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Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day: Ace of Analysis (Cups)

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

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.

The quotation chosen to represent the entire suit of Analysis is: “There are fifty who can reason synthetically for one who can reason analytically” from A Study in Scarlet. This comment is made, as you might expect, by Sherlock Holmes himself. It is prefaced by the following: “In solving a problem of this sort, the grand thing is to be able to reason backwards. That is a very useful accomplishment, and a very easy one, but people do not practise it much. In the every-day affairs of life it is more useful to reason forwards, and so the other comes to be neglected.” I love that.

The Holmesian Wisdom for the Ace of Analysis is: “I can see only two things for certain … It’s the chain between that we are going to trace” from The Valley of Fear. The card shows Sherlock Holmes contemplating a slew of papers that holds the answers to a puzzle. His analytical mind detects a pattern which only he can see.

Although “analysis” may seem more like a Swords/Air quality than Water/Cups, the creators of this deck refer to the “leap of intuition” that often enables Holmes to “connect one detail with another.” Intuition is very much a Water quality, and it can add much to our efforts to interpret something logically or mentally.

Keys for this card, upright, are: “abundance, clarity, nurture, healing, gladness, emotional faculties, fertility, restoration from barrenness.” Reversed meanings: “change, instability, exchange, bartering, false-heartedness.”

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 Ace of Analysis: “piercing the mystery… intuition… healing a rift within a group, family or nation… responding to hidden factors.” Examples from “The Fog”: “a lack of understanding holds you back… an inability to express your feelings… a blockage or misunderstanding leads nowhere… forgiveness is required.”

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Past Lives Reading with Tarot of Reincarnation

I have been wanting to do a reading with the Tarot of Reincarnation by Massimiliano Filadoro (Lo Scarabeo), and now is the time!

First of all, I want to talk about this deck a little bit. After doing a quick search on line, I see that many people feel this deck “has nothing to do with reincarnation.” I wonder if they bothered to read the little White Book that comes with this deck.

I do realize that there are MANY interpretations of reincarnation, so perhaps those who don’t see this deck as having anything to do with reincarnation are simply not seeing a connection with their own personal definition.

However, following an informative discussion of the concept of Reincarnation, the booklet goes on to state: “The Reincarnation Tarot is a mirror that we can use to look inward and communicate with our ‘inner animals,’ all of those psychic forms produced by millennia of evolution that still live inside of us. . . In a certain sense, we are all of the creatures of the past and the seed of future ones so that the single individual contains a continuously evolving universe.”

Let’s zero in on this statement from the booklet: “. . . thousands of organisms that came before us. . . still live in the profound unconscious of our soul.”

I decided to create a spread that responds to the question: Which of my “inner animals” have messages that I need to heed, and what are those messages?

I am using a 5-card circular spread design.

(1) A message from a far, far distant past life
(2) A message from a far distant past life
(3) A message from a distant past life
(4) A message from a more recent past life
(5) A message from a very recent past life

One other piece of information: The Reincarnation Tarot follows the French model for the four suits. Hearts correspond to Cups or Chalices (Water); Clubs correspond to Wands (Fire); Diamonds correspond to Pentacles or Coins (Earth); and Spades correspond to Swords (Air).

(1) A message from a far, far distant past life


This message comes to me from the marine turtle, who brings a sense of emotional stability, security, and inner harmony. To me, this card can also refer to emotional stagnation or apathy. Turtles are famous for moving very slowly and deliberately, which makes sense with the “stability” and “stagnation” traits of the card. I can see where I might have this type of energy from a far, far distant past life playing a role in who I am and how I approach life. This card also advises me not to “rest on my laurels.”

(2) A message from a far distant past life


The cock-of-the-rock brings a message about intense mental activity and mental clarity that may or may not be accompanied by emotional stress. This large bird, which is native to South America, is known for being wary and cautious, but the males are colorful and flashy. When I look at this image, the phrase “bright idea” comes to mind. This is energy I can use in my work in my present life, which requires creativity and being open to new ideas.

(3) A message from a distant past life


In a distant past life, I experienced a connection between my “inner essence” and the “collective psyche.” A profound spiritual rebirth and transformation occurred, and that experience informs my outlook and behavior in this life. The Butterfly is a powerful symbol of transformation, metamorphosis, and resurrection. It is not surprising the the effects of this distant past life carry influence even today.

(4) A message from a more recent past life


My initial reaction to the frog is the idea of being comfortable on both water (emotions, subconscious) and land (physical, material world). Like butterflies, frogs also represent transformation and change of form. Here I sense many emotional attachments or experiences that I have had. In general, these have led to optimism and high spirits, a feeling of renewal and good fortune.

(5) A message from a very recent past life


Earthy energy here in the form of the flying squirrel – although the “flying” part certainly implies Air, doesn’t it? The LWB for the Reincarnation Tarot says: “The secret vital spirit of our soul, the inner child that never tires of playing and exploring. Need for new things, new friendships and loves. Desire to travel.” I do feel the effects of this ‘very recent past life’ very keenly in this life. The flying squirrel is alive and well!

I like these creatures as components of my current energy and life. They all have meaning for me and I can sense their presence in the who, what, and how of me. None of them are what you would call “exciting,” dramatic or impressive creatures. They are small but powerful, emphasizing Air, Earth, and Water.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

What Now? An American Election Follow-Up

Well, here we are a few weeks after the Presidential election in America, and things are in as much disarray as ever. Reactions to the President-elect and his choices of advisors range from horror and depression to jubilation and dismissal of any and all concerns on which horror and depression are based.

I find that I vacillate between the horror/depression stage and the “surely it won’t be as bad as we fear” stage. Meanwhile, the jubilant folks are crying out, “Get over it!” and “Stop being whiny snowflakes!” etc.

