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.



Startled Deer Meets Death by the Briney

Last week in a thrift store I found a lovely wooden tabletop frame for 50 cents, and yesterday when I was out browsing for a Father’s Day card I bought two greeting cards to try in the frame. They didn’t fit but I traded cards in frames and eventually got something for it.

I’m dragging around after only 4 to 5 hours of sleep, so a bit of decoration cheered me up. I found a small card with a lovely photograph of a shell for another frame that I removed a card from. It says “remembering” which seemed apt as I remember not to invest in people who denigrate me. It also reminds me of the sea and nature and what’s important under the moon and stars.




While looking for animals last week I came across the Heart Tarot which I love but rarely use, because I have to be so careful getting it in and out of the box which is too tight.

I like the extra detail of the pheasant on the Linestrider Tarot. The running deer and pheasant speak of movement but a startled, frightened sort of movement. Perhaps a reminder to choose my time, to get things done instead of procrastinating to the last minute which always leaves me scrambling and frantic?

Paired with Death, I think of creative death, things that cause creativity to die, and how too much brooding and planning can impede swift movement. Let the ghosts fade into the background and deal with now. Part of remembering is remembering to live in the moment.


Dance of the Seven Addictions

I would use this deck more as I like the artist’s work, but it’s very hard to get in and out of the box and you can’t shuffle it, so it has to be laid out in piles and put back together, which is still awkward to handle because of the shape.

This might be Judith and the head of Holofernes or it might be wicked old Salome, her dance of the seven veils, and the head of John the Baptist. Today I am pretending it’s Salome.



This is about emotional or mental things that chain me. Yup, it was that kind of day.

I reminder to look at self-defeating actions. I should have remembered that when I woke up and saw this card.



The Diffident Pincushion

Daily Draw August 20th, 2012



I have been having fun with this deck because almost every card I pull is new to me as I can’t remember them.

This lady has been sticking pins into her heart-shaped pincushion every time she has a worrying thought as she sews. That’s a good way of getting rid of fears and things that “hem” you in. Many times these things are simply in your mind or buried in the tension within your body, but they are not real phantoms.

I have always considered this one of my personal cards, since I do tend to trap myself with my own thoughts and fears. The booklet mentions diffidence and reconciliation, indeed reconciliation with the Self as well as others. Diffidence is a way of unassertiveness and not speaking up for yourself and lacking confidence or being timid. The Latin root of the word means “distrust.”

Diffidence is such a pretty, proper word. I imagine nice, young, well-behaved ladies contemplating reservations, deportment and diffidence, and all the while on a slow burn at the restraints around them. The sharp objects sticking in your heart while you calmly sew yet another hem on a napkin. Sitting quietly and oh so correctly in the corner chair, clenching your teeth, turning red in the face.

Time to beat that pillow up again! Trust yourself, trust your Self.


Bubble Up for Kindred Grace

Today I felt like using two decks I had mentioned to a friend. I pulled several cards out last night just because I liked them, and today I picked one from each, based on artwork and feeling alone.


I was really attracted to the colour in this card from the Circle of Life Tarot, and I like the dog at his feet while he contemplates the bubbles and ideas coming out of his cup. There are numbers on his chair at the side like one of those games where there are 15 numbers and one blank space and you have to shuffle the numbers around into order.

I still have my games that I bought from a vending machine at Expo 67 in Montreal back in 1967. I need to fit the numbers back in their case in the proper order. Those numbers, always fooling around and dancing when my back is turned.

The King of Chalices has wings but there seems to be a shivering angel behind his chair. Perhaps an angel of Air who mistakenly went for a swim in the emotional waters of the King? Yes, he helps release emotions but sometimes they aren’t the ones you want. You thought you were going to dip your toe and instead a tidal wave threw you about and soaked you. The booklet says “A heavy load is not a burden if we understand its value.”

This would tie-in nicely with yesterday’s draw. The tidal wave has thankfully receded.


Out of nine cards from The Heart Tarot, I picked this one. Having received the bounty of apples while listening to an early music CD, she contemplates the growth and sight that contemplation can bring. “The help of others should be sought only when truly necessary.”

