Trapped By Natural Forces

I wish we did have some water, it is very dry and hot here. Hoping that it cools down going into the weekend.

4 WATER – WATERFALL (4 of Cups)


Trapped by heat and ennui, it’s easy to get feeling down. I have written and mailed three letters in three days so I got something done in the heat at least.

I was talking to someone about feelings of descent, anxiety, sorrow, all the good stuff that can get a grip on your mind. There is mention in this card of letting yourself go and inadequate diet, which I find contributes greatly to feeling down.

I have things planned but by the late morning it has been too hot to move so it’s just one of those weeks where you have to wait and do smaller projects, due to   natural forces like weather patterns.

I hope we get a break soon.




Ennui and the 4 of Cups Across Decks

What to do when you feel…nothing? Examine the 4 of Cups in several decks, get a good look at it, eat an apple, wait for something to happen, try to muster up enthusiasm for the sixteen projects you have on-the-go, eat a strawberry, eat homemade potato and leek soup, look through a bunch of old art magazines that you bought ten years ago.

Wait. Slump in the chair, look out the window at cats passing by, go to the library, hang with insomnia for a bit, clench your teeth, read about the 14th century, read about old varieties of roses, vacuum out the fan on your laptop, clean the kitty litter, look at the wall, wonder if the guardian angel appears in the mirror of your dresser or leaps from behind the bathroom door, exiting with a graceful dance after bouncing in to perform various miracles for you.

Wait some more, do laundry and hang the clothes on the rack in the front hall, where you haven’t painted the beige wall a grey colour with a white tree yet, eat a slice of mango and contemplate re-heating jasmine tea in the microwave, sigh and look out at the little girl in the pink coat walking her dog as she skips by going downhill in front of your house and laughs.

Well, you get the drift, hence the 4 of Cups. There is a scent of self-flagellation or self-indulgence with this card. Be wary travellers in self-pity!

I have a large collection so only pulled a few decks at random. Strangely, this has rather cheered me up. Nothing like a good ramble through cards to perk me up. My favourite card (at least this time) was the one from the Infinite Tarot, a deck I don’t see used much but I like the artwork.


Natural forces have you trapped. Oh yeah, I knew it couldn’t be me (cough). Mention here is made of being fearful of death, poor diet, malnourishment, and a lot of negative self-talk. Your own thinking encourages this downfall. Improper choices in thought and deed—look there for rescue.


Here we all are turning away, closing our eyes, with our sad sack mouths, oblivious to that nice kestrel offering us a possibility. Sometimes it’s good to turn away, get a bit of rest, cure your weariness of life with a quiet spell, but not drunkenness. The danger is in never coming back to life and all the good, positive things in life.


The Experimental Tarot has a woman contemplating her ecstatic vision of life. The problem is she’s trapped in a moat. That big hand might be holding her up or holding her in place. Another dreamer with her eyes closed, drifting into a permanent state of bliss while missing the action of life. The German word graben on the card means past or to dig, dig in the past. We get our English expression “grub in the earth” from this word. Put your head in a hole in the earth, don’t ever look at what’s happening now. Oh, she’s in ecstasy, but the things she’s contemplating aren’t real. She’s floating in a moat, permanently wet, come back to reality missy.

In the Scapini deck it’s like all the visions are held in urns, unable to get out and she won’t play, won’t ride her dragon. Eyes covered again, we mustn’t look at the good things, the possibilities. Sad faces everyone.


Don’t you just love the grey and taupe tones she’s used in the Linestrider? It captures the feeling and her eyes are closed, her head is wrapped in a scarf, and she has a large fish on her chest. The fishy emotions have obscured her breasts, the bubbles coming from the fish pop and the sounds “Sad sack, wet blanket” envelop her.

The Aquarian picture is similar to the Fradella in the first group, the hand of God offers life and a big cup but he/she won’t look. The lady in the Heart Tarot is reading a letter, perhaps the final letter from a long-ago sweetheart, dreaming of joy and love, she sits slumped at the table barely holding her head up. The hermit crab in the Animal Wisdom contemplates the glory and protection of shells.

