Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fraudulent Faker

Daily Draw: Celtic Book of the Dead ~ Island of Giant Cattle

There are several salient morals to Maelduin's visit to this island, the one speaking to me is the cost of overconfidence and bravado when outside your comfort zone or sphere of experience.

I'm reminded by this card of the "fake it until you make it" way of approach. There are plenty of people who have played impostor until their life is a sham. A little fake bravado never hurt anyone at a cocktail party, but at the cost of forfeiting parts of our life? Nothing is worth that. Knowledge is so much easier and healthier in the long run.

"Fraud and falsehood dread examination. Truth invites it." ~ Samuel Johnson 1709-1784

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Free Choice

Daily Draw: Celtic Book of the Dead ~ Green & Burning Tree

Do I believe in unicorns? Do I believe in everlasting fire and life? This card is about core beliefs vs. truths.

I'm reminded by this card we can and do have control of our own brains, and future. At any stage of our day and life we can stop and examine what we believe and are being told...and admit some of it is propaganda we've swallowed whole, without investigation, as some god's truth.

"There is nothing more remorseless, just as there is nothing more helpful, than truth." ~ William Cox Redfield 1858-1932

Monday, August 29, 2011

Marathon Through Honey

Daily Draw: Celtic Book of the Dead ~ Island of Giant Ants

The Book of the Dead tells the story of Maelduin's voyage in a simple skin-covered boat or curragh. The first island they come to is swarming with ravenous ants the size of ponies.

I'm reminded by this card when traveling in our subconscious, running is a marathon though waist deep honey. The honey never ends and we never get away. But isn't it odd how seldom, if ever, we get caught. The giant ants are our fears; until we conquer them they continue to menace us.

"Next time you have a dream of being chased, turn around and confront your pursuer. Ask them why they are chasing you." ~ Dream Dictionary

Sunday, August 28, 2011

On The Road

Daily Draw: Celtic Book of the Dead ~ Wheel

The Wheel asks us to recognize what we've learned from the past. I last used this deck August 2009 when my father-in-law was on his own travels to the otherworld. The dementia stealing his brain was in full throttle and each day he would say "can we go for a ride?" So we did. Thousands of miles, within two hours of the farm, driving random roads. That August he was speaking very little, but the passing countryside kept him far more alert than sitting in a chair in his living room. Occassionally he would recognize something and connect it to a memory, but mostly he just watched, I just drove. Him running to the otherworld, me running from it.

I'm reminded by this card, sometimes a wheel is a wheel; and can be used to our advantage in our own search.

"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start." ~ John Bingham 1948-

Celtic Book of the Dead is a oracle, 136 page soft cover book by Caitlin Matthews, deck of 42 cards illustrated by Danuta Mayer, published 2001 by Grange Books Plc, long out of print. To quote the book, "this deck is to be read by or to the person, while alive, in preparation for the journey to come"; Celtic stories to guide us to the Otherworld or immrama. Some of the cards are locations on the adventure, others are tools.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Daily Draw: Shining Tribe Tarot ~ Death

Three pages about this Death card in the companion book and I'm no closer to understanding Pollock's vision, but I do understand death.

I'm reminded by this card I lost one of my dear hens this week, held her in my arms as she went. I dug the grave, I said the words, I buried her. I've also been studying on mummys, particularly the oldest ones. the Chinchorro. The very oldest were all children including stillborn and babies. The belief is they mummified their babies to keep them as part of the family, they couldn't bear to lose them to the cold black earth. Embraced by our ego we often think of historical peoples as being unintelligent, ignorant, and worse, unfeeling. But life always understands death and the ancients knew what was important in living.

"At 2 Krasin some of the Soviet Union's finest medical and scientific minds toil, as they have for decades, on a bizarre quest: to transform dead dictators like Lenin, Ho Chi Minh, and Kim Il Sung into the most perfect mummies the world has ever seen." ~ Heather Pringle, The Mummy Congress

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fences And Boundaries

Daily Draw: Shining Tribe Tarot ~ 7 of Swords/Birds

This image and it's meaning considerably deviates from the standard Rider-Waite. Many of the cards in this deck are reflections of what Pollack has seen and heard on her world travels. In this case it is the Australian land, sorted by song in the Aboriginal tradition rather than war or maps.

I'm reminded by this card of 'close talking'...something characters on television do, often just inches from each other. It probably has to do with camera angles and close-ups, but in real life people wouldn't stand for it; two or three feet is more like it. Respecting those boundaries is something we do instinctively with every conversation we have.

