tarot
illustrated by Bill Greer
(U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)


Hold high the lantern.
The path to enlightenment 
is clear to you now.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Review: Journey to the Goddess Realm Oracle Deck


Journey to the Goddess Realm Oracle Deck
by Lisa Porter
39 oracle cards; 48-page guidebook
Cards measure 3.5" x 5.75"
ISBN  978-1-57281-730-2

TOP LINE (formerly Bottom Line)

With its skillful blend of whimsy, substance, and charm, the Goddess Realm Oracle Deck is a feast for the eyes and the spirit. I found myself being drawn into individual images, feeling a connection with many of the goddesses, and thoroughly enjoying my interaction with them. Part of the beauty of this deck is that I am strongly attracted to some of the images and somewhat repulsed by others. I believe it will be beneficial for me to further explore both.

With Journey to the Goddess Realm, Lisa Porter has brought us high-powered feminine energy from pantheons in all parts of the globe, including Japan, Wales, Crete, Russia, Greece, Ireland, Norway, Egypt, India, Africa, Scotland, the Arctic, North America, Italy, and Australia. In my book, that gives her bonus points for being inclusive of many cultures. Also, I really like the snapshot Lisa gives us of the history and cultural background of each goddess and her comments on the symbolic details she has included in the images. I think this could be a great deck to use in conjunction with The Goddess Tarot by Kris Waldherr (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) and I intend to give that a try. Stay tuned for a deck interview with the Goddess Realm oracle deck as well.


“As you journey with the Goddesses, call on these ancient deities for help with all your daily decisions and challenges. Inspiring you with their ancient wisdom, they will help you strengthen your intuition and guide you toward enhanced conscious awareness. Journey to the Goddess Realm 39-card deck includes 36 Goddess cards, three Confirmation cards, and a 48-page booklet. This pantheon of Goddesses depicted with vibrant artwork includes: Ishtar, Isis, Kali, Quan Yin, Rhiannon and others. Includes 39 cards and a 48-page guidebook.”


This 39-card deck includes 36 Goddess cards, three Confirmation cards, and a 48-page booklet. The booklet is not illustrated except for a grayscale rendering of the Baba Yaga figure from Card 6. There is no Table of Contents. For each card, the booklet provides the name of the goddess, the card subtitle, a paragraph describing the goddess and explaining the illustration on the card, keywords for the card, and “shadow” meanings for the card.

Lisa Porter is a self-taught artist and illustrator. She was raised in the central wheat belt area of Western Australia, in the small farming town of Northampton. She has drawn and painted all through her life, employing a diversity of methods and techniques. Her creative explorations have also led her into many philosophical and spiritual areas.

In her Introduction to the guidebook, Lisa answers the questions “Who are the Goddesses?”, “How can the Goddesses assist me?”, and “How/Why do we use these cards?” Basically, her position is that “the goddesses are here to assist in activating your higher conscious awareness. Since your individual goddess resides in your spirit, it is necessary to reintegrate your spirit back into your body to discover your own inner goddess.” We can use this oracle to reveal exactly where our “conscious/subconscious energy field resonates the strongest.” Readings can be done with any number of cards in any layout desired by the reader, including the traditional Celtic Cross spread. Lisa notes that after using these cards for some time, we may find that we “begin to have visions, knowingness, sparks of inspiration, intuitions, lucid awareness, signs and deeper understandings of matters that once appeared confusing or meaningless.”


The cards are printed on sturdy stock and packaged in a flip-top box. They measure 3.5" x 5.75", which is too large for people with small hands to “poker shuffle” but other shuffling methods, such as the push-pull method, will work just fine.

Card fronts feature an illustration centered on an indigo background. Each image is framed in a color that complements or matches a color in the illustration. The name of the goddess appears centered at the top of the card face in an attractive script-style font. Centered below the image are the card’s subtitle and number.

Card backs feature a mandala pattern in shades of red, orange, blue and green.


Images are alive with vibrant color and symbolic details, many of which are explained in the guidebook. Many of the goddesses are depicted as tall and slim, with long, slender legs. Exceptions include my personal favorite, the Slavic grandmother Baba Yaga, who is drawn as a generously proportioned older woman flying through the air in a cauldron while smoking a pipe, and the bawdy Greek goddess Baubo, who raises her dress to reveal plump legs clad in striped stockings. All of these ladies have plenty of personality, poise, and power – just what we expect from goddesses.

