Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tarot Math: logic stays IN the equation

So I decided to have another go at the tarot math spreads from Tarot Dame's blog, since the last time I tried turned out so well for me, and it's such an interesting idea. Today, the simple subtraction spread:

 Adjustment - Queen of Swords = 8 of Cups

Well then: if you remove those Queen of Swords tendencies from a delicately balanced situation, you will fall into indolence, bleakness.

As always with this deck, the message is perfectly apt for me personally, but also interesting to ponder on more in the abstract. I do identify a lot with the Queen of Swords personally, both in positive and negative respects. Logic logic - you can get quite far following cold, hard logic. I like logic because, well, it makes SENSE. If your premises are true, you have access to appropriate information, and your reasoning is sound, you WILL get the right answer if you approach the problem with logic. Your heart and your jerkbrain tendencies can tell you all kinds of things, but if you accept those, listen to them and say: thank you for telling me this is impossible, that there is no way I can do this; logic suggests otherwise, however, and so I am going to go with that... Well, you can make a good bit of progress through life even in the most difficult of circumstances.

The Queen of Swords is cold, logical, and when necessary, ruthless. Sometimes she lacks compassion - for others, and for herself. Sometimes she can grow bitter. Sometimes she might chop away a good bit more or quickly than actually necessary. She might fall prey to all or nothing type reasoning, a kind of tunnel vision, that can be limiting. Approaching ALL situations from her perspective is most definitely NOT a recipe for a healthy, fulfilling life.

And yet nonetheless. The situation from which the subtraction is happening here is Adjustment - another take on my year card, and actually, a title I feel is perhaps even more appropriate than the RWS tradition Justice. Justice has so many connotations of legal systems and established moral or ethnic codes, the idea that something must be 'right' and something else 'wrong'. Adjustment is more of a FORCE, more impersonal, less socially constructed and more simply part of the world. There is a balance here, but it is precarious - standing on tip-toes, everything positioned just so: the slightest change in weight, the littlest shift could send it all tumbling. It requires grace, patience and wisdom to keep it up, adjusted properly. But then, aren't all situations of equilibrium like that? Its that one certain POINT where everything matches up properly, equals out: just a little bit above and below and you have problems again. How many economists have spent how many countless hours calculating equilibrium points for this and that?

Sometimes life situations are certainly like that. You are juggling so many feelings and responsibilities, duties, obligations, needs and wants and problems that you are trying to keep under wraps and people who demand this or that of you - the key to handling those is to find some kind of system that works for you, that lets you work out some kind of balance. For me, this is based heavily on logic, logic, constantly ruthlessly telling myself that no, despite what I feel, I WILL do this or that because I MUST, etc. The queen is a harsh mistress though, and sometimes it could be tempting to just...let go, to just say whatever, screw it, I want to do what I want to do and so I will do it!

But in these particular circumstances it looks like, that would not be a good idea at all. Subtract the Queen and we have the 8 of Cups, Indolence. We have dark skies, thick murky water that would just pull us under, make us slow and heavy and useless. We have no enough water, not enough resources to fill all the cups - scarcity surrounded by plenty but not for us, no. We have dwelling on negativity, on problems rather than acting to find solutions. Self-pity, self-indulgence. It is a miserable experience, waiting in this card, though an easier one: easier to sit around weeping about you troubles and how everything is too complicated and hard so why bother, waiting for someone else to come save you, whatever. Much harder to pick up the sword, force yourself to think of a reasonable game plan to fix the situation, break it down into manageable steps, and then give yourself the kick you need to actually go do it.

Yes, the Queen is useful to keep in the mind sometimes, quite. No subtracting logic, for that leads to bad things.

My Favorite Majors: Strength

Well, this is one of those majors that really draws my eye when looking through a new/less familiar deck, not least because it is often a card that is done really well, an image that's really interesting to look at. The concept behind this card also is one that makes a lot of sense to me and that I can really connect with, another reason why I often pay this card special attention (and why certain renditions of it can *really* rub me the wrong way - this is NOT supposed to be a card of a muscular man violently slaying something >.< ). Unsurprsingly the, took me a bit of considering and pondering to choose favorites...

VIII. Strength

I love this card, this rendition of Strength. Totally and unabashedly I love it. Visually I find it stunning, lush, just...I could stare at it all day. The woman with the two great cats, the light showing her control over the, and the KIND of control she has, the glowing hold on her skin, her relaxed pose, the way she can take command of them gently...conceptually it captures the meaning of the card completely. It keeps the traditional symbolism. And it is just. so. damned. beautiful to look at. There's really not much more for me to say about this one. Hands down, no doubt about it, my most favorite version of the strength card and Ciro Marchetti's art at it's best. No longer explanation need...to me, the visual really speaks for itself here.

Runner Up:
As is turning out to be not so uncommon for me in doing this exercise, I went back and forth and changed my mind several times in trying to pick out my second choice for this card. Finally, and a bit unexpectedly, I settled on this Strength from the Celtic Tarot. This is a very, very new acquisition of mine - haven't even done a reading with it yet, but had a reading exchange on Aeclectic and someone read with the deck for me and I loved the art and it was on sale and...you know how that goes. I love the mosaic-type style of the artwork, especially in the majors and courts of this deck. What I like especially about this card is the detail and pattern of the background. The stylization adds to the effect of the whole, somehow. Nice color balance. And I love the dynamic nature of the way the woman gains control over the lion - there is movement there, a struggle, but is is wrestling? playful? serious? The situation looks mutable, readable in many ways, which is apt. That there is a hint of a struggle is a nice touch, because yes, its about inner resources and the light touch and love and self-love and compassion and all that, but it is also about energy, the push and pull between the fortitude and lust competing traditions relating to this card, the fact that, even if it is within you, there is a bit of a struggle here sometimes. Also the sorta-not-quite-lion creature amuses me.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Meeting Tarot of the Master...

So for reasons that do not have to do with aesthetic appeal or readability (i like it fine on both counts) I'm just not feeling working with the Fey right now. Maybe it has to do with it feeling too 'light' compared to the Thoth that has so enchanted me. Perhaps it's just more whimsical than I'm feeling right now. Dunno, but going to put it away and give in another shot at some point in the future and see how I feel about it then.

For now, I've decided that alongside dear Thoth I'm going to try working with my trimmed LoS Tarot of the Master. A bit of a challenge, this will be. Going to work with it purely intuitively, since I've gotten rid of the keyword borders and so don't believe in those nonsense LWBs...

These cards are an interesting pair to draw up tonight. I see myself a lot in this hermit right now, seeing as I am in exactly this position, alone in my little corner of the world surrounded by books, papers, trying to get work accomplished, something I must do. The youth in the two of wands holds two staffs, which reminds me of both choices and opportunities, the idea of opportunity cost in economics: for everything you choose to do, time you invest, effort, there is something else you could be doing with those resources that you are giving up. Sometimes you can gain most by being the hermit, alone with his books and lantern, and other times you need to step away from that hermit role, reach out to other people, get up and explore the world.

