Sunday, August 31, 2008
The Wands or Batons of this deck are lovingly illustrated, depicting working tools and includes farming tools as the tool of an artisan.
I'm reminded by this card as we return late in the day from our own farm that without the correct tools our job would be incredibly difficult. From hoes to hammers to harness each is designed with a specific use in mind and performs beautifully as designed. I'm very grateful for those tools as we enter the season of harvest where the fruits of our labors are the reward.
"Man is a tool-using Animal.... Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all." ~ Thomas Carlyle 1795-1881
Lo Scarabeo again provides our deck of the week, a reproduction of the 1893 I Naibi di Giovanni Vacchetta or Vachetta Tarot. Re-colored by Michela Gaudenzi, published 2002. Distributed in North America by Llewellyn Publishing.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
There are people hiding under the bridge and in the trunk of the tree from this charioteer. In the 16th century of Bosch's day it was probably a good idea, the common folk had no rights and persecution was the order of the day.
I'm reminded today of how much I appreciate those who have sworn to protect and serve us. They can never be paid enough for what they must see and deal with 24 hours a day. Thank you.
Each man takes care that his neighbor shall not cheat him. But a day comes when he begins to care that he does not cheat his neighbor. He has changed his market-cart into a chariot of the sun." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803-1882
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I drew the Star on 8/27 last year too, in fact I've drawn the Star card more than any other since I've been doing my daily draw. But this is a Star like no other I've seen. Eight figures are stuffed under a clear dome on a spit of land with water in the foreground and desolate landscape behind. I'm rather at a loss for definition, the Star is usually a propitious card.
What I'm reminded of is the economy today, particularly the housing market. People are losing or forfeiting their homes and moving in with family or friends until they can get on their feet again. They are surrounded by unfriendly unapproachable landscape and must retreat.
Yet living with someone else is a tough row to hoe in our culture; we aren't used to being crowded, or respecting our elders in all things, and manners have gone out the window long ago. We've had our share of hard-timers live with us over the years and with the exception of one person, our dear Elle, they mostly turned into a pain in the a** in very short time. A dome can be a really confining situation regardless of how much we care for the friends and family stuffed in with us. If nothing else it will bring out our best and worst features in short order.
"We think poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty." ~ Mother Teresa 1910-1997
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
We do accomplish some great things and we need to acknowledge that and savor our successes occasionally. Why else do we get up in the morning?
I'm reminded by this card that our accomplishments are good milestones to guide our life by, yet if we sit and admire too long we lose the momentum we've started. Because each success we have stands on the shoulders of the last going back in a long line. In our mind's eye we need to turn to the future vista and imagine a long line of coming accomplishments. It may be as small as remembering to pick your shoes up and put them away for three days in a row, or as big as shepherding a child through to adulthood...good job!! Now lets turn and look forward toward the goal we can tackle next.
"It is time for us to stand and cheer for the doer, the achiever, the one who recognizes the challenge and does something about it." ~ Vince Lombardi 1913-1970
Monday, August 25, 2008
We've all had them, one of those days where it seems absolutely everything blows up in our face. The car won't start, a fight before breakfast with spouse, son quits school, daughter moves home Again, feet hurt, passed over for a promotion, nothing but bills in the mail, and the coffee and chocolate are gone.
I've had plenty of those days, not so many as to be a figure of tragedy but still, they are rotten days. I'm reminded by this card that a lot of those problems have a root and that root is self-evident if we look deep enough.
"If you don't think every day is a good day, just try missing one." ~ Cavett Robert 1907-1997
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Me making sense of Bosch is like running uphill backward, but I'm willing to give it the tarot twist. My first impression of this card is someone velnerable who is on the prod, wants to be sure no one sneaks up on him. But he has left the whole rear side undefended, so perhaps a better interpretation would be that those bristly clubs are an ancient loofah sponge/hair shirt sort of tool and the figure is scrubbing himself clean figuratively. The hatching egg lends itself to that idea also.
I'm reminded by this card that every single day is an opportunity for a fresh clean start. Was I a better person yesterday than the day before? I think so. Will I do the same today? I hope so, I'm certainly going to put effort into it. Mostly the key is being mindful that I want to be a better person because it is much easier to not make the effort and let lazy mean thoughtless habits prevail.
"Put your heart, mind, intellect and soul even to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success." ~ Swami Sivananda 1883-1963
The Bosch Tarot (now out of print) was published in 2000 by Lo Scarabeo, based on 16th century art and times of Hieronymus Bosch.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
This figure appears to be sneaking by the bank, but the all seeing banker spies her anyway. While I was stuck at the tire shop yesterday I was subjected to some reality TV. Some idiot who was $2700.00 behind in his house payment was getting a tattoo while exclaiming "This tat is more than my heating bill, but I'd rather have the tattoo than pay my bill".