"Let there be space in your togetherness." ~ Kahlil Gibran 1883-1931

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sink Or Swim

Daily Draw: Shining Tribe Tarot ~ 6 of Cups/Rivers

Yesterday's 6 said I know what to do, Today's 6 says set sail in that new direction. I look back through my Nefertiti and Shining Tribe draws, it is like following the yellow brick road from the morass to the clearing.

I'm reminded by this card this particular boat will sail, with or without me. I'm ready. Up river or down, out to sea or beached, it will be soon.

"To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don't grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float." ~ Alan Watts 1915-1973

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fortunetelling Smorchingtelling

Daily Draw: Shining Tribe Tarot ~ 6 of Coins/Stones
Pollack chooses six tools of divination for this card; clear ball, dice, shells, sticks, runes, plus the human mind. For the first five are pointless and useless without the human mind to reason out the signs and sigils life brings us every day.

I'm reminded by this card what amazing tools our minds truly are. Three dogs staring holes in my hide at 7 AM and ah-ha! Time to feed the animals. Is it divination or common sense? If I roll the chicken bones after dinner is it divination or nonsense? Divination is hard-wired into the human brain; some prefer to name it preplanning or forward thinking or intuition. By any name it seems magic, human capabilities never cease to astound me.

"The tired thirsty prospector threw himself down at the edge of the watering hole and started to drink. But then he looked around and saw skulls and bones everywhere. Uh-oh he thought...this watering hole is reserved for skeletons." ~ Jack Handey 1949-

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Daily Draw: Shining Tribe Tarot ~ Knight of Wands/Knower of Trees

This card would like us not just to choose bits of life but to accept, nay, embrace all life has to offer. I've been trying to do this for the past decade.

I'm reminded by this card to love 'because of', rather than 'in spite of'.

"Perhaps the most important thing we bring to another person is the silence in us, the sort of silence that is a place of refuge, of rest, of acceptance of someone as they are." ~ Rachel Naomi Remen MD

Monday, August 22, 2011

Birthing Ritual

Daily Draw: Shining Tribe Tarot ~ 3 of Cups/Rivers

In the companion book Pollack indicates this card represents the menstrual flow (did I mention this is a woman's deck? The first version was titled Shining Woman) and from that goes to rituals that birth, maintain, or grow other parts of our life, and in particular the spiritual side.

This card reminds me I didn't give birth and while some routines can give comfort and direction, rituals seem like trumped up time eaters and get on my last nerve. I wonder if the two are physically or mentally linked as in this card.

"A ritual does not only establish social convention, it establishes acceptance. By taking part in a ritual, the participants tell themselves and others that they are willing to go along with it." ~ Roy Rappaport/Robert J. Chassell

Sunday, August 21, 2011

See Hear Touch Speak

Daily Draw: Shining Tribe Tarot ~ King of Coins/Speaker of Stones

I'm on a roll with courts these days...probably because I have some family issues that need to be sorted out. All in good time, and time gives me the option of thinking things through. I participated in a rune reading circle this week and my reading gave me a new viewpoint and clarity. That is always a good thing.

I'm reminded by this Speaker of Stones and Rachel Pollack's words:
"See what there is to see.
Hear what there is to hear.
Touch whatever you touch.
Speak the thing you must speak."
In other words we often get things so balled up in our mind, they really don't have much to do with reality...and if we can't address the reality of the problem, there won't be a solution.

I'm using the Shining Tribe (revised edition) deck this week, art and 330 page companion book by Rachel Pollack. Published by Llewellyn Worldwide 2001. The first edition was titled Shining Woman. Although still easily found, Shining Tribe isn't listed in Llewellyn's current catalog so it is likely out of print now.

The suits are elements: Trees/Wands, Rivers/Cups, Birds/Swords, and Stones/Coins.
The courts have been changed to Vision Cards: Place, Knower, Gift, Speaker, and refer to the readers or querents journey. Place enters the suit, Knower understands the suit, Gift is able to use the suit, Speaker shares the suit.
A few of the majors have been renamed: Hierophant/Tradition, Wheel/Spiral, Judgment/Awakening, World/Shining Woman.
For my own ease of searching my blog, as always, the suits follow the titles Swords/Cups/Wands/Coins

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Daily Draw: Nefertari's Tarot ~ Strength

Strength can have to do with inner self along with outer self. Strength of convictions or beliefs being examples.

