Companions in the Sun

Posted March 6, 2015 by JJ
Categories: Tarot - General

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This card immediately reminds me of the Elton John song Grey Seal which has a haunting chorus that I used to like when I was a teenager.

THREE OF SEA (Three of Cups)


Isn’t this a different take on the card? You hardly expect cats to lie in the sun on rocks with seals, but it’s a sunny day and those rocks are lovely and warm. All kinds of creatures enjoy that.

True friends and the companionable silence of real.


Dave, the Magus of Soft Gel Medium

Posted March 5, 2015 by JJ
Categories: Tarot - General

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I – CAT MAGIC (The Magician)


I love all the herbs and potions and the alchemist at work spinning things in the air. You really get the feeling that this cat is a powerful magician who can do anything.

Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to glue this tuckbox I was trying to make. I put the cards in the box Llewellyn included with this set. We all complain about these boxes, they are always too big and the cards slop around. This time two of my cards nearly got damaged by getting caught in the inner flap. I nearly tore one of them, so had to take action.

I regularly re-use the large box that decks come in and repurpose them as tuckboxes for decks that are not packaged in a tuckbox securely. As well as the generic white Llewellyn box there are other plastic and cardboard wells from various publishers that tend to chew cards up. I have made tuckboxes from regular 60 lb cardstock but if you drop them they tear, so using the outer box is sturdier.

Most boxes have adequate lamination that the outer layer folds up okay. This one didn’t, there are a few odd splits in the box where the graphic pulled away from the underlying white cardboard. It is very heavy and sturdy though and a custom fit for the deck.

Dave had to step in and help me glue things and weight them down. It doesn’t look too bad and most of all the cards will be secure and in no danger of being pulled apart.


I also cut a snippet of the remaining box to use as a custom bookmark with the book.

The Magician focuses on the positive and bringing what she desires.The Golden Soft Gel (Matte) medium helped as well. This cat knows that having art supplies readily at hand are vital for magical rituals.

Cat magic takes all forms in the ether.



Tom of the Earth, Ever Ready Dave

Posted March 4, 2015 by JJ
Categories: Tarot - General

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In Lunaea’s notes she says that this cat is single and doesn’t have a mate or children but he still keeps watch, ready to leap in and protect. That little kitten could have fallen down that crack in the earth. Had there been rain he would have drowned but for Earth Tom acting quickly.

EARTH TOM (Knight of Pentacles)


This is the card I call “Old Stodgy” or “The Stodger” because of the Knight in the Thoth deck, standing steady under the sun in the wheat field. Every ready to help, to rescue.

Steady work, helping others, just plodding along, standing watch.

Dave I think might have just pulled his personal card.

Database in Ogier Olive

Posted March 3, 2015 by JJ
Categories: Database Monday

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Back to doing Database Monday on Tuesday because I forgot again. I forgot again for about two weeks.

I have found over the years that the Vacchetta Tarot works well with other decks, as a second card. It really works well with Dame Fortune’s Wheel if you have a copy of both. I must get back to these two.


This is my printed copy of the Vacchetta Tarot. Years ago at they had a free downloadable version. I cleaned it up in Photoshop and then coloured the linework olive and printed it on cream-coloured cardstock. Then I made a bag for it from an olive-coloured tie-dyed looking fabric with some silk ribbon embroidery and a swatch of a beaded dress a friend had worn to a wedding. (Click to enlarge.)


I also made a handmade tuckbox for it, smudged up with pastels to emulate tie-dye and with a collage from a wrapping paper accented with gold ink. Gee, I used to have such a lot of energy.

While sorting through the blog to see when I’d used it, I came across this interesting post. It’s a tie-in to Ogier, the Knave of Swords on the Dame Fortune’s Wheel Tarot (the name is a nod to the characters on playing cards of which Ogier is a classic.) Maybe only interesting to me but I liked it. All the Knights and chivalry and old battles.

That post was done five years ago, I am no longer in my middle age but over it, my armour rusting. Contemplating the Dear Departed Past and Charlemagne.

Oh but years ago I made this marvellous deck and sang a song of Roland.

Dave and I Sort Out Identification

Posted March 2, 2015 by JJ
Categories: Tarot - General

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Dave was helping me draw a patella so he is a bit late using his new Mystical Cats Tarot.