So I am asking a few of my decks for some straight answers that may (or may not) help me cope. As I did back in August in my reading about the two Presidential candidates (click HERE), I am using five different decks, with each one answering a question. Once again, I am doing this in a spirit of fun – because I’m tired of feeling so down.

Read on!

(1) Something I must learn to accept
from Tarot of the Gnomes by Antonio Lupatelli (Lo Scarabeo)

CAV. DI BASTONI (Knight of Wands / Career)

“Ambition can lead ahead along the chosen path.”
I need to accept that the President-elect’s ambition, determination, and force have taken him where he intended to go, and he is going to continue to push his agenda and purpose as long as he can. Time marches on. And you know what? I see a resemblance...

(2) Something I should not ignore
from Tarot of the Cat People by Karen Kuykendall (U.S. Games Systems)


“A man proudly shows off his wands, each of which is the symbol of a goal achieved.” This is a card of conquest, triumph, gain, victory, and advancement – the results of efforts. Although I may have to accept certain things, I also have a responsibility not to ignore how things go from here, the implications and effects of the candidate’s success.

(3) Something I need not fear
from Tarot of the Animal Lords by Angelo Giannini (Lo Scarabeo)

THE HERMIT / Trump 9

I need not fear retreating for a time, if necessary, to seek wisdom and spiritual meaning in this situation. I am not and will not be completely alone in my thoughts and concerns. The Hermit in this deck is a black bear. Now, one common symbol for the country of Russia is the bear. However, this is a black bear, from North America. Am I somehow being told not to fear the influence or involvement of the "Russian bear" here in North America?

(4) Something I need to think about
from The Fantastic Menagerie Tarot (Magic Realist Press)

SIX OF COINS / The Benefactor

This card often represents generosity or the flow of resources between people (money, help, ideas, etc.) I think perhaps I am being advised to think about how, why, and when I should be “generous,” with an eye to mutual respect, fairness, and equality. If I exchange ideas with an air of condescension, as if I am superior, I will probably not achieve the result I desire. And there are times when withholding generosity is the best course of action. I may also need to think about the purpose of someone’s generosity towards me or others. A gesture that seems benevolent may have a sinister motivation.

(5) Something that I can hold onto
from the Shapeshifter Tarot by D.J. Conway and Sirona Knight, illustrated by Lisa Hunt (Llewellyn Publications)


Um. Let’s see what I can do with this. In traditional RWS-style decks, this card often depicts destitute people, often outside a church or other place where they might seek help. In that case, I can see the card meaning that I can hold onto help or assistance if I need it. I just need to look around and see where it is available.

However, I have to share with you the “Prophecy” for this card written by Conway and Knight: “Be aware of your words and intent when disagreeing with others, for you may well create an unpleasant, long-term rift.” The authors also caution against being stubborn and clinging to negative thinking and action. The tiny porcupine in the image of snow and ice on this card reminds me that I may create or contribute to “prickly” situations, and it will be up to me to learn discrimination and to change what I have created, if necessary.

This is all very interesting, with the Wands (energy, force, aggressiveness) in the positions of both “what I must learn to accept” (Knight of Wands, Fire of Fire) and “what I should not ignore” (Jupiter in Leo). I glanced at the President-elect’s natal chart recently, and he has fiery Leo rising, which should surprise no one. He also has Mars (planet of war, aggression, energy) in Leo.

The other three positions are filled by Earth cards (I associate The Hermit with the Earth sign Virgo). This suggests patience, determination, and quiet persistence over a long period of time. I think this is a fairly good description of what I will need to do to get through this.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Old English Tarot: 8 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
Eight of Coins
by Helen Howell

Today’s Old English Card is the 8 of Coins and I’ll be comparing this to its more traditional brother, as usual, the Rider Waite deck.

The Rider Waite 8 of Pentacles, as you probably know, depicts a young man working studiously on each pentacle. Here he strives to improve with each one he makes. The card’s fundamental meaning is commitment to a new form of skill. It’s a card that can translate into indicating that hard work will get you where you want to be and an ability to stay with the project in hand. As this is a Pentacles/Coins card, we are looking at the material world and so the other message from this card is: Take a practical approach.

Now it is easy to see and translate the meaning of the Rider Waite image but not so easy with the Old English 8 of Coins. Let’s take a look at the symbolism contained in the Old English depiction of this card.

We have have eight coins arranged in two lines of three with two in the middle - a perfectly balanced arrangement. Beneath this is what looks like a wine barrel, grapes to the back and grapes to the forefront of the card, two jugs of varying sizes, and two bowls. How do we translate this to mean similar to the Rider Waite?

At first look it’s not so obvious, but then we start to ask ourselves some questions: Why are there two jugs with different patterns carved into them and of varying sizes? Why two bowls that differ? What do the grapes stand for? Wine? Maybe, but I think they may mean something a little more deeper.

I’m going to list what I think these symbols might mean for us.

Grapes: Abundance, reaping the fruits of one’s labour. Achievement through care and attention to the plants. Hard work to gain a good crop.

Bowls & Jugs: If we look at the progress of the carving from the bowls to the large jug with the more elaborate design, then we see a progression of skill has taken place.

So it does appear that the Old English 8 of Coins does have a similar meaning to the Rider Waite 8 of Pentacles - perfecting skills, practice makes perfect, achievement through hard work.

It is the symbols that speak to us within the image of a card, and each modern deck will have its own variation of the core meanings of the Rider Waite. When you see the Old English 8 of Coins in a reading, somewhere in its meaning it’s going to suggest commitment  to gaining an end result.

LWB: Apprenticeship, craftsmanship, learning, effort, handiwork.

Reversed: Lack of ambition, vanity, disillusionment.