Monday, September 30, 2019

Raise The Bar

Chinese Tarot ~ 10 of Coins

Legging of lamellar armor, is this a warrior? Many layers of clothing, northern climes? Helmet, high rank? Florid face, high blood pressure, too much wine, anger management issues?

Compared to straw shoes, loose trousers, and faded shirt of a peasant this figure seems rich beyond compare. But is he? I see a man weighted by accoutrements and limited by requirements rather than free via wealth.

The thing is, we can look at a stranger and make all kind of assumptions and guesswork, all or none may be right, and we'll never know the heart of that stranger. A peasant may be rich beyond compare in common sense and family values, a king could be eyeballs in debt and penurious of heart and mind. By what and whose bar are we measuring who is having a 10 of Coins life? Are we

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Your Chariot Awaits

Rohrig Tarot ~ Chariot

There are fifty rigs here in the park from all over the country for the RVQuilters Sew2Gether retreat. From Teardrop and Casita to the massive busses, they all hold a quilter and the gear needed for seven days of sewing.

One of the ladies was raised in Panama and she and her dad would fly up and follow the auto racing circuit. I think we've traveled the farthest to get here, 4600 miles to date. Riding down the road in our big Dodge is like riding down the road while sitting in the living smooth and comfortable. Unlike thousands of miles on a wood wagon seat following muddy or dusty or rocky wagon ruts.

Cheap air travel has cheated us of knowing the richness and diversity of the true beauty of the land we inhabit. I'll bet there are incredible treasures within a four hour drive of where ever we all are at this minute. awaits. 

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Mental Flint Knapping

Norse Tarot ~ 9 of Swords

The foundation of the mind. Will it hold? Yesterday's post reminds me what a delicate line I walk between a healthy mind and that black abyss where cheer does not exist at the inner core, just occasionally flaps a bony wing against the dome.

But we are in a beautiful park in Ingram Texas, looking out over a pecan orchard where miniature ponies graze. I hear a rooster to the east singing at first light and Johnson Creek runs through the ranch where Rob has already found some beautiful honey flint which has lead to learning about Cherokee flint knapping for arrowheads and knives. If I keep that core busy perhaps I can hold back the dark.

If I don't try where am I? With the 9 of Swords, that's where. 

Friday, September 27, 2019

Reality Wasn't John Wayne

Roots of Asia Tarot ~ Death

I'm reading Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee again. So depressing I can only take a few chapters at a time. I've been through much of the 1840's forward "reservations" in the last two months. I've been on the ones in my state many times. I grew up with foster children from the Chehalis and Quinault tribes. I lived with an Inuit for two months. I'm part Choctaw.  I've looked on while a Washington state tribe based in my Cowlitz county who've never had a reservation have fought through the courts to get one...on a freeway interchange, sole purpose, to build a huge casino. 

My ancestors came to this country after the indian wars. Our German ancestors came to this country way before they went insane with WWI and WWII. Does that mean my hands are clean? How could they be, they are white. I despair. Money and the gray men at the top, death with no end and it will never change. Reality wasn't a John Wayne movie. It was genocide. 

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Emperor Worth The Title

Wayfarer Tarot ~ Emperor

Fredericksburg Texas, settled by German immigrants in the 1840's. Another woefully underfunded money making scheme that went wildly wrong with guarantees too good to be true. Dumped off the boat, no promised transport, no promised supplies, forced to walk with what meager belongings they could carry, sick and weak as they were, they died like flies. And have I said Texas is hot?

John O. Meusebach turned out to be the saving Emperor, kiting checks in a paying off Peter to pay off Paul effort to get the ball back rolling. Made friends with the Comanches, choose a whole different place than the planners in Germany settlement. The first Emperor I've met that I've admired. We've spent two days at the National War of the Pacific Museum (Admiral Nimitz was born here), the Pioneer Museum, today it is Fort Martin Scott and the Texas Rangers Heritage Center. Sadly we'll miss the Lyndon B Johnson ranch house, closed for repairs.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019


Tarot of 1001 Nights ~ Temperance

Cardinal Virtues, chief natural virtues of justice, prudence, temperance, and fortitude, as defined by Plato and Aristotle and adopted by the Church Fathers. Followed by chastity,  charity, diligence, patience, kindness, and humility. All represented by and applied to women of course. Gotta love the church, keep 'em in their place.