I'm reminded by this card and a lifetime of observation when someone gives up a powerful belief system, that empty spot immediately begins looking for a different belief system to fill it up. So is it a system we seek, or a belief we need, or simply a habit to fall back on in an hour of need?

"After observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it." ~ Buddha 563-483 BC

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ready Set Action

Daily Draw: Nefertari's Tarot ~ Queen of Wands

Wands is the suit of action, so we know this Queen is not a vegetable in front of a computer or TV, she is everywhere, giving directions, making decisions, putting her shoulder to the wheel, keeping the show rolling.

I'm reminded by this card if you compare lives therein lies the root difference, are they ones who do, or ones who think about doing?

"Contemplation often makes life miserable. We should act more, think less, and stop watching ourselves live." ~ Nicolas de Chamfort 1741-1794

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Higher Self

Daily Draw: Nefertari's Tarot ~ Empress

The Empress within each of us isn't stationary as the image on her card might imply. We need to channel our energy in order to reach for renewal and growth. It never just happens.

But I'm reminded by this beautiful Empress and my Egyptian studies of how many people it takes to get the Empress to her daily perfection. We don't live in a vacuum and regardless how independent we might think we are, there have been a whole slew of people who've had a hand in whom the highest self is today.

We will discover the nature of our particular genius when we stop trying to conform to a model, learn to be ourselves, and allow our natural channel to open." ~ Shakti Gawain 1948-

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Daily Draw: Nefertari's Tarot ~ Knight of Coins

This Knight stands still and contemplates. What has yet to be tackled, and what has been finished.

I'm reminded by this card we forget, in our rush about world, to stand back and take stock. Unawares, we bought a Money Pit house twenty-two years ago; when I think back to all the money we've poured into this place, and how little of it shows...but still, we like it and I guess that is what really matters when we stop to think about it.

"You've been taken to the cleaners, and you don't even know your pants are off." ~ Bill Cole, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House 1948

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Step Back

Daily Draw: Nefertari's Tarot ~ King of Cups

This King is shown as he is often accused...detached. Can advise on love and creative endeavors, has a deep understanding, but involved himself? Hardly.

I'm reminded by this card how helpful it would be if we could step back from those people and situations that seem to engulf us, good or bad. Even the people and things we love can drown us and cloud our judgment if we remain too close to the subject. A soup├žon of detachment is a good thing.

"We can learn from John Dillinger's Oriental wisdom and his preaching of a Zen-like detachment, as exemplified by his constant reminder to clerks, tellers, or others who grew excited by his presence in their banks: "Just lie down on the floor and keep calm"." ~ Robert Anton Wilson 1932-2007

Monday, August 15, 2011

Rushing About

Daily Draw: Nefertari Tarot ~ 8 of Wands

This doesn't quite have the rush feel of many 8 of Wands cards, but still, he isn't quite ready is he?

Contractor is coming this morning and I feel hurried, although the lumber and windows are stacked up and there isn't anything I can do at this point. Still, I feel hurried.

"I'm in a hurry to get things done
Oh I rush and rush until life's no fun
All I've really gotta do is live and die
But I'm in a hurry and don't know why" ~ Roger Murrah and Randy VanWarmer

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sitting On The Throne

Daily Draw: Nefertari's Tarot ~ King of Swords

Here he sits, all safe and clean and fed and pampered, and he thinks. He thinks about a way to keep the disenfranchised occupied and employed. He thinks about how to kick start a lagging economy. He thinks about ways to keep the general populace focused in one area while quietly wreaking havoc elsewhere.

I'm reminded by this card, this used to work. In fact revving up the war machine of World War II brought us out of the worst depression in modern times. Obviously this no longer applies. It takes well educated young men and women to understand and use modern war equipment. The expense of modern war equipment is not lifting the economy but spending us into a national bankruptcy. Wars can no longer be won. The good news is with modern communication our attention can no longer be deflected sleight of hand style. We know what the bastards are up to. So, the King of Swords sits, and thinks.

A deck of luxury this week, the golden Nefertari's Tarots from Lo Scarabeo. First published 1999 as Tarot of the Sphinx, Lo Scarabeo added it to their gilded specialty line in 2000; Art by Silvana Alasia. The Nefertari differs from the blue toned Sphinx deck in that Nefertari's art is mirror imaged and the background of each card is heavy gold gilt with black borders.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Daily Draw: iTongo Tarot ~ Temperance

Vision Quest with this card: Integrate your inner world with your outer world; How do you balance the opposites in your life; What needs to be healed or brought into balance?

