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.



This Card Reminds of That Enchanted Map

I was struck by a few cards in the Enchanted Map Oracle Cards when I received the deck so thought to have a little ramble as I like to do.

I looked and looked for the card that tweaked my visual memory for this one. I still can’t find it, either I don’t own the deck and I saw it online, or I simply can’t place it in my collection right now. If anyone knows of another deck with a similar visual let me know.

In the meantime, while in a fugue state over my morning tea, Henry Armitage came to me and said “It’s an Eldritch rock Jude, wake up to reality” and sure enough, he was right.


I love this lion and the sentiment of deep freeze or hibernation, staying still for a time. This is one of my favourite cards in this deck  and the slight tint to the lion reminded of the card in the Tarot of Paris.


I immediately thought of the gorgeous Aeon card from the Haindl Tarot with this. Isn’t the name “Storm Fields” evocative?


Another old favourite, the Bone Collector immediately reminded me of The Hermit in the World Spirit Tarot, one of the few female Hermits I have seen. Her cheery face in the oracle deck is immediately uplifting.


Down to the swirling leaves and faint butterflies, these two belong together.


There is something very charming about this card. The surrealism and the beckoning window and cat speak of depths and penetrating glances from other worlds. Windows, windows everywhere.


This was a straight visual memory for me probably because of the circular composition and the bright colours with winged figures.


And another memory jog from the Fey Tarot, but I couldn’t decide if it was one card or the other that was jogging my memory so you get both.


And lastly, my absolutely favourite card in the deck. I used to call myself “Solitudinus” and the number 13 is relevant for me so always a happy number. I think because I enjoy a bit of a chat with people, particularly about books, that they often mistake me for a friendlier person than I am. Really, I could live in a place like this and be perfectly content.


It’s not that I dislike people, but I like the place in the card better, it is better suited to my needs.

The enchantment of maps is that you can draw the place where you are even if people assume that you are somewhere else.


The Bratwurst Boys

This is a bonus draw for today because my imagination got hold of me.

I felt the need for a little card pick-me-up, and the big collection of postcards of New Yorker covers that I am waiting for won’t be out until May, so I bought a cheaper $10 deck of Harrow role-playing cards. These cards have always intrigued me because they are character driven much like one of my favourite decks, the Phantasmagoric Theater Tarot.

I noticed while browsing cards online that one of the characters looks like the big guy on The Lovers card in the Fey Tarot. They have similar titles too.

The boys begged me to release them so I did, and then they wanted to have a look at the jaunty men on the Cavalier of Hearts from the Tarot Philatelique. Who am I to stand in the way of these guys? Now they are talking of taking accordion lessons and making German Chocolate Sauerkraut cake for a special dinner.

Two guys, roaming the world for adventure and new tastes in cookery involving sauerkraut.

And you are there.



The Mary-El Light of Inevitability

Daily Draw February 14th, 2012

For Valentine’s Day I put in my pre-order for the Mary-El Tarot after Amazon.ca dropped the price. The last deck I ordered for Valentine’s was the Fey Tarot back in 2003. I circled it in the catalogue and had my husband phone the tarot store and place an order. How romantic is that?

Strangely, although the Mary-El is available from the publisher now and will be released by Amazon.com at the end of February, in Canada, Amazon.ca is showing a publication date of April, so I have no idea when I will actually get the deck. Talk about confusing. I’m good at waiting.

I haven’t bought a tarot deck since last October, so it took a REALLY interesting deck to get me to move. I appreciate decks where an artist has painted or drawn the artwork themselves. I love that she’s done things differently and written different things, which is SO my kind of thing in a deck.

In celebration of Saint Valentine and lovely gifts that resonate years later, here is a card from the Fey Tarot. May the Mary-El be just as timeless and happy for me.



I like that they refer to the light of inevitability in her eyes. Yes, she’s made that decision about buying the Mary-El and her resolve is to lose herself totally in the experience. This card actually reminds me a bit of the Ace of Wands in the Mary-El.

Fierce with ideas and wings.

This Tarot of Fire Card Reminds Me of That Old Man

Daily Draw June 4th, 2011

I bought The Tarot of Fire deck knowing it wasn’t perfect in its artwork, but knowing that the classic Lo Scarabeo quirkiness of meaning was back in force, I felt compelled to buy it. I like it much better than the Pagan Cats, which was way too bland in its rigorous attachment to Rider-Waite imagery. Poor LS, people complain about one thing or another and they are caught in the middle.

I’ll get the negative bits out of the way first. They’ve used computer generated figures on this which gives some of the cards a goofy lack of expression. I had the Poser software once and I found the absence of expression disconcerting and still do. There is just something missing, but they’ve managed to pull it out of the fire and make some charming cards. (Pun!)

The other really odd thing is the greenish cast to the fire in many of these cards. Green fire? Bad day with printing proofs or something fellas? Instead of fire, it’s more like green ice in some images which is weird. God has green hair instead of gold on one card.

Apart from that I was immediately hooked and liked the deck, I liked that they were all over the place with world mythology, I kept seeing images that reminded me of other decks, which is part of the fun for me in getting a new deck, and away I went. This is a keeper. It may not be an “A” level deck, but it has some solid information on mythology that will lead to greater exploration, and charming imagery.

This is where the old man comes into it, I saw this card and was reminded of the Osho Zen Tarot. Aren’t they a perfect match? In The Tarot of Fire he is illustrating a Chinese myth about animals contributing to the discovery of fire. This little bird was hoping he could get some millet seed for his trouble but the man is busy. What’s this, too busy for the birdie after he helped you discover fire? What kind of a deal is that Grasshopper?