Temperance isn't one of my virtues. If they are a must they must apply to everyone, like that's ever going to happen. Our tiny figure is being borne away but eventually she'll have to land and it will be the same song there also. Personal anarchy or sheepledom. What a choice. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Gathering and Reflection

Celtic Festival Cards ~ Mabon

Time for thanksgiving and reflection this equinox. Still a busy time, much needs to be worked; late jams, nuts roasted, fruit dried, grains readied for grinding, stock that can't be fed through  winter butchered. The underlying anxiety, will what we have be enough, how many will starve this year.

I'm reading my fourth Ann Swinfen story, set in autumn 1353. A book merchants family and their small community still reeling from the massive losses of the recent plague. Bread and cheese can be purchased, but the idea of canned goods and green grocers are still centuries in the future. What you have is what there is. Speak carefully, cast a tiny shadow lest the church falls on you from a high place. Freedom of thought and speech is also centuries away. I'm thankful for the plentitude of the of simple things I need, the rest is modern window dressing.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Let It Be

Urban Tarot ~ 9 of Cups

Whose plate is this anyway? And who is throwing that frisbee for the dog? And I don't think the different shadows are working. Why so many drinks, getting watery? I like it when a book or movie or image gives me something to think about or takes me away, but not when it throws me clear out of the setting.

This doesn't make it to 9, more an 8.2 day. It isn't raining, there is a dog, and no one is going hungry, I think. You know, we have a ton of 9 o' Cups days and we blow it by worrying about carpola. The new kleenex smells funny, there are burrs in my socks, my coffee isn't in my favorite cup... humans, pffpfft. Can't just let it be, accept the good, rise above petty. 

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Lemme Outta Here

Peanuts Tarot ~ 8 of Cups

The sun and moon are combined in this image, the argument between the moon's dark impulses and the sun's clear mind. I never noticed this before. But it applies today.

Woodstock and I aren't saying it outloud, but we don't like Texas. We'd like to turn back north today. Now. Yesterday even. Snoopy and friend are saying tomorrow might give us a different point of view. My mind says only two weeks left, it will be fun, getting together with fifty RVQuilters. My impulse is get out while I still can. I've been in most of our fifty states, they have all been beautiful in their own way, all offered the idea 'yes, I could live here'.

Not Texas. I need to get my mind right. I need to get my mind right. 

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Unformed Malformed Reformed

Spirit Keepers Tarot ~ 5 of Cups

"When your blood, sweat, and tears have been expended without yielding fruition or meaning, The Grotesque is the spirit who will appear by your side" Benebell Wen.  The ugly or distorted one.

There are support groups online and off for Everything, however odd or rare. So I know whatever I might be feeling, I'm not the only one. A relief. But one thing I've learned about support groups is they enhance rather than lighten the burden. The subject becomes all encompassing and limits my thought processes, they trap rather than release. The Thing becomes the be all end all, the life focal point.

They make it too easy to forget those two upright cups, and everything valuable and whole and worthwhile. Support is good, immersion isn't;  maintaining a wider view keeps the Grotesque from overwhelming. 

Friday, September 20, 2019

Sorry Charlie

Dark Mansions Tarot ~ 5 of Swords

Nefarious jumps to mind. The passage of time has offered choices and they've been made. From this point we can carry forward, deeper, or opt for working toward redemption. Which requires payment for deeds.

Mostly when people say they are sorry, they mean I'm sorry I got caught. Not, I apologize and what can I do to make it right. This figure behind his mask thinks he can get away with anything. 

