Weighed Down but Stable

Posted September 16, 2017 by JJ
Categories: Lenormand Oracle

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This card deck has quite a strong chemical smell from the printing, so I’ve taken the book and cards out and I’m airing them in a tarot cupboard with some incense which will hopefully help the smell to dissipate.



This can mean several things but since I’m winging it without extra cards it seemed like a positive message.

In the book Rana explains that the rocks in the background are off Beirut, Lebanon but they remind me of the rock formations we see in Canada too.

The Anchor always brings to mind my favourite Uncle, who was in the merchant Navy. Since he died I tend to take this card as a positive from him. So today he is telling me about abilities, specifically stability and dependability, with a dash of security. I suppose the weight of an anchor can hold you down but you often need it to keep yourself from drifting. I tend to daydream so this is a card for focus. Sure, lie on the beach, but do something while resting there.




Woman of the Ashes

Posted September 14, 2017 by JJ
Categories: Lenormand Oracle

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The illustrations in the Rana George Lenormand are done by Callie French and they are wonderful. Rana included two versions of the Woman card, this one is the more modern.

Since this is a significator card but I’m not using it with other cards, it will be me, swanning around, glad to be home after a 2.5-day trip to meet my family and put our parents’ ashes in the sea. My Mom has been dead for 25 years and I think she is thankful to get out of that box. We threw in snippets of cedar and arbutus bark as well as white roses as we scattered their ashes together into the sea in a spot they loved to anchor in and where they wanted their ashes to go.

While we were doing this a seal popped his head up three times watching us, and seals were special for my Mom so we took it as a sign that they were aware of us being there. You could see their ashes mingling under the water as we took turns pouring in a bit of each. Lovely, and we had a special tape of an album they owned with a song called Lowlands Away among others. Lowlands was playing while we poured their ashes into the sea. My Dad’s name was John, you see? Perfect.

Here is a nice version of the song by Kate McGarrigle and her son Rufus Wainright.

My dogs were glad to be spring from being boarded and my cat was hungry, having eaten all the food I had left. My little family is back together and we are exhausted so enjoying being home.

I’m off to pre-order Steve’s deck; the force of The Spirit Within is strong young Skywalker.



Dinged Corners and All

Posted September 10, 2017 by JJ
Categories: Tarot - General

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Notice how well my scans are showing the dinged corners on these cards?



I tried her with a lime green swirl but she found that she couldn’t concentrate, so I switched to a mint colour. Minty fresh, that’s the best.

She is holding Persephone’s pomegranate and contemplating the approaching cold weather. I’m wondering if I’m ever going to stop feeling pain day and night. Her nod suggests I should look within for healing answers and stop eating frozen yogurt which causes my right knee to swell up.

“Take a hint Jude” she says. I am not trusting the Universe. Never mind the subconscious, look at the dinged corners of the soul, the ones that you keep bashing about, knocking into the same objects over and over.

If I don’t watch it, I’ll be staying in the Underworld permanently.

Happy Sunday!

That In-Your-Face Glow

Posted September 8, 2017 by JJ
Categories: Tarot - General

I have been busy sewing all week. I got my new sewing machine up and working a week ago, and it only took me five months to get around to it. I have never had a computerized machine and it takes a while to get used to the beeping sounds and messages. I am doing well with an old project from May 2009, and have sewn borders on 30 blocks. Now I need to baste them individually for machine quilting.




This is one of the cards I found striking in this deck. The light is nothing short of exquisite in this card.

The flower on her staff is not specified in the book but it reminds me of daffodils, which reminds me of cancer and a relative who is waiting on results from an MRI. It could be a rose with a thorn spike in the centre.

She is grabbing her heart as if something wondrous and terrible was in her sight, the shadows of people (ancestors) behind her. Doubt, illusion but her staff anchors her and guides her as well, it provides support.

I don’t often pull The Moon and this one is a bit spooky, all I see is her staff today and that weird light and a subconscious feeling that things are not right.

Blah. [Seven hours later I found out that I was right, the cancer is growing and needs an operation as it’s pressing on the brain and nerves and causing problems for my relative. Rats.]


