Pagan Otherworlds Favourites

Posted June 11, 2017 by JJ
Categories: Tarot - General

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It might just be me, but I was as thrilled with the postcard that came with the Pagan Otherworlds Tarot as I was with the deck. I wish more deck creators realized how neat it is to get a postcard. I have one from the Tarot of the Absurd which I love, and a couple of postcards from Nakisha VanderHoeven that I got with three of her decks.


I have decided that the IX of Swords and the Wheel of Fortune are my two favourite cards in the deck.


I unfortunately could not afford the book that comes with this deck, but the Wheel shows a bear, lion and white stag or hart. The lion reminds me of Aslan from the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, and the portal-like quality of the stone arch appeals to me as does the patterning on the wheel. “Farther up and farther in” like The Last Battle and the portal in that book.

The swan has a shackle on its neck which is anchored in the water. I usually call this card the “daggers of the mind” card and here it is the “shackles of the mind” weighing the swan down, keeping him in place, unable to move. It is such an image of my current state, and yet perhaps we only assume the chain is anchored? Feel all that rippling muscle and energy, tethered.

This is a quiet deck, but I rather like the quietness of it.




Okanagan Oracle Colour Study 9: Equality

Posted June 6, 2017 by JJ
Categories: Okanagan Oracle Colour Studies

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The rainbow spills down the page – I had a hard time stopping myself from finding cards but I ran out of room.

EQUALITY – Okanagan Oracle – this is a painted crosswalk in Kelowna, BC with rainbow stripes in support of LGBTQ people.
HULA AND LEI – Island Heritage Postcards; art by Frank McIntosh circa 1930s.
3 – CELEBRATION – 3 of Cups – Bright Idea Deck
60 – LAUGHTER – Osho Transformation Tarot
7 0F WANDS – VALOUR – Parrott Tarot
FIRE – 9 INTEGRITY – 9 of Wands – Mythical Goddess Tarot
KING OF FIRE – PATH – King of Wands – Infinite Tarot
I THE MAGICIAN – Whimsical Tarot
DISNEY LAND – Richard Lindner 1965. Oil on canvas; Dover postcard


The wholeness of The Magician, with words like path, integrity, celebration, valour, laughter, equality, and some welcoming leis from Hawaii, the Disney world of being different in a society that does not encourage difference.

We had a temporary rainbow crosswalk in town that was not allowed to become permanent. There was the son of friends of my parents who was transgender and eventually took the plunge into surgery and the medications that killed him far sooner than necessary, as his body became sick, but he wanted to be himself, the woman he had always felt like.

What must it feel like to constantly hide or not feel like yourself when you look in a mirror? What must it be like to search for trusted friendship and love, to have people hurl insults at you on the street, to long for children and be vilified as a parent?

Way back in the 1970s during my Pentecostal phase, I was at a bowling alley with a fundamentalist Christian woman who, looking at a man dressed in women’s clothes standing about seeking a new friend, screwed up her face and said “That is so sad” and kept staring at him with her face locked in a grimace. What was sad was his desperation, his courage to let everyone know he was different, and then to face such comments repeatedly. I can still see him standing there, alone in the light, in his dress, high heels and inexpert make-up, so lonely, hoping someone would speak to him. Jesus would have bought him a coffee and had a chat, I’m quite sure.

I couldn’t do it, be out there. I would be a hider, afraid, avoiding. In reading online about the four crosswalks in Kelowna that are painted, some comments were left about the Bible and homosexuals, and taxpayers money funding such atrocities. I think it’s pretty and highlights the intersections well, but think to yourself, what must it be like to see this paint and feel some support in a terribly cruel world, to have someone notice you in a happy way for a change?

What does it feel like to be the other person?


The Coppiced Face

Posted June 5, 2017 by JJ
Categories: Oracles - General

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I got my Red Wine Playing Cards into the database today, and I have now hit 400 decks. It’s official, I’ve crossed over the line into new territory. I’m still enjoying them all too, rummaging around during bouts of insomnia, looking at all the bright, creative images, and wondering how I gathered so many in 15.5 years.

Art dahlings, it’s all about art.

HAZEL (Corylus avellana)


Sometimes we see the common hazel in North America because it came with settlers, but it’s not native. Hazels are coppiced, much like willows are in North America, and the young branches are used to make fencing. I’ve seen this on television where the supple hazel branches are horizontally woven in and out of poles to make impenetrable fences.

I suppose that’s where the idea of control comes from with this plant. Lisa mentions how our attachment to how things “should” be often stifles flow because we are trying to control everything. The yellow catkins on hazels appear before the fruit; I can see the analogy of a human needing to flower before the delicious fruit is formed, and hazelnuts ARE delicious.  You can’t flower if you’re trying to control everything that happens.