"I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters, okay? It's like incredible,"


Thursday, September 19, 2019

OoooOOo, Shiny

Crystal Tarot ~ 6 of Coins

Success. We visited the National Ranching Heritage Center In Lubbock Texas yesterday, historical buildings brought in from all over the state. Yes there was a farm mansion and cattle baron barn, but mostly there were dirt floored shelters passing as homes and barns. And of course the smallest building of all, the one holer. But did you know there were also tiny buildings for storing dried cattle dung, the basic firewood of the world where trees are rare?

All that said to say our great grandparents came from Germany, England, and France after hardscrabble settling the American West was over. And they still had mostly hard times until our parents generation, post-WWII. Well built warm houses with indoor plumbing and electricity, good schools, good jobs, local services, grocers and department stores...There is a pretty fine line between success and not success and we forget that in our consumer society where we don't even use something up before we throw it out and replace it with something shinier. A house made of sticks in the desert is a good reminder.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Humans. Conundrums.

Stella Tarot ~ 6 of Wands

Victory, Overcoming the odds.
Buddy Holly. Famous. Dead at 22. Museum in Lubbock Texas.
Billy the Kid, Infamous. Dead at 21. Museum in Fort Sumter New Mexico. Do I think Billy left anything museum worthy? Anything at all? Hardly. Just a burnished reputation that brings in the punters.

But it brings to mind what we will accept as success. In America even a spectacular failure generates avarice and adulation. I (sort of) understand the aphrodisiac of power or fame but are our lives so small and insignificant that we cling onto the likes of O.J. Simpson and Charlie Sheen and Jessie James? How weird is that?

Humans. Always a conundrum.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Joan Bunning

Ship of Fools Tarot ~ Queen of Wands/Staves

Reading tarot first crossed my mind around 2005, Barnes and Noble's offered classes on all kinds of stuff and I saw Joan Bunning's free course listed and a light bulb went off.  History, symbology, a good meaty subject, I'm in!

So I signed up, raced off to ebay for a deck and I was set. The funny part was I ordered a used copy ($5.00) of the Druidcraft Animal Oracle...not even knowing tarot was a whole different thing yet.

One of the things that stuck in my mind all these years from Joan's course was the Queen of Wands. The organizer, the herder. The get 'er done lady. All through time, where would we be without them?

Monday, September 16, 2019

Nameless Kings

Carnival At The End Of The World ~ King of Swords

Marginalized people will always seek to form a group. For protection and for understanding. And in that nucleus there is always the King of Swords figure. The one with both the sword and the rose.

I'm reading the Institute by Stephen King and Lost Innocents by Denise Domning, listening to The Heart of Barkness by Spencer Quinn, and we are watching Corner Gas, Hawaii Five-0, and Foyle's War. All full of marginalized people, probably the basic human story.

If we think about it our lives are full of these Kings, some close, some nameless and they all deserve to be honored. I can think of at least a dozen. Thank you for your caring protection and guidance.

Sunday, September 15, 2019


Margarete Petersen Tarot ~ Queen/Mother of Cups

Got nothin this morning except mother's remedy for most illness was 7-Up soda pop. I'll think on it. 

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Magic At 6599 MPH

Enchanted Tarot ~ Magician

From the Fool we transform to the individual. We become formed and driven by our skill and intelligence, need and desire; the epitome of the four suits.

"Are we there yet, are we there yet? I'm hungry. I have to go to the bathroom." "You kids quiet down back there. We just ate. You should  have gone before we left."

There was a day, back when dirt was new and the world was still in black and white when all the kids rode in the back seat and we all stood up so we could see.  Not that I'm advocating it, but I don't know anyone who died; 50 mph was pretty much top speed. The Air Force high speed track in New Mexico just tested hypersonic weapons at 6599 miles an hour. Our government, always ready to test weapons to kill us...faster. The magic of our tax dollars at work. 

