Friday, August 31, 2012

Worm Hole At Starboard Point

Daily Draw: Da Vinci Tarot ~ 10 of Coins

Circles and squares, points and spheres, orderliness to the eye, careful balance of the multiple sides of space and form show in Leonardo's basilica sketch.

Life balance is hard to do and requires we take an active part, no bystanding waiting for someone else to provide the miracle.

"The engine imbalance is what caused the worm-hole in the first place. It'll happen again if we don't fix it." ~ Scotty, Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Thursday, August 30, 2012

No Willy-Nilly Please

Daily Draw: Da Vinci Tarot ~ 8 of Swords

From Leonardo's sketch of St. Sebastian who as a hidden Christian in the Roman Army, used his position to secretly aid and comfort persecuted believers.

I'm reminded by this card I'm working here to get things in order so I can go north and do home hospice for my little sister. I need to take care that panic doesn't guide my decisions or grief to blind me to all the things that need to be covered here. The strictures that bind in the 8 of Swords are there for a reason, it's too easy to willy-nilly and then have to backtrack and start all over again.

"Tears are the natural bleeding of an emotional wound." ~ F. Alexander Magoun 1896-1968

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Every Rising Sun

Daily Draw: Da Vinci Tarot ~ Judgement

The juxtipication of the angel on high sketch and the anatomy studies of the three corpse is interesting. One thing it showcases is resurrectionists vs. death over the eons. The scientist side of Leonardo was one of the first to do deep study of cadavers and his detailed notes and sketches are still serving medicine today. So those grave robbers who are also called resurrectionists served to give those bodies 600 years of life after death after all.

Life is funny and then you die...

"Receive every day as a resurrection from death, as a new enjoyment of life; meet every rising sun as if you had seen it and all things, new, created upon your account." ~ William Law 1686-1761

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Why Can't I Why Did I...

Daily Draw: Da Vinci Tarot ~ Devil

Anatomy studies and fantastic beasts were two of Leonardo's favorite forms to draw. The Devil rides easy, in full control, while it appears the dragon is having a bit of a bad day at Black Rock.

To give a devil his due, he does have an easy job, it is we who choose to react by dancing on the head of a pin...should I shouldn't I why can't I why did I. Instead of struggling, I think if the dragon just sat down and refused to be ridden, the Devil, being a busybody would move on leaving the dragon to his life.

"If you don't believe in dragons,
 It is curiously true
That the dragons you disparage
Choose not to believe in you." ~ Jack Prelutsky 1940-

Monday, August 27, 2012

Dark Happenings

Daily Draw: Da Vinci Tarot ~ 10 of Swords

From Da Vinci's sketch titled Storm Over A Landscape. Everything seems to loom over the small village, fraught with doom and gloom. In their placement the ten swords seem more to protect and serve rather than the bearers of dark happenings.

I'm reminded by this card that at some point the worst does play out, it can't be avoided. The aces, fives, and tens periods are woven into the basic fabric of life. To refuse to understand and accept denies us the ability to travel on to the other side of violence, terror, sorrow, and pain.

"All of us are born with a set of instinctive fears, of falling, of the dark, of lobsters, of falling on lobsters in the dark..." Dave Barry 1947-

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Short Timer Now

Daily Draw: Da Vinci Tarot ~ 8 of Coins

Our lady isn't honing a trade but indicating the value of love and loyalty, an internal works which also needs to be cultured. We are far too busy to have something this important in our lives spark and then grow by itself.

I'm reminded by this card of my little sister's friends who are pitching in to help as they can. At this point (only six weeks from the diagnosis) she can no longer move on her own. On the other hand I can lean over her bed and kiss her forehead without her shouting "boil water boil water!" ah la the Peanuts cartoons. I fear death not at all, it is the many hard ways of dying that chill heart and soul.

"Time is shortening." ~ Ingrid Bergman 1915-1982

The Da Vinci Tarot from Lo Scarabeo, published in 2005, has brought to life many of the uncompleted sketches from Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks, using the powerful skills of Iassen Ghiuselev and A. Atanas Atanassiv.  63 page companion book is by Mark McElroy includes both commentary and three suggested exploration queries for each card.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Bored In A World Of Wonders

Daily Draw: Ancient Egyptian Tarot ~ 2 of Wands

He is bored with everything he has already seen and done and accomplished. I can imagine how that could happen, it is one of the reasons talented people leap from one unfinished project to another.

