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Monday, December 31, 2007

Daily Draw: Victorian Flower Oracle ~ Lilac

A message. Things you don't want to hear when the phone rings; are you sitting down, is there someone there with you, do you want the good news or the bad news first. You know the first two are going to hurt the heart, the third will impact the pocketbook.

I'm reminded by this card that bad news often comes by phone, but good news usually comes in person. And that of the two bad news usually travels a lot faster.

"If the sight of blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive" ~ Eleonora Duse 1858-1924

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Daily Draw: Victorian Flower Oracle ~ Hawthorn

A pair of garden shears menace a mother and two children. The card is titled A necessary evil. We certainly filled our modern world up with those. Look to the right I see my cell phone, with me 24 hours a day. I'm on call 24 hours a day but still...It is a silken chain. In front of me, my computer. I have loved my computer since the first day I sat down to one 11 years ago but still...my house isn't as clean as I once kept it, I don't quilt as much as I used to, time drifts away...Is that a good thing? Probably not.

When I think of the damage and evil people get up to with computers I wish they'd never been invented. But in truth, those people would and have always gotten up to evil, the computer is just another tool to work with. We are surrounded daily by necessary evils, how we accept them into our lives is what is important.

"Once we assuage our conscience by calling something a necessary evil, it begins to look more and more necessary and less and less evil." ~ Sydney J. Harris 1917-1986

The deck this week is from Magic Realist Press, The Victorian Flower Oracle, 2006. 40 beautiful cards featuring art from 1840's engravings by French artist JJ Grandville.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Daily Draw: Secret Forest Tarot ~ King of Cups

My dear departed grandmother would say this King is dressed foppishly. Yet this King projects a great feeling of confidence, even though he is dressed in his Sunday Best, standing in a cataract of rushing splashing water. Confidence is an incredible ally for getting along and up in the world. Picture Danny DeVito. If he didn't have that swaggering truckload of confidence he would be working on an assembly line somewhere.

I'm reminded by this King of Cups that personality traits can be cultured, groomed, and trained, both good and bad. This time of year is a good time to think about what I've been cultivating. Weeds or blooms?

"Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie
Which we ascribe to heaven." ~ William Shakespeare 1554-1616

Friday, December 28, 2007


Daily Draw: Secret Forest Tarot ~ Ace of Cups

It took me 40-some years to figure out that happy and joy were two different things. Happy is surface and can end instantly with a sharp word or a stubbed toe. But joy is held inside and even in the most tragic of circumstances joy holds firm in your heart and mind.

I'm grateful to have found/created joy in my soul to carry over unhappy times.

"Indecision regarding the choice among pleasures temporarily robs a man of inner peace. After due reflection, he attains joy by turning away from the lower pleasures and seeking the higher ones." ~ I Ching

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Daily Draw: Secret Forest Tarot ~ 10 of Wands

Interesting concept; this fellow has taken so long to haul his wands to the finish they have sprouted and become something else entirely. I've had that experience. Took so long to finish a quilt that I didn't have the fabrics needed to finalize it as planned so had to substitute, changing the original design completely. Or the finished job is so beautiful it surprises you. We bought a huge upright freezer from a friend for $75.00 in 1971. It is still running perfectly. Being an older model it is not frost free, so twice a year I let it empty down and then defrost it. The finished project looks so nice, for a few days every time I go by I open the freezer to admire.

I'm reminded by this card that sometimes it isn't so much what the job is, but knowing we've dispatched our duty to it. If it isn't impacting anyone one else there is nothing wrong with taking it slow and easy to the end.

"You're slower than a herd of turtles stampeding through peanut butter." ~ Dilbert

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Daily Draw: Secret Forest Tarot ~ Ace of Swords

Sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference between a butterfly and a moth. Conventional wisdom says moths have clubbed antenna, butterflies don't...but it isn't a hard and fast rule. I've never seen a butterfly in the house and I couldn't count how many moths have made a nuisance of themselves with my bedside light. Seems like 1000's, but then I'm afraid of moths aren't I? The point is, we can't always tell the difference between good news and bad news and what news is both kinds of news.

I'm reminded by this card of some of the really bad news we've had over the years. Job loss, parent death, chronic illness, weather related disasters. At the time that news was all bad, black and terrible. But from the distance time provides us I can see that from the bad has come some long term good news in being better stewards of our lives.

"Bad news goes about in clogs, Good news in stockinged feet." ~ Welsh Proverb

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Daily Draw: Secret Forest Tarot ~ Knight of Pentacles

Confident and resourceful, this Knight is off for an adventure or a mission on his many-legged beastie. People fall into two types...those who do and those who don't. It's easy to know the difference.

