Ace of Pentacles/Coins Across Decks

Posted August 27, 2014 by JJ
Categories: Tarot - General

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I saw in my statistics page that someone had come to my site searching for images of the Ace of Coins. I thought to myself that this might make an excellent study.

Danger, danger, hours later after searching through dozens of decks and scanning, adjusting, rotating and labelling in Photoshop, I’m a bit punchy. When you’re in a funk, nothing helps like a bit of sorting, categorization, and organization. This was more than a bit, but hey it made for a keenly interesting day.

Dealing mostly with the Rider-Waite model (here used in the Universal Waite deck) I decided that there were three kinds of imagery with this card: the classic “hand of God” approach; the figurative approach related to the theme like in the Golden Tarot; and the pattern and shape decorated or changed similar to a pip in transformation playing cards, like in this marvelous Ace of Pentacles in the Sun and Moon.

In this study I am ignoring the figurative approach, and looking more at the other two.






I don’t see too many people using the Fradella deck but it’s one of my favourites.

















I’ve talked about that Universal Fantasy card before, it reminds me so much of an old brooch.

So that’s it, about 8 hours of work and 39 decks!



Cry Me a River Elizabeth

Posted August 26, 2014 by JJ
Categories: Tarot - General

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This is my ultimate personal card, even all these years later, I am this Queen. This is not my favourite depiction of her though, as she reminds me of caricatures of the dissolute Emperor Nero. However, she is St. Elizabeth of Hungary and was probably chosen for this card because she was a widow before becoming a nun. The Queen of Swords is often associated with widows.

Here is the original painting by Simone Martini.


Perhaps because of the widowhood, this card can also mean grief. Yes, she is intellectually astute and suffers no fools, but she also carries grief with her too, and that’s what I see today.

I am having a time adjusting to everything it seems. I try to do projects to compensate but I overdid the embroidery the other day and have a tender bruise now on my arthritic hand, so have to break for a day or two. This leaves me in my Queen of Swords mind, slashing and biting myself. Yesterday I sat at the table saying to the spouse how I didn’t see how I could continue to live, tears streaming down my immovable face, no comfort forthcoming from that manly quarter.

What a thing. The old human condition. Sometimes you can’t think your way through things Queenie, sometimes you have to feel it. “Oh how awful!” says Queenie, reaching for a biography of William Morris and finding that it hasn’t arrived at the library yet, leaving her with nothing to waylay her mind.

What to do, what to do to keep from going mad? Nothing I’m afraid, you have to sit and feel. Logic and goals, the quick-witted rational mind, are in the soup, floating for a time, adrift. How dramatic, but that’s this Queen, she never does thing by halves. Clinging to grief won’t cut it Queenie, you have to go through it. In a way, that offers a type of independence that this Queen would like.

Sigh. Bloody feelings.



Ursuline Enlightenment

Posted August 25, 2014 by JJ
Categories: Tarot - General

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I was rummaging looking for the perfect border fabric for a baby quilt I started in January. I had set it aside for a while because something was off. I realized yesterday that it needed a dark blue and not a red colour for the border and once I decided that, I appliquéd 3 blue circles onto patches within the quilt that needed toning down so I’m set to go again.

This often happens with my projects. I can tell something isn’t working, usually with the colour, and it takes a break to see it with a fresh eye. A good example of why rushing something is not always the best way.



I immediately think of the four evangelists with this card since their symbols are classically on here. The main character here is St. Ursula and the Holy Virgins. One absolutely delightful thing with this deck is that the booklet lists all the art references for each card. Kat Black has collaged the frame and gilt, the clouds, and each evangelistic symbol from different sources, in such a clever way.

This card seems fresh to me since I rarely draw The World. It seems auspicious that I do today. Something to think about when considering choice in the big, bad world:

“One person can make the world a better place.”

This includes surrounding yourself with enlightened people and attitudes.



Time Enough to Breathe and Create

Posted August 24, 2014 by JJ
Categories: Tarot - General

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I rarely use this deck today. Back when it was created I raved about it, because it was one of the decks that rekindled my love and interest in Art History. A few years later I saw the author being rather snarky on the Jump the Shark forum along with another author, and it sadly put me off both their decks. I noticed a few authors, one reviewer, and one woman who authored the book for a deck, who let it go to their head over time and change them from pleasant, knowledgeable people, to ego-charged meanies.

