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!




The Purring Double Helix

August 18th, 2011

Here I am again at 3:30 a.m. waiting for my aspirin to work. I took a nice cold water from the fridge and I am sipping it.


In this deck the rods are all about creativity. The egg the figure is holding has a DNA double helix rising from it, interweaving with the rods above.

I looked at that egg and DNA and all I could think of was my crummy body and getting stuck in the genetic roulette with one that doesn’t work. That DNA looks skewy, smoky, ephemeral. The figure is patting the egg affectionately, reverently, so the idea of caring for what you have comes to mind.

Yes, I think that’s it, the nurturing aspect of respect for the body and helping it along with creative pursuits. The mindfulness meditation of the breath going in and out, the miracle of such a thing, the caring energy. The double helix of adaptability, melds to the body, stretching like a band, yet it doesn’t come apart.

Maybe it purrs when you pat it? You never know.

Golden Shield Up

Daily Draw August 14th, 2011

From the always interesting Intuitive Tarot:


I’ve had this fellow before in this deck, but I never noticed the shield he is holding. Like all the kings, he is working things out in his mind, surveying his kingdom, building, adjusting, enjoying his power and wealth, but mindful of stewardship and looking ahead.

And he’s got a death grip on that shield today. It’s supposed to be a large golden coin but today it is a shield, which makes me think of the idea of money as shielding you or protecting you from harm.

I was talking to my friend last night, the one whose husband had the aortic aneurism. They can’t get much help, they’ve been turned down for proper rehab and physiotherapy; he keeps falling and is in constant pain. She is hurting her back trying to wheel him around in a borrowed transport chair with four small wheels. The mechanized chair lift for the stairs would cost $12,000, so they spent $800 and put in a sturdy oak railing instead, it was all they could afford and a friend put it in at half cost.

Their car steering went out when she was miles from home and she managed to get home but nearly had an accident. It’s an old car and needs constant repairs. It made it through the commuting to visit him in the hospital for weeks, but the hospital parking cost $20 per day. Her blood pressure is dangerously high and she feels sick and exhausted and trapped constantly monitoring him, washing his hair, making sure he’s okay, worrying about his medications and pain, and emptying his urine bottle. Their bathroom is upstairs and he pulls himself up as often as he can, but he has fallen several times doing this. There are other things too. One day she came downstairs and thought he was dead, but he was just sick. She was frightened to touch him in case he was dead, but he was hot, she had to feel around to find that he was breathing.

They need protection from a world where they don’t matter. The inequity of it is appalling. Yes, money can be a shield.


Ratchet Time

Daily Draw December 22nd, 2010

It’s so nice to come down here and have proper heating in the basement. I put the jazz station on the satellite TV and away I go with music for company. I managed to have a decent sleep too, which makes me want to do stuff.

Today I am using The Intuitive Tarot. It’s an odd deck, and I find the book vacuous and New-Agey but the cards are very interesting.


I was actually looking at mandalas online yesterday, and here one is. I keep meaning to finish some small mandalas I started in a sketchbook–I overlapped them though and it interrupts the flow to think of how to get them to fit each other.

This is the Ace of Pentacles in other decks. I like the way it looks like a dark portal opening up to reveal the bright mandala. The secret curtain pulls back to reveal spirals, fire, teeth. The teeth remind me of the ratchet on my weaving loom, and the spirals reminds me of winding the warp.

There is something vaguely spiritual and meditative about weaving.

It casts a pawl on my day. Hahaha. Love that word play.


Peace Amid Succulent Fruit

Daily Draw June 16th, 2010

I drew this card this morning but had to go bike riding and then to the dentist so didn’t get a chance to post. After the dentist I took 2 aspirin and went to bed for three hours due to jaw pain. It’s over though for another six months.

I so rarely pull this card. People who draw a card daily will understand this, it’s the oddest thing how you can use all different decks, very well shuffled, and still not get certain cards. I’ve always loved the Rider-Waite version of this depicting the lady in the walled garden with a falcon on her gloved hand. I think I shall start calling this the “Secret Garden” card as it has that hushed fragrance of bounty and fruitfulness.

Today I am using The Intuitive Tarot, which I quite like although I’m a smidge disappointed in the New-Age stuff in the book. Her artwork is very refreshing.