Sometimes you need to be the Hermit, but your mind keeps thinking of other things it could be doing. Distraction, distraction, so easy in this age of multi-tasking, a zillion tabs and windows open in front of us on the computer screen: sometimes we can have it all, but sometimes not. Which path, which doorway will we choose to invest ourselves in this time? Sometimes the path of the Hermit requires so much of us, and seems so hard: wouldn't it be easier to just call it quits? To say I give, I give, this path of study was more than I could handle, enough for now? But of course, the path that is most difficult is often the most rewarding as well - the torches of victory for those who stick to it; doors to better things, perhaps. And recognition, no? The deck creator's name on the plaque behind the boy - who will recognize the Hermit's efforts? Who will pat him on the back? How much of what we do is about appearances - wanting to be seen as competent, or not wanting to be seen as the person who failed, gave up?

Always with the choices, the options, the distractions, the pull of this and that. In an ideal world perhaps the Hermit could just be the Hermit, alone with a book in nature, learning only for the sake of learning, reading for the love of knowledge and the written word. And an aspect of that is still there, always, but also more - consequences and possibilities circling around, always, doors swinging open and shut.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

a bit of encouragement

So the fact that, in addition to everything else going on right now, I have an important paper due Monday for my Ethnic Conflict/Civil War class is, let's say, a bit overwhelming. I could use some advice/encouragement, so I drew a quick pair from my Thoth. Ask for encouragement and encouragement you shall receive, ha!

Yes, a positive set of cards this is. The Magus here is very apt - combining willpower and action, the spiritual with the earthly, the mind with matter. Taking all of your resources, all of your abilities, all of your ideas, and sorting them and channeling them properly. Will and mind and action, yes. Make things happen, make things work for you. Regardless of what else is going on, regardless of any obstacles and difficulties and drama and whatever, if you want something enough, if you can focus on what you need to do and actually ACT and DO it and try and put your all into it...you CAN succeed. Totally within your grasp. Success can be achieved. Real, tangible, physical, graspable success is there, waiting for you, the orange dawn color behind the rose, the star there. Star, optimism, hope, yes.

No one can do this for you. This is totally in your hands. By the same token though, no one and nothing can stop you but yourself. It's all about what action YOU choose to take. You do have the resources, just need to apply them properly. Make the most of your mind. Focus, concentrate, GO.

Duly noted, cards. Duly noted. Now off I go to try to make this message a reality ;]

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Questions Snapshot Exercise: Who Am I?

So another idea for an interesting tarot exercise. Around the question words again, except this time...do 5-6 separate, one card readings, each focusing on one of the questions through the lens of 'snapshot at this moment in time'.

Who Am I?

Appropriate as always, this card. As a snapshot of current moment in time, this is quite how I feel, actually. The red background - danger, conflict, difficult things in the external environment and I am supposed to face them, but how can I? My sword is broken, snapped. Worse yet, I feel like I am dissolving...

Dissolving, yes, physically falling apart. There, look, my legs are turning to dust, to ash. How can I move forward without them? There, behold, the crumbling of my thighs, my knees? And what am I suppose to DO about all that? Oh I am trying, trying, but can my limited attempts really make a dent in the momentum of years worth of action coming to culmination?

Impossible to stop this destruction, falling apart. Perhaps if I was in a field, in some nice calm place with no stress and no recurring problems, maybe I could figure out how to fix myself up a bit, somehow; but instead I am here, with the cold stone floor and the red pulsing everything at things constantly going wrong, demands and attacks or PROBLEMS, and somehow I am supposed to deal with that, and keep myself from crumbling at the same time and how, how? Perhaps it is time to let myself fall to the ground, a pile of ash, apologies for my failure.

Except of course, that this card came up reversed which...not quite the same meaning, is it? Failure is very often not a final thing. If you fail and give up, than what you and/or everyone else remembers is the failure, right? But if afterwards you somehow pick yourself up, glue yourself together somehow, haphazardly, and going on to try again or try at different things or move to different places...if you do better, then that will be remembered too, might even overshadow the earlier problematic...after all, memory works in interesting ways.

A snapshot is a moment in time, only a moment. Keeping that perspective of TIME, even at the lowest points, is important. Yes things may feel utterly unbearably terrible NOW, at this current moment in time. Within you, around you, everything. But even from this card there is the possibility of forward motion, upward motion. After all, despite everything, the Fey still has his wings right? Still the option of trying to fly away, find calm in a better place, something...

Friday, February 24, 2012

reflecting on the week: how to approach a maze

So I decided to do a quick little draw with the question/theme of something for me to reflect on about this past week...

So yeah, Hermit and 3 of swords here. The young fey man, blue-skinned and sad, stands alone in the water, the turbulent waves, the red-tinged and dark cloudy sky. Wind, cold wind it looks like, blows at him, his wings and his hair. It looks pretty uncomfortable there actually, the cold air and water, but the man looks too distressed to really care. That bright red sword, pointing downwards on his chest; something weighing so heavily on his mind that physical discomfort seems utterly irrelevant.

The lonely quality to the card. And of course that's only emphasized by the Hermit next to him. The Hermit, making his way along in the stairwell maze that looks like something out of Alice in Wonderland. He has a torch to illuminate his wave, awareness of his situation, maybe even a pretty good idea of where he is going, and yet....just LOOK at the crazy way those stairwells wind and twist about. How is he supposed to know which stair to take, and when, and for how long? He looks pretty damned confused, this Hermit, and who wouldn't be, trying to navigate through something like that alone? Of course, sometimes a journey like that through the maze can be quite enjoyable, wondering about any which way, seeing interesting things for their own sake. But sometimes, when you really need to get TO or AWAY from something, it's just damned frustrating.

These images do speak quite well to my week. See, love as I do to write and tl;dr all over the internet about whatever, when it comes to my most serious issues I tend to be rather private, secretive. Do not speak of them by name; do not speak of them much if at all even to most close friends. So as a result, I do spend more time than you might think with the blind stumbling about, struggling with things while public laughing smile fine fine. More specifically to the last week, though....well I spent the first half of it dealing with what was a rather frustrating finalized break with  a former therapist...and she refused to refer me to someone new....and when I decided to be proactive and responsible and find someone for myself...no one seems around/available until mid March, and so. These cards kind of describe how I feel about the situation quite aptly: frustration and demoralization because here I am, actually TRYING to make some kind of real effort, and with regards to one particular issue, more of a concrete effort than I have in YEARS and in terms of 'qualified'/'professional' support...it's just not there. And hell if the whole situation doesn't feel just like that impossibly complicated maze sometimes.