Oh, one appreciates it when it isn’t asked for.

Ecco la Primavera

Spring has come apace
To waken hearts to gladness;
Time for lovers’ madness
And to wear a happy face.

The elements together
Are beckoning to mirth;
In this delightful weather,
Delight pervades the earth.

The grass in fresh rebirth
Helps meadows come a-flower,
And every branch and bower,
Is decked with kindred grace.

Spring has come apace
To waken hearts to gladness;
Time for lovers’ madness
And to wear a happy face.



Grains in the Basket, Baby at the Knee

Daily Draw December 6th, 2011

I had to stop my fast over the weekend so I could eat something and then take aspirin for this dreadful sciatica that left me no peace. However it did start a good detox process, which I’ve continued with a very low fat and low salt vegan eating plan. I think the first week of detox is the worst, with all the chemicals and junk leeching out of the body. I am down to two aspirin per day and hope as I become less inflamed that I can ditch the aspirin altogether.

You do what you can.


Isn’t this a nice take on this card? It depicts the celebratory aspect of comfort and security, the peace of knowing you have enough food, and a nice dress and headdress, plus your baby close by, safe. Warmth, caring; the maternal love reminds me of the Pansy card I drew a few days ago.

Perhaps Mom has dropped by again to tell me I’m safe? “Eat your vegetables, grains, and beans” she says.

What the Green Canoe Dreams Really Mean

Daily Draw March 16th, 2011

I had a revelation after a dream this morning. I had a dream about The Photographer yet again. We were making up after a fight, but there was nothing sexual about it, I’ve never had those kind of feelings for him, he was my online pal. So after thinking “Why the hell do I dream about this man every month?” something clicked and I kept pondering a boy who was my childhood pal.

R. was two years younger than I, so I knew him from birth; our parents were best friends and it seems like most weekends and holidays involved playing with him and often his sister too. She was two years older than I, so I was right in the middle of them, we formed a great triumvirate of horsing around, camping, swimming, skating, tobogganing, walking, playing with toys, eating popsicles and ice cream, watching TV and reading comics. R. and I loved to read his older brother’s comic collection, we’d spend hours reading them and then go swimming–just a wonderful friend for me, and we were so natural together, we had such camaraderie. If I had been a boy I would have been given the same name. Then we would have been even more like twins.

And this photographer guy does resemble him physically. I made Mr. Photographer a tarot bag like one I made myself and called the bags “The Twins.” My online pal was supposed to be my friend and betrayed me by lying and pretending to be other people online. He was also into violence and fetish stuff which I found out at the end, a lifestyle that’s anathema to me after being the victim of violence when young. My husband deserted me emotionally, my friend disappeared. I say that The Photographer was the one who destroyed friendship and trust for me, and he did. “Liar, liar pants on fire,” to use an appropriate taunt from childhood. We have nothing in common, he doesn’t read books which are my passion, he forms flirtations with crude dominatrix types, and I don’t want to know him, so why the dreams?

Some how, the old brain machine latched onto him during a period I needed a friend, and I think he has become an archetype for my childhood friendship with R. and happier days camping and boating. The Photographer likes to camp and fish, he uses a green canoe, and he does terrific nature photography, and it’s hardly surprising that he has come to represent those days of youth when I loved fishing and the outdoors and won an award for canoeing. Sometimes it’s as simple as that. That makes so much sense to me, that he would represent the easy friendship of childhood, the summers and weekends of childhood play, laughter, and safety. Psychologist Thomas Moore says we must respect the heart in such things, respect archetype and imagery and learn from it.

So with that in mind I’m drawing a card from The Heart Tarot.


Isn’t that just it?

Clutching my staff, bundled against the freezing temperatures, everyone flying away. Longing for a happy summer Saturday eating ice cream and reading comics with a pal. Waiting for better times, matrimonial problems, HOPE.

“You and you and that’s the only way.”

I’m not often interested in dreams but when they repeat I have to wonder why. I feel strange finally knowing what this dream is really about. I’ll have to correlate them and see if they pop up during times of feeling deserted and abandoned, like this week.