On this card he is picking fruit, not necessarily the biggest, but the best. It’s about selecting for quality, a bit like selecting quality moments and things to do in life. I like the boats in the harbour, making the whole thing looked like a sheltered, luxury garden, the owner perhaps surveying his ships while picking some fruit on a ramble through his property.

We ate breakfast and lunch on the sunporch today, enjoying the view of our garden and nesting birds. I’ve had a peaceful, restful day just enjoying what’s here.

Frustration of Looming Winter

Daily Draw September 28th, 2009

A friend of mine, the very talented Stephen Bright, has been involved with tarot for many years and owns a business for tarot readings. He is always inspiring creatively, and over the seven years I have known him, has had frequent ideas for tarot cards that were sketched, drawn or collaged and seemed intriguing.

This year he started designing an entire tarot deck which you can see in the link above. The momentum keeps building, and his latest two cards really lit me up. I can always tells when a deck lights me up because I’ll start to make stories tied into the archetypes, and the artist’s creativity cascades like water until I feel I must work with the deck. This deck is one like that for me. It’s because he captures things that are true, but subtly, giving the reader a chance to tell their own tale. I like that, I like that a LOT.

May this wonderful deck come to fruition, the breath of fresh air in a stuffy corridor of sameness!

And today’s card comes from the Intuitive Tarot:


I can see why I would get this today, I’ve been ruminating on things that haven’t quite worked out business-wise.

This is a classic card of not seeing what’s really there, not seeing what you do have, so I shall have to remember that today. It also highlights my feelings about finally getting my dream bicycle and then having to deal with the rain and wind of fall weather and not managing to ride every day. Summer has gone and I feel frustrated at leaving it behind, along with my bike, while I feel the looming presence of winter.


The Purple Flow of Inspiration

Daily Draw September 17th, 2009

I am back to planning work and am going to make up some beads, a 20-hour process that I usually love but I’m still getting a “what’s the point” feeling. It’s amazing how little people want to pay for handmade things. Someone asked me to do the local Christmas show this year and I am hesitating because two years ago I participated and found that people are really looking for things under $10. I can’t make anything for under $10 due to material costs and the time required to fashion something.

I sold some bookmarks for $7 the last time and they required 14 hours to make with 4 coats of varnish, printing on photo paper, gluing, pressing, and cost about $3 in materials. Oh wow, after paying for my supplies, I made $0.29 cents an hour, lucky me. There is no sense to that. So people tell me, “Just make cheap stuff.” What would be the point? Who wants to make cheap gimcracks for $3 apiece anyway? What would be the point of making something by hand then?

Once I start focusing on selling things, the joy goes out of it because I know I will not be paid. Anyone can string glass beads on wire, but I do bead embroidery and I make my own beads. It takes hours and hours to make something original up. I make a little story with each necklace, they are individuals after all.

I started a really neat necklace last year with impasto beads based on a paper doll dress that Zelda Fitzgerald painted for her daughter. It has a bead-embroidered pendant with silk ribbon embroidery, an image transfer cabochon from a gardening catalogue that says “Scott’s Flowers” which echoes that Zelda and her daughter were Scott Fitzgerald’s flowers, and sewn beads and these wild handmade beads on the strung part, like Zelda herself and Zelda’s fabulous paintings. It was a real concept and is taking hours, but the secret delight I hold in the inspiration never goes away. It is delicious.

Until I get to putting it up for sale. Then I stop working, because someone will say “Isn’t that cute” and want to pay $25 for it. I had a customer at an art show dicker around like that with one of my embroidered necklaces. This wasn’t cheaply done, it had a very fine finish, tiny stitches and expensive beads, all backstitched and solidly sewn, plus my own handmade beads, and silk, but you would have thought he was bargaining for a battery-operated penlight at the dollar store the way he was sneering at me about the price. It was humiliating.

I need a goal in life and creativity. So I’m doing a botanical theme with things today. After that I’ll get to the discouragement and humiliation part, but for today I will try to suspend that and enjoy the colours and creating. There is simply nothing on earth like making something beautiful.

My message from Cilla Conway and the Intuitive Tarot today is:


Love, companionship, friendship. It is like reaching the “flow” part of the brain in creating: everything fits and the world disappears in the union of idea and process, a partnership of the work I enjoy and my mind. I will accomplish more with this kind of harmony than thinking that there is no point to doing anything. Creativity, like grapes, will ripen on the vine, and bring its scent to life.

Mmmmm, smell the purple, feel the tender kiss of inspiration.