I'm reminded by this card boredom is a self-state, one of our choosing.

"You'll find boredom where there is the absence of a good idea." ~ Earl Nightingale 1921-1989

Friday, August 24, 2012

Internal Justice

Daily Draw: Ancient Egyptian Tarot ~ Justice

We see this card and our mind flys to all the injustices we see and hear about every single day. That is for Judgement to take care of. What we have here to deal with is personal Justice.

How do we make ourselves pay for our own indiscretions and deliberate wrongs? I'm guessing sweep under the rug is choice number one. Learning from the consequences might be number two. Which may lead to higher character or teach us how to do wrong better next time. Justice. Instigator or inner police?

"We can become so accustomed to the thought of our own faults that we will begin to cherish them as charming little personal characteristics." ~ Helen Rowland 1876-1950

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Daily Draw: Ancient Egyptian Tarot ~ 6 of Cups

I was able to spend about ten minutes at my own sacred space Tuesday and even that little bit of time  helped calm my spirit.

I'm reminded by this card if there are any places that bring sanctuary to our heart and mind we need to avail ourselves of their unique offerings. There are too few of them in the world...or perhaps we are too busy or blind to recognize them.

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

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Getting Back

Daily Draw: Ancient Egyptian Tarot ~ 9 of Cups

The best part of being away from home for me? Getting back.

I'm reminded by this card a home itself is just as much a part of family as are the people who make it up.

"Having a place to be, is a home. Having someone to love, is a family. Having both, is a blessing. ~ Donna Hedges

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Daily Draw: Ancient Egyptian Tarot ~ 9 of Wands

9 of Wands is often depicted as a single person fortified against the unknown. Barrett presents his as stability and assistance in setting that burden down without breaking it or us.

I'm reminded by this card while my current burdens are heavy I and Delores both have the stability of companions on this long walk. We are often lifted and carried, and occasionally will find unbeknownst to us someone has actually taken on part of the burden for a time. We both have loving family and friends and that stability is there to keep us from tipping over. The cancer that has gone to the brain is currently running the show and she has been hospitalized again with the hospital staff providing the big guns of stability in a sea of unknowns.

"So much of what is best in us is bound up in our love of family, that it remains the measure of our stability because it measures our sense of loyalty. All other pacts of love or fear derive from it and are modeled upon it." Haniel Long 1888-1956

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Wheel

Daily Draw: Ancient Egyptian Tarot ~ Prince/Knight of Cups

One of the Hyksos invasions of Egypt is thought to be the first time the Egyptians had seen either horses or wheels. This was around 1600 BC, thousands of years after the real height of the civilization. They spent the next several hundred years buying breeding stock and working on wheel engineering. This work was primarily the responsibility of the army.

I'm reminded by this card of the sheer terrified amazement the Egyptian army must have felt, standing there with their wooden arrows and cowhide shields when they saw the fearsome war machines of the Hyksos rolling toward them. This is where the Prince/Knights of the land come into their own though, those who stand and serve to preserve what we have, to their ultimate cost. I talked to the nicest young Iraqi man for about an hour yesterday. I wonder if I would have had the same conversation with this young prince, standing in the sunshine of Iraq?

"The guy who invented the first wheel was an idiot. The guy who invented the other one, he was a genius." ~ Sid Caesar 1922-

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Traveling Light

Daily Draw: Ancient Egyptian Tarot ~ 4 of Wands

Each step removed from home base brings us closer and closer to the ultimate basics.

I'm reminded by this card next month I'll be gone for a couple of weeks. Rob and I travel very light, but we are taking the dogs and their pile keeps getting bigger and bigger, funny that. Maybe because  even at home base they only need the basics so they have to take everything. Somewhere there is a lesson in this...

Factoid: The Nile River's total length within Egypt's boundaries is approximately 900 miles. 99% of Egypt's population lives within the 3-7 mile wide greensward this north flowing waterway provides.