I liked this deck the minute I saw it and Lunaea’s book is excellent with some fresh commentary. At some point when I get the energy I’ll do a discussion of it.

Dave and the sheep went to visit Kuan Yin and her cat Lotus Blossom in poetry corner. Kuan Yin can always be found by The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats, contemplating life and death and the Wild Swans at Coole. In the past week Dave decided to name his sheep friends: the Shropshire is Tulip and her companion is Tilly.

Before we begin, a visual identification of the cast (click to enlarge):


So what’s our card today Dave?

FIVE OF SKY (5 of Swords)


Lotus Blossom has taken a particular interest in this deck.

The poor little Sphynx cat on the card is being bullied by the neighbourhood toughs. I love that Mickie has even drawn graffiti on the wall in the alley.

If you can’t win the battle it’s better to leave, as you can’t reason with closed minds or hearts. Being mean is a hollow victory.

There is also a twinge here of taking on the persona of the wounded survivor, which reminds me of my comments about the betrayal of friends in my last post. The reverse of this card cautions against identifying yourself with your traumas, which is unbalanced and gives the people that hurt you power.

I never thought of it like that, there are two sides to identification and closed minds.




Heaven and Happiness, Circle and Flower

Posted February 28, 2015 by JJ
Categories: Miscellaneous Cards, Oracles - General

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MANDALA – “The more one gives, the greater becomes one’s love.” [Flower A. Newhouse]


Perhaps good happiness comes from the south?

I am not terribly open to love. It seems that as I get older I am out of practice. Truthfully, betrayal by supposed friends hit critical mass for me some years ago and closed me up. Some of us aren’t good at the lovey-dovey stuff, and all the books or quotes in the world don’t seem to undo that. Maybe that’s the Wisdom here, that Good and Happiness can also radiate for those of us who aren’t used to radiating love?

I became curious about who Flower Newhouse was; she was a Christian mystic of all things.

And here is the retreat she and her husband founded:

Still going, and here’s is information from the site about movement in a circle, which seems very close to many of the New Age rituals people use today and also Tai Chi; ancient wisdom we remember in different ways.

“Located adjacent to our Labyrinth is our Paneurhythmy Circle. Paneurhythmy is a system of meditative movements set to sacred music that was brought to the world by the Bulgarian Christian Mystic, Master Peter Deunov, between the years of 1932 and 1942. He teaches that this sacred dance of life unites heaven and earth through a series of twenty-eight easily learned movements in rhythmic circular walking dance. This sacred dance applies the principles of love, wisdom and truth and is a method of balancing the physical, mental and spiritual forces within man.”

That goes very well with the mandala today. Imagine learning this through a card. That’s what I love about cards. I love my cards, maybe I could love humans? Not quite back there yet. I’m closed up like the rose on this card.

Living is a labyrinth, you walk a bit to find the way out, enjoying the interesting dead ends and backtracking and being enclosed for a while. Then you leap out dancing one day, uniting heaven and earth.




Fire and Growth, Herding Mandalas

Posted February 26, 2015 by JJ
Categories: Miscellaneous Cards, Oracles - General

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MANDALA: “You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose.” [Indira Gandhi]

(Click to enlarge)


I always find The Compass of Fate a good deck to use in conjunction with other decks.

What I thought of with these two Compass cards was the way people often burn off grass or heather and then let it regrow. Controlled burns can be used as fire breaks, or to burn dead grass and leaves that could possibly fuel a forest fire. Some plants need fire to help their seeds grow, and yet fire will often kill off weeds and weed seeds. New growth is appealing to animals for grazing and rabbits for instance like fresh, young seedlings to nibble on.

The quote by Indira Gandhi is about opposites, about resolving opposite emotions. Perhaps about the control you have in mind no matter what surrounds you. You control the burn of the mind anywhere you happen to be.

Rather than a destructive thing, fire here seems about stewardship, about helping living things. The shapes in the mandala remind me of shoulders. I am having a lot of trouble with tendinitis in my arms and perhaps rotator cuff injury or arthritis in both my shoulders; the yellow buds in the centre like the sharpness of pain.

I need to burn off the harmful toxins that have seeped into my soft tissues. To control the burn I need water too. If limited in movement, I can still be vibrantly alive.

The word “Herdsman” reminds me of Dave the Minion and his sheep. My Mystical Cats Tarot has finally shipped after being on backorder, and new grasses will appear to graze.




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