I'm reminded by this card, once again, that we choose between solvent and broke. We make choices each day that affect that balance; there is no sneaking by the bank, they always catch up in the end.
"The waste of money cures itself, for soon there is no more to waste." ~ M.W. Harrison
Friday, August 22, 2008
I know that post title will sound awful to the many non-farmers amongst us, but in truth chickens do run about when they've been butchered the old farmers way. It is where the phrase came from when someone is tearing around with absolutely no destination and no results for their effort.
I'm reminded by this card that I've been setting myself up for just that situation because I have a big job I've been putting off, a bit overwhelmed by the size of it. But if I continue to do that I really will be the proverbial hapless chicken. Much better that I follow my own hard learned advice: Don't look at the whole, just do it in small bites and pretty soon the dragon is gone. The 15 minute timer is my friend.
"A kitten is chiefly remarkable for rushing about like mad at nothing whatever, and generally stopping before it gets there." ~ Agnes Repplier 1858-1950
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Official studies have borne out what we can observe for ourselves, Americans work harder and longer at their jobs and take fewer vacation days of any of the industrial nations. Yet our nation is sinking in a morass of financial failures. The King of Swords news is we are fat, spoiled, and broke.
I'm reminded by this card that in the big picture it is seldom too late to turn things around. But when we've been fat and spoiled for so long it takes a real wake-up call and most of working America hasn't listened to the call yet. That big ornamental belt hasn't been pulled tight, but if we don't wake up the King of Swords news will put us right down there behind the 8-ball in our underwear.
"So what are you going to do about it? Whine, complain, continue feeling sorry for yourself? I have a better idea. Get mad! Decide once and for all that you will not sell your soul to the likes of MasterCard and Visa — not one more day, not one more purchase." ~ Mary Hunt, Debt Proof Living.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
This person has enabled herself to compete and succeed in a grim smokestack world. She's hell on wheels is a compliment paid to one who lets nothing stand in her way.
I'm reminded by this card that without personal armor, the world will run right over us, crushing our heart and spirit as it passes. We wear armor of attitude, mood, dress, and behavior. And we are treated accordingly. A occasional chink can also be a good thing.
"A man in armor is his armor's slave." ~ Robert Browning 1812-1889
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
At first glance this card looks to have all the elements of the usual 8 of Coins, a journeyman at his work, honing his skills. But on closer examination this fellow isn't pounding hammer on anvil; his right hand is pulling a cord that makes the cogs roll...that do what? The finished coins roll into or out of the fire, the red pipe is delivering molten what? It's 4 minutes to 12, why?
I'm reminded by this card that we haven't got a clue about someone's job until we've walked a mile in their shoes. We can see they are doing something in there but unless we've done the job ourself we won't get the nuances of the work, from the simple to the complex. Today I appreciate the myriad people's skills that go into making my day, none of which I usually think about. Like these men. My keyboard, the lamp before me, the carpet under my chair, the refrigerator, the stair rail, the bricks, the car...all made by craftsmen, all serving me well. Amazing. None of us are an island, we have ghosts of others around us 24 hours a day.
"You pretend to be more eccentric than you actually are because you fear you are an interchangeable cog." ~ Douglas Coupland 1961-
Monday, August 18, 2008
Being an entrepreneur myself, I like to seek out and patronize small and/or local businesses. You can usually tell which will fold, which will stumble along in quiet desperation, and which will thrive. You've probably all been in a 'sew & vac' shop; seems like every town has one and most of them look like an enlarged broom closet...what could be duller than a vacuum?
I'm reminded today of The Boys. They even have their shop sacks printed with that on it, because that's what everyone in the county call them. They started in a dark cubbyhole selling vacuums and sewing machines, but they were sharp innovative business men and they've expanded twice and recently took on a whole new building to add to their space. Their store is fun to go into, they have a great staff (for whom they provide medical and dental benefits...basically unheard of in small business) and they always know who you are. May they always be our innovative Kings of Cups.
"It's through curiosity and looking at opportunities in new ways that we've always mapped our path. There's always an opportunity to make a difference." ~ Michael Dell 1965-
Sunday, August 17, 2008
The Knight lifts his cup in salute to the sea before him and the firmament behind. Below him are the remains of those chose to stay, be safe, be small. What did it gain them? Small lives? The Knight is a changed person, yet comfortable and confident in his new skin.