But the lesson here, I think is that...well if you let yourself feel so sad and aggrieved and demoralized as that blue fey...of course trying to navigate through that maze, even if you can scrounge up the energy, is going to be a torture. If you keep thinking about whatever it is that made you feel like that 3 of Swords, keep turning it over in your mind, keep bothering yourself with how little concrete progress you are making...it's going to be very lame maze-exploring times indeed. It doesn't have to be though. The whole idea of enjoying the journey. Even if the situation you are trying to get away from is kind of objectively serious/desperate...if your only option at the moment IS confused stumbling, and there is nothing, at the current period of time, that you can do to change that...then let yourself confused stumble. Enjoy the wonder, the little interesting tidbits you can pick up and see in that maze. Let go of the negative and make the best of the situation. See and learn what you can. Do the best that you can. Mindfulness, make the best of the current moment, being fully aware of yourself in the current moment. You might find, when the right time comes to reassess and make some more changes, that you've actually stumbled a bit further in the right direction than you might of expected....

Thursday, February 23, 2012

making the most of good things

Now here, I think, is an interesting pair of cards, with an interesting message/idea to mull over. First we have the sun - success, fulfillment, victory. We have two winged butterfly children dancing over the fertile mountain, things almost completly achieved, the zodiac wheel, wholenes, the rose within the sun, light shining. This is without a doubt one of the most positive cards in the Major Arcana, full of good things to come, the happily ever after...

Except...is it ever happily ever after, really? Which one of us hasn't, after a certain age, with enough personal experience or acute observation under our belts, wondered about those fairy tale characters - was it really all so swell for EVER AFTER? Because success, after all, brings it's own challenges.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely, the saying goes. You get on top, money and power and glory is in your hands and...then what? Do you use it well, or to you give in to the tempation to act selfishly? Look at all the dictators out there in the world. Or, better yet, look at their children. Now there we often see corruption, entitelement, arrogance at its worst: the dictator, at least, had to climb his way up in the world. And the child who was born into luxury and power, who was born into a world where they are held in awe and in fear simply for existing, where expensive trinkets are simply THERE when elsewhere people are starving? Can anyone come out of that kind of upbringing undamaged, really?

Or more mundanely, that well known phenomenon: the job you get which pays well, really well. Better yet, it is also fairly prestigious. Your family and friends are impressed when you are hired. Suddenly you can afford all kinds of things you couldn't before. Luxuries, indulgences. Life is good, right? Except that truth be told, you fucking hate that job, hate the stress, the long hours, the things you have to do. You hate waking up in the morning and hate going to work. You spend the plurality of the hours in the week in a place where you are utterly unhappy, and what a waste of life that is! But you hesistate to leave, no matter how much your soul wishes it because...well, because it's such a good job, right? The wages, the way that people look at you when you mention it, impressed...

How about the tendency to buy things to try to cheer ourselves up? I am miserable so I will by a new pair of shoes or the shiniest new phone or another video game or another tarot deck or a designer bag or whatever your poison of choice may be...the vague idea that of course, this shiny new item will make things better, will put a smile on my face. But that kind of joy never lasts for very long, does it? How much debt can you rack up trying to improve yourself with things, things?

So yes, success brings its own dangers, if you aren't careful, mindful of what it is that you really want, need. Luxury may certainly seem quite nice from afar with those overflowing, glowing gold cups, but look closer: the darkening sky, the chill mist. The moment you level up is not, in fact, the time to settle in to a dull complacency, but rather to ensure that the good thing that just happened remains a good thing, that life is working you and the people around you to the best of your abilities.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

An Ode to the Thoth

She painted you over the course of five years. She painted you while bombs rained down on the city of London the way that raindrops pour out of darkened clouds, soaking through everything below, earth. You were sketched, drawn, perfected as gleaming planes pierced through the skies overhead; they zoomed, heavy with incendiary disaster tucked into their bellies.

A mere twenty years ago those same planes had still been such delicate, fragile things, constructed, it seemed, of paper, sticks, cloth. They were liable to fall back down to earth at the slightest of provocation, and yet men still climbed into them – out of boldness, thirst for adventure, the need to realize that collective dream, old as humanity itself, of flight, of dancing into the skies. Remember the myth of Daedalus, flying too close to the sun? Now men could soar, fly across oceans and continents, race, meet time limits, set records, go further and faster than ever before...

But they had evolved by the time she painted you. Now they were plated with metal hulls and painted with bravado, the slogans of war. They spit bullets and dropped payloads on cities by night and by day; they fought each other among the clouds, shooting and crashing down. The men inside of them died and new men appeared to take their place. Smoke and ash, the newest dimension of war.

She painted you, mindful of HIS direction. She painted three Magi – again and again until finally the one that captured the proper essence appeared. She painted careful lines, geometric forms, colors laden with meaning, esoteric significance, thought. She painted you boldly and brightly among blackouts, among rubble and deaths and air raid sirens’ shrill blares.

She painted you through global disaster and now, decades later, I hold you, shuffle, set cards down on black bedspread. Now you lead me, push, through my own life-disaster, so insignificant in the grand scheme of everything, and yet, nonetheless: keep going you tell me, keep moving forward and faster.

*And yes, I am aware that this is not the 'final' version of the Magus, but it is the one that I like best, personally

cards and poetry associations

"Giggling, poking fun, everyone's darling,
The carefree sinner of Tsarskoye Selo
If only you could have foreseen
What life would do with you -
That you would stand, parcel in hand,
Beneath the Crosses, three hundredth in
Burning the new year's ice
With your hot tears.
Back and forth the prison poplar sways
With not a sound - how many innocent
Blameless lives are being taken away. . ."
-Excerpt from Requiem by Anna Akhmatova

more memory & card exercise

Yep, having another go with this idea because it led to interesting things last time and why not try it again with a different deck? So...

This is, I must say first, an interesting take on the Hierophant, but it does make a kind of sense. After all, what is religion and institutions if not that which is written and that which is ruled by old men? Ok, so maybe a bit of a cynical take, that, and yet...

It does bring to mind though, my own experience of religion and writing, way back when. See, my parents were/are Catholic, so we went to church and all that. From the youngest of ages I always just found the whole thing massively boring. Mostly I just daydreamed stories in my head the entire time and tuned it all out. At about age twelve or so, though, I'd gotten to thinking a bit more, and it was then that I actually tried to really LISTEN to what the priest was saying. And I realized I disagreed with all of it, that I was sure that he was just wrong, that what he was saying was completely at odds with my own moral values, and that therefore, this religion was not for me.

