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.


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.


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?


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.


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.




Splinters of Singing



The Axolotl is endangered because of urbanization and pollution of the lakes around Mexico City where they are found. They are an amphibian related to salamanders but they don’t develop lungs to live on land and are aquatic and gilled. I love drawing reptiles and amphibians, I must have a go at this guy one day.

They have these amazingly human faces as you can see in Megan’s drawing, like a splinter of human singing. They are apparently regenerative so a reminder to regenerate when we are in less than perfect circumstances or dealing with difficult people.

I overdid it making my new art journal Fauxdori, which I call Japonica, but it’s done now and my daffodils are blooming so I want to go out and draw them. For me, that’s the regeneration, using something I have made and not letting it sit unused.

My husband has been out for days in the garden enjoying himself and I have been inside, feeling sick. So I must get out today! I took my art paper and made these little booklets for my Fauxdori to draw in, they look so pretty, as if all the fun of life awaits me.


If I would only GO outside. It’s a struggle for me, but Axolotl reminds me to thrash through the obstacles and breathe, open my gills up.

Japonica awaits……….








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?




Clouds, Absorbing Surrounding Colour and Light

Daily Draw May 26th, 2013

I am forging away on the biography Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child. Although I have read Julia’s own book My Life in France twice, I wanted something with a bit more detail. I also just got an inter-library loan for the book Alice: Alice Roosevelt Longworth, from White House Princess to Washington Power Broker by Stacy Cordery, so I am keen to start that.

I had planned to start doing some prep work for painting baseboards but I am still awfully sore and was getting horrendous leg cramps last night. I am arranging to get some new homeopathic Bach flower remedies to combat several physical problems. You never know, anything’s worth a try at this point.

I was up at 4 a.m. to get a hot water bottle for my leg cramps. The heat helps to relax the muscles but nerve pain in my back and hip kept me awake. Honestly, it gets discouraging. I hope to go back to bed after I do my card draw.



Ooh, those pesky fives that everyone says are bad. In this case, the sticks remind me of walking sticks and my fear that I’ll be hobbling about with canes eventually, and the strife and battle I feel within my body.

Struggle, obstacles, BUT the way they are floating in the clouds suggests floating and letting things go to me, drifting with air currents, not fighting them but to let them take you, let them move you somewhere else. The booklet mentions “unsatisfied desires” and I think of my struggle to make art or indeed do any creative endeavours. My conflict in that regard, the way I am locked up, my indecisiveness and dithering, is like being locked in combat.

Why I don’t know. It should be a pleasurable thing, like floating in clouds, harnessing the air current, the peace of light and sky, the deep blue of imagination. I am tired to the bone of struggling.


Tussle at Big Sky

Daily Draw April 25th, 2010

3 a.m. and the new development from the spouse is shouting in his sleep. Not mumbling, but shouting or groaning so loudly that he sounds alarmingly like he’s in pain. He’s not though, he’s just had too much to drink, this is after his usual weekend beer fest. I try to be tolerant but after being woken up three times, terrified that something was wrong, I’m cranky. I got up and the house reeked of beer upstairs and downstairs. Yuck.

Insomnia is a sly torture.

However, I outfoxed him on books. I put an order in for three books via inter-library loan. I wanted to make some stuff I saw and decided to try the library. I have a 60% chance of getting one or maybe two of them. A chance is better than nothing.

They have patterns for beautiful little treasures to create with both paper and fabric so I hope that loan comes through.

I am using Stella’s Tarot today.


Could this be me beating the spouse over the head with a stick? I have such trouble sleeping and to be fired awake for the third time in 3 hours by someone shouting was too much for my delicate temperament. He’s in another room so you can figure out how loud he was shouting to wake me up in my room.

Conflict, and fiery Wands conflict too. We’ve had a jolly week. Something will happen, and old issues come to the surface like bubbles in a glass of beer, and all compromise and talking it over rationally goes up in the sky, tumbling, jousting, fighting in your mind.

Obstacles and unsatisfied desires. Yes, I was sulky over the book I wanted and so was he. My unsatisfied creative desire, his unsatisfied desire for the living peacefully at the Ranch of Parsimony.Tomorrow I’ll feel awful from lack of sleep and now I’ve got a headache and I’m grinding my teeth. On and on it goes.

Hopefully the library will come through in a couple of weeks and my unsatisfied desire will have an outlet. In the meantime I’ve resurrected a purse project I cut out in June 2008 and hope to get somewhere with it. This of course means clearing two tables of a mountain of books and fabric. More conflict, more struggle and labour.

It’s so annoying, this fiddling and fussing when all you want to do is sit down and make something.