I'm reminded by this card of the divergent paths people's lives lead. I grew up in a small community, 27 people in my graduation class. I don't know if any of us had a 'big' life but I know some of them have never left the county they were born in. Are they happy? I hope so. Would I have been, had I stayed? Never in a million years. And so much more to look forward to as I continue the journey...
"Let your mind start a journey through a strange new world. Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before. Let your soul take you where you long to be...Close your eyes let your spirit start to soar, and you'll live as you've never lived before." ~ Erich Fromm 1900-1980
The Deviant Moon Tarot by Patrick Valenza is the workhorse deck of the week. Published 2008 by U.S. Games Systems, this is a deck like no other. Some call it dark and frightening, to me it is sweet and melencholy. That is the joy of decks and why we have so many to choose from. Thank you Patrick, for sharing your art with us.
A few minutes after completing this post I found this from Val in my inbox, I thought it quite applied to the Knight today:
There comes a point in your life when you realize
Who never did,
Who won't anymore...
And who always will.
So, don't worry about people from your past,
there's a reason why they didn't make it to your future.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
The ancient myth that goes with Alcestis has her giving the ultimate sacrifice, her life so her husband may live. Today this would probably be called enabling, who knows. Devotion and selflessness can cover a whole range of sinless and sinful acts. I'm hot and cranky today so my mind is running to parents who indulge grown children who will never grow up. They see it as selfless heroic devotion, I see it as a waste of what could have been wonderful human beings.
I'm reminded by this card that not one of us can really know what is in another's heart. Better to devote ourselves to our own sinless and sinful acts.
"Devotion is like the candle which Michael Angelo used to take in his pasteboard cap, so as not to throw his shadow upon the work in which he was engaged." ~ Phillips Brooks 1835 - 1893
Friday, August 15, 2008
You know those Tower moments in life? When everything around you seems to be collapsing? When your life and the things you felt the deepest about took a sharp turn and left you standing there with your mouth agape?
I'm reminded by this card that we each have the internal fortitude to take it, and make it. For me it comes from my faith and my practical nature. I really do know that this too shall pass, the wheel always turns and it turns back up faster if I help push. For others it is their abiding love of family, a well formulated goal, sheer stubborness... Weathering the big storms of life sculpt who we are; they leave behind the grey hair and wrinkles and soul scars and a deeper beauty than any that can be seen on the current flavor of the day celeb. I hope for all of us it makes us better people than we were before being beset by the storm.
"Conviction brings a silent, indefinable beauty into faces made of the commonest human clay" ~ Honore de Balzac 1799-1850
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Following hard on Intuition's heels, Selene suggests time for inner reflection, listening to our small still voice inside when we are lost, tired, and confused.
I'm reminded by this card of the difference between a busy life and a full life. In a busy life we allow people and situations to crowd in until there is nothing left for us. In a full life we balance our service to family and community with mindful caring and time for ourselves. If we've had time to read 10 blogs or 100 emails this morning, but we haven't had time to walk around the yard and see today's blossoms, play with the dog, or comb our hair then our priorities are out of whack and require some serious reflection.
"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." ~ Leo Tolstoy 1828-1910
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
I drew this card hours ago and I'm still thinking about it. I've never met anyone who I felt was intuitive in the psychic sense of the word. I do know a number of people who pay attention to their subconscious nudges and go with it. They may appear to be psychic but in reality they are just functioning on all cylinders, Hemi style, rather than coasting through life using a little red wagon brain.
I was a hairdresser for many years and I'd think of a customer and hokey smokes...they'd call for an appointment. Was it intuition? Not really, it was knowing subconsciously that so and so was due for a haircut, combined with knowing in the back of my mind what their haircut cycle was. I'm reminded by this card that we are all intuitive, we just need to fully engage our brain more often.
"Intuition is the clear concept of the whole at once." ~ Johann Kaspar Lavater 1741-1801
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Life changing forces arising from the outpouring of creative possibilities. It boggles the mind, what a person can think up and then create. I was sitting at a stoplight the other day, watching enormous dumps of sheaved corn go in one side of a cannery and I could see it coming out the other in a mass of green and yellow...who invented the machine that makes just corn show up in the little silver can? What kind of brain created the machine that cans corn and bottles soda and packages and labels aspirin? My creative abilities as far as machinery goes pretty much stops with the iron age. I expect I could invent a shovel for instance. Or a spatula. Of sorts.
I'm reminded by this card that all our modern wonders are still based on the shoulders of those that went before us. Someone had a tiny idea, someone else improved upon it. It all goes to make the world a wondrous thing indeed, when you add humans creativity on top of the natures creations we behold each day. Look at your keyboard, look out the window at a tree, lets be thankful we are alive today to be wonderfied because they are both marvels to behold.
