Earthbound Oracle Favourites

I’ve been having fun scanning cards and entering them in my database. These two are my favourites at the moment:

HEALING
PERMANENCE

EarthboundFaves_sm

It’s one of those things that occurs, every card you see relates to what’s going on. I am referring to this as “my healing year” and have started my Green Man Healing Journal, and I’m wanting this to be THE year, the one where I change and recover my health.

The wounded bird reminds me of injury and pain, but it also reminds me of how it can be difficult to heal, to change. And Permanence is just IT, the permanent change, the permanent change in patterns.

The background for this is a piece of fabric I will be using for the Arthur Rackham Oracle. I am still waiting for a reference book on crazy patchwork as I want to try some different things and after three weeks it hasn’t arrived.

Permanent healing, a healing of permanence. Whatever way I turn it, that’s the message.

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

Overview of the Ostara Tarot

I have had this on my wish list for some months, waiting for the mass market edition from Schiffer. The reviews mention the silver foil on the edges sticking together and missing cards or duplicates, so I was a bit worried about ordering it.

My copy is fine. You have to be careful pulling each card apart as the silver ink on the edges does stick. A few of my corners were slightly dinged but not too bad, and I have all the cards and no duplicates. Having overcome that hurdle successfully I wanted to discuss some of the cards.

There are so many, many cards in this deck that I like, but I edited it down to eight that seemed different. These two are from the Major Arcana.

Ostara1

Isn’t that Chariot different? What better way than chess to show a rider moving and having control? Self-discipline, practice but also the idea of strategy in that you have to think about the moves your opponent might make. I liked the wheels behind the figure of the rider and his hood, as if he was hiding his reactions, like a Poker face.

The second one that struck me was the Temperance card. She is holding a box that releases both predator and prey–that balance of the world. “Where something is taken, it must be given. Light is necessary to cast a shadow.” Very interesting imagery on this, it gives you a depth of meaning for those of us used to the conventional imagery.

Here are a couple of interesting ones from the Minor Arcana.

Ostara2

One of my bugaboos is the standard stabbed heart on the Three of Swords. Okay, it’s historical but it’s boring. Here we have that but we don’t. The tree and the ivy suggest growth from the archetypal heartbreak of this card. If you look closely you can see a frog in the ivy “relishing the rain” which again suggests nourishment and growth being available. That tree just stands there, is it misplaced stoicism or is it renewing itself and growing constantly? Terrific card, this is a favourite of mine.

The rabbit on the Four of Coins is priceless. The old miser has “…sucked every penny out of his family, his community…” He’s in his nice ship, getting cold and colder, have a nice trip you hero.

Here are two more that are quite different. I sometimes find it hard when there isn’t an obvious symbol, to tell which suit a card is from. These are both Wands and you can see little branches in the cards but they aren’t readily apparent so you have to get used to telling some of the cards apart. Well and good, it means using the cards and getting familiar with them, what could be better?

Ostara3

The Five of Wands is very striking with its two-headed snake. I liked the idea here of pulling in different directions. It’s not necessarily a group conflict, it could also be an inner conflict or change. Good point and well illustrated.

The Seven of Wands is a card that often seems to lack a fuller meaning. In the Rider-Waite tradition and man is often standing defending himself atop a hill or fortification. In this card the girl is guarding her perch on the floating island with a bow and arrow, but the other levels of islands and people below really speak to competition and the idea of “climbing the corporate ladder” and the advancement and defence that entails. She has a raccoon lying beside her which suggests masks and how competition can mean masking your true self. Yuck, it brings me back to my working days and all the drama of gossip and office politics. It also reminds me of course of the game Snakes and Ladders and zooming past your opponent on a ladder. So, all kinds of symbolism here that’s a bit different.

My favourite suit in this deck is the Swords suit. There are so many beautiful animals and a simplicity to some of the cards that is striking. These two are my favourite cards in the deck.

Ostara4

That whale on the Ten of Swords was the card that got me to put this on my wish list. Oh, such a lonely, beautiful, haunting card with the roiling sea and the whale under the stars, crying.

Having lived in Ontario for most of my life, I was used to the Blue Jay all around me, roistering and squawking in the garden and in cottage country, so I was surprised to see a Stellar’s Jay on the Two of Swords card. It was one of the first birds we saw in our garden in British Columbia, and I saw a Stellar’s Jay in the garden yesterday. The women who created this deck are from Vancouver, BC, so this was my first clue that they were Canadian, which was another reason I bought this deck.

The bird is blindfolded and that could mean not seeing or avoiding pain and difficult choices. I usually call this the “parlay card” because it is about that, or perhaps avoiding people as suggested by the loneliness of the path in this image. The other thing that struck me is the nest; you can’t fly out of the nest if you can’t see, so this could indicate someone who doesn’t want to grow up or is afraid to go out on their own, hemmed in by the Swords of fear.

The deck is all just a little bit different, which is what attracts me to decks these days. It has a freshness that I couldn’t pass up and I’m truly glad I purchased it and look forward to using it.

 

 

Why Didn’t I Buy THIS one?

When the Daniloff Tarot came out I was really strapped for money, so I never bought it. This year I bought about 5 decks and 4 of them I could live without. While working this jigsaw of the Daniloff, I kept thinking that I should have bought this deck instead of the disappointing decks, but I didn’t have the money at the time.

The loop of regret can get a grip on the mind; I would be better enjoying what I did buy, which I do to a point, but several of them are still disappointing.

