Daily Draw (Dark Angels Tarot) – 10/30/12

Four of Wands

This follows the “when will my ships come in?” card of the Three of Wands – or “will my ships come in at all,” which is how the whole East Coast has been feeling in the grip of Hurricane Sandy. The 4 of Wands is generally celebratory in most decks; here it feels more like a sigh of relief, “things didn’t go great but we got through and can rest and rebuild.” The four wands are topped with skulls, but behind them are living figures and an intact building. The disaster has come but it’s also gone.

My family all got through the storm okay, and my house and my brother’s house weren’t damaged. We actually don’t know about our parents’ house (1 block from the ocean, 8 miles south of hard-hit Atlantic City) although our parents and their cats rode out the storm inland. If the house was damaged or even lost, at least they’re okay! And from photos of the city, it looks like their street is largely still standing – flooded but still standing. We’re concerned but our worst fears don’t seem to be realized.

Time to settle down for a while, wait for the island to reopen, then find out the real story. In the meantime, at least the wind and rain are gone and we can celebrate our family’s safety and unity.

Daily Draws (Dark Angels Tarot) – 10/27, 10/28, 10/29/12

I’ve been drawing cards but due to hurricane preparations haven’t had time to post. Now that we’re hunkering down and the office is closed, I am home all day and can catch up! (We are well-prepared, not terribly concerned about really severe damage, but we definitely could lose power or have ceiling and window leaks.)

Saturday ~ 8 of Cups

The card of loss-yet-moving-on; admitting there are things you can’t hang onto, can’t control, so you let go and move forward with a lesser burden. There is regret but also hope in this card for me. We have to determine what we most needed to preserve and put it all in the safest possible places, and not everything in the house fits into one windowless room or one ice chest! So there are things we could indeed lose to the storm, but we are making preparations. It would be worse NOT to face the reality of the storm and possibility of loss, to cling to everything and pretend it’s all going to be fine if we don’t prepare. Maybe it will be fine but we can’t assume that. So knowing what’s most important and looking clearly into the future are the most helpful things now.

Sunday ~ Lovers

The storm hits today; the mayor has declared a state of emergency to start at 5 p.m., and by 2 a.m. this morning all mass transit will be shut down and no one is supposed to be on the streets unless they’re driving an ambulance, police car, or fire engine. I don’t know if I’m reading the card correctly, but the feeling I get, with the angel presiding over the rather frightened-looking couple, is that the higher powers (both spiritual and literal, our angels and the city government) are in control and the public, including me and my family, should stay together and hold onto what’s really important (each other, mostly!). If the choice aspect of the card is considered, I again think that it’s about choosing what’s important … staying together, not running off and leaving the home/family behind to pursue something else while it’s dangerous out there.

Monday ~ 10 of Coins

Oh, I like this card here. We’re currently under the leading edge of the storm, with heavy rain and gusty wind, but it’s going to get worse before it gets better…still, the 10 of Coins is the “family unity” or “domestic tranquility” card in my mind, it seems to be saying that my family and I will stick together and be safe, and the damage to our homes from the storm will not be impossible to handle. This being the Dark Angels deck there IS some destruction implied but nothing that can’t be fixed when the storm has passed. We won’t lose everything (this is especially reassuring considering my parents have a house near the ocean! – they aren’t staying there though, they’re inland with my brother’s family). The best thing we can do, as all the previous cards this week have been saying, is count on each other, stay indoors, and know that we’ve build the strongest foundation we could.

New Collection List Pages

I’ve created two new pages on the site for my deck collection lists, one for Tarot decks and the other for oracle/Lenormand decks. (I called that page “Non-Tarot” because I wasn’t sure I could use “Oracle” with the Lenormands in there.) The Tarot collection is just a hair over 100 decks, but that’s really only a good beginning! And I definitely need to use and work with more oracles and Lenormands. Oh, and get more of them too. I’m coveting the “Under the Roses Lenormand” pretty intensely right now….

