Sunday, September 25, 2011

Clarifying Life's Pips

Daily Draw: Spiral Tarot ~ 3 of Swords

Although a card denoting tragedy, I love this rendition from Kay Steventon's brush because it is actually illustrated. Up until the Rider-Waite deck of 1909 tarot minors were much like playing cards; 8 coins, 4 cups, and so on. That 1909 deck is a wonder but the 3 of swords and  8 of wands were what I think of as lazy cards. None of the hidden symbolism or story-behind-the story that make the other cards evocative story tellers. We could spend all day telling stories about this version.

I'm reminded by this card plain pips life is probably how we manage to survive adulthood as well as we do. If the swords (mental) are front and center the wands (physical), cups (emotions), coins (earthly goods), are probably lying low in the background. A crisis can clarify our focus and that is always a good thing, like spring cleaning.

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity." Melody Beattie 1948-

The Spiral Tarot is the deck for this week, 158 page companion book and card art by Kay Steventon; published in 1998, US Games Systems. Kay is based in Australia, and often lectures and teaches there. The Spiral is based on archetypes from Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Authurian myths, and includes symbols from the Kaballah's Tree Of Life.


  1. Wonderful quote about the power of gratitude.
    The Spiral has become a favorite since I lopped off those borders. :)

  2. I have looked at this deck so many times and wondered if it is for me or not. There always seemed such a difference between the majors and minors. But this one is so evocative that I think I will give it another look!


  3. I love this deck, and I love your interpretations of the cards. It's true (I'd never really reflected on it) and we should be glad that with this deck we don't get ye old pierced heart. The images of this deck remind me of American Impressionist Mary Cassat's work. So full of atmosphere. I have learned to love the lilac borders. Is the book especially helpful? I often debate buying it as this is a deck I periodically return to and it would be nice to know more about it for the artist's point of view.

  4. thank you for your comments.
    The book offers nothing new re: the minors, but the majors is interesting because she painted and goes at them from a mythical viewpoint and I find that interesting just because I've never known much about mythology and Gods and Goddesses.

  5. Thanks for that. There's also quite a bit of kabbalistic stuff going on in the Majors too which I suppose the book elucidates. When you've mastered gods & goddesses you should try her (their)Celestial Tarot!


I welcome your thoughts. Good bad or indifferent; opinions are the lifeblood of conversation and I always learn something from a new point of view. Thank you for visiting, Sharyn