Another Deck Gift for Me

Boy, this has been a tough year. My parents’ 75th anniversary would have been this weekend, but at least their ashes are together again in the sea.

I’ve been buying a few treats, I think discouragement and depression about the chronic pain I experience is causing it. I vow to reform my scandalous spending by the end of the year. I was deliciously bad and bought The Arthur Rackham Oracle by Doug Thornsjo in the jumbo size for myself. I don’t think it will get here before Christmas, so it will be a nice New Year’s 2018 gift.

After doing that I downloaded the ePub version of Peer Gynt with the Rackham illustrations. I’ve loved the music of Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite for years, but I’ve never wanted to read the Henrik Ibsen book so I figured I would rectify that; several of the Peer Gynt illustrations are in this deck, so it was relevant that I do so.

Anyway, we need a visual eh wot?

RackhamOracleMontage

Positive thinking and art etcetera.

 

 

 

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Pansy Love

PANSY – REASSURANCE

Pansy_Reassurance

Pansies always remind me of my Mom because she used to plant them every year, and all her children do too in remembrance.

Next month we are finally after decades disposing of my Mom’s ashes in a nice place along with my Dad’s. To do this we are gathering in one place, two of us travelling a great distance. It’s a worry because we often fight when together, and one of my siblings kept mentioning fighting with my brother last time I saw her as if she was expecting a big drama.

Sigh. So here’s a pansy come to reassure me that I am loved and to put doubts aside about that.

The author obviously never encountered the Sword Family.

 

 

Okanagan Oracle Colour Study 10: Unknown

OKANAGAN ORACLE – UNKNOWN
PAGAN OTHERWORLDS TAROT – THE HIGH PRIESTESS
ANIMAL MESSAGES – SCARAB BEETLE – What is unregarded or discarded holds a secret, a seed of creation.
FLOWER READINGS CARDS – QUEEN OF THE NIGHT – Power (Selenicereus grandifloras)
CREATURE TEACHER CARDS – OWL – I Always Tell the Truth

OkanaganColour10

I am so happy to be doing one of these finally on the new computer.  I decided to limit myself to fewer cards in these studies from now on, as the last one I did had so many cards that it became tedious to manage.

This one has five cards total which is manageable and a little extra work due to sharpening and colour adjustment and having to make individual shadows instead of using Photoshop to copy the drop shadow into each layer in seconds. However I do find that with the cards turned I can more accurately move the shadow to reflect the light source. But then I have to group the shadow with its card so I can easily move it around.

I thought this was a mysterious group with keywords of power and truth and the unknown. The Scarab Beetle reminded me of my old computer which I despised and the seeds of creation on this one. The write-up for this also says it might mean unguessed-at-knowledge which ties in with what is unknown.

The High Priestess looks like the Virgin Mary with her blue robe and roses, the mystery of knowing and intuition. So perhaps we may feel we are stepping into the unknown but the psyche supports us? This really ties in for me with the Queen of the Night flower and secrets revealed and intuition. The shadow aspect of the self brings opportunities for growth; dreams, cycles and life transitions. The Latin name for this plant starts with a moon reference as Selene is the goddess of the moon, and on the High Priestess card are phases of the moon, held.

With the unknown comes a lack of confidence, I’ve been feeling that all year, but these cards seem to say that it’s only a feeling, the reality underneath is different, there are seeds in the dung.

Owls are most active at night, I’ve been out at night and heard them hooting, wishing I could connect and see one. I am hoping to draw and paint an owl this year using my photo reference book for owls. Don’t lie or pretend things didn’t happen, that’s a dark way even if you have good eyesight. Again, the real unknown versus what we perceive as unknown.

The interesting thing is that I chose these cards by colour without bothering with meaning but they fit together into a meditation.

Laurels That Sort of Rest

I thought of the phrase about not resting on your laurels with this. Laurel leaves and victory and accomplishment ring out today because I finished painting my tree mural yesterday after ten days.

TreeMuralFoyer_JJ

I am very sore and I have my diptych over the fireplace yet to do, but I am feeling a bit scatty. I find when I complete a huge task it is often this way. I am partly let down after the euphoria of completion, and partly tired, and partly so jazzed up with excitement that I can’t settle myself to the next task. Now what?

LAUREL – (Prunus lusitanica) – RESOURCEFULNESS

Laurel_TreeWisdom

Resourcefulness, full of resources, full of ideas, but attention is fragmented. Lisa says to take time for your true intentions to become clearer. Hold your vision and create smaller steps for your goals. As I saw with painting the tree, I can’t do too much in one day lest I set off a chain of pain, so this card is supporting that.

