Today’s Interesting Fact #43.2

Posted May 23, 2016 by JJ
Categories: Tarot - General

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FACT: If there is a table surface available, a plant will end up there, as well as Dave and his sheep, tarot boxes, books, and cards, William Clark my portable GPS, and paint chips. Grey paint chips for the hall in which I am going to paint my white tree.


I bought three more pots and plants for the living room and dining room and I cleared the table off. We actually had lunch there yesterday. Zounds, such excitement. Pictures to hang and pillows to make, which means I have to tackle the three cartons of fabric and sort and put them away. We took four pictures to the framer to have them reframed, new windows have gone into three rooms, and I’ve lost count but I think we unpacked 19 boxes of stuff in the last two weeks.

I also packed three boxes of ornaments, a picture, a mirror, a cork board,  and about seven bags of books to go to the thrift shop.


Ah Magus, thanks for dropping by today. I am exhausted and could use some of your energy.


This reminds me of the Thornton W. Burgess book about Danny Meadow Mouse—Reddy Fox was always trying to hear Danny Meadow Mouse scooting under the snow so he could pounce on him and eat him. And by golly here he is Reddy on The Magician in the Animal Totem Tarot, along with an appropriate figure.

The spouse and I have vowed to take a proper break this holiday Monday in order to rest. Fox says today “There is an undercurrent of abundance that flows through everything and everyone. But sometimes you have to stop doing what you are doing in order to truly tap into the magic of what is around you.”

So, expand the senses today, the real magic happens in the unseen. Stop talking, take a rest, be quiet and listen, like the fox listening for scurrying creatures under the snow.



I Sing from the Atoll for Llewellyn Worldwide

Posted May 21, 2016 by JJ
Categories: Tarot - General

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I just wanted to say that in a world of poor customer service, I had a terrific experience with Llewellyn Worldwide when trying to sort out problems with my Animal Totem Tarot. I didn’t expect anything but I was floored by the service I got, it was exceptional. It meant the world to me because I use my cards a lot and use them creatively. Bless you K. at Llewellyn, you really, really made my day.

In contrast, I wrote to several deck artists in the past year, simply to say I liked their work and not a reply did I get from any of them. I like a good natter with other artists about creating art, and in the past I’ve had some good conversations with some talented deck artists. Perhaps conversation has gone out of style in a world of Facebook pseudo-friends and endless tweeting nonsense? People could instead be writing about cards and art for God’s sake.

This week I’ve lost track of how many cartons I unpacked. We finally got the cabinet with the glass doors put together after about 11 hours and three days of work. “Oh sure,” the reviewers at Canadian Tire said, “it only took me 1.5 hours to assemble.” We thought the assembly would never end. However, here’s a picture of my dining room to show my passage. Hey, cat figurines are back in my life! All cleaned and shiny and in their new cabinet along with some other breakables.


I also took some old pictures in for reframing and bought three more houseplants and ceramic pots for them. As you can see I have some work to do to get the dining table cleared but I have a new quilted table runner planned for it when I do get it cleared.




This is an Atoll, which is described as a “complete, thriving World” in the book. It’s a pity that my association with the word “atoll” comes from nuclear bomb testing sites. Isn’t it a tragedy to kill a complete world?

To sustain a thriving ecosystem , things have to come together, the right things have to happen. I have been rereading some of my journals from earlier this year and it’s amazing how things fit together for us when we sold our old house and moved. So, something came to an end (our old life) and now the conditions exist to build a new world. All the conditions to make my world better are inside of me. I find that heartening.

Oh, and my cat figurines are out of boxes after 2.5 years. Gotta love that world builder.



Four for Evolution

Posted May 17, 2016 by JJ
Categories: Tarot - General

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I am nearly finished my first Gratitude Journal that I started in January 2015. I’ve already bought the new hardcover Paperblanks journal for the next round but while browsing the old one I see pages and pages mentioning pain and naps and feeling sick. Weeks and months and on it goes just like today. I’ve got to sort this out.