"Concerning all acts of creation there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way." ~ William Hutchinson Murray 1913-1996
Monday, August 11, 2008
Echo loved Narcissus, who only loved himself and his own reflection. Both faded to nothing because their type of love was an unhealthy addiction.
I'm reminded by this card of the crush I had for many years on one of my big brother's friends. I look back now and can see how it could certainly have been called an addiction. I turned down a lot of nice young men in my blindness, wasted a lot of good weekends, hoping and dreaming. Interesting, I never thought of it that way before. I recognize now that pining way for love of someone who will never return the feelings is an immature trait. They become creatures of perfection which no one else can measure up to and the whole non-relationship becomes a fantasy, impossible to fulfill in a healthy way. We became friends much later and that was much nicer anyway.
"Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love." ~ Jane Austen 1775 - 1817
Sunday, August 10, 2008
I chose this deck for its gorgeous art and look what came up on the first draw. I will preface this weeks posts with the confession that I know squat about Ancient Feminine Goddesses & Heroines...but that's never stopped me from jumping in feet first before. Sink or swim I always say, it's no fun safe on the bank.
I'm reminded by this card of my hair-trigger temper and how many times it has gotten me in trouble. With age I have gotten some feminine wisdom and can at least speak with sense or better yet keep my mouth shut when I'm livid but never the less, this is a side of me I'd rather never see again. The point of the card though, based on Medusa is to not let hurts and angers build inside, or you transform into a Medusa in spite of yourself, or even unknowingly. Lets not go there, it isn't a pretty sight on anyone or for anyone.
"Anger will never disappear so long as thoughts of resentment are cherished in the mind." ~ Siddhattha Gotama 563 BCE - 483 BCE
Ancient Feminine Wisdom of Goddess and Heroines, by Kay Stevenson & Brian Clark, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.2007; 78 card deck with 64 page booklet.
Friday, August 8, 2008
Remember Speedy Gonzalez, the speed of light cartoon mouse? That is sort of what I feel like this past year. I'm having fun, I like what I do, but I noticed last night I could barely drag myself upstairs and it surprised me. My body was betraying my needs.
I'm reminded by this card that all of us need rest and recreation. Down time. Recoup and gather our wits time. After awhile an hour or two here and there just won't cut it. One of the few downsides of being self employed is you seldom take a vacation. I'm taking off until Sunday. There I said it, so I must be going to do it. Areba, areba!
"Vacation is what you take when you can't take what you've been taking any longer." ~ Cowardly Lion, 1900-
Thursday, August 7, 2008
This card is traditionally titled Strength, in this deck it is Courage. Two different things if you think about it. The figure in the lower left corner is climbing a mountain of boulders. He is lightly clothed, barefoot, with bow and a quiver holding about 7 arrows. We only see a partially exposed snake and just that part is unbelievably enormous. Is that courage? You bet. Because Strength isn't enough to beat this opponent, but Courage may have a chance.
Some other areas where Courage to meet the foe and not physical Strength is the order of the day. Chemotherapy, doing the right thing about a debt load, confessing a wrong, being there for a terminal loved one, funerals, doing a job you hate and doing it well, coming out of the closet about any subject at all...we keep a lot of things to ourselves don't we. Every day presents situations that require the courage to do something. We can do it.
"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt 1884-1962
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Four mermaids hold aloft a golden plate containing another, bearing her toward an empty gilt throne. Cups are about feelings, relationships, emotional involvement to name a few. And I'm being hit over the head with them this week.
I'm reminded by this card that I took several of the tests I mentioned on Sunday and failed miserably in the social department; my circle is definitely flat on that side. I forced myself to agree to a luncheon this week. Of course I had fun, and laughter, and hugs with women I haven't seen in at least a year. So what the heck is the problem with me? I'm not shy, nor hideous, nor unfriendly, dull or busy 24/7. It takes someone bearing me off the hill to get my butt moving into a social situation. I know in my heart that there is an empty chair waiting for me with all my friends, I need to fill it more often. But it just seems so frivolous and time wasting...
"I guess I'm pretty much of a lone wolf. I don't say I don't like people at all but, to tell you the truth I only like it then if I have a chance to look deep into their hearts and their minds." ~ Bela Lugosi 1882-1956
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
One thing I really admire about some cultures is the sense of family value, respect, and lifetime closeness. Here we see grandparents, parents, and children in a companionable scene. I wonder if it just an illusion. Does the mother-in-law drive the daughter-in-law crazy? Does the father-in-law spend his days emasculating the son-in-law? Does the health of the relationships depend upon whose house they live in? Human nature being what it is I'd be surprised if everyone got along all the time, but there is much value still to be had in the communal support. I wonder if their suicide rate is lower than ours where independence is the order of the day?