The deck used this week is the Thorson's 1994 edition of Clive Barrett's Ancient Egyptian Tarot. Art and 152 page soft cover companion book both by Barrett and available through his website or his GreenManGateKeeper Ebay sales.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

In Sync

Daily Draw: Paulina Tarot ~ 4 of Wands

If you live in a fairy tale castle or if your sole world space is marked off by four sticks in the ground and a grocery cart we immediately begin distinguishing it as ours. Our treasures and toys placed just so, our special cocoon area for retreat.

I'm reminded by this card in this one way we each are the same, regardless of our space or corner of the world. I find some comfort in that because I so often feel distanced and out of sync.

"When you are safe at home you wish you were having an adventure; when you are having an adventure you wish you were safe at home." ~ Thornton Wilder 1897-1975

Friday, August 17, 2012

Acknowledging Comfort

Daily Draw: Paulina Tarot ~ 5 of Cups

A young friend wrote yesterday to tell me he has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Even in the midst of his own troubles he was reaching out to offer me sympathy.

I'm reminded by the little creatures here beside her, offering their small portion of companionship and comfort, it is easy to get so deep in our problems that we can miss those gestures. Comfort is comfort, from whatever its source. I  have a small long dog here who has taken to coming over and putting his head on my knee. That involves stopping to give and take a hug. The little notes left here on the blog...There is a lot of value in those things and I appreciate them.

"Comfort was allowed to come to them, rare, unsought, a gift like joy." ~ Ursula K. LeGuin 1929-

Thursday, August 16, 2012

With Clippers And Comb

Daily Draw: Paulina Tarot ~ 3 of Coins

A gray, there is a storm coming feeling overshadows the pensive smiles of the gathered. Perhaps they don't want to be part of this but they need to. Perhaps something has drawn together people who would not normally be together. A tree of faded discordant shapes stands before them, representing hope that won't bear fruit.

I'm reminded by this card I'm going tomorrow to shave my little sister's head. I did this and the wigs for the American Cancer Society for some years and have seen what a wrench this is. Delores has always looked like a little fairy princess to me with her long blond hair  flying out behind her. Her daughter will be there too, and the three of us will add this to our chest of memories.

"An individual doesn't get cancer, a family does." ~ Terry Tempest Williams 1955-

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Action As The Option

Daily Draw: Paulina Tarot ~ 8 of Cups

I was looking at the Hanged Man card this morning, surrounded by crawling, swimming, hopping, flying creatures and there he still hung. I wanted to shake him by the shoulders and stop the pity party.

I'm reminded by this 8 of Cups, if we don't like or can't cope with what we've drawn, there is always the option of change. Self directed, not accidental. Whither to something or away from it, any action is better than none.

"Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action." ~ Walter Anderson, The Confidence Course

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Daily Draw: Paulina Tarot ~ 2 of Wands

Hey look, he has Polish chickens helping. Or hindering. Either way they keep reminding him of his purpose rather than allowing him to wander aimlessly, head in the clouds, spending time which is the only true richness any one can ever own.

I'm reminded by this card how often I've been asked over the years what in the world I do with all my spare time. It always makes me laugh because the successfully self-employed don't have much spare time, we are always working at something. Which makes me all the more grateful for those days when you hear me say "I have this whole day to myself". In which I always take the time to goof with my little chickens.

"Never permit a dichotomy to rule your life, a dichotomy in which you hate what you do so you can have pleasure in your spare time. Look for a situation in which your work will give you as much happiness as your spare time." ~ Pablo Picasso 1881-1973

Monday, August 13, 2012

Slightly Discordant

Daily Draw: Paulina Tarot ~ 2 of Cups

In my misspent youth I worked for a number of years as a waitress. One of the perks of the job was observing interactions between couples, and how over a long period of time together they even begin to resemble each other.

I'm reminded by this card any relationship worth it's salt is a blending, some compromise, and great respect for the differences that bring us together in the first place.

