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.



Vitruvian Man Contemplates Moving His Pets

10 – FATE (Wheel of Fortune)


I love this: “The only constant factor in life is change.” which is exactly what Buddhists would say is impermanence, uncertainty, or ambiguity.

I also like the lighthouse on this card, similar to human consciousness lighting things up and then winking out, revolving to leave you in the dark. Flashes of light, insights, the choice is yours to be aware of them or not. You are the architect of your life.

Up and down, yin and yang. Last week was busy organizing, asking questions about moving, looking at available houses, but this week I started having nightmares about moving my pets. I gave away dozens of cats in one dream and found my yellow Lab (deceased for 3 years) in a cage in the fridge. At first I thought this was just worry about flying them out there. My dogs are both 11 and my cat is 14.5 years-old. The stress of going on a plane might hurt them. My Dad had encouraged me in 2002 to I kill all my pets so I could move into a condo. (Dear Dad, always sensitive to the feelings of others) so that might be where the dream of giving them all away came from.

Then I thought maybe it was about leaving them here. Most of them are buried here in the woods, so physically I would be leaving them. Then the dream became about the pets spreading disease and I had to wake myself up, I was getting too anxious.

I create the shape, the dream of life. Actually change can be spontaneity, which I always enjoy.

Worry about the pets, who are all old soldiers, seems to niggle at me constantly, even in dreams.



Deep Blue Remains Untouched

One more thing off the list, we had our annual furnace service and it was fine. It cost about $100 less than the old oil furnace was to service. We found out we hadn’t been changing the filters enough. I kept saying to the spouse “Do you hear that ringing sound when the fan is on?” He didn’t and neither did the service guy, but the filter was clogged with dust, so he thought that might have caused the fan to overwork and make the sound. Sure enough, with a new filter it has stopped.

Live and learn. We’ve only had the furnace for 13 months and the fan is so powerful that it sucks more detritus up. We didn’t realize, but now we know and no harm done. I think the spouse is losing his hearing though; I’ve noticed that for some time.

10 OF WATER – DEEP BLUE (10 of Cups)


I’ve got some purple Waterman ink on order to try and resurrect an old Parker 51 fountain pen from the 1960s. That is all I can see in the background.

I usually refer to this as the Happy Families card, but here it is slightly different. The lifeboat is untouched by surface storms, serenely untouched by turmoil. If you dive for them, inner resources are available, much like sticking your fountain pen into a bottle of ink in order to fill it. Of course, if it’s purple ink, you’re going to feel even better.

Don’t do anything, just meditate, concentrate on the breath and let it happen. A good card for me as I wind myself up to go to the bank tomorrow, and do our tax returns, and think about moving, and get worried and anxious.

Don’t rock the boat, but balance. Deep Blue has it covered, I just need to drift, observe the swirling water and weather patterns, and let go.

Demeter and the Four of Three

I picked a card from the Experimental Tarot and then thought I’d grab the card from the other three decks I have down here and do a comparison.



The Experimental card reflects all cultures, a global Empress, which ties in nicely to the way I think of this card being about leadership. Apart from the leadership and guidance involved in motherhood, the Empress to me does not necessarily mean Big Mom, but a mother to the world, a leader, someone who rules wisely.

Big Mom as a Persian cat with gambolling kittens in the Tarot of Pagan Cats, gets back to that pregnant Empress vision that I don’t really like but she IS regal and looks wise. Fertility is also about ideas not just physical fertility and this cat looks like she is pondering a great mystery.

The Sacred Sites Tarot shows Demetra (a.k.a. Demeter) and the Eleusinian mysteries, the rites tied to worship of Demeter and her daughter Persephone. They were secret rites and this reminds me of the Empress being self-contained and able to keep a secret as you would expect from a good ruler.

The Sorcerer’s Tarot shows the big heart of the Empress, her ability to take care of others. Sort of a practical woman, she knows she’s going to have to kiss that frog to get her Prince, but what of it? One has to do what one has to do to rule the kingdom wisely.

For today I think of overseeing, taking care of the home and others, being slow to act and thinking about things first, weighing the options. It also reminds me that my friend’s Mum is ill, so I think of her and how mothers can keep to themselves in order not to worry people, and how when they are sick, the home just doesn’t feel the same.

Get well, we are thinking about you here.



That’s a Hefty Case Fella, is Anything in It?

I always find it confusing when court cards are renamed. I suppose this is a nod to the Thoth deck, but still, some of the deck creators will do Princess for Page and some do Son, when I think of Son as the Knight, so the Son as Page does not rear up first in my mind.

In this deck the Sons are Pages. (Googly eyes.)

SON OF EARTH (Page of Pentacles)
Rat Race


Doesn’t he look dogged? Thrashing about with heavy burdens, rushing, straining, trying to get there on time.

Creation is effortless, and yet these two are going way above effort in trying to do something. Sometimes you can bang and bang your head against the wall and not get the result you are striving for. Indeed, have these guys even thought about what they really want or are they just concentrating on going fast, looking the part?

Perhaps a day of flow and letting go, letting the creation of things be effortless?

Art, it’s all about creating art.



Gunnar Gets to the Core of Things

It’s Saturday but I think it’s Sunday. What does this mean? I don’t know but it gets confusing.

I grabbed four decks to use for a bit. First up is the delightful Experimental Tarot, one I love just because he used the CorelDraw library for clip art. It looks so crisp, so linear, so gorgeous, and the font is a favourite too.

8 CORE (8 of Pentacles)
Nothing less will do.

I did actually ask a question before drawing this: “Tell me about pain.”


This reminds me of the last line of Yeats’s wonderful poem The Lake Isle of Innisfree: “I hear it in the deep heart’s core.”

I like the hint Gunnar Kossatz writes in the book:

“Your limits are much wider than you may think they are. Take up the task. Endurance is a valuable learning experience in this world.”

So, disciplined effort and extreme tenacity will bring me to the ultimate depth, Alpha and Omega, the core of things.

I hear it, I see it like an eyelid opening, like the heart of a seed springing to life, and I keep going and wait.