I'm reminded by this card of the importance of family connections. We may not feel the need or desire to have three generations under one roof but respect, courtesy, frequent contact should be the order of the day. This card has shamed me into writing to my mother...
"If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people." ~ Thich Nhat Hanh 1926-
Monday, August 4, 2008
Today we see even bigger platters of food than on yesterday's card. Again, fresh bread, a wide selection of fruits, and beverages. I haven't traveled in the Middle and Far east where these tales originated but I've read a lot about old Egypt and bread and beer were literally the staff of life there, and today bread flour is government subsidized in order for the poor to get bread at about a penny per loaf. On a Pharaoh's big project a section of the workers village would be devoted to just ovens for making bread for the laborers, priests, and gods.
I'm reminded by this card with all the acres of items in today's well stocked grocery stores, most of us still consume just the basics. I've never eaten snails, star-fruit, unborn lamb or beef, buffalo, chai, octopus... all the gourmet labels neither spark my interest nor make my mouth water. But the smell of fresh bread baking? Believe me, I'm all over it...fresh fruit? If my fruit platter isn't full of choices I don't feel like I have any groceries in the house. So for all our myriad of differences across time and cultures, when you get down to basics we are much the same. If we started like this card, we'd find we have a lot more in common than differences I'd think. Too bad bombs and the lives of our youth come so cheap that governments can skip the getting to know each other step.
"There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread." ~ Mahatma Gandhi 1869-1948
Sunday, August 3, 2008
I don't know about other cultures but in the U.S. if someone comes to visit for more than a few minutes we automatically offer them food and drink. Considering that a huge percentage of Americans are overweight it probably isn't such a good hostessing idea any longer, but it is ingrained into our system.
On this 2 of Cups the lady in orange has a very full plate before her and on the platter to her right there are many soft breads and half a watermelon.
I'm reminded by this card that moderation and restraint are qualities to be encouraged in ourselves. Variety and open options truly are the spice of life; sometimes we just need to step back a few paces and see what our routine really looks like. A lot of guidance books and courses offer a quick test to see where our imbalances lie. There is a good one here at Calma, here is one for students, or parents, and Google brings up many more. If we are honest they will all show if our circle has a flat tire and where our plate is too full.
"We have overstretched our personal boundaries and forgotten that true happiness comes from living an authentic life fueled with a sense of purpose and balance." ~ Dr. Kathleen Hall
Saturday, August 2, 2008
I know they put their socks on one at a time just like everyone else, and rich is a relative term, but this card makes me think of the ones that have acres and acres of grounds, the whole of the estate groomed and manicured in total. Those places are really lovely to visit and represent a lifestyle so far outside my realm of understanding as to exist in outer space. I'd leap at the chance to stay someplace like that for a few days, but on the whole I much prefer our wild and woolly west here. Multiple micro-climates in very short distances, homes and towns rising up the shoulders of giant mountains or right at the oceans edge. Weeds, vines, and trees constantly competing for space in what little cultured grounds the homeowners can find time to keep up... The great storms tear down from Canada, rise off the Pacific Ocean, rush down the Columbia Gorge leaving destructions in their wake, then the sun comes out and in that instant we are once again living in the most beautiful spot on earth. Even if it isn't groomed and manicured.
I'm reminded by this 10 of Cups that life is like that too. I wouldn't be happy existing as a pampered princess with minions to do my living for me. I'm happiest when life is swirling about me, making me think on the run, making each corner I turn a new adventure, living on adrenaline and options and choices and the sheer fun of being alive. I'm not a hot house plant, a tame doe inside a high fence. If I stumble I'll get a scrape and resulting scab, but wasn't that moment of falling exciting? Live life, it is the oooonly way to fly.
"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." ~ Abraham Lincoln 1809-1865
This visually stunning deck is from Lo Scarabeo 2005, art by Leon Carre (1888-1942), graphics by Pietro Alligo. Based on the collection of Ancient Eastern stories and fables (also known as the Arabian Knights) the oldest Arabic manuscript dates from the fourteenth century, although scholarship generally dates the collection's genesis to somewhere between AD 800–900. There is no associated deck book, so if the reader is very familiar with the multi-volume tales they might know which story each card art is alluding to. I haven't read the books so I'm basing my readings on the art before me...your mileage may vary.