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.



The Standardized Lack of Everything

8 OF CLUBS – Protection from Standardized Education


Oh boy, you just have to wonder about coincidence and cards.

The 8 of Clubs is a card about frustration and blockage. Nothing you does works, you can’t seem to get on and you get impatient. Then you wrap Corina’s label on the card into that and how apt it becomes. I did not do well in school, partly because I had a bad teacher who hated me when young and I was always ill, and partly because I never fit in. I am not a group fit kind of person. I was always up in the clouds reading my own books, exploring by myself.

I used to see things on TV and then write short essays on them, but never show them to my teacher. Still today I like to write essays with cards, but standardized education would have been horrified and I would have been bullied endlessly for doing this had other children known. At the age of seven I saw Jane Goodall and her chimpanzees on television and wrote an essay on her. I remember delighting in it but not wanting to show anyone at school. Good call. It was just for me, just for my own joy and interest.

The Five of Wands is about strife. You either hide from those beating you or you join the gang and beat other people, whether physically or mentally. These kids look like they’ve learned about cooperation and kindliness from standardized education. Along with useful things like reading, writing, and math, you learn to compete and join cliques, to be self-conscious and tamp every inch of independent personality you might have way down. Never question, never answer, write only what is expected, keep whining, learn to hate everything. Boring.

This is a day where I think about cooperation, putting conflicts behind me, and leave behind standardized thought. Isn’t it fortunate that after standardized education, you can explore and learn yourself?




May the Mojo Hand Protect You

This looks quite auspicious. I managed to go back to sleep this morning after waking early. I might credit working a digital jigsaw of the Animalis Os Fortuna deck and Megan’s other deck the Azúcar Bone Oracle from a picture on her Etsy site. I always like to work jigsaws of decks while I wait for them. I wanted both decks but could only afford one, therefore I puzzle it.

Besides, who does not like a photograph of a deck with props and/or attendant figures? My thing, everybody sing. And I had to pull out a tray in the program to get all the coloured bits sorted and in place. Now I just have the joy of connecting those black and white patterns. Such a lovely deck of pattern and line. I had to stop because even with a tendon cuff this hurts my hand after a while but I did a bit which was joyous.

(Click to enlarge)


ACE OF SPADES – Protection from the mojo hand


The Six of Wands means victory to me, my favourite being the one that cemented this archetype in my mind, dear old Bertie on the Six of Wands in the Victoria Regina deck. Honours and perhaps successful team effort too.

The mojo hand is a hoodoo symbol. It’s like a charm you carry, the fire forming a ring of protection I expect from bad ju-ju. A friend of mine in South Africa is living where they are having riots and what they term “xenophobic” violence these past days. It’s pretty frightening as it seems to have gotten out of hand and people are being killed.

I offer up the mojo hand for her along with thoughts of victory over violence. My city isn’t burning, imagine how it would feel if yours was?



A Graffiti Moment of Celebration

KING OF SPADES – The walls are the publishers of the poor. [Eduardo Galeano]

(I swear I did not pick Eduardo specifically after his death on the 13th, he just popped out.)


We received our tax rebate in the mail yesterday (earlier than expected) and my husband surprised me by saying I could order the Animalis Os Fortuna Tarot. So I did, and most definitely feel like a Three of Cups moment today.

It’s warming up, we went to the library for a fresh infusion of books yesterday and had the windows open. Today is supposed to be nice too. I’ve been getting my head around moving again. Yesterday while out, I saw a former co-worker which got me down, but then I thought “No, we are moving and starting a new life.”

The King of Spades in the system I use for playing cards, often symbolizes an older man, so I think he’s probably my husband, and he provides insight and direction. Thinking of walls and graffiti, as the King does, it might be a good day for journalling and drawing.

I’ll take that!




Viking Teeth in the World Eduardo

Daily Draw April 14, 2015

8 OF SPADES – protection from being led astray


I am taking the reversed meaning of The World today: dissatisfaction, regret, and isolation.

The 8 of Spades is about tears, so perhaps I need a good cry to get it out of my system and get on? I’m feeling overwhelmed by material burdens and waste and I do think the idea of completion and beginning a new stage with The World is true but I can’t seem to shake the rest of it.

The Viking ship on the 8 of Spades reminds me of being led astray to crush and destroy and acquire. Do we need so much? Not at all, it all seems to end up in landfill sites. There is simply too much, too much.

We tried to give away some good new books to a used book store and they only took a handful, overwhelmed with junk. All those trees and knowledge, discarded and unwanted. Regret, regret.

Well, perhaps he needs to recoup and rest before his emotions lead him astray?

Eduardo Galeano died on April 13th, and it reminded me that the Portable Fortitude deck was the one that gave me knowledge of him and his writing. All those books and knowledge, gone. That balance in the world, that thoughtful voice against waste and acquisition, gone.



The Illusion of City Planning

I felt like fiddling with a playing card deck and a tarot deck. When I went to put back a previous deck I used I came across the Portable Fortitude Playing Cards and thought “That’s it!” I’ve been wanting to use the lovely Dreaming Way Tarot again for some time, so it went into the mix. Two excellent decks; cards from inspirational heaven in a sea of junk.

The Portable Fortitude deck was one I bought on Etsy, one of my fond memories of an outstanding artist and a black and white deck. There is another tarot deck (Animalis Os Fortuna Tarot) by an outstanding artist (Megan Weber) that I am saving up for and it is black and white. Alas, I have to wait until June or July to buy but that’s okay, I’ve wanted it since last summer, I suppose I can wait 2 or 3 months more.

That’s how you know the deck is right for you!!

10 OF DIAMONDS – Protection from city planning


I often get lost in Seven of Cups “up in the clouds” daydreaming. Many creative people do, the trick is to get your feet on the ground so you can accomplish something rather than just dream about all the wonderful things you want or can accomplish, or all the money you will make or the lottery you will win and the big castle you want to live in, or the snake waiting to bite you.

The 10 of Diamonds is a neutral card about money. I love this depiction, it’s spot-on isn’t it? City planners, like architects, artists, dreamers, writers, anybody creative, can go a bit crazy dreaming up impractical things. Here they’ve crowded out homes and the growth of plants, blocked the light, put a highway next to living space. Suffocating, noisy, and dark.

I need to get my weekly sketch done. I have preliminaries done but after going back to bed for four hours yesterday I felt like looking at cards and dreaming about art rather than doing art. A little nod from the crowded house on the playing card to edit my picture, keep to reality of space and time and injured hands.

Great cards.

Happy Sunday!

Ace of Pentacles/Coins Across Decks

I saw in my statistics page that someone had come to my site searching for images of the Ace of Coins. I thought to myself that this might make an excellent study.

Danger, danger, hours later after searching through dozens of decks and scanning, adjusting, rotating and labelling in Photoshop, I’m a bit punchy. When you’re in a funk, nothing helps like a bit of sorting, categorization, and organization. This was more than a bit, but hey it made for a keenly interesting day.

Dealing mostly with the Rider-Waite model (here used in the Universal Waite deck) I decided that there were three kinds of imagery with this card: the classic “hand of God” approach; the figurative approach related to the theme like in the Golden Tarot; and the pattern and shape decorated or changed similar to a pip in transformation playing cards, like in this marvelous Ace of Pentacles in the Sun and Moon.

In this study I am ignoring the figurative approach, and looking more at the other two.






I don’t see too many people using the Fradella deck but it’s one of my favourites.

















I’ve talked about that Universal Fantasy card before, it reminds me so much of an old brooch.

So that’s it, about 8 hours of work and 39 decks!