Daily Draw (Joie de Vivre Tarot), 10/21/12

Five of Wands

Description: A walking tree crosses wands with an androgynous human figure (my first impression was that it was male, but upon looking closer I really can’t tell). Amid the tree’s branches are three more wands in a pattern that is clearly missing two pieces – the wands the two figures spar with are actually FROM the tree, and it’s an open question how they came off. A bird with a flower in its beak perches on the tree; a small argumentative creature is leashed to the human figure.Interpretation: I am not planning to go out today, so I suspect this battle is between me and myself, not me and another person. (The human figure, in high-heeled boots, certainly has my fashion sense.) The tree represents nature, that which grows organically, with the bird (inspiration?) offering a gift that is being ignored due to the struggle. The human figure may represent how I’m perceived or how I perceive myself – in fancy clothes, with those sharp boots – dressed up and no place to go? The small creature leashed to the human looks like it wants to bite, unlike the close-mouthed, flower-offering bird on the tree. I think my energy/creativity, represented by the wands (which COME from the tree) is going to have to fight my self-consciousness, the part of me that nips at my own heels and uses my creativity against me. I’ve been feeling like I want to start a new creative project and I haven’t been able to make myself do it; so who’s going to win today, the tree or the human? Can I accept the bird’s beautiful gift or will the toothy creature bite me back again?

Follow-up: This turned out to be very apropos! I was revisted by inspiration for my Avian Tarot work-in-progress (the bird is especially symbolic this way), had to beat back my self-doubts about my drawing skills, which card to start with, where the heck my reference images had gone and what to do when I couldn’t find them…the heck with that, though, I picked a new card to work on, found new reference photos, and got to work. Thank goodness, the tree did win today.

Daily Draw (Joie de Vivre Tarot), 10/20/12

This is a brand new deck for me. I have the creator’s previous deck, the Paulina Tarot, which I like and have good reading results with. When I saw this new one in the shop last week, I had to get it! Then I read some less-than-phenomenal reviews – not saying the deck was bad, but that it was just a “more colorful, less detailed Paulina Tarot” – and second-guessed my choice. But I wanted to get to know it for myself and selected it at my Deck of the Week, and after going through the cards with the LWB, I shuffled it 7 times and drew…

The Star

Description: A dreamy-eyed young woman sits on an egg-shaped hill in the middle of a stream, pouring water from a silver moon vessel in her left hand and a gold sun vessel in her right hand, gazing up at a heart-centered star. A lovely little bird offers her a flower in its beak, a four-spotted lady beetle perches in her hair, and there’s either a moth standing in her lap or an embroidered moth on the waist of her dress. And also, she has amazing striped wedge-heel booties that I *want*

Interpretation: The first thing I noticed was the lady beetle – I’m a wee bit obsessed with them, and as soon as I saw it in this card, I knew I was in good hands for the week. The Star is about hope, but not just “wish-on-a-star” hope; it’s the kind you have to work for too, an active bringing into being of your desires. The egg-shaped hill may actually BE an egg; I wonder what’s going to hatch, and if the things I’ve been working on and hoping would come to fruition are going to do so this week. What I’m getting from this card, on this day, is that my worries about the deck were unfounded; that it does have power and can speak to me (the LWB describes the lady beetle as “whispering in her ear”; and if the woman in this card isn’t me, she is certainly a stargazer and bird/insect-/shoe-lover like me!); that my hopes weren’t misfounded and the next week has the chance to be a very positive and happy one if I wait for all my eggs to hatch and keep my focus elevated. A very good start!

Daily Draw (Dark Carnival Tarot), 10/19/12

wo of Duckets (=Coins/Pentacles)

This day was my 10th wedding anniversary, and I was initially a bit disappointed that I hadn’t drawn one of the Major Arcana, but the more I looked at the 2 of Duckets, the more I appreciated it!