I Had a Dream There Were Clouds in My Lenormand -logy

Posted September 1, 2017 by JJ
Categories: Lenormand Oracle

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I notice that Rana George has a new Lenormand deck (which I ordered) to go with the book she wrote on Lenormand decks (which I don’t have.)

I was tempted while browsing, but rather than buying another deck I decided to pull out all my Lenormand decks and pick a random card. Surprisingly, I already have nine Lenormand decks. How did that happen? My random pick was the Clouds card, number 6.


Ooooh, they just go on and on in this image. I always think of Clouds as good/bad or dark/light or even good luck/bad luck, but there are some subtleties to the card that haven’t entered my consciousness. Chloe McCracken in the book for the Celtic Lenormand refers to the ambiguity and polarity of this card; it’s so clear but if you think about clouds visually they do tend to blend together where there isn’t a clear delineation between light and dark. We are back to Pema Chodron’s “fundamental ambiguity of being human”.

The other aspect of this card that I never considered is the idea that you or another person might be showing two sides or that there are two sides to a situation and such. The way people hide things or misrepresent themselves or simply that you need to consider both sides could be part of this depending on the surrounding cards. One book I have mentions abuse, like an abuser presenting one face to the world and in private being dark and dangerous.

Speaking of surrounding cards, I find it astounding that people actually do the Grand Tableau with all the cards laid out. That would take me forever, and in some way I feel it is bypassing chance or randomness to have everything on the table, which is why I prefer a one-card or maybe a three-card maximum draw with these decks. Historically I am wrong, but personally I like it that way, yet there is something to be said for interaction with this card in particular, so when feeling expansive use as many cards as you like.

Oh, and most often the dark clouds are on the left, but in my own deck, The Illustrative Lenormand, I put them on the right, as does Lo Scarabeo in the Lenormand Oracle Cards, and in some of the cards it’s less clear where the light and dark are, it looks…ambiguous!

The other thing with these cards is the number itself, with 6 signifying the sixth month of June or six days or six weeks and whatever else you can throw at the meaning of numbers. I’ve never been too keen on that approach but others use it with success. My problem with numbers is how malleable they are, how you can bludgeon them to mean everything and anything. Ask yourself: “Who came up with this system of numerology?” Then think about how it could have been done differently, it could have been done 20 or 100 different ways. You could make up your own system, there are no archetypes with numbers, no root meanings, just what people have foisted on them.

Are words like that too? Maybe. There is some of that with words but “ambiguity” for instance has a Latin root of ambigere which means “to wander about”. It can be variously interpreted, as you meander through association and meaning, but you are always left wandering, uncertain, that is the base of what it means.

The number six is the smallest positive integer which is neither a square number nor a prime number. Six is the second smallest composite number; its proper divisors are 1, 2, and 3 and when you add those together you get 6. On it goes into mathematics, music and chemistry, biology, astronomy.

Numerology seems to have several associations tacked onto this number, like that it is feminine or nurturing and connected to service, responsibility, and thus connected to motherhood and caring. It has been connected to the Lovers card in Tarot which is also number six, and there are positive and negative energies, but generally this is a happy number. Who says? Where did this come from? Some human made it up and tacked it on. It’s a system, and it works because people make it work, but where did Big Mom come into the number 6? Humans. Read as you wish but don’t expect me to embrace a system that describes the number 6 as “nurturing”; it’s a fabrication.

Thus say the Clouds of ambiguity.




Overview of the Ostara Tarot

Posted August 31, 2017 by JJ
Categories: Tarot - General

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I have had this on my wish list for some months, waiting for the mass market edition from Schiffer. The reviews mention the silver foil on the edges sticking together and missing cards or duplicates, so I was a bit worried about ordering it.

My copy is fine. You have to be careful pulling each card apart as the silver ink on the edges does stick. A few of my corners were slightly dinged but not too bad, and I have all the cards and no duplicates. Having overcome that hurdle successfully I wanted to discuss some of the cards.

There are so many, many cards in this deck that I like, but I edited it down to eight that seemed different. These two are from the Major Arcana.