I am looking through the Power Tarot book and decide to use the Evolution Spread with the Animal Totem Tarot:

1) The situation as it exists now – FOUR OF CUPS
2) How the situation will evolve in the next four weeks – ACE OF CUPS
3) Someone or something that will affect the situation – KNIGHT OF SWORDS
4) The outcome – KING OF WANDS


1) FOUR OF CUPS – OCTOPUS – He’s floating around, seeing that treasure but taking it for granted, feeling jaded about it all. He feels his ship broke apart and sunk ages ago so what’s the point of bothering? Overindulgence and distractions don’t work when your time is coming to an end; the octopus only lives a short time. You can have too much of a good thing, which is the situation I find myself in having destroyed my health during the latter years of my life.

2) ACE OF CUPS – KINGFISHER –  Things are brimming over, which reminds me of detox and how the toxins pour out of the body. This is a river of possibility and healing, of life-giving water. There is an unlimited supply here of something other than processed food or junk food treats. Water, spilling over always ready to fill you up when you feel an emotional lack. “Bathe your emotional wounds in the healing water.”

3) KNIGHT OF SWORDS – ROOK – I see people referring to certain cards stalking them in draws, and for me this Knight comes up a lot. I call him Mr. Harum-Scarum, and he is just the sort who dashes around flitting from thing to thing and throwing himself into new endeavours but rarely completing them. He’s quick though which requires adaptation and quick thinking. In this case he’s telling me not to over plan or think things out entirely, just get out and do something, have a little adventure, get out of the house. I’ve got a shield for protection and a sword to cut through detritus. Keep going, keep doing.

4) KING OF WANDS – TASMANIAN DEVIL – I’ve pulled him recently too. This guy is a commander and doesn’t bother much with people unless he feels good in their presence. He also doesn’t like to lose so the suggestion that I “Burn and scorch all you have left behind so there is no chance of going back” seems in character. I’ve done that in my physical reality after moving house but not so much in my emotional reality. He doesn’t lose and he doesn’t want me to lose either. Action is a risk and it may not work but that’s no excuse for non-action. That’s my outcome: by acting I will not lose.




Four Wands and a Gorgeous Bower

Posted May 16, 2016 by JJ
Categories: Tarot - General

Tags: , , ,

I have a number of bird decks, including a deck of playing cards with Chinese titling that took me several years to gather information for and write up a sheet on. Yeah, I like looking up birds. So today’s card really lit me up!



This is a Bowerbird, and it looks specifically like the Satin Bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus) which is from eastern Australia. Male bowerbirds build elaborate structures and decorate them with flowers and other objects that attract attention from females during the mating season.

In the Rider-Waite tradition, this card often shows a wedding bower so how perfect is this choice of a bowerbird for the Four of Wands? Somebody was thinking, which is a good thing when creating card decks. I was remarking that I’ve never heard of a bowerbird and then I thought “Maybe I’ve never given my best?” which is a deeper reflection for today.

As well as the courtship or marriage aspect, and treating your spouse with your best attitude and effort, this is about doing the best job you can, really pulling it out and being the best version of yourself. There is a structural aspect too, leading me to think of structure in health issues, doing the basics like eating properly and drinking water, having that base.

I have so many ideas for finishing old quilt tops and decorating tea towels with fabric and painting a large abstract, but I haven’t felt well or energetic and this is a good reminder for me of a different way of structuring my life.

If your structure is good you can then decorate, it’s all part of the total ideal, the best you can bring to life.

Eagles Across Decks

Posted May 15, 2016 by JJ
Categories: Miscellaneous Cards, Oracles - General, Tarot - General

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I thought I had all my cards unboxed from our cross-country move but while searching for particular animal decks, I realized that some loose ones that I wrapped separately from their boxes were missing. Fortunately the spouse rounded them up for me. You would think with 394 decks I would forget but Judith never forgets a deck!

An overview with an attendant eagle figure, this one by Schleich.


And don’t forget those other four decks Jude. The eagle in the card with the yellow border has taken a fancy to my figure, he’s zooming toward him with some urgency. Figures inspire everyone I suppose.


