Determination and Dots in a Journal



The card is from my trimmed Tarot of Fire, which I am loving since I trimmed it! These men from India are walking on hot coals, and the booklet talks about faith and courage reinforcing the psyche.

It became apparent to me this week that I was going to have to change or I’d end up with a heart attack, stroke, chronic pancreatitis or in a bed with my legs amputated, or worse. In thinking about this, I realized that the last time I lost a significant amount of weight seven or eight years ago, I had used a food diary. It was a digital program and kept track of nutritional information, calories, and weight. I liked it, but when I went to get a similar program I found that everything had changed, mostly there are online records or apps, and I really don’t want to be chained to a computer entering meals and tracking what amount of water I drink etc.

I like to journal and use my fountain pens so I thought a food diary where I could do little pictures and quotes and poems would suit me. I had heard of a bullet journal three years ago but thought since I’m retired “What would I ever use that for?” but in looking at it again I think it might be ideal for my purpose in regaining my health. I couldn’t get hold of a Leuchtturm 1917 right now, so I ordered a Rhodia Webnotebook with a dot grid and it just came today. The paper is a creamy colour, so I’ll have to test pens and markers to see what shows up best.

When I pulled this card I thought of walking through hot coals and nothing being easy, but courage and determination go a long way toward moving you in the direction you want to go. I like the way he is holding a banner, as if to say “This is who we are and this is what we’re going to do.”




New Decks, and an Old One, Refreshed

I find myself with six decks that I haven’t entered in the database yet. I entered Steve’s Spirit Within Tarot and then got bogged down with Christmas. The spouse gave me the Earth Magic Oracle for Christmas, and a wonderful friend sent me the Sol Invictus Tarot which I’ve wanted since it was published. One of my favourites, Socrates, is on the Queen of Swords in this deck, therein called the Nurturer of Swords. What a great title and that is my personal card so really delighted me. I am still reading through the writing in the Minors but when I’m done I’ll be using it. The other three I’ve talked about or used but I need to focus and get some scans done and the decks entered in the database.


I also ordered the Earthbound Oracle which I’ve had on my wish list, so when it comes I’ll be entering that too in the database.

I bought myself a chrysocolla sphere for Christmas. I wanted one in a shop about 16 years ago and didn’t have the money so I saw one in December and took a chance. I’ve been doing a small painting of it in my sketch book. I just need to add some calligraphy and drop shadows to it, and I did another layer on it after this picture was taken. I spent two weeks painting up colour mixing charts for my 24-palette Winsor & Newton colours and my 17-palette Daniel Smith watercolours, so that’s another reason I was away from the blog, I really needed these charts done up so I can use them when I’m painting.


I was given the Tarot of Fire deck several years ago and used it here on the blog, but it had really distracting orange borders. Recently, I took the plunge and trimmed them off and then ordered a new corner cutter. I think it is computer-generated art, but there are some very beautiful images and it is packed with world mythology and so interesting. Before I cut the borders off I typed up a trimmed sheet to fold in the box that contained descriptions of each card so that even without the numbers and titles I would be able to tell which card was what. I think it looks gorgeous trimmed.



Since I got my iPad, I’ve been able to watch videos again, and I’ve been enjoying some of the many tarot-related videos at YouTube. I so rarely get a chance to talk about my decks as I like to do, so seeing other people talk about decks is the next best thing!

My arm is a bit sore because I’ve been drawing and sewing. Unfortunately I can’t do everything so have to pick and choose what to devote my energy to. Still, I’m finding a good balance between disciplines and projects. I want to use that Tarot of Fire on the blog since it’s all trimmed up and ready to go, so I’ll do that for a bit in the coming days.



New Year with Mr. Bright

Steve Bright had a great 2-card draw for the New Year so I decided to try it.


Ace of Swords – Normally this is a great card for me, and it does represent good ideas and the power of thought and mental energy. I finished my hand-embroidered nightgown and my tree mural in the front hall and the rest of the year I felt dragged under by hopelessness, caught up in physical pain and depression. Part of that might have been because my Dad died, but still.

Instead of reaching for creativity I bogged down in painful, unhappy thoughts, my sword focused on whining words of defeat. I didn’t believe in myself, I let all that inspiration fizzle out, I didn’t carry through. What a horrible year it was.

The Chariot – Set out, guide my life, no one else will do it for me. This card of success and momentum carries me along. “The being is the doing” as James Ricklef says, describing how in the Being, we accomplish what we need. I like the focus and balance of the skateboarder in this. He’s racing along, unstoppable, yet enjoying the whole experience. It’s not a daydream of success that moves us along, it’s the small moments and acts, experiencing life and joy.



The Spirit Within Crystals and Colour

Finally, my two Crystal Portraits decks arrived yesterday. Worth the wait, I thought I’d do a small colour exercise with the Spirit Within Tarot and some of the new crystal cards. Because I can. Because it’s Saturday and I just finished a playing card jigsaw even though my arm hurts, and so I can fiddle with my cards.

