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.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Weekly Planner - 28 Sept 2015

I decided to try my hand at a “Weekly Planner” type spread using seven cards (for seven days in the week, of course). To the best of my knowledge, this is an original spread created by me and not a duplication of anything already presented by anyone else.

For this week’s advice I am using the Otherworld Tarot by Alison Williams, with artwork by Sarah Nowell (Schiffer). The layout is left to right, like squares for the days on a weekly calendar. Below are the positional definitions:

(1) Take a closer look at this.
(2) Don’t worry so much about this.
(3) Beware of this danger.
(4) Hold tight to this.
(5) Learn to appreciate this.
(6) Stop pursuing this.
(7) Seek this.

(1) Take a closer look at this: FOUR OF PENTACLES (COMPLACENCY)
I need to take a closer look at areas where I may be overly possessive or greedy or selfish, especially with regard to the physical, material world. At the same time, I may also need to consider if I am not being careful enough or not guarding/protecting an important physical or material area enough.

(2) Don’t worry too much about this: THE CHARIOT (DIFFERENT ENERGIES)
This week, I am encouraged not to worry too much about about whether I am in complete control, steering unerringly my life in the direction I want. There will always be struggles and conflicts between opposing or contrasting forces in life. While achieving a balance is important, I do not need to obsess over it this week.

(3) Beware of this danger: THE HIEROPHANT (SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE)
Oh my. That card – the one that represents (to me) organized religion, dogmatism, and oppressive spiritual structures.  Perhaps I need to beware of allowing myself to become, in some way, the very thing I abhor – hypocrisy can develop and grow insidiously, becoming well developed before becoming apparent. Or perhaps I am being warned to beware of rejecting or dismissing all organized religions and their practitioners?

(4) Hold tight to this: THE EMPEROR (CLARITY)
I need to hold tight to any clarity I manage to achieve in chaotic situations, viewing things rationally rather than emotionally, using my natural inclination towards order and organization.

(5) Learn to appreciate this: TWO OF CUPS (BALANCE)
This week I need to learn to appreciate relationships with the people in my life, treasuring balance where it is found and seeking balance where it is absent.

(6) Don’t pursue this: THE FOOL (LEAP OF FAITH)
It seems that something may happen this week that will make me want to behave impulsively or even recklessly, perhaps out of boredom or feelings of stagnation. This is not the week to pursue whatever it is that calls me to exhibit such behavior. An opportunity that seems too good to be true just might be exactly that.

I am encouraged this week to seek and celebrate  joy and emotional well being, and to live in the moment.

My inclination is to pay particularly close attention to the positions where Majors appear in this reading. There may be special significance or long-reaching effects. Two cards from the suit of Cups call attention to relationships and emotions, and I have a lone Earth card to direct my focus to the physical, material world.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day: 6 of Deduction

The Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day is:
6 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 this card is a quote from Silver Blaze. “The horse is a very gregarious creature.”

Silver Blaze is about the disappearance of a famous racehorse and the murder of the horse’s trainer. Holmes investigates and arrives at the correct conclusion, but does not reveal his insights immediately. The horse, meanwhile, has been disguised by painting over the white blaze on his forehead. He wins the Wessex Cup, which Holmes may or may not have bet on.

Keys for this card, upright, are: “material success, winnings, good fortune shared, generosity, charity, patronage, gifts, the great work, the exchange of matter and spirit.” Reversed, the card can suggest: “passion, desire, lack of balance, selfishness, ambition, injustice.”

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 6 of Deduction: “generous gifts and sponsorship. . . acts of kindness. Job-sharing, working in harness or mentoring others. . . Rewards and dividends.”

Examples from “The Fog”: “being unable or unwilling to receive. Denying your personal needs. Taking things for granted. . . . Individual or national jealousy.”

Monday, September 21, 2015

A Reading with the Ghost Tarot

The Ghost Tarot (Lo Scarabeo), with artwork by Davide Corsi, called to me from amongst my collection of decks, so I thought I’d spend some time with these delightful cards.

The Little White Book (LWB) that comes with the deck provides a spread that seems perfect to me. It was not given a name in the LWB, but it is a variation on the Past-Present-Future idea:

(1) Collective memories and those of our ancestors
(2) The present and the challenges we are experiencing
(3) The obstacle and the “ghosts of the past”
(4) The invisible allies, virtues and great talents that we have and that we must exploit
(5) The future, what probably awaits us, but that we can improve upon or worsen depending on how we relate with the forces represented by the other cards.

Let’s see what the ghosts want to tell me!

(1) Collective memories and those of our ancestors

JUSTICE (Trump 11) – Fairness and Firmness

The LWB (written by Pierluca Zizzi) states: “Justice, even when imperfect, is the foundation of human society.” That seems like a very appropriate statement with regard to collective memories and those of our ancestors. Over the course of human existence, people have carried out much justice and injustice in various names and for various reasons. Only recently have we begun to acknowledge some of the injustices committed by our ancestors. Memories can be selective, and only a truly “collective” memory (representing everyone involved) can hope to determine what is just.

(2) The present and the challenges we are experiencing

SIX OF WANDS – “Willpower can achieve the impossible, and can remain strong when everything else has collapsed” (LWB). The suit of Wands in this deck represents Fire, with the “passions and energy that bring man to life.” The key is to use my willpower, passion, and energy constructively to overcome challenges and move onward or upward. Fire can be destructive, and using it in that manner will not help my cause in the long run.

(3) The obstacle and the “ghosts of the past”

THE HIEROPHANTThe Sustenance of Faith

Well, yes, my long-time struggle to explore, understand, and describe the roots or source of my “faith” (spirituality) continues to haunt me. Ultimately, I have had to reject the sort of mindless faith I tried to embrace in my younger years – a faith that seemed to exclude rather than include and to punish rather than reward, a faith that somehow believes there is a God who is intimately and directly involved with every single activity and event in this world. I was brought up a certain way, and that upbringing prompted me to take a path that turned out to be a very wrong one for me. In my Tarot journey, The Hierophant has always been “off putting” to me, probably because the image on the card so often reminds me of the religious institution(s) in which I mistakenly immersed myself.

(4) The invisible allies, virtues and great talents that we have and that we must exploit

THE LOVERSAn Embrace that Unites

What a lovely card to see here. Unity with other spirits and within myself can help foster wise decisions and choices when faced with a fork in the road.

(5) The future, what probably awaits us, but that we can improve upon or worsen depending on how we relate with the forces represented by the other cards.

TWO OF CHALICES – “Love is for always.” (LWB) This card echoes the message and imagery of The Lovers while incorporating a reference to human emotions: “Emotions are born of the soul and to the soul they return, an eternal mystery of human nature.” (LWB) Certainly this is a future I can happily embrace, so I need to be alert and aware of how my relationship with the forces represented by the other cards might affect that desired future.