My husband keeps asking me how I remember when I have a similar card, especially since I’ve now got 350 decks. I don’t remember them all but I’ve worked with many of these decks for years so they tend to stay in my visual memory. When the artwork hits your eye, that means it’s good. I saw this chap on the Justice card and out came Osho again. This Tarot of Fire card shows the Egyptian god Osiride on his throne in the Underworld.

Although I didn’t remember this card outright, while I had the Osho Zen out I browsed through it and this one went well with a card I had already pulled out of The Tarot of Fire because it struck me as a good one. The butterfly seems to have the face of a Siamese cat on his wings. The cat is attracted to that fire green candle, while heavily under the influence of Dylan Thomas’s poem Fern Hill obviously.

This references the myth of Eros and Psyche because Eros is the flame of desire that Psyche cannot resist. In this picture, he’s been sucking on a lime green popsicle for refreshment and she, arising from her chair after reading Thomas, finds herself drawn to his ice green flaming lips. I dare you to forget what this card means after that explanatory notation. Hey, I can roll with these Lo Scarabeo booklets, I’m with it, I’m there.

A story to every card, that’s my imperative.

And then the hand of god came into the picture, or rather Zeus. Back to some Greek mythology and Hephaestus forging thunderbolts for Zeus, which reminded me of one of my all-time favourite cards from The Mystic Rubaiyat by Penelope Cline. Destiny, thunder, the hand of Zeus and fire forging our lives and firing up our creativity.

These four cards were ones that struck me and I pulled them out. I really loved that they put Pompeii being destroyed by the volcano Vesuvius on this Tower card. If you’ve ever seen the archaeological digs of Pompeii and Herculaneum, you can see the way the people died, huddled together; it is very poignant. It brings some depth to this card, which as an archetype can become something we take for granted.

The Fool is great, he is an Alf or Drac from Germanic mythology, and LS describes him as a goblin that lives in homes, a ball of fire that enters through the chimney. The Fool as a fiery Santa figure. I thought it was interesting and will look up the legends concerning this goblin later.

The Moon is lovely too—another card that can become worn out in stereotype. Here the snake is bringing man the fire of knowledge and momentarily checking the illusions of the moon. What I really like though is the spider, which brings to mind creation myths of a spider goddess, plus Anansi the trickster spider from African mythology.

That lovely black swan on the 5 of Swords is from an Australian myth, where the swan saves fire (presumably for man) but does not realize the witch is with him. While I did find an aboriginal myth about black swans, I haven’t yet found the particular myth about fire and the black swan and a witch.

And lastly I come to the 6 of Swords which so reminded me of several cards that I had to pull them all. This depicts a Hebrew myth and the purifying flames goes from red to white according to the booklet. But those stairs, those thin, winding stairs are what piqued my interest.

One court card caught my eye, the Queen of Chalices, who is drawing the sign of the rune “Ken” on a rock. I loved the note in the booklet: “The Queen is a dreamer seeking a way of expressing herself through art.” This is probably one of the few Cups Queens across decks that speaks to me. Ken has several meanings and is supposed to represent a torch flame. I like that it is associated with Heimdall as I put Heimdall on the bag I made for the Lord of the Rings Tarot.

It also reminds me of a card I drew from the Instant Oracle in this post that I titled The Secret Writer.

Another successful deck. I will enjoy rummaging through this periodically and reading up on the mythology.

Anahata Green

Daily Draw November 5th, 2010

From the Fey Tarot:


This is one of my personal cards and my favourite card from this deck. It’s the card I used with the Beer Barrel Polka, plus the fourth chakra, to write a poem called Anahata Green in a long-ago random chaos exercise.

I was on a tarot list at the time and never could get the people there to try this exercise. The folk are kind of locked into a particular pattern they can’t see past, which is a pity, but it’s a choice, we all get to choose. No doubt they “Tsk, tsk” and say the same about me. It’s always something outside with that type of person, the power comes from some supernatural source, some gimmick, some ritual.

It’s actually inside you.

See the creativity bursting out of her back? That’s what this Ace is like, you simply burst forth and what’s inside you blossoms out. You don’t plan it, it happens, and the next thing you know a tree is growing out of your back. Limitless potential and possibility and a lot of green, which is very good for the heart. She is startled, but it feels pretty wonderful.

Growth always feels good.


Under Rainbow Ribbons

Daily Draw November 4th, 2010

Is that the schmaltziest title or what? I feel like I’ve been sleeping for three days but seem to have beaten the cold, and feeling moderately better.

I was talking to someone about the Fey Tarot so I thought I’d bring it down to use. I bought this (or my husband was told to order it actually) for Valentine’s Day in 2003 I think it was. It was my 13th deck. It’s funny, I still remember the tarot people I was talking to at that time and comparing cards with them and discussing the deck. They are long gone from my life and I don’t think they use their cards any more, it was a passing interest for them.

I quite like this deck and the book is good.


I do feel a bit like that today. It’s warm in the house although gloomy outside, and I’ve been reading some books and finishing old ones preparing for some new books I’ve ordered in from the library. I had one of my cats snuggled in my arm while I read, and the dogs were relaxing after their lunch, so it’s been peaceful and happy.

I might actually try to make something for my supper with my new food processor that I haven’t used as yet.

The book says “Joy for humans is rarely a solitary experience.” I think if we learn to live with ourselves without depending on others to give us joy, it becomes easier to be solitary AND joyful. Humans might do better allowing themselves to perceive and experience another way, without panicking at being alone.

I ordered a deck about the periodic table of the elements (which I discussed here) and a book on weaving history called Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years Women, Cloth, and Society in Early Times by Elizabeth Wayland Barber. This should be fascinating and tie into many of my interests as well as my interest in history and sociology.

So it’s all cozy and comfortable here today under the rainbow.