In accordance with the FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, I hereby disclose that this product was provided by the publisher for free. Other than the occasional review copy, I receive no monetary or in-kind compensation for my reviews.  The substance of my reviews is not influenced by whether I do or do not receive a review copy.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Mom's House - Reading #2

UPDATE: We sold Mom's house on May 22. The closing is scheduled for June. I don't know too much about the buyer except that she is a middle-aged lady whose sister and another person live with her. According to the realtor, she "fell in love with" Mom's house. When the offer came in, I texted and telephoned with my siblings and sat down with Mom to decide what to counter-offer. We came down quite a lot from the asking price because the house has been on the market for over a year and is competing with new construction in the same subdivision. The buyer accepted our counter-offer.

For background on this spread (where I got it, how I’ve been using it, etc.) please click HERE .

Having received a response of “not likely” from this spread last month, I am asking the same question for this month: Will we get an offer on Mom’s house this month?

As before, I am using Chloë McCracken’s Celtic Lenormand deck, with artwork by Will Worthington (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

And the answer is:

Birds – Owls (12 / 7 of Diamonds)
Birds – Songbirds (12 / 7 of Diamonds)
Child – Boy (13 / Jack of Spades)

Now, in the method I’m using, the answer is based on the playing card association for each card. Reds (hearts, diamonds) are taken as a “yes” answer and blacks (spades, clubs) as a “no.”

The first thing I notice is that Songbirds (7 of Diamonds) appeared on the reading for last month, and here they are again. As I mentioned last time, the Songbirds can represent siblings. There are three birds on this card, and I am one of three siblings helping Mom sell her house. In addition, the Birds card deals with communication and negotiations, which is very appropriate here.

Being a red card, the 7 of Diamonds suggests a “yes” answer. We have support for that from the Owls (also a 7 of Diamonds). Again we have the three “siblings” perched on a branch. So this plus the idea of communication and negotiation are continuing themes for this topic.

However, Child – Boy is from a black suit (Jack of Spades), which suggests a “no” answer. Who is this Child-Boy and why is he interfering with the sale of the house?!?! (LOL)

In general, the card represents innocence, immaturity, honesty, and playfulness. There is a sense of a childlike perspective or “beginner’s mind” that allows one to see a situation as if for the first time. If we had not already done so very recently, I might think this alludes to the need to walk through the house and look at it as if seeing it for the first time, through the eyes of a potential buyer. As I said, we just did this, and made a lot of small but nonetheless meaningful improvements and repairs.

Is the Child-Boy saying that we still haven’t got it just right? Or perhaps this card is telling me that this is the type of buyer we need – someone who has an enthusiastic, young-at-heart (or literally young) perspective, someone who sees the house as a new beginning, open to seeing the house as he (or she) could make it. And this particular type of buyer has simply not come along yet, and may not come along this month.

I am encouraged by the fact that we have two reds and one black this time, as opposed to two blacks and one red last month. So the answer, perhaps, is “not 100% certain” but there is a chance.

Meanwhile, the birds sit perched on their branches, waiting patiently.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Old English Tarot: 5 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
5 of Coins
by Helen Howell

The 5 of Coins is such a sad card to receive as it’s a card that very often speaks of difficulties in the material world. Some readers see Coins as meaning money and indeed they do, but they represent far more than money. They talk of the tangible things in life, and the 5 forebodes a sense of anxiety.

The Old English differs from its more traditional brother in one specific way, and that is a lack of sense of hope. In the Rider Waite card we see two people fallen on hard times, passing a church window. Within that image of the window is the symbol of hope, if only the two figures were brave enough to go inside and ask for help. The church window image can  also signify for us a purpose. It could represent something which may give our life meaning, something perhaps the two figures have lost.

The Old English, however, just shows us that sense of loss in its image of dead trees and browned grass. We look at this and can see that all has died. The grass has dried up and the earth has not sustained those trees which now stand leafless on the barren ground.

From this we cannot mistake the message of hardship and loss of something in our material world, whether that be financial or otherwise. The element of hope that exists in the Rider Waite is nowhere to be seen in this image. It clearly shows us that this is a time of uncertainty. 

Does the 5 of Coins just foretell hardship or is it a card that serves to warn one to check that all is well in their world? Perhaps it is and in heeding its warning one may be able to prevent or at least lessen the loss.

This is a number 5 card and I think the Old English demonstrates very well the numerological aspects associated with 5s in a tarot deck and that is, conflict, challenge but also opportunity to change. What 5s very often show us is that it is how we respond to life’s changes that determines the result.

The LWB says:
Material trouble, destitution, loss, error.
Reversed: Reversal of bad trend, new interests.