Lunchbag Letdown: when you are so looking forward to your nice lunch because you are hungry, but when you open the bag it’s Wonder Bread with dry peanut butter. What you really want is a lettuce, chick pea, and avocado sandwich with little snippets of green pepper and carrot and a bit of Maille mustard on a fresh Italian roll. Included in a separate section would be some fresh cherry tomatoes and some cauliflower florets.

Here’s to lunch Mr. Daniloff!

DaniloffJig

 

New Tarot Cupboards

I’m into my tenth day of trying to organize my bedroom. I have one tiny half rack I’m using for clothes in the walk-in closet, and the rest is all craft, art supplies and doll or dollhouse stuff. Yeah, I’ve got MY priorities straight.

These are flat-pack pantries or wardrobes. These are fairly light and hold a lot with the extra wire racks I put on the shelves. I had one extra shelf cut for each cupboard and still they are filled up.

JJ_TarotCupboards

Now I have to organize and put away the mess at the end of my bed. I have ordered a nice wooden blanket box in a “chocolate cherry” stain but that won’t be here for weeks. My quilts are reeking of plastic after being stored for 2 years or so in a Rubbermaid plastic bin. Never again. I’ve washed the ones I can, but the quilt tops can’t be washed so I’ll try to air them out in other ways.

I can actually get to my decks now and I found I had room to display my tarot bags facing toward the front—so pretty. I JUST had room for all the boxes too. While reorganizing the decks, I got rid of two so I’m still under 400 at 399 decks. I couldn’t fit my postcard collection in the cupboards, so they’ve gone into the closet for now. I wondered while looking at some of these decks why I bought them but I think the Internet has a lot to do with fuelling the purchase of stuff.

My next task is to enter my four new decks in my database. I received the 72 Names of God deck by Orna Ben-Shoshan yesterday and I really love it, it has such depth in information and artwork.

The Okanagan Oracle

I was really delighted when I saw the Okanagan Oracle cards by Suzy Coyote as I was born in the Okanagan, and it took me decades to get back to British Columbia after living in Ontario.

OkanaganOracle

There are some really gorgeous cards in this deck, such beautiful scenes of nature and lake and sea, flowers, vineyard, objects, sculptures, and buildings. Really, I am looking forward to exploring these and using them on the blog. They don’t come with a booklet but there are subtly printed keywords on each card in this 58-card deck.

I don’t think I’ve seen such a lovely mixture of scenes in any card deck. Naturally, I felt I should order them. apart from supporting a Canadian artist, I find it impressive when people push through and finish and publish decks. It’s not as easy as it looks.

I am often tempted by card decks but rarely buy many these days. These latest four decks have pushed me past the 400 mark in my deck collection, but I have such a passion for cards and art, and there is always an artist like Suzy with a fresh eye to show things that are important to them, influencing and creating in the world.

It’s like gold! Gold with chocolate sprinkles.

Database in the Wilds of Woldman

I have two card decks by artist Susan Woldman, the Contemplation Cards and the Relationship Cards. She also created two other decks, the Yoga Path Cards, and the Ask Me! Cards, which are done in the same style; all of them are out-of-print. She also co-wrote and illustrated a book: The Promise Effect: How to Create a Life That Wasn’t Going to Happen Anyway that is still in-print.

“Susan Woldman is a multi media artist from New York city, finding expression through illustration, writing, painting, sculpting, woodworking and ceramics. After exhibiting her art widely, Susan discovered her passion for combining visual images with the written word. Her card decks are a product of this discovery.”

Upon looking her up online, I see she has changed her focus from exuberantly coloured art and card decks to subdued abstracts in acrylic that are just fascinating. Here are some recent works from her website:
http://www.susanwoldman.com/susan-woldman-artist/

I see her mention that she also makes jewellery. I tend to like artists who work across various disciplines because I do too. There is always something new to learn and try when you’re creative. It’s quite striking how different her art of today is from when she made the four decks. Can you see going from all those bright colours to the quietude of depth in almost monotonal abstracts in a large 48-inch square size? How interesting to discover variations in tone and texture after working in wild colour. Man, I find artists interesting.

Here are the deck boxes together.

relationship-contemplation

CONTEMPLATION CARDS

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A sample of four cards I like from the deck. This is not my favourite deck for some reason. I find it a bit same-y with the bras/tops of the women all having clouds and sky on them. It also has a focus on women in the artwork, I prefer more balanced images between genders. I didn’t find the words inspiring, but it’s a colourful deck for a card-a-day contemplation.

contemplationcardssample

RELATIONSHIP CARDS

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I liked these much better although details and decorative accents are much the same as in the other deck. The gender balance is here thank goodness. Yes Goddess worshippers, there ARE men in the world. I found the details in this deck more appealing, a little more specific and thus relatable to real life.

relationshipcardssample

I find in decks where there are portraits that I don’t get as much out of them as when cards have details and objects in them. If you see a face and maybe some clothing, there it is, whereas with some scenery or objects, with more defined settings, I can pull more meaning to a card from my mind, meander around creating a story, or simply just enjoy the scene better.

I rarely use these cards but the idea of working with them as the impetus for artwork is appealing, perhaps with colour as a theme or checkerboard patterns or faces. I often want to do that with decks like this but my arm hurts lately so I’m finding it hard to draw when in pain.

I like Susan’s quirky portraiture, but I find these cards a bit simplistic, not much to grow the mind on, but their exuberance is charming and she spent some time creating them which is appealing. She is obviously an artist who gets things completed and has many ideas and just might have interesting things to say in the book she co-wrote.