I'm reminded by this card that neither is better than the other, but I'm a do.

"You can't cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water." ~ Rabindranath Tagore 1861-1941

Monday, December 24, 2007

Broken Ties

Daily Draw: Secret Forest Tarot ~ 5 of Cups

The decision to break off with someone is seldom an easy one. If we cared enough about them to form ties, then breaking off those ties causes pain. I've broke ties with a few long time friends, and my mother for my own sanity. And there are a few friends where there wasn't a breaking off so much as the ties rotted away from lack of use.

I'm reminded today of the pleasure of having two old and very dear friends come back into my life last week, a day apart. I'm going to make the effort to not let drifting apart happen again.

"A chord, stronger or weaker, is snapped asunder in every parting, and Time's busy fingers are not practiced in re-splicing broken ties. Meet again you may; will it be in the same way? With the same sympathies? With the same sentiments? Will the souls, hurrying on in diverse paths, unite once more, as if the interval had been a dream? Rarely, rarely." ~ Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton 1803-1873

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Daily Draw: Tarot of the Secret Forest ~ 4 Cups

Home maintenance. We've been in this money pit for 19 years now. Mostly we like it but it was sold to us with a lot of undisclosed flaws, one of them we're still trying to fix all of those years later. When we purchased it real estate law here was still buyer beware sucker. So we've rolled along over the years dumping money into it. But if we hadn't we'd have what we see here, a ruined shell. Ruins were picturesque, haunting, and achingly beautiful when we visited ones like this in Wales and England, but live in one? Umm...No Thanks.

I'm reminded by this card and deck that in most things in life, not all is as it seems. There are always hidden layers that only time will reveal and 20/20 hindsight isn't worth squat much of the time.

“May you have the hindsight to know where you've been, The foresight to know where you are going, And the insight to know when you have gone too far." ~ Irish Blessing



The deck chosen to take me into 2008 is Tarot of the Secret Forest, Lo Scarabeo 2005. Unique in that the cards are double sided, giving similar but not exact positive and negative images. Art by Lucia Mattioli and Pietro Alligo.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Daily Draw: Golden Estensi Tarot ~ 10 of Coins

Looking at this card in its literal sense you could say, don't be bull headed, the key to long life and good fortune is to relax. And although I'm sure there is much deeper symbology in this card I like the literal interpretation. When I was in my 20's I was embarrassed to have my folks come down and stay with us. They had a lovely home and we had a tiny rented apartment sparsely furnished with borrowed furniture and groceries were pretty thin pickings. I mentioned that to a neighbor and she said, "but they have had 35 years to put a complete home together, you haven't even had 35 weeks yet". Duh. It was common sense but I couldn't see it because I was only looking at the immediate, not the long term.

I'm reminded, once again by this card, that I have everything I need and I am very thankful.

"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." Anais Nina 1903-1977

Friday, December 21, 2007

Daily Draw: Golden Estensi Tarot ~ 8 of Coins

Awaiting the consequences of actions...which sometimes is harvesting the ruins. I've been thinking about this all week as we have a family funeral today. Several huge consequences of actions will be in glaring attendance or absence today. Anyway I look at it, in addition to real grief, there will be old sorrows made raw again also.

I'm reminded by this card if I am in the wrong, to make it right; to not waste time in stubbornness and grudge holding. That is a very bitter harvest and I don't want any part of it. If anything good comes from today it will be for the youth to perhaps learn from observation just how petty and hurtful grownups can be.

"The fates are just, they give us but our own;
Nemesis ripens what our hands have sown." ~ John Greenleaf Whittier 1807-1892

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Daily Draw: Golden Estensi Tarot ~ Tower

Eeeu...I hope this isn't going to be 'one of those days', I have enough on my plate this week thank you. But it is funny how you'll have a short period of time where you break dishes, stub your toe, car breaks down, loose your checkbook, just life excrement that normally doesn't happen.

I'm reminded by this card that if it is going to be 'one of those days' it will pass, and I'll live. Forewarned is forearmed.

"I got the blues thinking of the future, so I left off and made some marmalade. It's amazing how it cheers one up to shred oranges and scrub the floor." ~ D.H. Lawrence 1885-1930

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Daily Draw: Golden Estensi Tarot ~ 6 of Wands

Our figure may appear triumphant but there seems to be a bit of 'have my cake and eat it too'. For some reason I've always thought that had a bad connotation. Perhaps as a kid I confused it with Marie Antoinette's 'let them eat cake'. But we really can have our cake and eat it too as long as we are willing to accept it. Because many won't, they act like they don't deserve good fortune. Life doesn't work like that, good fortune smiles on everyone eventually, the good, the bad, and the indifferent.