Young INTP that I was, this didn't cause me any angst. Ok, then, if you are supposed to have a religion, and this religion is not for me, time to research alternatives. So I went to my local library and started browsing books about religion and found a few about Wicca. Youngster that I was, long-time fan of fantasy stories and comics and tv shows, of course I was intrigued. So of course I read and learned about "real" witches and pagans and so much of it DID make logical and moral sense to me that I decided that yes, I would learn and practice THIS religion. I got a friend interested as well, and that was kind of how I spent most of middle school.

I got a red folder/notebook thing which I called my "Folder of Shadows" because every Wiccan was of course supposed to have a "Book of Shadows" or equivalent, right? I doodled the triple goddess emblem all over the front. And I read and read as many books about Wicca as I could find in the public library system of NYC and in Barnes and Noble occasionally and of course, online. I printed things out and copied diagrams and color coded and chose those parts that made sense to me and omitted what didn't because that was the cool thing about Wicca: you could choose exactly what worked and didn't work for you, there was no book you HAD to read and take at face value whether you agreed with all of it or not, no, you got to WRITE your own, do your own research, put together your own rituals, and wasn't that just the best? So I filled it up, that folder, wrote and wrote. It certainly kept my young brain occupied, if nothing else.

Interesting times, interesting times. Of course, a few years later I realized that no matter how much a religion's tenets might make sense to me, I was still fundamentally incapable of believing in any kind of higher powers or supernatural forces of concepts of an afterlife. Again, this didn't distress me. Ok, I guess I'm an atheist then, and so it was. Being a packrat, the folder still lives somewhere in my closet in my parents' house. It was, if nothing else, and interesting and amusing experience to reflect on from the perspective of an adult...

Monday, February 20, 2012

maintaining momentum

Turning over a new leaf, setting out on a new diet or exercise regime, trying to stop a bad habit or an addiction or some self-defeating behavior, trying to make any positive change, really... When you first decide to do it, when you first find that motivation within yourself, the yes, I am going to CHANGE and IMPROVE things for myself in this and that area...at first it seems pretty easy. Or if not not exactly easy, not too impossible. See, you are motivated by your resolution, and you have energy and interest and it's exciting and new and yes, you can do this, you can do this. And you succeed, at first; it goes well, and you pat yourself on the back and maybe share your achievement with friends and all is nice and swell.

The trouble comes later. A couple days later, or a few weeks, or whatever. There comes that day when you wake up in a terrible mood with no energy and no motivation and a terrible sense of defeat or depression or apathy, and you think about that thing that you told yourself you would do, or refrain from doing and...you just don't want to be bothered. Why not go back, indulge today? Who were you kidding, thinking you could really do this? Everyone slips eventually, right, so why not now? Why not just give up? Sure the old way was unsatisfying or miserable, sure over-indulging felt terrible afterwards but...it's tempting to just give up. All those thoughts swirl around in your head...to backtrack, to say...maybe tomorrow, and today I will just...

And that's when the real work comes. To make change, to make improvement means not only that initial decision...the same way that a project isn't just the initial burst of creativity when you first get to work. How many of us don't have at least a few interesting projects, great ideas that we started working on and then just...puttered off? How did that happen? Simple: a day when you woke up and just...didn't feel like painting more, or getting out those tools, or writing words down on the page, or whatever. Maybe tomorrow, you say to yourself, I just cannot deal with it today...and the momentum begins to fade, there. A project or a resolution or an effort to self-improve...the real work is in those moments. The moments where you just...don't really want to continue. And you swallow back that feeling, and you go on anyway. You draw deeper within yourself, find those turbulent waves of energy and force them to work with you. You don't let that pulsing pyramid, all that you have already built up - whether it is months of achievement or just a few days - crumble.

You keep working on it, even when you'd rather not. You push through the temptation of indolence, of letting those waves of swirling darkness push you under again. Work, work, mental or physical or both. You keep at it. That is what maintaining momentum means: constant, conscious, stubborn work.

My Favorite Majors: The Chariot

The Chariot is a pretty cool major. It brings an interesting mix of concepts to the table, because on the one hand, it means good things: victory, success, battle won, good job! But on the other, it is a BATTLE won, not the war, and it was won because of your ability to take control of opposing forces within and without. It comes as an interesting place in the progression of the arcana, and of course, the association with Cancer... ;]

Anyway, though, it took a good bit of thinking and pondering for me to settle on my favorites for this card...a good number of decks did not have Chariots I found particularly interesting, while those that did...it was hard to choose between them. But well, here they are.

VI. Chariot

I surprised myself with this one, because this wasn't originally a deck I thought to look to when considering my favorite Chariot card. Once I saw it though, I really did like the concept. The idea of a buddha type figure as the charioteer makes a LOT of sense given the conceptual ideas associated with what's necessary for the success described by this card. There's something about the way he is sitting in that lotus position, cradling the crab that just says, YES, YES, that is what this card is about to me. The way that the chariot is drawn, the perspective...is funky, but in an intriguing way. I like that the chariot is pulled by the bull and the...actually i'm not sure what the second beast is, exactly, but the juxtaposition of those two, and the black and white contrast...its a very interesting card, visually, and it really captures the essence of this major for me.

Runner Up:
This was one of several very pretty Chariot cards from among my decks that I had a really difficult time deciding between. Ultimately though, there's a lot I like about this one. I really dig the water association, the fact that the Chariot is riding over the waves...interesting metaphorical significance there, and ties with the cancer associations quite nicely too. Again I really like the perspective...the way you can see the castle and clouds above in the distance, the chariot, and also beneath the water, the patient turtles and the cancer crab aglow. Love the capricorn-like beasts pulling the chariot as well, aesthetic appeal there for me too. The attitude and posture of the chariot figure is spot on for me too, a kind of self-assured, I don't even need to hold the reigns right now because this chariot WILL do what I want...and like that it is a lady here, too. It's traditionally a male figure in this card, but why shouldn't a lady be able to do just the same? So yes, lovely card, lovely art, lovely composition and use of color.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

judging and changing

So another interesting idea to work with/try out. A singular, short reading done by drawing cards from two different decks and then reading them together normally.

So the idea of death as change and all that...familiar enough (at least to tarot readers). beautifully illustrated here. Yes, there definitely come times when we must cut short this or that thread, let the flower wither and die, let the scorpion do his thing. There are times when the situation really does just call for and end, and extending things further is only doing yourself (or possibly, others) a disservice.

The process can be a pain, and difficult, and frightening, but good things come as a result: new growth, new life, new possibilities. The void created by the death can now be filled with something more appropriate. Change is necessary and constant in life and in death and so it goes.

Except sometimes, things get a bit more complicated than that, don't they? Sometimes it's not quite so straightforward as THIS IS BAD, SNIP SNIP and everything taken care of. Sometimes, a part of you KNOWS that you need this end, and yet hesitates: sometimes another part of your mind argues, insists that no, you should give this old situation a chance, not take the risk, avoid the difficulties that come hand in hand with the process of this death.