Friday, September 13, 2019

Swallow and Follow

Druidcraft Tarot ~ High Priest

Following a tradition. School, craft, sport, politics, religion. How closely do we follow family paths, how clearly do we divirge? How much that drives our lives did we just swallow and follow?

I want to know Why. And How. And When. I may come to the same conclusions as billions of others, doubtful but possible, but they are all decisions, not blind acceptance. Knowledge is a kernel, not a fallow rock.

We are our own High Priest, and the office is often empty. 

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Repair The Damage

Haindl Tarot ~ Hanged Man

The opportunity to redeem from error, to repair the damage, restore what was lost. (Snuffin)

How many times in the course of our lifetime do we wish for this opportunity. And we don't act because we'd have to admit we'd crossed a line. Yet the times I've actually sat down with someone and apologised, mostly it has been brushed off, made light of. I wonder if those working step 9 of a 12 step program often meet the same. I know when my little brother came to me I totally blew him off, done is done, doesn't matter, get on with life. It was only much later I realized what he was trying to do and wished I'd sat and given him my full attention. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Compromise vs Confrontation

Tarot of the Spirit ~ 4 of Wands/Fire

Balanced compromises. Working through an uncompromising attitude. Visible results via efficiency.

Is it arrogance to think compromise is not for us? Probably. If  compromise leaves a hard nugget of anger what do we need to examine? The deal, the other person, or ourselves? Is being right the end all be all of our days? That sounds like the low road to blood pressure and ulcers to me. But what is compromise and what is stiff necked  vs dish rag behavior?

And why is it so hard for humans to recognize and appreciate balance? And find compromise without confrontation? 

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Thinking Master Plan

Minchiate Etruria Tarot ~ Ace of Swords

More serious thinking required. We are in Cortez Colorado...MESA VERDE! I slept all the way in and all the way back out, tried to walk to the closest lookout and couldn't make it, too weak. Sick again, I'm so disappointed and cross.

About the sick does one have to be? To seek help? So after turning over gray cells about it all day, I've talked to my PA, the advice nurse, membership services, and I think I've got my 'out of Kaiser service area' ducks in a row. My master plan is if I'm ready to act, and have my (Y) covered as far as insurance coverage, I won't be sick again. That's my plan and I'm sticking to it.

But missing Mesa Verde? I'm more sick about that. But isn't this image beautiful from Utah yesterday? Near Hole in the Wall.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Revisiting The Past

Tarot of the Absurd ~ 6 of Cups

Revisiting. I remember when Barefoot Fool was creating this deck (2012?) so I stopped by her blog and that lead to following blog links around the web to other bloggers I've lost touch with over the years. Almost all deleted, or defunct. Sad. For a time we were such a close knit community and so many different views on decks and cards learned from and shared.

Consistent journaling is a joy for a wordsmith, but still hard work. My favorite quote is "All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead." Gene Fowler

If you are a consistent deck blogger I'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Worth Better

Tarot of the Origins ~ Devil

"Better the devil you know than the devil you don't" R. Taverner 1539

Really? A terrible boss, a crappy employee, a rotten marriage, ghastly neighbors, a family that crushes, that miserable stinking bully?

Are we really so afraid of change we cling on, using the reasoning the next one might be worse?  Is barely coping an acceptable life option? We only get one, daylight's burnin', we aren't getting any younger, being a victim is a choice. Got nothing to do with a devil, there is no such thing.

We are worth better, all of us.

(2 dirty white feral (?) chickens sighted here, in the middle of nowhere, we spoke softly and they sang me the egg song)

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Ourself Is The Destination

Tarocco Piemontese ~ Ace of Cups

This Ace calls for emotional and spiritual healing and renewal.

A valuable lesson I learned in my 20's and reappreciate each time I hit the road, even those one day artist dates or flee from the abyss day like I took in August; "Away" puts things in perspective. We can't heal or distance ourselves properly if we are stewing, the flavors of our worries or obsessions permeate everything.