"You don't get harmony when everybody sings the same note." ~ Doug Floyd

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Knocked Down A Peg

Daily Draw: Paulina Tarot ~ 3 of Wands

There he stands, top of the world, minions at the ready whichever way he decides to jump. Supreme confidence oozing from every pore.

I'm reminded by this card I have one area in my life in which I am supremely confident. It is just a skill but I've worked hard for 40 years to master it and I have. Except yesterday I found the craziest aberrations in what should have been a lead pipe cinch project. I had to laugh at myself, get off my pedestal and wonder how people who are satisfied to produce work this bad actually make it work! It is all part of a start to a new phase though and baby steps are in order.

This week I'm using a trimmed version of the Paulina Tarot, art and small companion book by Paulina Cassidy, published by U.S. Games Systems 2008. The whimsical art is much influenced by Mardi Gras representing her affection for the city of New Orleans.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bewildered Reality

Daily Draw: Grand Etteilla Tarot ~ Fool

Our Fool, which is numbered both 78 and 0 in this deck is titled Madness and Bewilderment. The figure is well groomed, well shod, well dressed and no boyish innocence apparent. He has a bell on his sash though which suggests he is seeking clarity which is the most difficult thing to find when mental illness raises its beastly head.

I'm reminded by this card we've really come no further in treating problems of the mind than when this deck was drawn. Instead of locking us in a barn or leaving us in the woods to die, we now have medication, but no way to pay for it, no safe haven for the bad times, and still no closer to truly understanding the why. But we can still hope this gentleman found the answers he set out to find.

"When you are  mad, mad like this, you don't know it. Reality is what you see. When what you see shifts, departing from anyone else's reality, it's still reality to you." ~ Marya Hornbacher 1974-

Friday, August 10, 2012

Eclectic Day

Daily Draw: Grand Etteilla Tarot ~ 7 of Cups

I like this card of Ideas and Plans. For once I have the entire day stretching before me, full of both piddly and fun plans. If I'm lucky I may get an idea or two while I'm at it. If I run out of things to do I have three new library books on the periodic table of elements, slave trade in the 1700's, and the life of cadavers. Eclectic?

I'm reminded by this card, as so often happens here, that each day is a new day, none of know how many we have been allotted, so make the best of them while we have them in our grasp.

"If the colour of life turns grey turn the palette the other way." ~ Benny Bellamacina, Piddly Poems For Children, Vol. 1

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Rancid Secrets

Daily Draw: Grand Etteilla Tarot ~ Emperor

Pondering this card titled Secrets and Truths I've come to the conclusion I don't have any secrets. This is quite a powerful conclusion, because most secrets that need or wish to be kept aren't good ones. They are the rancid ones that like a velvet mouse, feed on the mind and heart and emotions.

I'm reminded by this card maybe I do have one rancid little secret. Deep in the darkest blackest part of my heart I worry the stress I'm under will make the rogue cancer cells in my own body thrive and begin to spiculate again. Well, now it isn't a secret, but just rotten petty words exposed to the air to wither and die like they deserve.

"that's the secret to life, replace one worry with another..." ~ Charles Schultz 1922-2000, via Charlie Brown

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Revisiting The Past

Daily Draw: Grand Etteilla Tarot ~ Knight of Wands

Titled Change and Separation, this lovely image brought on the nine thousandth freshet of tears; for my mother and sister are moving inexorably beyond my reach and care.

I'm reminded by this card of both their lives, their dreams and pastimes and hard work all behind them now. Looking at the past is what remains, so we revisit it, and laugh a little bit, and then cry some more.

"And this mess is so big
and so deep and so tall,
We cannot pick it up.
There is no way at all!" ~ Dr. Seuss 1904-1991 The Cat in the Hat

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Daily Draw: Grand Etteilla Tarot ~ Judas

Numbered at 18, where we usually find the Moon card, this is titled betrayal and falsehood. It represents Judas types, a traitor but almost repenting...if it just wasn't for that delicious money blinding them.

I'm reminded by this card of the billions of dollars and innumerable cars and computers and weapons that are completely unaccounted for in Bush's war. Of all the good those funds could have accomplished here at home. Oops, sorry, same traitors work this side of the game too. If it weren't for how well Judaswork pays, the streets would be full of the newly penitent.