And sometimes it isn't just in your mind. Sometimes there may be others involved, well meaning or looking after their own interests or some combination of those. Others who will question whether you should change things. Others who might not know how bad the situation really is and might say, no, why shake things up, you have a good thing going on there.

Or they will agree that the situation needs that death-change, might even feel about is more strongly than you do: you need to do it NOW, must do it THIS way, must do it suddenly and completely. This is bad and also this and it would be best if...

And maybe they are totally off base. And maybe they have a point, and you recognize the wisdom in some of what they are saying, but knowing the situation as you do, and knowing yourself, you also know that what they are saying will never work, will never happen - you just CANNOT do it that way.

There are many doors, archway, windows in shadow and lights, ways to go forward, and not all of them can be right for a given situation and if you allow yourself to be distracted by them all...sometimes you need a bit of that metaphorical blindness, deafness. Push away everything else. look deep within yourself, the inner you, the real you, your third eye, your intuition and instincts: what is it that you really want? How do you want to achieve it? Feel the feather of justice, of rightness in your grasp and THINK on it. What is too heavy right now? What do you want to hold onto for a bit longer. What is really, to you, the fairest solution? The most balanced? Sustainable?

If you are going to go ahead and face death, you certainly have the right to do it on your own terms. Not only choosing to do the snipping but also how much, when, how quickly, with who - listen to advice, and listen to your own mind, and then make the BALANCED choice. Not everything your own thoughts and feelings tell you is correct; certainly not everything others can tell you can be. There is some truth in both of those things. Use your objective logic and your instincts and find the right balance and then yes, proceed, proceed.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

abundance of...

So this card came up as part of a larger spread/reading I was doing for myself this morning about a problem/issue I am having...essentially, frustrated efforts to get professional help and various options of how to proceed. The whole reading was surprisingly positive. This card came up in the position of 'General Advice/Where I am now'...

The title here is abundance, which of course begs the question - abundance of what, exactly? But we see it in the card: abundance of energy, of light that shines; abundance of love, for others, for the world and especially for yourself; abundance of motivation, creativity, drive. It needs to come from within you, this abundance, twined deeply enough within your brain to resist the negativity that comes and goes...

And if you have it, if you can fill up those cups and keep them decently filled, what is it that you cannot accomplish, or at least give a damn good try? If you don't have motivation or energy or some kind of hope, the best therapist in the world won't be able to do much to help you, especially if you are an adult (children/minors you can at least sort of force to do things that are good for them if they are unwilling...) with a mind of your own.

On the other hand, if you can find it within yourself...then you can make the best of whatever you have to work with. And if a so-called professional essentially tells you 'sorry, you're problems are too serious for the kind of help you are looking for' and rebuffs? Fine, fine. You can still make IMPROVEMENT, focus on  that EQUILIBRIUM and bringing balance to yourself with what you have - self help books, tarot cards, the support of a few online friends. You can work with what you have, and do well if you keep your eye on modest goals, realistic intentions. What you need most is not some external person telling you what to do, but that which you must find within yourself.

(Random note: kind of amused to realize that I quite frequently revert to writing in second person when writing up readings for myself, ha. Also, Thoth keywords are surprisingly apt. given how often keywords in other decks are a bunch of nonsense. )

Friday, February 17, 2012

thoughts on the marrakech

So I don't ordinarily comment at length/write up a whole post when switching between reading decks...but since the Marrakech isn't one of the easily available mass market decks that everyone and their ma has a copy of, and since i got it with specific reasons and expectations, I though I'd have a go at it in this case.

This is another one of those instances where I pick cards I feel are appropriate rather than pull them and interpret... See, I think what this deck does with the Fool is rather interesting. There are two fool cards in the deck...both have a reinterpretation of the classic symbolism, the man on a journey (though interesting that he isn't a youth!), scorpions and snakes at his feet instead of a dog, a hyena lurking in the background...danger, danger but also that sun and the rainbow, hope, optimism, opportunity awaiting. In one card, he is entering a veil, in the other leaving it...the beginning and end of some kind of journey, then? Running towards vs. from something? Seeing clearly ahead vs behind? Many ways to interpret this. My mind goes to the symbolism of oroboros again - all beginnings have an end, all ends are in their own way a new beginning.

I also like this take on the wheel. I looked up the meaning of Mektoub, and essentially it is the idea of fate, predestination, so it is written, so it will be. But yes, it fits here, the idea that larger wheels spin, things always moving and changing and sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse and you roll with it. I like the utter ridiculousness of the imagery - that sometimes things just happen and sometimes they are and you cannot explain it, cannot make logical sense of the why, why is this happening to me, it just IS this is where you ARE right now. But it's all on the back of an elephant, who moves forward, change, motion, always.

Yes, it's an interesting deck, especially the majors. Those I very much like, and there is a lot of food for thought even though they aren't very busy. The use of primary colors by and large is striking. Love the North African influence of the art. The courts...I don't quite know how I feel about those. The deck plays around with ethnicities (arabs, asians, indian, white) but there doesn't seem to fully by a rhyme or reason to it (as in, it doesn't go by the suits) and...yeah. The minors are not very illustrated or expressive...less approachable than even regular marseilles minors I'd say. I can see them giving people used to reading with illustrated minor decks trouble for sure. Actually, though, I must say I was pleasantly surprised at how well I was able to read them. Apparently my style for such is a mish-mash of relating to majors and number meanings and suit meanings and traditional rws meanings and marseille tradition meanings all wrapped together depending on context and accompanying cards and it...works for me, and makes me realize just how much I've progressed as a reader in the last few years.

So yeah, interesting deck. I like it, but I do admit its more an intellectual like than that kind of gut reaction, instinctive/intuitive type like. Will definitely work with it some more in the future. For now, going to continue with Thoth, whose awesomeness I am realizing more and more, and also, I think, with the Fey, another pretty recent acquisition of mine :]

victory over the mind, sometimes

So, yesterday did turn out to be quite a productive and good day. I got a bunch of things I wanted to do done (and dear Shamil is in his nice new pot!), and even succeeded in not engaging in certain...behaviors that it is ordinarily very, very hard for me not to engage in for any amount of time.

It's kind of funny...the knight here is all about charging into action, sword at the ready, horse at the ready, bird of prey, even, at the ready. Charging off to battle with his allies in tow, as it were. Though interesting that in this deck, he isn't wear any heavy armor to speak of, just robes. I wrote about this knight a few days ago, thinking about him and the destructive potential of these kinds of charge! battle! impulses in relation to larger conflicts and wars. But of course, it's not always bad to face something head on, to put up a struggle, and sometimes the struggle you really need to engage in is within yourself.