Description: A tightrope-walker crosses the uppermost heights of a big-top circus tent, carrying a Duckets symbol in each hand like a tambourine. Flowers (lotuses, pinks and what looks to my botanical eye like smartweed) burst from the rims of the tambourines and spring into bloom on the rope beneath her feet. Far, far, FAR below we can see one of the rings of the circus, with two tiny figures – I suspect it’s the lion tamer and the lion from the Strength card. The tightrope walker is confident, smiling, grinning even; there’s a net below her, but I get the feeling she’d be just as happy if it weren’t there. She’s performing a balancing act but it’s one that she loves, and there’s nothing she’d rather do.

Interpretation: First of all, I have to get the huge numbers of coincidental (???) numbers and symbols out of the way. The more I looked at this card, the more it WAS our relationship. Ten rungs on the ladder for ten years. She’s carrying two tambourines – we were married in 2002. The pole holding up the tightrope has six white stripes and six red stripes for a total of 12 – this year is 2012. Lotuses bloom all around her – the name of my engagement ring stone, the padparadschah sapphire, literally MEANS “lotus flower.” Wow. All that aside, people sometimes say marriage is a balancing act; balancing the needs and desires and difficulties and strengths of two people isn’t easy, and it hasn’t been an easy ride for either of us. We’ve definitely done the “in sickness” and “for poorer” more than “in health” and “for richer”, for one thing! But the heck with that. We’re grounded in strength and mutual understanding and respect (that lion & lion tamer team at the foot of the tightrope pole). We’ve learned to do the balancing act (we’re actually both jugglers, literally!), and although the first steps may have been rickety, we’re confident and those flowers are blooming all around us now. We made it through the fear and confusion. Our eyes are straight ahead at the future together, not down at the fragile net or the distant ground. I could not be happier than I am with him, and vice-versa, and this was the perfect daily draw for this day and for the end of this Deck of the Week cycle.

Daily Draw (Dark Carnival Tarot), 10/17/12

Warrior of Gats (=Knight of Wands)

Description: A figure in black body armor and a black gas mask, with a huge bazooka slung at his hip, stands atop the roof of a burning building. Behind him, three additional buildings are going up in flames. He doesn’t look alarmed, though – whatever side this warrior is on, and whoever started the fire, he’s calm, collected, ready to do what he needs to do. In my head I hear the songs “I don’t want to set the world on fire” and “We didn’t start the fire” – but I’m not sure that’s what is in the warrior’s head! He’s the raw power of pure energy, he burns his candle at both ends, and the middle too. But if he’s not careful he’ll be consumed by the flames he thinks he’s mastered…

Interpretation: WOW. High-energy day for me, I suspect. One where I’ll be called on to wear all my different hats, be the jack of all trades, and try to put out a lot of fires (which may or may not be set by others…). The card promises a very busy and active and challenging day, but it also promises that I HAVE the energy; that I can get everything done, if I just stay focused. To cross a burning roof, you can’t run at top speed – you need to step deliberately, see where the weaknesses are, put your foot someplace solid. I need to be structured and control the energy, not controlled by it or overwhelmed.


Daily Draw (Dark Carnival Tarot), 10/16/12

Joker of Axes (=Page of Swords)

Description: Amid swirling gray mist, a jack o’lantern headed figure raises a double-headed axe. It’s hard to tell if he is smiling a bizarrely-toothed grin, or has a gag or mask over his mouth – I get the feeling that he can’t speak for some reason. His axe has a tiny jack o’lantern finial; unlike his own pumpkin head, the one on the axe is frowning.