Isn’t that Chariot different? What better way than chess to show a rider moving and having control? Self-discipline, practice but also the idea of strategy in that you have to think about the moves your opponent might make. I liked the wheels behind the figure of the rider and his hood, as if he was hiding his reactions, like a Poker face.

The second one that struck me was the Temperance card. She is holding a box that releases both predator and prey–that balance of the world. “Where something is taken, it must be given. Light is necessary to cast a shadow.” Very interesting imagery on this, it gives you a depth of meaning for those of us used to the conventional imagery.

Here are a couple of interesting ones from the Minor Arcana.


One of my bugaboos is the standard stabbed heart on the Three of Swords. Okay, it’s historical but it’s boring. Here we have that but we don’t. The tree and the ivy suggest growth from the archetypal heartbreak of this card. If you look closely you can see a frog in the ivy “relishing the rain” which again suggests nourishment and growth being available. That tree just stands there, is it misplaced stoicism or is it renewing itself and growing constantly? Terrific card, this is a favourite of mine.

The rabbit on the Four of Coins is priceless. The old miser has “…sucked every penny out of his family, his community…” He’s in his nice ship, getting cold and colder, have a nice trip you hero.

Here are two more that are quite different. I sometimes find it hard when there isn’t an obvious symbol, to tell which suit a card is from. These are both Wands and you can see little branches in the cards but they aren’t readily apparent so you have to get used to telling some of the cards apart. Well and good, it means using the cards and getting familiar with them, what could be better?


The Five of Wands is very striking with its two-headed snake. I liked the idea here of pulling in different directions. It’s not necessarily a group conflict, it could also be an inner conflict or change. Good point and well illustrated.

The Seven of Wands is a card that often seems to lack a fuller meaning. In the Rider-Waite tradition and man is often standing defending himself atop a hill or fortification. In this card the girl is guarding her perch on the floating island with a bow and arrow, but the other levels of islands and people below really speak to competition and the idea of “climbing the corporate ladder” and the advancement and defence that entails. She has a raccoon lying beside her which suggests masks and how competition can mean masking your true self. Yuck, it brings me back to my working days and all the drama of gossip and office politics. It also reminds me of course of the game Snakes and Ladders and zooming past your opponent on a ladder. So, all kinds of symbolism here that’s a bit different.

My favourite suit in this deck is the Swords suit. There are so many beautiful animals and a simplicity to some of the cards that is striking. These two are my favourite cards in the deck.


That whale on the Ten of Swords was the card that got me to put this on my wish list. Oh, such a lonely, beautiful, haunting card with the roiling sea and the whale under the stars, crying.

Having lived in Ontario for most of my life, I was used to the Blue Jay all around me, roistering and squawking in the garden and in cottage country, so I was surprised to see a Stellar’s Jay on the Two of Swords card. It was one of the first birds we saw in our garden in British Columbia, and I saw a Stellar’s Jay in the garden yesterday. The women who created this deck are from Vancouver, BC, so this was my first clue that they were Canadian, which was another reason I bought this deck.

The bird is blindfolded and that could mean not seeing or avoiding pain and difficult choices. I usually call this the “parlay card” because it is about that, or perhaps avoiding people as suggested by the loneliness of the path in this image. The other thing that struck me is the nest; you can’t fly out of the nest if you can’t see, so this could indicate someone who doesn’t want to grow up or is afraid to go out on their own, hemmed in by the Swords of fear.

The deck is all just a little bit different, which is what attracts me to decks these days. It has a freshness that I couldn’t pass up and I’m truly glad I purchased it and look forward to using it.



Cherry Blossoms Club Me

Posted August 31, 2017 by JJ
Categories: Playing Cards

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Capital of the United States
In spring, thousands of cherry trees bloom in the nation’s capital.


Well isn’t that pretty? This is a lovely illustration and she’s done a true transformation with the suit symbols in their conventional places.

I thought we had a cherry tree out in the front yard, but it turned out to be a full apple tree. We have three apples on it this year.

Maybe this card is about seeing things that may not be there, or missing things that are? How many people bustle about and forget to notice the cherry trees in bloom?