Preposterous Worms and Niggly Things

Posted September 23, 2016 by JJ
Categories: Playing Cards

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Remember this little ditty?:

“The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out,
In your stomach and out your mouth”

Ah the joys of ruminating on death. I have been up for three hours with cascading nerve pain and muscle spasms. My approach for the last three days has been to stop taking pills: no more rushing to alleviate every pain and ache with Tylenol or aspirin.

I lie instead and concentrate on my breath and sometimes magically the pain dies down. I have built up such hatred for my body that I thought I’d try another way, the way of letting it be and just feeling it. The strange thing is that despite outrageous amounts of nerve pain I generally feel kindly toward my body for a change. I feel my breath is a cold compress on inflammation, a caress of comfort where none was to be found.

It’s tough, it’s hard to sleep, but I’m thinking that this habit of gulping anti-inflammatories, apart from making my liver hurt, is much like reaching for junk food when you feel anxiety or anger or sadness. Maybe the better way is to acknowledge it, feel it, breathe with it?

I am also finding that I have more energy and that because of the pain, I’m more careful of what I eat, more caring in reaching for better nutrition. Awareness…it’s a strength of resolve I haven’t had for a while. Drop the mask, drop the masking meds, and then what happens? An interesting thing.


Stasis or Respite?

Posted September 18, 2016 by JJ
Categories: Tarot - General

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What I like about The Lost Code of Tarot is that you simply can’t mistake it for any other deck, it is so recognizable.



We go up, we go down, we mirror, we balance. Is this stasis or respite?

Apart from a couple of small things, our exterior renovation is complete. They came yesterday and fixed some things and cleaned up the yard and driveway which were untidy and littered with detritus. It looks a heck of a lot better, and hopefully will be finished up next week.

Being Sunday, I am incredibly happy that no one is coming, it’s a day of quiet and rest. My oldest sister is doing some renovation in her house and mentioned how it was guaranteed to cause divorce and I said “Ask me if I know!” A couple of weeks is fine, but we are inching into our 7th week and we’ve both had enough.

We now need to move our compost heap and repair the fencing at one side. Our neighbour is on board to help and we will share the work and cost, so that should also neaten things up. We are still missing front porch stairs so are waiting for the carpenter to come and do that.

Still not finished, but today is rest day and involves not limitations but rest. Cup of jasmine tea?

Happy Sunday!

The Valley Of the Wild Rose

Posted September 16, 2016 by JJ
Categories: Oracles - General

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I received my Flower Reading Cards by Cheralyn Darcey today, and they are fantastic! She has included Latin names for all the plants, and I knew her background landscapes and buildings were relevant to the flowers, but there were a few that I didn’t recognize. In the book, as well as some botanical information and notes on meaning, she gives you the place names and a bit of background on them. Absolutely fantastic, I was so delighted.


I recognized that the Wild Rose was in Alberta right away because it is the provincial flower and Alberta license plates say “Wild Rose Country” on them (or did at some time.)



We’ve had a small glitch with the home renovations that absolutely enraged me—out of proportion to what it was. When that happens I figure that it’s about something more or a build-up of things. The lead ball in the stomach, the red face of rage, I simply could not hold myself yesterday and this morning, I turned into a snarling mess. I’ve been in bed or hiding in my room most of the morning.

I laughed at the challenges for this card: loss of interest in life and activities, apathy and laziness, impulsive thoughts and actions, promises broken. I feel someone broke a promise and I became a hot bullet of impulsive angst.

Oh dear, I had hoped when I turned 60 that I could change this sort of thing, and I generally am calmer but something just ate me alive, something in the mind. Prickles and thorns in my tongue, directed at the spouse.

Wild roses are so pretty. There is an island in B.C. that has a park where there are sheep roaming around freely, and I remember a day back in the 1980s walking through wild roses and picking off bits of sheep fleece that had caught on the thorns.

Take a new path, be true and trustworthy in actions and words. Alas, I was not and it hurt me physically but I also was mean. Sigh. Maybe I can harvest bits of fleece off the thorns?