Which brings to mind the Islamic concept of jihad actually. The way that the term has such dual meaning - the more commonly known one, in this day and age, the one co-opted by radicals and repeated to inanity by pundits - and the other. Yes, jihad can be a struggle with the other, with the invader, with the oppressor, but it can also be a struggle with YOURSELF. To master your own impulses, base desires, flaws. Of course, if your are religious, the point of all that is to better submit to god.

And if, like me, you do not have a bone of religiosity in your body? Well then there is striving to meet your own expectations, to fulfill your own dreams and ambitions and criteria for being a good person. Sevens, of course, can be related to the Chariot, arcana 7, victory in a particular battle - victory that came from control and discipline, from bringing together various potentially opposing drives within or without yourself and making them work for YOU. And of course, the victory in the seven is singular, one battle in many; you cannot get complacent just because you succeeded once.

I like the palms here, the fact that within that struggle you can find a bit of peace and beauty. One thing I really, really loved about Egypt was the flora there. How, right next to the desert you could have such beautiful flowers and trees... you can find peace in struggle, especially if what you are struggling against is within yourself, and is a destructive force in your life.

Another blog I read uses the term 'jerkbrain' a lot and it's an idea I find very true: that stupid voice inside of your head that tells you that you aren't good enough, that what you have done is actually not impressive at all, always bringing up the negative, the negative; it would like to drown you in the NEGATIVE side of things...

The proper thing to do, of course, is to sic your crow or raven or falcon or whatever your bird friend is on it ;] (For me, a raven, another tattoo I want to get as soon as I can afford.) Go out into the world and take on your own mind, and sometimes, just sometimes, you can actually WIN over it. That's always something, right?

And if you see some palm trees or flowers in the middle of all that, take a moment to enjoy them; that's a kind of victory too.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tarot Math: a day for virtuous swiftness

So, with my Marrakech still in the midst of my edge-gilting experiments, another day for the Thoth.
Decided that I'd like to try out one of the tarot math spreads from Tarot Dame's blog - I do like doing interesting/unusual excercises with the cards, so I think I'll be working my way through those slowly. For today, the simple addition spread:

 8 of Wands + 3 of Wands = Ace of Wands

So essentially: virtous, motivated, positive thinking combined with swift, energetic action will lead to the success of new ventures.

Actually, this makes a lot of sense to me, and was actually quite motivational to see this morning when, soon after waking up, I drew these cards. Swiftness - extending energy outwards in all directions, a prism of light; connecting what I want to reality and making it happen, getting my mind on board and just...get myself moving! And the virtue card...with an orange background, like the dawn, watching the sun break through the darkness of night and a new day, new possibility, new ideas and plans to get done (I did not in fact wake up early enough to see the dawn today, though, ha). Potential here, ambition and plans to realize. And of course, the right attitude is everything: if you tell yourself you can't do it, of course you won't be able to and all that.

Bring those things together, and yes, the Ace, success, accomplishment, new things started: that idealized dream of productivity that I am so enamoured with. Today is the day to actually get things DONE.

Motivational this is, yes. There is, as usual, quite a few things for me to do. I've been having a really hard time getting through more than just the bare minimum lately, largely due to mood and mental things and whatnot. That's not changed, really but...this reading helps remind me of something from my self help book: sometimes it isn't about waiting around until you 'feel better'. Sometimes it is about doing things anyway, because the very fact that you've gotten them done can help, at least somewhat. And if it doesn't? At least you got stuff out of the way.

So yes, there are some more minor errands I'd really like to actually do...my long-suffering money tree Shamil really needs re-potting and I need to go to the hardware store to get soil for that; grocery shopping, try to get food I could actually eat; bills to pay, emails to respond to, schoolwork to work on, etc. Also though, there are some longer term things, school related, personal related, etc., that I have been having trouble getting motivated even just to get started on. There are some concrete steps I could take, small ones, but you have to start somewhere right? Today is the day to try to do that, methinks.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

peace and change

So I'm realizing that the Deviant Moon is a deck that is...like a nice liqueur. In small doses, lovely, but you probably wouldn't want to spent all night drinking it. So I decided enough of that for now, and in addition to sticking with the Marrakech a bit longer, also going to be working more with my Thoth. I have (or have coming in the mail, or have my eye on for when they are released) a number of decks that are thoth-influenced to some degree, so it behooves me to get more familiar with this deck, methinks. It's only in the last year that I've gotten familiar and comfortable enough with tarot to release my pretty tight allegiance to the RWS influence...

A day for twos, today, it would seem. I see the message here clearly, though: sometimes, you really do need change to have any kind of real chance at a peace.

In a way, that sentiment almost seems oxymoronic - after all, isn't peace about stability, about quiet, calm sameness, a certain lack of chaos as it were? Perhaps, but that only works if your baseline, the starting point, is somewhere GOOD. It's all too easy to fall into the trap of sticking to the 'devil you know', of staying in the same miserable situation, of putting SO MUCH ENERGY into walking on eggshells because you don't want to upset things. That isn't peace though, really, not real peace.

Change is constant, everywhere, necessary. I had oroboros tattooed onto my wrist recently to try to remind myself of that. All things that begin must have an end, and all ends bring about a new beginning, and it goes on like that, infinity as this card shows, whether you wear a crown or are the simplest of people: things change, people change, situations change. Sometimes this happens, and sometimes you need to make this happen. Of course, that can be hard. A violet background, deep, to represent trust, and that is the crux: change is easier if you have trust: trust that things will turn out well, that a better situation is a possibility; trust in the people or institutions you may need to rely on during the change; trust in your own ability to change. Trust that everything has its complement and that you can achieve the synchronicity you need in your life right now.

You change to try to grasp peace - not contentment, not fulfillment, not joy - simply peace. A place to place down those heavy swords. The pale blue flower head that will let you rest wrapped in her soft petals for a bit. The delicate geometry of this card makes me think of origami - you need a bit of peace to create those, and of course they aren't really permanent, paper-things that they are, liable to crush or soak through or burn at the slightest trouble...but they are nice, and they can make you happy for a time. A time to rest, collect yourself.

I could use more peace in my life right now, especially mentally. Even if the peace is a delicate, temporal thing, flighty. But even that kind of peace doesn't just come, appear. Changes, small changes, in thinking, in action, in what you choose to do or not do, are necessary.

There comes a time to let go of all that you would hang onto simply because you dread what might come to take its place. After all, change is constant: even if it is more negative, that too will change in time. Peace, paper windmills whirling in a cool breeze and heavy swords laid down in grass so tired arms may rest.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What do I love?

Not this holiday, to be sure, but here is not the place to rant about tacky heart decorations and cheap processed chocolate aggressively marketed in stores. No, in an attempt at making something out of the spirit of things, a simple card draw for a simple question: what do I love?

