The View from the Cage



A wake-up call, a call to action, opportunity. I always think of canaries down coal mines to warn of deadly gases. If the canaries keel over and die, you need to get out of the mine.

There is a sense here of escape which I like.

For the last two days I’ve been working on my weekly sketch. Every week I vow to loosen up and every week I seem to get bogged down in details. Five hours in and I’m still not finished. Hopefully tomorrow, but it has been enjoyable because I’ve been drawing and painting on my sunporch and I can see the tree swallows nesting and hear the wrens and watch the orioles and chipmunks, in a room that has windows all around and is light and cheery.

I could be trapped in worse places. That canary has a 360° view like me on my sunporch.




Time To Set Traps for Mice and Negativity

Daily Draw October 23rd, 2012


I like the newsprint words in the background. “Want to lose ugly pounds?” and at the bottom “Start today –like yourself  better tomorrow.”

We all know those days. “Shed the negative thoughts that weigh you down with their high-calorie burdens.” sayeth the booklet. I like that too.

I have a mouse in my basement again. Time to set those traps, mice are always a fun aspect of rural living. Phooey, just when you think they are gone they manage to find a crack to get in.

Kind of like negative thoughts.


Arise, Let Us Cleanse the Theater

Daily Draw March 9th, 2012

Alas, the name of the deck uses the American spelling, so I must follow suit. Pun!


I spoke to my friend whose husband languishes in bed, unable to walk. She has to change his urinal and bedpan and she goes out every morning and buys him a paper and a Pro-Line ticket so he can bet the lottery. When he fills it out she drives to the store to play it for him. He won’t get out of bed except to go to the doctor.

It’s scary to contemplate how one would act in a similar situation. But I don’t think my active, creative mind would allow me to lie down passively and need someone to wait on me while I lie helpless. My husband agrees; we vow not to let life unfold like that. Pain is tough, I live with it all day and night too. If you can’t walk you can stand and stretch or stretch in the bed. You have to move the blood and lymph around in your body or bad things happen.

Creative people have the impulse to make things. I could be dying and I’d want to use my hands in some way, I can’t settle otherwise.

I must continue to take action and change so I don’t end up in a similar situation. There ARE worse things than death. Judgment is also about self-discovery and I will counteract hibernating and passivity in myself, learn new scripts for new plays, and have new goals.

The Bear Walked Over the Cellar, But I Forgave Him

Daily Draw August 15th, 2011

It’s a Wildwood kind of day I think.


Here is the bear coming to fix our yawning cold cellar door. I hope it goes well.

There is something disconcerting about having people in to do work on the house. You tiptoe around whispering, trying not to get in the way, or be seen.

However, as the bear says, it is the gateway to renewal and healing. You proceed through the passage. I get a tinge of forgiveness with this, both for myself and toward others—something to keep in mind. You can see from the image it’s having trouble coming out, but this old bear is going to hold me to it.

Here is a wonderful snippet from the book:

The only thing in life that is assured is that, if you wait long enough, it will change. How you survive that change and who you are after it is up to you.

Doors, Perception, Liberation

Daily Draw January 12th, 2011

The plumber is here…I’m hiding in the basement…he has gotten the rusted, crumbling basket out of the sink and it was too low, so when he puts the new one in he has to replace all the PVC pipes. At least it’s not a new sink and more days of waiting. It will cost us, but not as much as we thought.

Wow, this could be one of those things where we don’t have to get everything replaced. Could we have a bit of luck? I dare to hope.

Yesterday I managed to clear off enough of the dining table that I could sew. I finished a quilt block I had laid out last May or so, and I ironed and organized pieces for a purse that I started around the same time. I have to be very careful at the sewing machine or it hurts my knee and back, but so far I am chipping away at it, carefully getting up and down to go to the ironing board and back.

Today’s card is from the Transformational Tarot:


That’s the word of the day.

Now I like that thought. On the card it says “attaining spiritual and perceptual freedom.” That’s me, I need some perceptual freedom.

How we perceive the world, and this is The Judgment card in other decks, is often a bit off, we don’t see things properly which is a trap, a prison of mind, a lack of judgment, or perhaps a judgment of personality.

This idea often comes up for me in draws because my mind clings to its prison seemingly. “Limiting modes of perception” need shifting to allow the spirit to evolve.