The crocodile swallows rocks in aid of digestion. We often are fed the equivalent of pablum from birth to death, fearing and refusing to see or hear anything that deviates from the myth or oral traditions of our beliefs.

I'm reminded by this card of knowledge based on facts, whether they match the myths or not. A touchy subject with faith based folken. I'm also reminded of the many periods in history when questioning religious authority was tantamount to a death sentence. Temperance so much more reflects what human nature should be, room for all beliefs.

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." ~ John 8:32
"...and the truth shall set you free!" ~ Liar Liar 1997

Friday, August 12, 2011


Daily Draw: iTongo Tarot ~ 10 of Cups/Moritsoana

I know many real people like me and thee are contented today; if you follow celebrity news you would think otherwise. There are people, mostly women apparently, who have built their whole lives around nothing but front page publicity.

I'm reminded by this card I love my life and I wouldn't trade even minutes with those who populate the check stand magazines. A contented life requires work but the reward is greater than gold and jewels.

"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for." ~ Epicurus 341 BC-270BC

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Broken Sanctuary

Daily Draw: iTongo Tarot ~ Ace of Swords

This Ace is represented by uKhahlamba/Drakensberg National Park in the Zulu Nation.

I'm reminded by this card of the insight and wisdom of the founders of many nations in setting aside some of the most beautiful areas in the world for the public enjoyment and use.
Sadly, they are also one of the first things to be mentioned with the potential for being sold to private parties now these same nations have spent themselves broke. Explore these sanctuaries while you still can, they now hold the potential for gated communities stuffed with McMansions.

"In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia." ~ Charles A. Lindbergh 1902-1974

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wheeled Options

Daily Draw: iTongo Tarot ~ Wheel of Fortune

The Wheel's vision quest offers this today: What opportunities are being offered to you now, Are you prepared for your destiny, and create a vision board.
The iTongo's Wheel features the Rain Bull and the four seasons; no being crushed under the wheel, but rather suggests seeding our life each season to make the Wheel work for us.

Seeing each roll of the wheel as pure opportunity is a different way of viewing this card, and something to seriously ponder. The Wheel has taken a new turn for me this month and shortly I will know if I'm set free or once more completely enmeshed. That would be spring or fall on this Wheel, neither good or bad, but as exceptional as I choose to make it.

"Don't reinvent the wheel, just realign it." ~ Anthony J. D'Angelo 1972

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Path Of The Inner Emperor

Daily Draw: iTongo Tarot ~ Emperor

The Vision Quest for this stunning major is: To be independent and pioneering; Know where the authority in your life is; How are you establishing structure in your life.
This card led me to explore the Elephant Hall at Letaba Rest Camp. The ecosystems where these great creatures roam is often dependent upon elephant excrement for its continued survival. The seeds of at least one-third of the West African forests must pass through these mammal digestive tracts in order to germinate.

This card reminds me that my Emperor side didn't just come out the birth canal fully formed. Just about everything I am that can claim to be of Emperor quality had to be digested and often redigested before morphing into stability, wisdom, and power.

"Happiness for me is largely a matter of digestion." ~ Lin Yutang 1895-1976

Monday, August 8, 2011

By Blade And Cocked Brow

Daily Draw: iTongo Tarot ~ 8 of Swords/Assegai

The Swords suit tell the life story of Shaka who built the Zulu nation when he came into leadership. The eight speaks of his time in the military and the innovative hand tool he designed for close combat to supplement the power of the spears.

I'm reminded by this card of the personal tools we use to defend ourselves. Door locks, self defense classes, cell phones; and on a tighter scale our posture, tone of voice, cocked brow, clenched hands...who in our family or close circle wouldn't recognize those tools and back off?

"The wise man does not expose himself needlessly to danger, since there are few things for which he cares sufficiently; but he is willing, in great crises, to give even his life - knowing that under certain conditions it is not worth-while to live." ~ Aristotle 384 BC-322 BC

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cremate Me

Daily Draw: iTongo Tarot ~ 4 of Wands/Isibane

Freedom, an odd but not unheard of keyword for the 4 of Wands. It makes sense in the confines of this deck because it shows and speaks of Ntsikana (1760-1821), the first Xhosa to embrace and convert to Christianity in 1815. His final freedom was his wish to be buried in the ground and he had to force the issue to be accommodated in this way.

I'm reminded by this card in this country the living can and often do follow their own wishes very much against what the deceased wanted; in what should be our final freedom, the option of what to do with our mortal remains.