I'm reminded by this card that prayers answered and good fortune that comes to me does not impoverish someone else. Accept it with grace and thankfulness. And leaving 4 beans and a bread crust on my plate will not make the slightest difference to a starving child in where ever our mothers threated us with.

All that said, my info-junkie mind wonders so I sought out the original phrase and find we have it reversed...then it makes the meaning I originally had for it make more sense.

"wolde you bothe eate your cake, and have your cake?" John Haywood 1497-1580

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Daily Draw: Golden Estensi Tarot ~ 5 of Chalices

She is waiting for the son. I've been puzzling for days as to why a funeral has been put off until Friday. She was very old, there won't be a lot of people coming, why wait a full week? I see this card and I wonder if the delay is so the son can come from Florida. They have been estranged for at least 12 years. If he does come I'll add a note, and chalk one up for the cards.
I'm reminded by this card like and love when it comes to family are certainly two different things. I love family members I don't like very well. Is everyone this way? I've made a life commitment to a difficult family member and when I made it I made a vow I will not let the sun go down on anger...because there will be fights...but I will not allow a fight to become an estrangement and the best way to stop that is stop the fight. So far it is working, we used to fight every time we were together, we haven't had a fight since spring. Perhaps my mental commitment to myself should have been made years ago.

"When once estrangement has arisen between those who truly love each other, everything seems to widen the breach." ~ Mary Elizabeth Braddon 1837-1915

Monday, December 17, 2007

Daily Draw: Golden Estensi Tarot ~ 8 of Chalices

A fresh start, a new idea? The new year is fast approaching, the time when many make laudable and firm resolutions. Another place where I'm a square peg. I've slept right through the last 30 or so New Year Eves and I don't make resolutions. What I do do is start something fresh, a new hobby or skill to learn. That is how I came to tarot and what a interesting and fun choice that has been. I must become pregnant with a new idea for 2008!

I may be childless (thank you Lord) but I've birthed a multitude of ideas, plans and dreams. It is good to be alive.

"It is said that the present is pregnant with the future." ~ Voltaire 1694-1778

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Daily Draw: Golden Estensi Tarot ~ 4 of Swords

Sit down and twiddle your thumbs, you aren't going anywhere. This fellow doesn't have a quiver or bow, nor a rope long enough to do anything with, he simply isn't ready yet for what is coming. The fact that he is beginning to gather tools is promising though. It shouldn't be long now.

I'm reminded by a death in the family yesterday that being ready and being prepared really are different things...

"If you're not ready for everything, you're not ready for anything." ~ Paul Auster 1947-

The deck this week is from Lo Scarabeo, Golden Tarot of Renaissance Estensi Tarot, 2004, another reproduction deck based on the 17 remaining cards of the circa 1470 deck which is preserved in the Bibliotheque Nationale of Paris. What appears to be black in the scans is gold, mimicing the original gold leaf and punch stamping on the originals.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Daily Draw: Visconti Tarot ~ 5 of Wands

Competition. I was born without a competition bone. My friends won't play games with me because I don't care who wins or deliberately let them win which is worse apparently. Sports? Fagidaboutit, who cares? I just can't think where competition would make me a better person. I set the bar quite high for myself but the measure is never against anyone else, only what I know I can do and exceed with effort. So I'll leave the joy of competition to others, with befuddlement, I just don't get it.

I'm reminded by this card that our differences are what make us interesting.

"When we are in competition with ourselves, and match our todays against our yesterdays, we derive encouragement from past misfortunes and blemishes. Moreover, the competition with ourselves leaves unimpaired our benevolence toward our fellow men." ~ Eric Hoffer 1898-1983

Friday, December 14, 2007

Daily Draw: Visconti Tarot ~ Queen of Cups

Humm...why does this queen have apple green gloves on? My Dictionary of Symbols says gloves are an emblem of investiture, and in a group, whomever is the last one with gloves on is the Alpha leader. The way she is holding her cup, which looks more like an urn for ashes to me, her posture, and the direction she is looking, it seems likely she is preforming a function of State. A queen with many duties and responsibilities and probably little time for herself yet eternally gracious and courteous to all.

I'm reminded by this Queen grace under fire is a quality much to be admired, taming my hair trigger temper would be a good thing to work on.

"That milkmaid's lot is better than mine, and her life merrier." ~ Queen Elizabeth I 1533-1603

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Daily Draw: Visconti Tarot ~ Queen of Swords

Ah, the It Girl, Wonder woman, the woman who can do it all and make it look easy. Don't ask me how they do it; I don't have a clue. You can look around at any crowd of women and see a few who seem to have it all together.