Rejuvenation and rising above negativity. Good, this 16 days with the plumbing problem, and trying to get hold of a plumber for so long, had me very down, to the point of not talking, not engaging in anything, almost like death and resurrection.


XX – St. Gabriel – Judgement

I got a bit confused about archangels being Saints with this card. Strange, but it was never something I questioned with St. Michael. The Penguin Dictionary of Saints explains it this way:

From the beginning of Christian history, veneration of Michael took place, and the Jews also venerated him. He does a lot in the bible and so his commanding strength was appreciated in tradition for intercession. There have been numerous legends of visions and sightings of him. There are differences about Saints in general and certainly the archangels, in local churches and also in the Eastern Orthodox and Western Churches. In the traditions of the East, Gabriel, Michael, and Raphael were always honoured liturgically, but Gabriel and Raphael only started to gain popularity in the West in the 20th century.

Okay, that makes more sense to me now, since I already know of several Saints from the Eastern Church that people don’t hear of in the West. As far as these three archangels being Saints, it seems to be a matter of their great power and historic communication with people, and people wanting to commemorate and symbolize that. There are very close to God, they sit beside him, so our veneration of them brings us closer to God by association.

Gabriel is the angel that appeared to Mary during the Annunciation, he is also associated with blowing the trumpet at the Last Judgement as depicted in this picture from the deck. He tended the infant Abraham and spoke to Daniel, foretold the birth of Samson, announced the birth of John the Baptist, and I didn’t realize this, but in Islamic tradition, he dictated the Koran to Muhammed. I like Place’s notation that because Gabriel was involved in Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, he demonstrates that they are all branches of the same trunk.

That fits in well with the idea of Gabriel calling us to a higher state of being. Not only resurrected from death on Judgement Day, but for me this concept of having the same religious roots. Triumph over death, and triumph over our peculiar need to fight each other to the death over supposedly disparate religious beliefs.

I remember the line from Charles Dickens in A Christmas Carol during the episode of Christmas Yet To Come. Scrooge had died and the charwoman says something about him gasping his last, all alone with no one to look after him. Scrooge’s housekeeper Mrs. Dilbur says “It’s a judgment on him.” Gabriel can remind us of the way we are supposed to care for each other too.

I like the idea of this archangel being the chief messenger of God. He was involved in many more events than I remember. Gabriel did announce his name on several occasions, but there are examples of unnamed angels where Gabriel is given credit, including holding the trumpet for Judgement as described in Thessalonians 4:16. In that it is described “…with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet call of God…” (NIV Bible) Gabriel being God’s messenger archangel, it seems natural to associate this event with him as the herald with the trumpet.

Michael is the warrior archangel, Gabriel the messenger in Christian tradition, and as such Gabriel seems to have a gentler presence, perhaps mindful of frightening people, and mindful of remaining calm to get the message across. Another facet of a meditation on Gabriel that can benefit us: sometimes a lower key works better.

Gabriel is often depicted with a spear or sceptre as well as a trumpet, and a shield with a lily on it or a lily in some other configuration. The lily is associated with the purity of Mary and the Annunciation, and is often in Annunciation images, so became part of Gabriel’s symbolism as well. I have seen shields with Gabriel that have suns on them or other objects, but the shield itself along with the spear or sceptre symbolizes the power of God. Archangels are often depicted with armour in any case, armour being something understandable in earlier times as a connotation of power, although not favoured today in angelic imagery.

I have a favourite picture of the Annunciation which can be seen in this discussion of the Four of Cups from this deck. Click on the image to enlarge it.

Light Over Shifting Patterns of Sand

Daily Draw March 22nd, 2010

This card fell out while I was shuffling the deck. I riffle shuffle this deck, the card stock is wonderful for that. When you pick the deck up after riffling it you have to let the cards slide together gently so the slots don’t snag but that’s no problem.


My “Sir Richard Burton racing across the desert” card. I really think this is my favourite card of the whole deck. Wow, I discussed this card way back on January 29th, it doesn’t seem that long ago.

Yes, there is a huge feeling of releasing the past with me recently. Finally, I can get past losing my crummy job, which in retrospect and reflection was not the shining moment in time that I thought it was. That’s a nice feeling to get past that. It took me five years but it has gone now, and for me, this card is the hope of the light springing ahead in the desert. The hope of stars and the shifting of the sand into new patterns.

Cold, lonely, but so what? You are going somewhere, the Judgment has been passed, literally.

Onward to other things.