"There is nothing quite so good as burial at sea. It is simple, tidy, and not very incriminating." ~ Alfred Hitchcock 1899-1980

Published in 2010, this week's deck is from South Africa. Deck art is by Chantal Fielding. Soft cover 144 page book is by Robyn Anne Pollard. The suits represent the myths and tribal traditions of four different areas of South Africa: Wands are Xhosa/Isibane, Swords are Zulu/Assegai, Cups are Sotho/Tswana/Moritsoana, and Coins are Pedi/Venda/Ndebele/Mavhele.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sink or Float

Daily Draw: Native American Tarot ~ Magician

This Magician Shaman controls order (turtle) and chaos (coyote). On a much smaller scale you and I do the same with our own little worlds.

I'm reminded by this card it is certainly possible for outside events to rock our boat, and Tower moments to tip it upside down. Regardless, it is still our boat and we have the power to upright it again. Choosing to sink isn't an option. Neither is letting the bastards win.

"When tempest tossed, embrace chaos." ~ Dean Koontz 1945-

Friday, August 5, 2011

Courage to Allow It

Daily Draw: Native American Tarot ~ Strength

This young brave has one hand against the snout, the other touching the front tearing teeth. I've been training two puppy mill dachshunds for nearly three years and just in the past month have they allowed us to handle their mouth and see their teeth.

I'm reminded by this card, and Xavier and Xing Xing, how much this kind of Strength goes both ways...the courage to do it and the courage to allow it. Again, duality.

"We suffer more from imagination than from reality." ~ Seneca 4 BC-65 AD
I had a wee coyote visit me twice while I was at the farm this week, (or ky-o-te as it is often called here where we call a creek a crick and Washington is Warshington). These hay bales are about 4.5 foot high.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Why Bother?

Daily Draw: Native American Tarot ~ 5 of Swords

Reappearing from the Judgment card is the Buffalo, this time in the latter stages of emaciation, and is much more frightening than the Tower in this deck. Here he carries the world on his back in the middle of some cataclysmic event.

I'm reminded of our retirement accounts riding on the back of a broken world economy. It is a little futile to look down our noses at those of our generation who haven't saved a dime toward their old age when what we've worked so hard to save is so diminished. Why bother comes to mind. But then I'm on the prod today...tomorrow's card will bring a new mindset.

"So many tangles in life are ultimately hopeless that we have no appropriate sword other than laughter." ~ Gordon W. Allport 1897-1967

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Daily Draw: Native American Tarot ~ Moon

I just lost a half hour of my day looking through my old KalamaQuilts blog at photos of the farm pond which I consider my sanctuary. I'll spend nearly the whole day there today by judicious reordering of my packed schedule.

Book and keyword meaning for the tarot moon generally refer to disillusionment, hidden problems popping up, depression, dispair...I'll have none of that in a single card draw. Time at my pond is a dream come true for me, with the surrounding fir trees, doggies, koi and silence. Where I can be exuberant, melancholy, or meditate, knowing this particular special space will reflect a peaceful heart.

I'm collecting moon cards from broken decks for an art project, would you care to donate??

"Sanctuary, on a personal level, is where we perform the job of taking care of our soul." ~ Christopher Forrest McDowell

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Common Ground

Daily Draw: Native American Tarot ~ 3 of Swords

Rooster represents harmony, discipline, and control. Three things we need in life to go forward on a fairly even keel.

I'm reminded by this card in one area of our life these three things are clearly missing. Once again we will work toward common ground today but I fear that course is lost to us.

"Harmony makes small things grow, lack of it makes great things decay." ~ Sallust Crispus 86 BC-35 BC

Monday, August 1, 2011


Daily Draw: Native American Tarot ~ Judgment

It was predicted when the last buffalo is gone we will have reached the end times. It is hard to imagine in my mind when our vast plains were covered with an estimated fifty million of these enormous beasts, yet in a very few years white man came close to making them extinct. Along with trying their best to do the same to the red man.

I'm reminded by this card this hateful shameful period is nothing new in the world. In the billions of years man has walked the earth the end times have come and gone multiple times. Then one race or another rises to begin the cycle again. I wonder how many billions of years it will take to get it right? Perhaps when race stops being a defining issue? Peoples look to the sky for help but it is we that choose and carry out our own Judgment via our actions eon after eon.

"Historically the buffalo had more influence on man than all other Plains animals combined. It was life, food, raiment, and shelter to the Indians. The buffalo and the Plains Indians lived together, and together passed away. The year 1876 marks practically the end of both. . . ." Walter Prescott Webb, 1888-1963 The Great Plains