I admit that a pair of queens was not exactly what I was expecting to draw, and not this pair especially. But I suppose, if I think about it...

The queen of cups is the queen of dreams, of imagination, emotion, intuition. These aren't all necessarily things I would conciously identify with; there's too much the swords queen in my personality for that. And yet... I do have those strange, vivid dreams that are more like adventures or games or movies, where I crawl into strange worlds through ovens and search for gleams of lights, meet people I haven't seen for years and haven't even realized I'd missed.

I daydream. A bit less so than as a kid, but still. There are more characters than I could name floating around my head. I dip in and out of their worlds, their lives...story ideas, scenes. I switch between them so naturally, so constantly. On the train, as I walk, as I fall asleep.

And these tarot cards, these tarot cards which I collect, trade, buy, sell, waste hours looking through scans online of, have a stack of books about, and study and read and shuffle and draw. So serious, graduate student, learning about cyber attacks and ethnic conflicts and islamic history and serious things, serious, as I shuffle a deck of cards and how can I not when this thing fulfills me the way it does?

I love water, and I used to love swimming though I was never great at it; there are reasons now that doing so would be more of a pain than its reall worth. I love night time, especially in a city, running around under the moon. I like reading poems that have a very emotional, gut-wrenching effect. So yes, I suppose there are quite a few things that this queen represents that I love...

And what about the other queen then, the wands?

She has many arms for many tasks. Honestly, do you know how many times I genuinly wished this was possible? It would make life SO much easier to have an extra pair. Multi-tasker, busy busy queen. Spear ready to take on anything. It does make me happy to get things done, to accomplish difficult tasks and projects. Sometimes I do like to challenge myself, make things harder than they really have to be - a certain streak of stubborness or perfectionism, depending on this sitution. A few weeks ago I got it into my head to drag three large bags that altogether probably weighed more than I did several blocks home after failing to find a cab - I was terribly tired and physically in pain by the time I got there, but I was laughing because I did it, I did. That kind of thing...

I guess in a way I am in love, even, with the idea of accomplishment. With the idea that personal worth is somehow reliant on what you can DO, how well you can put your skills and talents and knowledge to use, how productive you are. It's why I get so frustrated with myself when I feel I haven't been productive enough, and why the thought that 'you will never accomplish that which you dream of doing and which you have the POTENTIAL to do' is so discouraging to me. To live a quiet, simple, happy life, a day to day life, calm and stable...it doesn't appeal to me, really. I want to DO something.

I guess that is a synchronicity of cups and wands - in love with the idealized dream of doing something tangible, productive, good.

Monday, February 13, 2012

reflecting on conflict

Got some new ink pads and have been playing at gilting some of my deck edges. Was doing a bit with Light and Shadow and decided to draw a card while I was at it. Despite the size of it (I like my decks SMALL, not huge; this is a major reason why I've developed such a penchant for deck trimming...) it really is a charming deck...

The Prince of Swords. He rides an eagle, sword at the ready, off to battle at any moment, excited. The eagle too, holds butterflies in its beak. The prince of swords, with his impetuous energy, his recklessness, his violent tendencies. And how many princes like this, or knights, or warlords, or whatever you want to call them, are there, have there been, will there be?

I'm sitting here, hours past midnight, drinking coffee and forcing myself to finish reading about the 19th century Mahdist rebellion in the Sudan. Dates and figures and reasons. This man studied here and here with this and that religious figure, took up this and that position, gathered followers and fighters with these words. And they fought here and here for these reasons. They used this and that as propaganda. And they fought against these men under the command of this man and when that didn't go so well this man was put in charge. There was a battle here and so many people died. Fields were destroyed here to deprive the rebels of sustenance. They moved here. There was another battle. This reasoning was used to continue the struggle. And so on, and so forth.

What the reading doesn't mention, what the HISTORICAL readings rarely do, is the human cost: how many people were displaced? How many villages destroyed? How many civilians died in the chaos? How many starved? Where were their bodies buried? How long did their children mourn? And would the god for which they ostensibly fought have approved of this? Yes, well why? Oh, that reasoning, that doctrine. And how many of the men following the leader into battle BELIEVED in that and how many, like this prince, just wanted the chance to pick up a sword, to show themselves capable at the "Art of War"?

Always the reasoning, the CAUSE: for these men religion and for these men nationalism and for these men colonialism and economic exploitation and political domination and always the youths to follow and always the same grim results and on and on it goes. History books are filled and we read them with interest or horror or indifference and if there was something particularly shocking maybe we gasp and say never again and then watch it happen again somewhere far away where men's skins are colored different than our own and pretend it isn't happening and so it goes. Reminds me of a poem I wrote a while ago...

The glory
of ancient Greece,
Persia and Rome was once
Perhaps their odes,
their many tomes
of words can account
for their renown.
But perhaps it was swords,
chariots, shields and ships
that pushed their wonders
down the throats
of men around the world.
Perhaps the only
sounds that glory needs
are grunts and shrieks,
the swoosh and clang
of blades hitting blades,
cutting skin;
Perhaps men, seeking
always to bask in its awe
will crave war
for all of eternity.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Finding Balance Spread

So, to continue on with my year-word theme of equilibrium, I decided to do this simple little spread. The point of a scale is to weight things, to make sure they are in balance - hence its use to represent idealized justice. So in this spread, I ask:

What influences weigh too heavily in my life right now? 
What influences weigh too lightly?

Again, in the actual spread both came up as reversals, so keeping that in mind in terms of my interpretation but posting regularly because, well.

Lovers of this deck shows up again here, this time to reflect on what's too much of an influence in my life...reversal here makes a lot of sense. See, indecisiveness is ME. Oh gosh, is it me. My Cancerian nature I suppose, has a lot to do with it. But there's a difference, between 'I cannot decide which bottle of ketchup to buy at the store' and 'I cannot decide if I want to try to do something amazing or if I even want to be alive' and the latter, the latter is the crux of many of my life issues, right now. I just so terribly cannot decide which direction to go in. I cannot figure out what I want, how much I really love the things I love. The veiled girl and the traditional girl and I, like the man, stand between my choices but I cannot choose, I go back and forth, probably doing injustice to both because I CANNOT CHOOSE WHAT TO COMMIT TO. Even KNOWING that one of the options is just terrible, in the case of one particular issue...I still cannot choose to let it go, and the indecision gnaws away at me. What do I love? What do I really want? The question looms largely. Too largely, it seems.