I'm reminded by yesterday's Wheel to save my envy of the Queen of Swords, wishing for what someone else has, or to be like them is inviting disappointment. I'll simply admire the It Girls and continue on my path.

"We always admire the other person more after we've tried to do his job." ~ William Feather 1889-1981

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Daily Draw: Visconti Tarot ~ Wheel

Luck, fate, destiny, God's will, individual will...what turns the Wheel of life? I don't believe in fate, else why get up in the morning and make the effort of another day? If our lives are preset, what is the point of life? But we do move through the Wheel, all of us. We might think we know someone who leads a charmed life but most assuredly from the inside looking out, they have their turns on the Wheel too.

I'm reminded by this card that the Wheel is one of our greatest blessings; without the downs we wouldn't know what up was, without the ups few would bother trying to better themselves.

"The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills." ~ Robert Jordan 1946-2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Daily Draw: Visconti Tarot ~ 8 of Wands

That which I'm seeking is drawing close. I hope so, I don't function very well in limbo, waiting doesn't suit my personality. I've always been a get your work done, then you can play person. So having a day stretch before me with no work to do is sort of eerie.

I'm reminded by this card I actually have some work to do sitting right behind me. I've been ignoring it because I still can't quite accept that I won't be needing those items anymore. Old habits die hard.

“You leave old habits behind by starting out with the thought, 'I release the need for this in my life'." ~ Wayne Dyer 1940-

Monday, December 10, 2007

Daily Draw: Visconti Tarot ~ 6 of Cups

In this season dedicated to giving I sometimes look around me and wonder if I'm the only sane one left. What in the world are people thinking, what are they trying to prove, what do they hope to accomplish?

I'm reminded by this card that giving when it is unexpected is a lot more fun and small is as good as big. Extravagance is more for the givers benefit than the giftee.

"A miser grows rich by seeming poor. An extravagant man grows poor by seeming rich." ~ William Shakespeare 1554-1616

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Daily Draw: Visconti Tarot ~ 2 of Cups

We have new neighbors. They have been new neighbors for going on 3 years now. I'm laughing while I type this because it is so me, but it isn't funny that I've not made the effort to extend the hand of friendship beyond a wave as we pass in the driveway.

I'm making a pledge with this card, this week I will change 'new neighbors' into neighbors I know. An opportunity to make a new friend shouldn't have languished for 3 years.

"Be at war with your vices; at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man." ~ Benjamin Franklin 1706-1790

The deck this week is the Visconti-Sforza Tarot from Lo Scarabeo, 2004, based on one of the earliest decks known to be in existence.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Daily Draw: R-W Tarot ~ Strength

I'm thinking of strength and my old dog Windsor this morning. He is a shelter animal of mixed parentage, weighing in at about 65 pounds. In his prime we were often amazed at how much strength a mid-sized dog like him could exhibit. He no longer leaps up and over the front steps, he prefers to use the wheel-chair ramp at the office door please. He no long tears down the steps from the 2nd floor, but sits and waits until one of us turns and faces him, and walking backward, support his chest so he doesn't go tip-over-teakettle down. He is now deaf, getting cataracts, prone to infections...yet his constant wagging tail and big smile are still there, so we know he isn't ready to leave us yet. He will still do anything for a Danish butter cookie, is frantic to get out the door and greet Rob when he sees the big blue Dodge coming up the drive. He still takes his missions seriously, there will be no Rock Doves snacking at the bird feeders, no Schwann's truck passes by without a serious barkfest. He can tell time, at 7 AM and 5 PM if I'm busy he will come and sneeze on me until I get up and fix his special meals. Only once in 16 years has he stolen human food and he has had plenty of opportunity. He treats our cats and small dog as his charge and would allow no harm to come to them.

I'm reminded by this card that Strength of Character is important and I salute Windsor for his unfailing character.

"Nothing is so strong as gentleness. Nothing is so gentle as real strength." ~ St. Frances 1567-1622

Friday, December 7, 2007

Daily Draw: R-W Tarot ~ Star

I see the Star today as needing, seeking, nourishing inspiration. I'm still looking for just the right thing to round out my multiple streams of income. I'm confident it will come to me. There is a time, season, and reason for everything; it is in hindsight that we can see the beauty of that synergy.

I'm reminded by this card that there have been few times in my life when I've had 'spare time'...to savor and enjoy it.