Distance helps us realize our ability to change or fix anything is a very limited circle. Ourself is the destination. Not family, friends, neighborhood, work, nation. Can't fix 'em, and who said it was our business to try?

Friday, September 6, 2019

Live Sighting

Ostara Tarot ~ Queen of Swords

Her sword is rather ceremonial, not much good for sharp thought. Is that a tv rabbit ears in her hand? Did they ever do any good?  How often have I worked a really good idea to death, only to realize it wasn't a good idea to begin with?

An amazing day in Vernal Utah, the dinosaur wall, and thousand year old petroglyphs from the Fremont peoples. And one live dinosaur sighting...

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Growing A Life

Egyptian Grand Jeu De L'Oracle Des Dames ~ Ace of Coins

What do we grow? We grow our health and happiness with our attitude and effort. While I pondered on this card Ash came to help, as she has since a baby. I grew a fine cat, a fourteen pounder.

From a 5 of Coins money pit in 1989 we've regrown a nice home. A strong marriage, my greatest treasure. A nest egg once I pulled my head out and honed financial stewardship. Voracious reading has grown knowledge from every book I laid hands upon. My joint hobbies of tarot and quilting, both offering a spectrum of interesting options. We grew in setting aside our own lives to care for Rob's dad and my mother as they did for us.

I've grown in my appreciation of the scope and beauty of our physical, dinosaur grounds in Vernal Utah. Life is good, knowledge is growth. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The Straw That Tips

Zillich Tarot ~ 10 of Wands

I look at this woman and shudder, remembering the world being black, gray on a good day. Which led to thinking about writing reviews, and wondering why it brings out such meanness. And if taking reviews in this computer age into consideration is part of our life shouldn't we be leaving them? Thoughtful honest ones?

I look at this card and see hardworking authors who've gotten a one star because the book arrived in poor condition. What the hell are people thinking to misuse the power words in this way? Totally ineffective toward a solution to their problems, such powerful and depressing long term real world ramifications.

Honesty allows for color, it doesn't require mean-spiritedness. and we have no idea what 10 of Wands burden the receiver is carrying. Do we really need to be the straw that tips them over?  

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Heel Like A Goiter

Harmonious Tarot ~ Page of Swords

Preening, first day of Page school, a little kid appreciating new shoes. Oh how I loved new school shoes. Couldn't wait to get home from town to try them on, march around my little bedroom. Plus two new outfits, which to wear which to wear? But socks! 100% better today, they don't slide down into the shoe to be yanked up again and again, the top becoming a baggy wreath with the heel above the ankle like a goiter.

And because Wishkah was a small school, no matter what we chose to wear the first day someone else would be wearing it too, because Aberdeen with it's Penney's or Sears was our only source.

I don't look back longingly for my youth, I appreciate where I am today but back to school days are fun to remember. Go to it Page, life begins with learning. 

Monday, September 2, 2019

After Poof, What?

Wheel of Change Tarot ~ 7 of Coins/Disks

Does the harvest coming on mean relief and rest finally, or still so much to do? Makes me wonder what my crop even is or ever was. I always worked with my hands and brain and feet, never producing anything. No sorrow there, I want my final footprint to be zero, just poof when my light goes out.

My contribution I guess is the lifetime care of 14 cats, 22 chickens, 3 goats, 7 dogs, 1 goldfish. They have enriched my life far beyond anything I've given them. When we are gone and our worldly goods cleared away, our home and property will be sold and the result gifted to two animal shelters and the care of many more animals. Exciting! Makes us happy! So I guess harvest time means still so much to do. The animals will always need us. 

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Waiting To Be Lived

Victorian Fairy Tarot ~ 10 of Cups/Summer

"The ideal of perfection" Liz Dean   
 How much we wish for, how little we work toward it.   
I have a jumble of barely coherent words but it is the first of September, a beautiful day, Honcho the gingersnap cat wants to go for his morning stroll...daylight is burnin', a perfect day is waiting to be lived.