As for what weighs too lightly? Well here we have the knight of fire, the wands suit of this deck. Like you might expect, this knight is rearing and ready to go. As is his horse. His sword is out, he is suited up, he is ready to take action, to take on difficult things, to take on the world. He is confident in himself, his abilities, and he has energy and motivation and drive and he actually DOES THINGS, not just THINKS about doing them. This knight has ambitions and goals to keep him focused. That, I think, is what I need more of, according to this card. Something to keep me driven, and some self-confidence, more willingness to take pro-active action, to go out there and get things done even when doing them is hard. Maybe I need to find some assistance, my proverbial sword and horse to help me take on the world and get things done. Energy, though, especially, and forward momentum.

Friday, February 10, 2012

and there are those times...

For the days when that "defiance" just doesn't happen. The days when, willfully or not, you self-indulgently retreat. Back turned to the world, eyes shut, body curled into itself: that isn't happening, nothing is happening, the world is going on, chugging away as always with busy busy and time ticking and hours passing but all of that has nothing to do with you - this dark corner, this little bit of space your only reality for a while.

For the days spent ignoring phone calls and leaving emails unanswered, the do-to-list forever expanding. For the days where not a single verbalized word passes your lips. For the days when leaving your little nook, even for the smallest thing, just seems far too overwhelming.

There's a skull-fish near you - a snack perhaps but no, a snack is never just a snack, always poisoned, always a danger. The little skull-fish, things lost, things intangible, the comfort that isn't really a comfort at all.

And there is you, self-aware despite everything. Eyes never completely covered because even when you are curled into your shadow you cannot help but LOOK, SEE, OBSERVE, ANALYZE AND ANNOTATE AND PONDER. And perhaps, even when you turn your back to the world, a part of you still craves for connection - not your little fish friend but real people. Peering out between darkened claw fingers: is there anyone nearby maybe? Can you trust them? Is it worth it? Could they hear you if you tried?

Behind you the factory goes on, smoke billowing out of stacks, work calling. Voices rumbling. Texts and calls and emails that must be answered eventually and of course your own bones will grow creaky, limbs numb from too long curled in that one position. You will have to do more than this eventually, soon.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Desire/ Defy/ Escape Spread

I saw this spread somewhere online a while ago...might have been Tarot Dame's blog...anyway, I liked it, so saved and decided to give it a go.

All three cards came up Reversed in the reading. That being that, reading them as reversed but posting here right side up for ease of viewing purposes...

Reversed Devil? Why yes, quite very appropriate here indeed. Terribly appropriate, actually.

I can't/don't want to get into why, here. Let us just say that it is a very much a 'Devil' type problem, one that I've had for a very long time, that just gets worse and worse and sucks in more and more of me and yet I never really do want to stop, do something about it; at least, not enough to make it happen. Things have been particularly bad in that front lately and as I commented on marina's blog a couple days ago...the metaphor of the tower that needs to be knocked down, but that you don't quite have it in you to do the demolition...has been on my mind.

Other things along the same lines ongoing issues too. A couple of people I don't really want in my life anymore and don't really know how to put an end to those relationships definitevly. Problems with roommate making me feel trapped and uncomfortable at home and trying my best to make that better and yet it...isn't, so far at least.

I just feel very trapped and very sick of so many things. Keep wishing I could just...run away. Be free. Unchain myself and not be here, like this, me...

Also quite appropriate to my situation right now. See, whenever I am having a particularly bad time...I really just want to withdraw. Isolate myself from everything. I guess it's the Cancer in me - shell, yes, crawl into shell.

I can't, though, not really. I have classes I need to go to, and once I'm there I have to talk and participate because well, grades are affected by participation and so is learning more generally and for the amount of money these classes cost...I better be making the most I can out of it. And I have work, and all the small talk that goes with that.

And really, even in personal life...I am trying, still, somewhat. The once or twice phone call or parents, occasionally actually calling back a friend, and online especially, posting and commenting...trying not to be so hermit-like. I could really be doing more in this direction though, and I know it. Have been letting myself slip back into that isolate isolate mode, which isn't great for many on any level, and I think that this card is trying to point that out.

Reach out. Try harder to connect. You don't have to handle everything alone all the time. Really.

Ha. Like I said...kind of have been overwhelmed with the desire to escape from...everything. Anything. The world as I know it, as I have constructed it around myself. The way that everything can narrow in around you to a small handful of issues that you can barely see beyond and those increasingly just become...so tiresome, too much.

Also, I suppose, reversed World is apt in that...this pervasive feeling that no matter how hard I try, or what I do, I'll never really achieve much, accomplish anything, go anywhere, do anything. That there will never really be the kind of self-fulfillment that I am looking for. No nice happy ending. That everything is essentially pointless. I think this is really, on a deeper level, why I lack the motivation to really do what I need to do to free myself of all those devil things...

By the same token, I think this card is saying that this kind of thinking is exactly what I need to 'escape'. If failure is inevitable and everything has no meaning then why bother freeing myself of those chains or engaging with people/world around me, right? But of course, you can never achieve if all you think about is negativity, the world upside-down...self-fulfilling prophecies and all that.

Want to escape from the tangible world around me. Need to escape from the faulty constructs of world i create for myself in my head.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

My Favorite Majors: The Lovers

Well, this is a major I like well enough, kind of because of what it means: oh sure, there are lovers on the card, and sure it can mean that, but it can also mean (and in my reading more often does mean) something relating to choice, to decision. Choices and decisions, as anyone who knows me well can attest, are soooo not my forte, ha.

That said, in terms of this major, I couldn't help but choose my favorites based pretty much solely on the 'oh, pretty!' factor...

VI. Lovers

What can I say? The Aquarian has a very pretty lovers card. I LOVE the art nouveau influences here. I love the little nuances of color: the shading of their hair at the ends, for example. The color palette is very nice, and in line with the rest of the deck. I love the effect of the stark white background as contrast. It really makes the rest of the image pop. The figures definitely have a kind of 70's look to them. Not super symbolism heavy, obviously, but very easy on the eyes. :]

Runner Up:
Like the Aquarian, this one, from the Crystal/Vetro tarot, is also just....aesthetically very very nice. As is that deck as a whole - an "art deck" to be sure, but oh what art it is! The palette of this card is quite different, which makes for interesting contrast places side by side with the Aquarian lovers like this. Lots of green here, which in my mind makes lots of sense with the theme of this card - it's spring, things are growing, sprouting up, and these lovers are choosing to be together. I really like the composition of this card - the lovers off to the side a bit, so you can see the background, the tree behind them, that lovely sun back there in the sky...love the color contrast of their clothes too. Again, image-wise....its just so PRETTY, ha.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

jumping on the tarot and quotes bandwagon

"Any real change implies the breakup of the world as one has always known it, the loss of all that gave one an identity, the end of safety."
- James Baldwin

“Desperation is the raw material of drastic change. Only those who can leave behind everything they have ever believed in can hope to escape. ”
- William S. Burroughs

“Change happens when the pain of holding on becomes greater than the fear of letting go.”
- Spencer Johnson