Whatever the actual meaning of this card my immediate response to the image is that I need to reconnect with that innocent, child-like energy we all have. That inner part of ourselves that still believes in blowing on “wish flowers” and that spirits live in the plants around us. That part that knows there are faeries in the world and if we are very still, quiet and lucky maybe we’ll actually see one.
On another level I think this card is reminding me that there is a cycle to everything and my life will eventually change for the better. I need to focus on what my wishes are. It’s been so long since I’ve really focused on what I want to do as opposed to what I can do or what I need to that I can’t remember anymore. What were my wishes when I was younger? Where did I see myself when I grew up? I’m not sure but lately I’ve been feeling an urge to tap into some unused creative energy, at least in a simple way – personalizing my Franklin Covey planner.
The King of Swords reversed is reminding me that now is not the time to be hypercritical of myself. I need to do some exploration and find the patterns of my youth. Logic is a very useful tool but right now it isn’t going to help me scratch that itch to feel more creative. I need to trust in the process and not let my left-brained side take control.
These two cards show me that I need to focus more in silliness, lightheartedness and simple joys. I’ve taken to decorating my personal calendar and organizer with rubber stamps, colored jelly roll pens and Post-Its of various size and color. Now I’m toying with the idea of getting an inexpensive organizer/planner that I can recover and personalize even more. I realize this is not a new idea but it’s something relative simple I can do that will help me scratch that itch. Once I’ve done that I might even explores some other creative endeavors – who knows?
When I read Ellen’s interpretations for these two cards in her companion book, two sentences jumped out at me. For the 9 of Disks Ellen speaks of community and sharing. She points out the the antidote to isolation is sharing and that struck me. I’ve been feeling so isolated and detached lately and I’ve also been avoiding friends and group activity. How can I expect to feel like part of a community and overcome this sense of isolation if I withdraw? It’s counter-intuitive. For so long I’ve felt like the outsider watching through a window as others embrace and share experiences. Part of that is due to my childhood – my branch of the family was something of an embarrassment to the rest so we often weren’t invited to family events. This gave me the sense that every other branch of the family was close. With age sometimes comes wisdom and enlightenment. In the last few years I’ve had some conversations with cousins that made me realize my belief was an illusion. Some of them might have been closer to others but that was due to being of a similar age with similar interests. Unfortunately that sense of otherness and outsider status is still in my bones.
The 5 of Wands has that bright, fiery, dancing star at it’s center. Ellen’s descriptive phrase for this card shouts “Look at me. I’ve got something to say!” Oh brother do I feel like that right now. For Simpsons fans, I feel like Lisa when the teachers go on strike. She stands in the kitchen near Marge begging “Rate me, evaluate and rank me. I’m ever so smart.” That’s how I feel now that I’m no longer in the workforce or attending classes. I feel as though I have no external validation or recognition. One way to lessen that sense is by participating in group activities and becoming part of a community of folks with similar interests.
Okay so I get it – the way to maintain my momentum is to find support groups or special interest groups that will nourish my spirit and provide me with folks of a like mind with whom to share ideas and trade experiences. If I don’t have some sort of support group I’ll eventually run out of steam and become distracted. so for my own benefit and healing, I need to stop trying to do things alone. This message has been coming through loud and clear over the past few weeks. Now I need to actually listen and do something about it.
The first thought that struck me looking at the black pig on the Beast of Disks I heard the phrase “the Cutty Black Sow” in my head. I wasn’t sure what that meant so I looked it up. The primary reference is to an old Tales from the Darkside episode. There are also some indications that it was a mythical creature used to scare children in Wales on Halloween. I’m sure it has its roots in older legends of wild boars and dangerous pigs but the majority of references using this specific term refer back to the old TV show. And how appropriate to draw this image on the night of a full moon. I seems symbolic – as though I’m giving birth to new dreams.
Looking at the Shadow of Swords the phrase “shattered self” drifted through my mind. This was a concept I learned about in psychology class. It occurs when someone who has experienced a traumatic experience manages to cope for many years but the psyche eventually shatters because the trauma was never healed. I also get a sense of someone who has become crystallized in an effort to separate from the pain and isolate the emotions. That is one way to survive and make it through traumatic experiences but eventually it can cause a split from one’s emotional nature that results in deeper trauma. It reminds me a bit of what Voldemort must do to his soul in the creation of Horcruxes. Eventually what is left is barely human.
So with these two rather bleak images in my head, what do I think these cards are telling me? That I need to allow myself to devour and destroy those areas in my life that are unhealthy and no longer useful so that I can give birth to new possibilities. Yes, the Cutty Black Sow devours what she catches but sows are also quite prolific breeders. Sows may eat almost anything including their young but they also produce litters larger than most mammals. The potential to manifest something amazing is unlimited. The Shadow of Swords is reminding me that I have to stop living in my head. I need to interact with people and start picking away at those shards of crystal forming on my skin.