Interpretation: Traditionally the “student card,” this possibly-speechless apparition makes me think of the literal meaning of the word “sophomore” – “wise fool.” When it turned up in a reading I did for someone else, I also used the phrase “the Headless Non-Horseman.” There’s something unfinished about the figure, despite his I-dare-you grin and boldly-wielded axe; I’d say he’s all bark and no bite, but I’m not sure he can bark either! He’s still learning – for instance, that’s NOT the way to hold a battleaxe – even if he thinks he’s learned enough. And this really did resonate with me today, I am in charge of training new employees at my company and apparently I haven’t kept up with the company’s newest procedures. I’ve been authoritatively telling new hires to do things that are no longer technically correct, although they were correct when I learned them myself several years ago. My self-confident attempts to cut through the fog for others have belied the fact that I’ve been in a bit of a fog myself! I need to get more humble and learn more from the company’s decision-makers about what they’ve designed and implemented over the past few years. I need to be a good student so I can continue being a good teacher.

Daily Draw (Dark Carnival Tarot), 10/15/12

3 of Duckets (=Coins/Pentacles)

Description: A young graffiti artist spraypaints three Duckets symbols onto an ivy-tangled (and already graffitoed) brick wall. He seems to be perched on a ledge, but not all that high from the ground. Around the corner of the building is a police car, red and blue lights flaring. The seats of the car are empty – the cops are out of the car and looking for malefactors. The ledge he’s on is low; he can jump down and run easily. He doesn’t look worried about being caught, just grouchy that he has to hurry his art!

Interpretation: Performance under pressure. Unlike the traditional card where the artist seeks approval from the authorities, he knows he’ll be in trouble if the authorities find him here – but he is also determined to do his best, he’s not running before he finishes painting! My day has just taken a turn for the “gotta hurry, do everything by noon because we have to leave” worse; I thought I’d have a full day to relax and enjoy a vacation, but the person driving me has to return home sooner than she expected. Time to cram everything into the next few hours….the souvenir buying is going to be a rush trip, not a pleasant browse, for instance. On the other hand, maybe that’s a good thing. I can linger too long over something; a kick in the pants to finish Project A and move onto Project B isn’t necesssarily bad. The young graffiti artist might have spent all night painting one wall if those cops hadn’t shown up. He’s been forced to say “I’m done here” but the night is young for him, just like the day is young for me. Heck, I might get something interesting and enjoyable done this afternoon that I wouldn’t have thought of otherwise!

Daily Draw (Dark Carnival Tarot), 10/14/12


I was somewhat cautious about starting to work with a deck so different from my usual style, and far removed from my own cultural background; I didn’t know if I should look at each card and read the entire book to try to get a more academic understanding or jump straight in and start playing. Well…a deck with this many counterculture clowns is a deck that wants to play! So I read the introduction to the book and then shuffled the deck and Temperance jumped out at me.

Description: A man with dark glasses mixes strange, colorful liquids in a variety of oddly-shaped vessels under the glaring light of a single fluorescent bulb. He looks like he might be cooking up illicit drugs or mixing drinks for a very singular bar clientele. The colors of the liquids and the light form a counterclockwise rainbow effect: containers of red liquid on the right, a yellow lightbulb spreading orange light at the top, containers of green and blue liquid on the left, and purple spilled liquid on the bottom.

Interpretation: The elements of the classic Temperance card are still here: the rainbow (even if it is going backwards), the mixture of fluids, the otherworldly alchemist presiding. Whatever the style of the artwork this is still a deck I can understand and work with. The alienness is tempered by the familiar. The new things in my life that I’m concerned about being “too big of a change” (returning to my Tarot journey, reaching out in my path of recovery, making more friends outside my current social circle) are not scary or weird if I can temper them with the more familiar, older things in my life: I worked with Tarot before, I tried to help people in recovery before, I’ve reached beyond my comfort zone before. And it all got me to wonderful places – it will again. Maybe that man is wearing those dark glasses because he’s afraid of being blinded by the strange colors and blazing light, but as his eyes adjust, he’ll be able to take them off. I can ease into the strangeness and newness too, one step at a time, and when I’m ready I’ll be able to take off the glasses and look directly at that glorious rainbow…