"Sin goes in disguise, and thence is welcome; like Judas, it kisses and kills; like Joab, it salutes and slays." ~ George Swinnock 1627-1673

Monday, August 6, 2012


Daily Draw: Grand Etteilla Tarot ~ Temperance

Our Temperance, or Convictions card is all over the place with symbology. She wears the belt of Thot, (Egyptian lunar god) yet has a small sun on her forehead. One foot on a wooden (wisdom) triangle (man woman child) the other on a sphere (reality).

I'm reminded by this card it takes a lot of life to work out our convictions and they can sometimes be a shifting target as we add more wisdom to our journey. I guess the key to the balance in the urns is to actually take a stand based on what we know and avoid being wishy-washy...

"People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid." ~ Soren Aabye Kierkegaard 1813-1985

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Protection and Support

Daily Draw: Grand Etteilla Tarot ~ Snake

In traditional decks this is the Empress card, the ultimate mother figure. Here it is referred to as Snake, which provokes hostility yet gives help and protection. Well, that's pretty much mothers in a nutshell...

I'm reminded by this card I'm headed north in a few minutes to see both my mother and my sister. I only wish I could offer some protection and support to both.

"Cry not for succor this day; surely you shall not be given help." ~ Quran 651 AD

Like the Minchiate deck I used in March, this weeks Grand Etteilla is a tarot that isn't a tarot. Sort of. It dates back to the late 1700's and is based on the idea that tarot came out of Egypt with Gypsies. It was also the first deck designed for esoteric purposes, prior to that tarot was used for gaming. A beautiful deck, meant to be used both upright and reversed. This is the 1977 edition published by Grimaud France.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Daily Draw: Native American Tarot ~ 8 of Coins

Many cultures employ sand painting rituals as part of their beliefs, a type of prayer that lives for the day and then is swept away when night approaches.

I'm reminded by this card of the difference between a mumbled prayer when half asleep that takes in the swiped bank ink pen and uncle's lumbago vs. the kind of concentrated mental force of a single purpose sand painting that can take many hours to complete. Which would we suppose might be the more effective?

"Our religion keeps reminding us that we aren't just will and thoughts. We are also sand and wind and thunder. Rain. The seasons. You learn to respect everything because you are everything." ~ William Least Heat Moon 1939-

Friday, August 3, 2012

Shop Soiled

Daily Draw: Native American Tarot ~ High Priestess/Corn Maiden

I've never thought before about the High Priestess being virginal. I've just considered her the one who knows all and never tells.

I'm reminded by this figure grinding her maize while wearing her sacred kachina mask, that we all have areas of worldly knowledge that are a blank to us. Garden time, planting and harvesting can give us some escape from the shop soiled part of our life and allow room for purity to come in.

"When people plant corn they are saying, let's stay here. And by their connection to the land, they are connected to one another." ~ Anne Raver

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Implacable Progress

Daily Draw: Native American Tarot ~ 4 of Swords

The lowest official estimate of plains buffalo in 1850 was 30-50 million. The plains Indian's life was based on them. Food, clothing, dung for fire, tipi material and much more. By 1884 the herds were gone, victims of blind greed and human progress, just a commodity for the taking.

I'm reminded by this card to appreciate what I have while I have it. In ten years it might all be a memory. We certainly can't go on as we are.

"For as long as they have existed, people have inhabited, altered, and been affected by the nonhuman natural world. To assume an unchanging, harmonious environment between the two begs to class both culture and nature as static." ~ Andrew C. Isenberg, Destruction of the Bison, 2000.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Listening To The Void

Daily Draw: Native American Tarot ~ 4 of Coins

In seeking something we sometimes miss it entirely.

I'm reminded by this card by spending so much time thinking about our personal journey our mind gets trapped by all that we already know and think...those strictures and hopes can become a wall. In order to go further we need to listen instead, let the internal programming scramble to make room for new insight. Sitting on a locked box of coins doesn't encourage more coins, it deflects them.

"Don't underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear." ~ Winnie The Pooh 1926, A.A. Milne 1882-1956