"Ineffective people live day after day with unused potential. They experience synergy only in small, peripheral ways in their lives. But creative experiences can be produced regularly, consistently, almost daily in people's lives. It requires enormous personal security and openness and a spirit of adventure." ~ Stephen Covey 1932-

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Daily Draw: R-W Tarot ~ Emperor

Rachel Pollack likens the Emperor to the father figure and to society's laws and strictures which have taken the place of the natural laws of nature. It isn't working very well, all you have to do is pick up a newspaper...it is full of people breaking man's laws. From children to Presidents to Emperors, everyone seems to feel above the law.

I'm reminded by this Emperor that I'm only responsible for my own actions and that I'm far from perfect. I can have opinions about other people's actions but I'm no one's judge and jury.

"Stopped they must be; on this all depends. Only a fully-trained Jedi Knight, with the Force as his ally, will conquer Vader and his Emperor." ~ Yoda - Star Wars 1980

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Daily Draw: R-W Tarot ~ The World

Many readers get all fuzzy and damp eyed when they get this card, feel it predicts a perfect outcome. Sorry, no such thing, not in this world anyway. We can come close occasionally, a beautiful day spent having fun with people we care about or doing something we love but the real world always raises its head before long.

I'm reminded by this card there is a blessing somewhere in everything but nothing is perfect, and nothing lasts.

"Two vast and trunkless legs of stone stand in the desert.
Near them, on the sand, half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, tell that its sculptor well those passions read which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things; the hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings: Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing else remains. Round the decay of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare the lone and level sands stretch far away"

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Daily Draw: R-W Tarot ~ Queen of Swords

This Queen carries the 'sword of logic'. Ever gone off on a hair-brained scheme and had someone say, "let's look at this logically"? I'm making my Christmas cards this week and logic was something I didn't take into consideration. I'm a talented fiber artist; cardmaking...ummm not so talented. I'm including a photo of progress here because this is logical progress. A photo from yesterday would have shown complete confusion. I was approaching card making like a card maker and it was hopeless.

As soon as I thought logically about the problem the answer fell into place. Use Fabric...do what you know. I'll have these finished shortly, the work space will be tidied and I'll be off on another track. Either logical or hair-brained, the choice is mine. We are not naturally creatures of logic but creatures of feelings so my money is on hair-brained.

"Logic, n. The art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human misunderstanding." ~ Ambrose Bierce 1842-1914

Monday, December 3, 2007

Daily Draw: Original R-W Tarot ~ 8 of Wands

As a stand alone card it feels like being beset. Beset by troubles, beset by bees, beset by bills...something is coming, prepare as best you can, it won't be pretty.

I'm reminded by this card that we can prepare against the proverbial rainy day. Problem is, the day that arrives is seldom what we've prepared for. Sometimes all we can do is the best we can with what we have and remember this too shall pass.

"There's always a period of curious fear between the first sweet-smelling breeze and the time when the rain comes cracking down." ~ Don Delillo 1936-

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Daily Draw: Rider-Waite Tarot ~ Fool

The Fool is an apt card to kick off this week's deck. Although the original paintings have been lost, this particular 1971 publication follows those lost paintings by Pamela Colman Smith the closest. What makes the original 1910 deck special is it was the first to have scenic pip cards, an innovation that has brought about all the 'Rider-Waite' clones that have been used and shown here.

This particular version is published as the 'Original' by U.S. Games in 1971 as the backs are like the 1st printing. U.S. Games Systems also publishes the same deck with different colorings; The Radiant and the Universal, and in a number of different sizes. Although many readers today enjoy using the older style Marseilles decks with non-scenic pips, this particular Rider-Waite style spawned a huge population growth for readers by giving us so much more to work with and study, and by making tarot fun in addition to a fascinating hobby.

I'm reminded by this card that everybody and everything has to start somewhere, but usually where we start is on someone else's shoulders. There is really very little new under the sun, but what we are given can certainly be tweaked and enhanced to suit our own needs.

"An inventor is a person who looks upon the world and is not contented with things as they are. They want to improve whatever they see."~ Alexander Graham Bell 1847-1922

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Cursed

Daily Draw: Mythic Tarot ~ 10 of Swords
Here we see Athene who has ended the Three Furies family curse on Orestes. We do sometimes carry a family problem from generation to generation, each one refusing to admit there is a problem, or to seek qualified help. So we mentally go into the fetus position when it comes up.

I'm reminded by this card the ability to deal with my problems or conquer my fears, even irrational ones, must start from within. Thursday I touched a horse. I have no known reason for my fear of horses. I've lived next door to horses for 18 years. Our new property is bordered front and back by horses. So all alone I touched a horse, not knowing if it would bite my hand off at the elbow or grab my coat and haul me over the fence and stomp me to death...see...irrational fear. A small victory but one that took a great deal of courage.

"Fear is that little darkroom where negatives are developed." ~ Michael Pritchard