I imagine the attention, particularly as sales and discussion of your work builds, would be hard not to let go to your head. The rock stars of the tarot world are human after all. I don’t want to know. Having been a bully at times myself when I let my temper get the best of me, I think a kinder, humbler approach does us all good.

I also think it best that we create our own artwork rather than collage the work of others. Still, I have several books on frescoes and Art History that contain bits and pieces from this deck so I remain fond of the artwork.



Yup, I’m feeling this today. In the Rider-Waite deck, this card has my favourite illustration. The falcon, the garden, the richness of the landscape, all point to golden hours with your basic needs meant and time and money for creative pursuits. The only thing she’s missing is a decorative plate or two.

Oh wait…




The Couple Meet the Fixer Man

Posted August 18, 2014 by JJ
Categories: Miscellaneous Cards

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Oooh, wouldn’t it be nice to have one of these guys? I think a misconception of marriage is that the spouse will be this guy. Perhaps (disregarding reincarnation) that this is what people mean when they say they want a soul mate? What they want is someone to take away all the responsibility, the worry, the financial problems. They want the knight who will come rushing in and fix everything, or Lady Beneficent.

Unfortunately, men and women for all their strengths and abilities are not able to fix everything. Far better I think to treat everyone as a human going through life and share the burden. Switch up now and then to act as the generous protector. In my experience, men need a guy like this sometimes too. Notice that on this card it is the couple who meet the Dark-haired man, who are generously helped and protected by him. We all need this guy some days.

I laughed when I saw the reverse “False Promises” of this card. I often accuse the spouse of this, and feel let down. How about expecting myself to keep the promise? It works both ways.

I feel bad this week, having ripped into the spouse on several occasions. My temper, my temper, but my little gift is all done and packaged up so that should relieve some tension. The spouse was sitting outside reading in a lawn chair and heard the neighbours having a fight. She screamed at him “We don’t need you any more!” and when he told me that I felt very bad for my own words.

Hangs head…vows to be more generous in spirit….



Anxiety and Obligation

Posted August 17, 2014 by JJ
Categories: Miscellaneous Cards

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Somewhere along the way I developed quite a bit of anxiety when making things for other people. I like to make things, but I don’t seem able to handle the pressure these days. Even if I’m on deadline it bothers me and takes over my whole life. Odd that. I have one more side to attach for my current project and then I can package it up to mail tomorrow.

The spouse says “Never again, don’t make things for other people only make things for yourself.” I think that too. I wonder if this is my body’s way of saying “I want you to concentrate on yourself.” That seems rather self-centred.

Today I pulled out the charming Le Devin deck by Heron. It has 52 cards plus two significator cards for a man and woman. I love the Art Deco-like illustrations.



Handmade presents are lovely, but you wonder why you spent so much of your self, so much energy and commitment to something.

I think many people appreciate money or a bought gift more. I am weary of spilling myself out like this. I had all kinds of problems with supplies for the one I am just finishing up and while it looks beautiful, I would rather contain this sort of energy for my own home. When a gesture to fashion an item by hand degenerates into obligation, it’s time to redirect my energy.

It still seems ratty and selfish but at this point the body or mind is saying “Stop!!”



The Sky of Worryville

Posted August 15, 2014 by JJ
Categories: Tarot - General

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V OF CROWS (5 of Pentacles)


Look at that sky!! The churning mind, the churning stomach of worry seems to embody the sky. Yes, I’ve been procrastinating again so now I’m feeling anxious. I took two days off for both my birthday and reading a book so now I have to play catch-up.

She also says “unforeseen loss” with this card and it reminds me of my cat Stitch, struggling to stay alive and now down to about 5 raggedy pounds of bone. Here he is on an old pillow to keep him comfortable as he has no body fat to keep him warm and cushion his bones. He is admiring my birthday flowers and my new floor lamp in cushioned safety.

That crow is looking down at Stitch, it worries me too.


I’d better get cracking and work on my project so I can finish it to mail in three days. Stitch, my ever faithful friend on his pillow, will be sitting there as I work.

Stay with me, stay grounded under turbulent skies little man.




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