I have a couple of drop caps to draw and want to take the day off and take it easy. Next week our front steps are hopefully being built, I also have to go to the bank, and relatives are coming for five days. It’s not really the time to start something big but I might try to seal my wood panels preparatory to putting gesso on them.

I don’t want to lose this great momentum but I’m not able to focus either.

Sunday IS a day of rest. Happy Sunday!

 

 

Are you Bletted, Blessed Folk?

I am still fiddling with selecting my cards out from the background in Affinity Photo. I still can’t believe that this is so hard not to get ragged edges and faint remnants of the background. Today I tried feathering and shrinking the selection and finally resorted to using the one row selection to delete some edges.

Anyway, I shall continue experimenting. For today’s card, you get two: the first one is a bit jagged, and the second one is not, although the background on the second one is not as pretty.

MEDLAR – Mespilus germanicus – MOTIVATION

Channeling I Claudius I say in reverent tones “Ah, the noble Germanicus…”

Motivation

Motivation 2

Lisa says on the back of the card, “What creative thinking can you apply to each task so that you can see the value in them?” which is a bit like living in the moment so that each task does not seem unexciting because you’re in the Zen groove of fetching water.

Barring that you can put Langhorne Slim & the Law on and contemplate the way we move.

Interestingly, the fruit of the Medlar needs to be bletted before you eat it which means that it has to ripen into mushiness, so that it develops full sugars to be edible. The idea here of creativity and ideas ripening to just the perfect time, letting things come to fruition and knowing when it’s time to start a project is rather neat.

Let things ripen to activate those creativity sugars.

 

 

Jigsaws in Card Paradise

We’ve had a busy week with contractors and banks and my insomnia kicked in. Three to five hours of sleep leaves me dragging around, so this week I got into the digital jigsaw program Jigsaws Galore, which was a Windows program that is now available for the Mac. I find it soothing and I can load in my own pictures to make puzzles. I used some of my own card images or montages and a couple from the Internet and just had fun.

This is the Soulflower Plant Spirit Oracle by Lisa Estabrook which I don’t have but might one day purchase. I love botanical decks in particular, but I was disappointed with a few decks I bought this year so I like to think carefully about buying any new decks.

Soulflower2

Then I had to scan in and enter my copy of the Pagan Otherworlds Tarot in my database, so I decided to use my samples of the cards and card back as a jigsaw.

PaganOtherworldsJig

Then I took an old image of bower birds that I used on this blog comparing the Animal Totem Tarot and the Linestrider Tarot cards that feature bower birds. That Linestrider card has lots of white which was challenging to piece together. I think I did about 480 pieces for this. With this bigger screen I can do more pieces than I could on a small 15-inch laptop.

BowerBirdJig

I found a nice image of the Ancient Italian Tarot online and did a jigsaw of that, but I didn’t take a screen shot.

While doing these I opened up iTunes and listened to some of my collections of music. Jigsaws are compelling, so naturally Cassandra Wilson’s rendition of the old standard You Go To My Head was perfect.

As I contemplated buying decks and playing cards, Brad Mehldau’s Hungry Ghost song played on as well as Paul McCartney’s song Appreciate.

That Soulflower card deck sure is pretty though….

Affliction, Shadow-self, and the Dog in the Car

PAGE OF WANDS
K’OUEN – L’AFFLICTION – I Ching 47 – Exhausting (Huang translation)
SHADOW – I face my shadow-self bravely

PageWands_pagan

This Page is so young, so bursting with enthusiasm. James Ricklef refers to this enthusiasm as living life like a dog in a car. That tail wagging, ready-to-go, hanging your head out the window to see what’s coming up kind of feeling.

Which is not something I’ve felt for a while since being undermined by health problems, but the Yi King card (which is in French) refers to solitude and patience as a way out of affliction. When you are exhausted sometimes the best thing is to do nothing, to be patient.

The card from The Healing Deck mentions anxiety and self-doubt that poisons relationships and weakens our resolve, hardly things this Page would feel or think. Allow your light side to triumph, but allow time, bide your time, be patient. Reflection, interior solitude, let the faiblesse, the weakness and dimness pass.

This Page wears a mask, cut from a lion apparently whose dead legs hang down from his costume. Perhaps a way of feeling good is to put on the mask and act as if you felt well, as if you were strong, and then wait in your solitude for your light side to triumph.