Wet blankets and sad sacks, steeped in wine, misery, and about to go over the falls, there must be better choices. Swim to shore, dry off and get out your pencils and draw a cartouche! Of course, the exact cure for sad sacks, drawing cartouches. Add a lizard, add a condor, get the wet sack off the condor and go. Start in small steps to drag yourself to shore, concentrating on the thorn-tailed rayadito in the tree. What do you mean you don’t see it, it’s bright yellow and black, it’s right there?

Open your eyes.


Blah in Blue



This is definitely what my day was like. We missed a chance at a house yesterday and then I heard that my cat was still pretty upset and it had me sobbing in the dark at midnight last night.

Boredom, disappointment, ennui. In an effort to propel myself out of it we drove to a fabric store so I could get some sewing notions, since all mine are stored away.


I got two fat quarters to make a bag for the Byzantine Tarot, but I needed even the most simple things for hand sewing, like pins, needles, thimbles, thread, and a ruler, and then I threw in some sharp scissors for cutting fabric and some ribbon for ties.

There is a box of something on the plate rail above the lady in the image. It looks like glass-headed pins for sewing which is a timely message. I am missing an iron so not sure if I can borrow one from the motel; I’ll have to ask.

Tentative steps toward a more positive attitude. If this works out I might hand sew some quilt blocks too. I love hand piecing.



The Limitless Year of the Sheep

Man it is cold up here, –31 degrees Celsius. We have a long shopping list on the fridge that we need to go to a larger town for. I can’t decide whether to go out or leave it until next week. So for a change, I’ll ask a question about going out today and draw two cards.



The Knave or Page of Pentacles is a card of limitless possibilities, like the way you feel when you’re 18 and your whole life is ahead of you. You can do anything, you have lots of ideas, everything is open.

Luxury sounds like a good card but it’s a card of too much luxury, and perhaps an indication that the party has got to end.

So for my question: we did go shopping before the party ended.

And something else………..


Dave got his sheep. The one on the left is a Shropshire, and the one on the right did not specify the breed but it looks like a Polypay.

Oh, to be young again like Dave the Knave.



Musing on Ennui, a Tinkle of Schubert in the Background

Digging around in the collection for another one of my older decks, I pulled out the first edition of Ed Buryn’s The William Blake Tarot. One of my favourites, and the deck that got my art history and poetry interests humming again after decades of languishing.

4 OF MUSIC – MUSING (4 of Cups)


A slightly different take on the ennui usually associated with this card. The element associated with it is fire rather than water. Smoke and vibrating energy like sound waves…here the ancient bard plays the harp and young children pass a nest of baby birds down from a tree. Improvisation and musing on the past can freshen your life and imagination and help you release stress.

So instead of being sick of the world and feeling jaded, you simply take a break and muse on things, relax and let the imagination flow like music, making space for gifts of the spirit.

Ed signed this for me when I bought it in November 2002, a long time ago. The exchange rate between Canadian and US Funds was extreme at the time, so I paid almost twice as much, but it was worth it. I was pleased to see that he had reprinted it and hope other people get as much pleasure from it as I have.

I bought a number of books on Blake including facsimiles of his books and a biography. He was rather hard to like as a person, but had vision and imagination.



Hangin’ with Badge and Co.

Two more of my favourites from the Badgers Forest Tarot. These cards develop terrible moiré patterns when scanned. I don’t mind this because it means no one is going to cruise around stealing the artwork from the crummy scans on my blog, but I still put copyright watermarks on cards.

Just so you know, they are much better in person, much richer in colour and depth than my scans indicate.

XII – HANGED BIRD (The Hanged Man)
IV OF FOXES – 4 of Cups


The Hanged Bird also reminds me of paintings by itinerant folk artists from the 19th century. This is one of the reasons I liked this deck so much, because every card is a beautiful watercolour painting with appealing animal subjects and flora. Her depictions are realistic but not into the realm of deadening photo-realism, they have a quaint charm and pools of colour.