It’s ironic that as I was reading The Dark Goddess: Dancing with the Shadow by Marcia Starck and Gynne Stern I connected with something Gynne wrote about her experience meeting Inanna. She describes how she felt more of a connection to Erishkigel because she always saw herself as an outsider. She writes about avoiding participating in group activities and then regretting it because she ends up creating the very situation she dreads.
How many times have I done this very thing? I talk myself out of participating in group activities unless I know all the participants. Then I have regrets because it sounds like everyone had a wonderful time. That is the Shadow of Swords manifesting itself. It keeps me isolated and safe behind crystal walls. I need to shatter those crystal walls and allow myself to wallow in every experience like the black sow. Sounds a little gross but maybe I’ll learn more that way than by thinking everything through to the point that I’m mentally paralyzed.
I had an amazing experience today while working at a Summer Solstice fair at The Nurtured Spirit in Warrwic, NY. I had the opportunity to read for 3 lovely young ladies. Two were either good friends or bosom pals for the duration of the event (their parents were vendors). I would guess they were 5 and 6 or 6 and 7. The other young lady was a 9 year old.
The two pals wanted me to read for them both at the same time. It was adorable and fun. I found it interesting to see how I modified how I explained the cards and my responses to make it more appropriate and understandable for young children. They were both wide-eyed and fully engaged in the experience. They enjoyed seeing connections in the cards and seem to have a great time.
The other young lady was interested but also a bit nervous (she kept looking to her mother for support) and seemed to calm a bit when her dad stood nearby. When I asked her questions about herself that seemed on target she got a small smile and nodded. She also seemed to enjoy the experience even if she didn’t fully comprehend some of what I was saying.
All three of these young ladies were charming and adorable. I had a great time reading for them and they helped me realize that I can read for children. It’ requires more discipline on my part but it is so much fun to see their eyes widen and their face light up when they connect with what I’m saying. I hope to have the chance to do this again very soon.
Okay, so today i pulled my COTD from the gorgeous Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery deck by Bob Place and drew the matching card from Caitlin & John Matthews’ Steampunk Tarot. My card was the Lady of Coins (or Messenger of Leviathans). Quite honestly, looking at these cards left me a bit stumped. It’s not that I couldn’t come up with some meaning for them, it was simply that none of them felt right. So as I was standing the feeling puzzled, I decided to try something I used at a past Readers Studio – I drew the matching card from the Transparent Tarot and laid it over my card of the day.
It’s an interesting tool. The simplicity of the images in the Transparent Tarot allows the card to focus your attention to one specific area. For example on the Lady of Coins you can see the small figure of the Princess of Pentacles from the Transparent Tarot is right over the coin itself.
For me, this suggests that perhaps this lady is bringing me a message about focusing on issues of prosperity or physical matters. In fact the more I looked at her, the more I was convinced that the simple line drawing was offering an apple to the Lady. This made me thing of health issues and I ended up realizing that perhaps this Lady of Coins was reminding me that I haven’t been paying the attention I should to my general health and well-being.
When I used this same technique on the Messenger of Leviathans, it appears that the Transparent Princess of Pentacles is hovering over the chopsticks and the scroll they hold. In this instance I get the sense that she is offering me a secret formula to success in this area. Her message is that I can find the answers to address my health concerns as long as I know where to look.
In reality, I might have come to these realizations without using the Transparent Tarot. However one of my new goals is to play with my Tarot decks in new ways and to find new techniques to add some life to my card of the days draws. I think this fits the bill on both counts.
Having returned from Readers Studio and seeing several decks whose appearance was greatly enhanced by judicious snipping. I was inspired by a tablemate’s snipped Radiant RWS and Witch’s Tarot (by Ellen Dugan). I had not previously been very enthusiastic about or attracted to these decks but without borders the images really popped!This inspired me to do some deck doctoring when I got home.
As I eagerly reviewed my decks (and came to realize that some needed to be cleared out of my collection), I selected a few for a trial snip (including my own Radiant RWS and Witch’s), got out the scissors and got to cutting. At this point I have given 7 decks borderectomies: Ghosts & Spirits, Radiant RWS, Albano RWS, Wizards, Witch’s, Sacred Rose, and Vampire’s Tarot of the Eternal Night. During the snipping process, I realized that it allowed me to focus more on details in the individual cards that I might have missed before. It was also rather meditative and relaxing. However I also realized that that I need to pace myself because after half a deck my hand started to hurt.
Other decks that I’ve seen dramatically improved by some trimming of borders are the Robin Wood, DruidCraft, Wildwood and Thoth. I find this allows you to personalize the deck as well as makes the images appear more intense and unobstructed. A friend also pointed out that borderless images allows you to put the cards close together and create one image from the cards which can deepen your interpretation of the meaning and add more layers to it.
So take a deep breath, grab a sharp pair of scissors and try cutting the borders off one of your Tarot decks (just make sure it’s a deck you can easily replace in case of user error).
Here are some images to whet your appetite:
I departed Readers’ Studio a little over 12 hours ago and I am still processing all the wonderful information, experiences and moments I enjoyed.
There are lots of other blogs out there that have detailed the specifics of each day’s events. So instead of focusing on that, I’ll share some of my highlights from Readers Studio 2013 (the 11th such even hosted by The Tarot School).