The KING OF SWORDS  was the card I drew today from the Animal Totem Tarot that started the eagles flying. I had mentioned to someone recently how my deck collecting had gone down lately because I just want to buy art created by hand or at least created by hand in Adobe Illustrator. Upon taking these cards out my heart sang with the impact and beauty of the art and each artist’s expression and composition. It does not get better than this for me as a collector, this stuff makes me happy and inspires my own artwork.

The King, in his highly analytical way, enjoyed this comparison. In this card as you fly higher you strip away what isn’t important, your soaring height makes things clearer, shifts the focus, lets you drop nonessentials. Not a bad reflection of how I currently feel about card decks.


The Magical Menagerie was one deck I couldn’t find this morning so I knew I had another box somewhere. The Pathfinders deck holds up, it’s one of my favourites. Susan Seddon Boulet has been dead since 1997, but her Animal Spirits Knowledge Cards are still in print, and no wonder; what a legacy.


I think the Animal Messages deck is out of print now but I’m so glad I bought one when it was readily available, it’s a treasure, and Sue Lion’s Spirit Animals always looks so fresh and comes in a tin with a window so you can put your card of the day in view. The Animalis deck is also a fresh vision with lots of bones and unusual compositions.


More decks that hold up for me: the Tarot of Reincarnation is one you have to hunt for the species and some of the names have changed. I have a fuller discussion and small review of it here. It has nothing to do with reincarnation, unless you figure the original illustrations (long out of copyright) have been reincarnated.


I absolutely love both these bird decks, they are definitely treasures both for the art and the variety of images. I rarely use the Medicine Cards but they are neat in their own way. At the time they were published I don’t think there were many animal decks in existence, so it was important.

Ah, the satisfaction of a card comparison after a long break from my cards. It’s like coming out of a desert to drink a glass of ice water. Cool baby.

Happy Sunday!







Hermit Gathers Friends Around Him

Posted May 13, 2016 by JJ
Categories: Tarot - General

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Unfortunately the world does not produce mantis figures for one to purchase. I vow one day to draw one up as it’s one of the insects I really like.

Today is a bit of a Hermit day for me as I have hurtled into a serious health problem (again.) I am feeling better than the last two days but need to rest and eat lots of fruit, vegetables and drink water.

Yes, Mantis tells me to remove myself for a time. I also like the reminder here of resting overnight because solutions and better feelings often arise with the sun after a sleep. Having space for a bit is not running away or denying a problem, it’s not a delay, it’s a way of allowing a solution to occur. Relax into the darkness and then pop out into the light again.

Mantids are wise, are they not?

I suppose I shouldn’t have, but during a bad moment yesterday I ordered some figures to go with this deck. They go with other decks too, and one of the days I must have a photo session, but right now I am trying to finish unpacking so don’t want to divert myself.



Gerry Durrell used to talk about lemurs a lot in his books, so I wanted to get that one. I couldn’t find the Papo brand possum with babies on its back that I wanted to go with the Badgers Forest Tarot, so I thought I’d get the Papo lemur while it was available. Oops, I had to delete it as I ran out of money, so I just got the four.

And Dave really wanted that penguin, you know? I have to keep Dave happy.



Dave and His Sheep Contemplate Penguins

Posted May 12, 2016 by JJ
Categories: Tarot - General

Tags: , , ,

I heard a ruckus coming out of a plastic bin at the foot of my bed this morning at 1 a.m., and had to investigate. It was Dave shouting for help, absolutely sick of the musky smell of Chimera after being locked in a box with the animal for four months. He was worried about the sheep getting pneumonia in all that funk.

Having escaped, they are admiring my new cactus and the wooden box with the carved owls for the Animal Totem Tarot. Yeah, those sheep do look a bit wonky and appreciate some fresh air. Dave’s looking a tad punchy himself. Get out and roister about on the Duncan Phyfe table why don’t you?




All’s right with the world. Dave noted how similar his colouring is to these penguins, and then encouraged me to buy a penguin figure. Yes Dave, I think I might, and I might throw in a puffin and some other animals as well. Got to beef up the plastic animal figures for the new deck.

Step into community in order to live and thrive; you deserve happiness and joy.

I’ll take that. If only I could find a capybara figure…


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