Leeks and Curly Parsley, Pollinated by a Black Swallowtail

Posted September 14, 2016 by JJ
Categories: Art Postcards

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During yet another bout of insomnia worrying about pain I found myself reading a quote online from Pema Chodron’s book When Things Fall Apart, but I could not find my copy of the book. In the morning I eventually found it after looking at my other blog where I’d talked about buying it to make sure I did buy it and seeing the colour of the cover.

Since I couldn’t find it last night I opened up The Wisdom of No Escape at 6 a.m. and found a gem of awareness about the precision of feeling the breath go out when breathing during meditation. I never really thought about it, but after you let your breath out, there is a pause before respiration starts again with an in-breath. And during that pause which lasts maybe an eighth or a quarter of a second there is letting go. It all just goes out with the breath and during that pause, there is this soft space, this gap, and you can see letting go.

Brief, but such clarity, so that was my lesson last night. Today I found Pema Chodron’s book The Wisdom of No Escape, so I’ll read a bit of that. Something important is trying to get my attention, something about pain and suffering.



This is from a set of six postcard books that I call my Botanical Postcard Oracle. The artist, Helen Buttfield, has taken old engravings of plants and paired them with her own drawings of attendant plants and insects.

Leeks remind me of making homemade soup as they make the best base for soup, and curly parsley adds flavour to soups but is most often used as a garnish as it seems prettier than the flat-leaved variety. Black Swallowtails have two broods annually, so the postcard makes me think of nourishment and self-care and the idea that it’s never too late, there’s time for another brood this year.

I suppose the other obvious correlation is that pain makes you a better person, the experience of it, of sitting with it, feeling it. Pain is like other illnesses, it leaves you cut off from life, feeling out of it, in a bubble, unable to participate. That’s still an experience, a way to move toward something else.

You feel boiled in pain, make soup, and then add the garnish, then fly off to breed again, birthing.

Leeks are chatty fellows, eh?



Cheralyn Darcey Decks

Posted September 13, 2016 by JJ
Categories: Oracles - General

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I’ve had these two on my wish list for a while.


I’m predictably taken with decks with plants or animals, but it’s a rare thing to find artists who work by hand these days. These particular decks are linocut which is a technique I like and I did myself when I did my review of the Mirrors of the Heart deck.

Gosh, was it really twelve years ago? Shiver me stamens and stalks.

I couldn’t afford to order these from Australia but I managed to find them here in Canada online so I hope the order goes through okay. She has a new deck which is done in dark colours like a negative, and that is funding on Kickstarter but is too costly for me.

With winter coming up I wanted something cheery and I can pair it with my botanical postcards or something and have fun and enjoy the art. It rains a lot here. Almost worse than the snow of Ontario is the relentless rain of British Columbia which I find depressing. But one must cope and I find using uplifting plant decks helps.

I bought a type of cranberry plant for the front garden. We managed to transplant the hydrangeas and the rose but I lost the beautiful old viburnum shrub.

Cards and cranberries: a great compensatory combination.




Lost Code Jigsaw

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

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While entering six decks in my visual database, I discovered that my older version of Book Collector no longer supports automatic additions because the creators of the software stopped using Google for searches because of the cost, and have switched to Bing because it costs them less to subscribe each month. I don’t feel like being held hostage to buy a new version for this, I find it irritating and it makes me not want to upgrade the program at all.

It’s no big deal to put them in manually, but I was doing six so it’s taken me two days and several hours. While I was creating the image for the box of the Lost Code I liked it so much I kept a large version to do up as a digital jigsaw. Unfortunately, the nerve pain in my shoulder will not allow me to do too much with the mouse, and I had to stop, but I got it started anyway.


That’s my card meandering today, and a pleasant day it was.

Reach for the Scanner of Joy

Posted September 11, 2016 by JJ
Categories: Oracles - General, Playing Cards, Tarot - General

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REACH is what I call this Ace, and today I am reaching and needing Crow and Raven with me in the sky. They happened to come to my house yesterday, a gift drifting in from the estate of my dead parents-in-law, who wanted us to have a housewarming gift. They are with us still, a happy blush in our minds, flying. Raven knows.


Heavy with embroidery, my hilt bejewelled, my crown a sea of diamonds, I realize that in my travels I have forgotten to update my card database, and need to enter six decks and scan samples, and fill myself with the joy of documentation and organization.

Happy Sunday!