- “A-ha moments” ranging from realizing that one of my biggest stumbling blocks to become a successful professional Tarot reader is that I don’t see myself as a successful, professional Tarot reader
- Doing a foundation reading with Nancy Antenucci
- Laughing until my sides hurt at various moments (usually accompanied by my companion in crime Ellen-Mary aka Coneflower Tarot. I believe we managed to corrupt quite a few intrepid souls at this Readers’ Studio and thus have swelled the ranks of the Bad Girls’ Club.
- Managing to swap decks and bags in a way that allowed me to acquire two new decks that I wanted and 3 new bags
- Winning a print of Strength from Rachel Paul’s Dark Carnival Tarot (and of course I then had to have a copy of the deck – weird appealing and darkly quirky)
- Rachel Pollack, who is a generous, warm and wonderful human being and the creator of amazingly powerful necklaces.
- Seeing sneak peaks of some upcoming Llewellyn releases including the brilliant Illuminati, the intriguing So Below and the eye-popping Tarot 3-D thanks to the beauteous and generous Barbara Moore.
- Wonderful giggly midnight girl chats with my favorite Readers’ Studio roommate – Sasha Graham.
- All of the amazing instructors, our guides to some previously unexplored realms.
- Those in-between moments when sharing ideas and experiences with other readers lead to profound and life-altering epiphanies. These moments helped me find what might prove to be a new niche I can explores as a professional reader, techniques I hadn’t tried before and new decks that must now be added to the collection.
- The magical, powerful and transformative energy raised when that many people of like minds come together to change the world for the better.
There are many more highlights that I’m sure I’m neglecting right now but the bottom line is that I came away from Readers’ Studio feeling energized, enthusiastic and eager to restart my Tarot practice. That is why I always look forward to Readers’ Studio every year – it allows me to Sharpen my Saw (to borrow an idea from Stephen Covey)
My initial reaction to these cards is that my message from the Tarot is that I need to spend some time finding ways to reconnect with that side of me that still has a child-like sense of whimsy and fun. Sometimes it is so easy to get bogged down in the day to day responsibilities and obligations in life that I lose sight of the simple joys such as seeing a bear walking across my backyard at 2AM (which happened a little over a week ago), and watching the leaves change color and fall. Even reconnecting with friends brings a lightness and joy to my heart that I didn’t realize I was missing.
Last week I was able to spend two days reconnecting with friends. We had wonderful times (well I had wonderful times – I can’t vouch for what they felt). I got to see a rather quirky, short play with one and had dinner at a fabulously funky cafe in the East Village (one of the last lingering remnants of what the East Village used to be before gentrification struck). One day I met a friend for lunch at Le Pain Quotidien – a place which always makes me feel marvelously continental.
I also visited some of the few brick & mortar bookstores in the area. They are dying breed and I want to try to keep them open as long as possible. I always love The Strand – both for the challenge of finding books there and because I stumble across books I have never heard of before. I stopped at Barnes & Noble on Union Square but it has become obvious that I am no longer their target demographic. It seems as though their Nook is gaining space and their children’s section has been expanded but their cookbook section is smaller and I couldn’t bear to visit their Pagan/New Age section. That has been depressingly limited for some time. When I realized the entire second floor is being transformed into Kiddie Land I was both happy and horrified. I think it’s wonderful that B&N are trying to attract children while they are young (presumably with the hope that they will stay customers as adults) but why the second floor? You can’t avoid passing it who wants to hear hoards of screaming kids while looking at books (and trust me – no matter how much they are told to quiet down, kids get restless and fidgety after a while). It seems to me that putting the children’s section on the top floor – where they won’t negatively impact other patrons, makes more sense. Then again I realize I’m becoming more curmudgeonly as I get older.
Anyway, I think my message is that I need to stop and watch the bears sometimes. I need to have fun, play like a child and let myself laugh, remember and smile. There are days when that’s not such as easy thing to do but those are probably the days when it’s the most important.
Today was definitely a 3 of Cups kind of day. My sister came up with 3 of her kids to visit and pick up my mom. We had a good time joking around and talking and just enjoying the day. There was a sense of fun and silliness in the air. It was that simple and that meaningful.
I realized that although I might not always understand or agree with my sister’s choices, I want to make sure we don’t lose our connection and that she feels she can talk to me. I know that sometimes I’m not the most sympathetic or understanding person in the world. I think I need to be more open and supportive. I need to be more aware of when and how people need emotional support rather than lectures.
On a more personal note, I realize that the last few days have been a lot of fun. I’m a bit tired but in a very good mood. It feels as though something shifted, either in myself or in the world. It might not be a major shift but just enough to make me feel better about the future. Perhaps it’s because some of my dreams are getting closer to manifestation. I do feel a bit like a cup getting ready to bubble over as though there is just too much going on to contain it. It will be interesting to see where this goes.
Wheel of Change Empress
Life comes bursting forth
Creative energy freed
Hand in hand with risk
To the essence of your truth
Unleash and create