We have robins nesting on one of our drainpipes. The eggs are due to hatch any day, although we did find one empty egg on the ground so even though we can’t hear the nestlings, I wonder if they are there? The timing is right and I notice the female robin is sitting up higher. The Hanged Bird reminds me of nesting birds. We are delaying getting our roof repaired until the robbies have gone from the nest, which should be in two or three weeks.

I love the little foliage and flowers right at the bottom edge of this card.

The 4 of Foxes is what I usually call the Ennui Card. It’s winter and he’s hibernating, eyes closed tightly, he doesn’t want to see or go out. We are taught that foxes are evil and crafty, so it’s hard at first to identify them with the Cups suit and emotions. We had some beautiful red foxes around here but they shot them. It was magical to see them loping back to the woods from the big river across the street or vice versa. I love their black stockings and russet red, red coats. I can see my first glimpse of one in my mind’s eye from years ago, as clear as the magical day it happened and I ran to get my Animal Speak book and see what Fox meant.

If you felt excited and full of pep every day, how would you ever rest, how would you know the difference of being active and energetic? This is a good card for cycles and going with the particular cycle of the season.

I find ennui to be bad because it is often a signal that depressive episodes are coming, but really is it so bad? Could it not just be a simple phase of life, could we not accept it as that? The Hanged Bird is struggling mightily against that vine, but if he stopped he could peck away at the vine and break it to get free.

These episodes take time, it’s not so bad to take time.



The Entrance of The Sacred Three

I came across something while browsing on the Internet called Post-Meningitis Syndrome. There is some evidence that people suffer from this. You can cure the meningitis, but a switch goes off somewhere in the long term and can cause pain like myalgia and fibromyalgia, depression, sometimes symptoms of multiple sclerosis and loss of balance, all sorts of small things.

This makes sense to me since people who have had chicken pox often get shingles when older. I know someone who had mononucleosis when young and doctors think it might be responsible for his lymphoma in later years. I had viral meningitis when I was 18, which is not as dreadful as bacterial meningitis, but perhaps it is the source of my chronic pain, myalgia, nerve pain, insomnia? The fact that it might not be all in my mind was crucial for me, I have great respect for physiology and our finite knowledge of the brain. You never know, this might be the switch that went off and started causing problems in my body.

Due to recent ruminations on cards and not feeling connected to them I thought I’d create a new study pattern as well. I’m using what I refer to as The Sacred Three, the three decks I feel the most connection to, and ones I feel have a great depth of meaning, thought, creativity, and artistic skill. They are all black and white decks strangely enough. In order of appearance in my collection:

The Ironwing Tarot by Lorena Babcock Moore
The Diary of a Broken Soul Tarot by Ash Goh (a.k.a. Ash Abdullah)
Tarot of the Absurd by Jessica Rose Shanahan

The Big Three, the Sacred. For a bit of Tri-Sacred Sampling today I drew a card from the Tarot of the Absurd and then pulled out the corresponding cards from the other two decks.

4 of Cups
4 of Hearts (4 of Cups)
4 of Coils (4 of Cups)


Too tired, too tired to have fun. Not another glass of champagne, I already had one. Ennui and fatigue. It’s good to rest a bit, to let it go to let yourself drift in boredom. This definitely reminds me of the way I’ve been feeling about cards.

The 4 of Hearts in the Diary deck certainly reminds me of two minds, two wills or perhaps the mind and body snarling at each other. Caught in the middle, he wraps his arm with protective swaddling and tries to sort it out. It looks tiring.

Lorena says “Stability; finding or creating sacred space.” with regard to the number symbolism, and Water which is the element connected to the Coils suit is about rest in the fours. I read this after I started thinking about sacredness and decks, and which decks I consider sacred. Synchronicity, I must be on the right track with this study.

This card depicts a hornpod entwined with an iron replica of a hornpod. I saw an artist sculpting wonderful dragons from the pods of hornpod. Hornpods seem to have worlds within worlds. Again the aspects of ennui, fatigue, death, dryness, cycles, balance. You need the cycle of death and dryness, the withdrawal and waiting is necessary. This also reminds me of the horns of the uterus in women, a place where seeds also go through a cycle.

Sacred rest, rest in sacredness. As you find it, it will mirror you inside and outside.