Just a secondary thought: the face in this card looks a bit broody and menacing, much like a person building a fence around themselves. I’ve been in a fence-building phase for some years, perhaps a nod to change?


Red, Red Wine

Posted May 29, 2017 by JJ
Categories: Playing Cards

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The spouse nipped out to a yard sale to try and get some garden stuff, and they didn’t have any garden things but he did buy me a brand new playing card deck for 50 cents. It reminds me of the Wine Knowledge Cards I have but is only about red wine varietals.



Chambourcin is meant to be consumed while young. Aren’t we all. Apparently this is best paired with Wild Boar Sausage.

Well, we’ll all be dashing off to buy a bottle of the black cherry/plum gaminess of Chambourcin and some wild boar I expect.



The Barrier in the Mind

Posted May 27, 2017 by JJ
Categories: Tarot - General

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Ha, good one today!

VIII OF CATS ( 8 of Swords)


If you’ve ever had a cat you will recognize the way they spook at things or do pretend battle with the shadows as depicted in this card, all uptight about nothing.

What I loved about this today is the analogy James Ricklef uses with a story he read about a man who placed his fish in the bathtub while he was cleaning their small tank. Even though the bathtub held more water and they could have swum throughout a much greater area, they were conditioned to swim in a small area so they kept to swimming in a small area within the bathtub. Their conditioning restricted their movement, not reality.

It reminded me so much of all the trouble we went to move across the country and start a new life, yet I am still restricted, afraid to go places or meet people, and have not changed my unhealthy eating habits, so that my world is as narrow as it was in the town we escaped from.

Kind of shocking. Although realizing that my own choices and fear are restricting me, it’s a jolt of awareness to realize that I’m conditioned like a fish, even with my big old supposedly rational brain.

Apathy Versus Non-attachment

Posted May 25, 2017 by JJ
Categories: Tarot - General

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I drew this card last night from the Spiral Tarot so I could ruminate on it while sleeping. I smiled when I saw it this morning: she is slumped and favouring her right arm, her left arm propping her listless head up. Just so! I hurt my right shoulder again trying to comb my Newfoundland dog three days ago. It set up the cycle of hopelessness, the slump. I can’t write in my journal, I can barely type this.

I am reading quietly through James Ricklef’s book The Soul’s Journey, and finding it like eating a piece of cold fruit when thirsty. He has many observations and quotes, the book has some depth and a fresh way of considering cards. My old copy of The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations is about 35 years-old and split in two and torn at the spine because I have used it so much, and I like people who gather quotes and bits of philosophy and tie it all together. As well, he focuses on awareness, mindfulness and meditation in this book, also a good vibration.

Turning to him then for a consideration of the Four of Cups, I find this passage regarding the difference between apathy and non-attachment:

“Another difference arises from the fact that apathy is associated with a retreat from our problems out of a sense of hopelessness or a fear of failure. Non-attachment, however, comes from a sense of trust in the Divine as we release our need to control how things turn out. In addition, non-attachment can help us overcome apathy since our anxiety, indifference, and dissatisfaction will dissolve when we are not attached to the results of our endeavors out of a sense of fear or need.”

It’s a fine line between the two but seems a good thought for the day. My extra sewing machine foot came in yesterday and I missed the phone call, but I can go and pick it up this morning. I feel discouraged because my arm hurts, and pondering how I’m going to sew, I reflect on this passage, especially after feeling very anxious yesterday.

This feeling that I must do something, I must quilt 14 unfinished tops this year, I must sew when I can hardly lift my arm, gets a bit fraught. So what if I ice my shoulder, read quietly, do what my body feels like, and then not be attached to results?

I can feel my release of the need to control, to perform, overcoming apathy. I feel it in my mind.



Thank You James Ricklef

Posted May 24, 2017 by JJ
Categories: Tarot - General

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Aha, I just discovered that James Ricklef is offering his tarot books in Kindle format. I tried a couple of years ago to get The Soul’s Journey but it was so expensive and hard to get in paperback form. I’ve also enjoyed his Pithy Tarot sayings on his blog and he offers them collected in a book for $6.55 CAD for the Kindle.

I really appreciate that he offers them in this format, readily available and with instant download. I have been awake all night with pain and insomnia, but I will have something positive to look forward to tomorrow. I like a good spiritual tie-in to tarot and James has some depth in his writing and passion for tarot.


Feeling discouraged by life in general, I knocked a deck off the wish list that I’ve wanted for months, and ordered the Pagan Otherworlds Tarot. With the shipping, it costs a lot for international orders but the creativity and artwork of this deck has always impressed me.

Here’s to feeling better!