There is nothing better than a rummage through cards.



Actually I do find Howlite relevant here because of the anguish of the person in the background of the Five of Swords, and Howlite’s properties for helping people with PTSD. It calms haunting energies and anxiety. Due to an attack that happened to me when I was 18, I do have PTSD, which flared up after a horrible incident at the job I had before I retired for good. Nightmares and other things. Both Hematite and Howlite refer to being patient, to calming temper.

You are where you are, this is what you’ve got, but nothing is wrong, it’s just the way you think about it. Did I lose the battle or did I simply find a way to be tranquil? I like the thought of art with Hematite because red ochre comes from it, and that was used for cave painting. Even in the Hermitage as I call it, or the cave, I can be creative and enjoy life.

I can also enjoy starting a digital jigsaw from the montage I made yesterday of The Arthur Rackham Oracle. Arthur knows about art.


Ain’t so bad Rock here in the quietude of the Hermitage.



The Spirit Within Memory Lane



Perhaps today the Queen of Wands  is simply a reminder of times past, the warmth of home and Mother and security?

I was meandering through old photographs this morning. I received some photos from my Dad’s numerous albums after he died. This one was taken with a Polaroid camera in 1969 when I was 13. I was wearing the velvet cloak that my Mom wore on her wedding day.

Get a load of the rec room. Yeah, we didn’t have no stinking designer homes back then. The walls are papered with faux woodgrain panels, the plant is plastic, the painting on the wall was a paint-by-number, beautifully executed by my oldest sister in the early 60s, the old stereo played 78 RPM records, and the floor was linoleum. As I recall I was fond of playing a bright pink 78 RPM record of Sleeping Beauty with music by Tchaikovsky.

Well, I am definitely not this Queen, even back in 1969 I preferred hiding in the basement. Never a social person, I find myself even less so as I age. While recognizing this lady’s determination, even fierceness, I lack her warmth. She’s an interfering busybody who would do better to take herself to the rec room and play some Tchaikovsky records that have great orchestration.

Yikes, we don’t need no stinking warmth.

The Spirit Within My Kindle

The Spirit Within My Kindle

One of the chaps on a book reading group I have belonged to for almost 14 years has died. Back in the days when I was fearless about chatting with people, we used to exchange private e-mails about this and that. We often talked with others in the group about books and music and movies. While I didn’t meet him in real life, you do get a sense of people online so I felt like I knew him, and I feel such a loss at his death and feel how hard it will be for his family with Christmas coming up. A comrade has gone on The Great Journey.



The cards always know. Sigh.

Feeling restless and needing to disappear into a good book, I reserved several books from other branches in my library system, and while waiting for those I bought two Kindle books I’ve been interested in for some time, but were not available from the library. That 1-Click ordering for Kindle books on Amazon is rather dangerous I find.

The Brontë Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects by Deborah Lutz
Last Days of Richard III and the Fate of His DNA bu John Ashdown-Hill

I have been interested in Richard III since reading Thomas B. Costain’s trilogy about the Plantagenets when I was a teenager. The impetus for that was a book by Josephine Tey called The Daughter of Time which I also read as a teenager. When they found Richard III’s skeleton in 2012 I clipped the article about it from a magazine and keep it with my copy of the Tey book. This revised edition of the Ashdown-Hill book includes information about that archeological dig and the resulting DNA, a path that led to Canada of all places, my country.

The Brontë Cabinet gets excellent reviews and was recommended to me by another reader. After a recent read of the book The Brontës at Haworth with its marvelous photographs, I felt like a read of this newer book.

Anything to keep Death out of the mind.


The Spirit Within Ships a Coming

Like a lot of people, this time of year makes me feel pretty sad, add the rainy weather and problems with physical pain, and I thought I needed a happy project. I’ve been washing newish fabric and contemplating old fabrics from my stash and making two dozen circle templates for doing blobby lollypop flowers. I bought this pattern two years ago right before we moved and never really had a chance to get organized and start it. With the shoulder problem I have I’m not sure if I can appliqué, but I’m going to try.

This time I’m cutting out dairy, grains and bread and nuts or nut milk in an effort to pinpoint what inflames my body. You have to try, you know?




My ship did come in today as I got a huge order of art techniques books and three page-a-day calendars that I bought for photo references of birds, cats, and dogs.

I really don’t need to start yet another project, but the quilt pattern represents a time when I didn’t think my old house would sell and when I thought I couldn’t escape to a new life, so I bought this expensive pattern to take my mind off it. I did sell my house about a month later. Well, here I am in the new life and some of the old physical problems are rearing up.

There must be a solution. One must keep up some optimism.

Wow, look at those colours. Yummy super-delish.

“I saw three ships come sailing in…”