Jigsaws in Card Paradise

We’ve had a busy week with contractors and banks and my insomnia kicked in. Three to five hours of sleep leaves me dragging around, so this week I got into the digital jigsaw program Jigsaws Galore, which was a Windows program that is now available for the Mac. I find it soothing and I can load in my own pictures to make puzzles. I used some of my own card images or montages and a couple from the Internet and just had fun.

This is the Soulflower Plant Spirit Oracle by Lisa Estabrook which I don’t have but might one day purchase. I love botanical decks in particular, but I was disappointed with a few decks I bought this year so I like to think carefully about buying any new decks.


Then I had to scan in and enter my copy of the Pagan Otherworlds Tarot in my database, so I decided to use my samples of the cards and card back as a jigsaw.


Then I took an old image of bower birds that I used on this blog comparing the Animal Totem Tarot and the Linestrider Tarot cards that feature bower birds. That Linestrider card has lots of white which was challenging to piece together. I think I did about 480 pieces for this. With this bigger screen I can do more pieces than I could on a small 15-inch laptop.


I found a nice image of the Ancient Italian Tarot online and did a jigsaw of that, but I didn’t take a screen shot.

While doing these I opened up iTunes and listened to some of my collections of music. Jigsaws are compelling, so naturally Cassandra Wilson’s rendition of the old standard You Go To My Head was perfect.

As I contemplated buying decks and playing cards, Brad Mehldau’s Hungry Ghost song played on as well as Paul McCartney’s song Appreciate.

That Soulflower card deck sure is pretty though….


That Chipper Bower Bird

This Seven of Pentacles is one of my favourite cards from the Linestrider Tarot.



I was thinking about my sketchbook and how I haven’t been working in it although I have a terrific idea I want to execute, so I drew these two cards in a query about what I should do.

The Seven is about hard work and waiting for fruition. It reminds me of something I saw in a book by Andrew Matthews about waiting for water to boil and thinking that nothing is going on when in actual fact there is, and in an instant the water starts bubbling and boiling even though you were watching it and it was not moving at all. It’s a long-term thing, it doesn’t happen overnight.

Then I see the Five card as a complication of injury, a loss of belief in myself and confidence, and maybe yet another nod to future ill health if I don’t do something now. Maybe all the physical stuff is coming to an end and I can work hard again?

I think when I am in pain I do get disheartened and certainly lose confidence, but the cheery bower bird plugs away, chipping away, adding just the right flowers and decoration.

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.


Impulses of the Creative Spirit in Sage Green

Oh so young and tender she looks, turning away, sheltering her frightened hare.



We moved two bookcases and emptied two others yesterday and put 6 drop cloths on the floor and filled several holes in the walls. Yes, we didn’t have enough to do, we are painting the third bedroom which we use as a den. After deciding to move a loveseat in there, the walls were so crummy we figured we should paint it now before I haul out and set up dollhouses in there.

New windows have already gone in, but the walls and ceiling are dirty and the previous occupant was a small boy who nailed many things into the walls.


The Page was hesitant, so she’s turned away to get used to the idea and take a sip of clear, cold water with a sprinkle of reason in it. When you get a notion, a hunch that something needs to be done, go ahead. We hurt all over but we’re chipping away at it over several days. While the spouse is painting, I will unpack and organize all my fabric so that I can sew decorative cushions.

This room, this dirty beige monstrosity, wants a quiet bit of sage green and attendant cushions and mantis.

The Smooth Cool Feel of Decisions

I drew this pair a few days ago and was reluctant to part with them as I felt they had something less transitory to say to me, I wanted to sit with them all week and ponder.



The feeling I got from Justice is that she is hiding in fear, rather tentative or insecure.  Decisions loom large. I smiled at this because in our continuing saga of home renovations, it has become apparent that we need new siding, gutters, soffit, downspouts and three new bathroom windows. We also need to have the concrete path and stairs by the front entry ripped out and replaced. We spent all week consulting with contractors.

The financial reality was a blow. We can’t afford concrete stairs so hopefully we can have cedar ones built. Then we need to buy new exterior lighting. We will be painting all the wood trim ourselves to save some money. It’s still a blow.

So we went out and bought a sofa bed. Take that reality! We have nowhere to put guests and I wanted to rectify that before all the money went in a couple of months. Sigh.

The Star rarely comes up for me but I think of it as a gentle, flowing kind of card. POSITIVE transformation, take the time for hope and change. It’s going to work out even though we both feel paralyzed at the thought of spending so much on getting this house fixed and watertight. And there she is pouring water out on the card, she must have seen our gutters overflowing.

Never mind, life is like this for everyone, I feel my hand slipping through the liquid of reality, the smooth, cool feel of growth and change.



Get off the Seesaw and Go in Circles



Doesn’t this guy look a bit like Daniel Day-Lewis in the Gangs of New York movie? Or maybe a bit like Waldorf Astor or Charles Dickens or the painter Van Dyke?

He’s a showy type, juggling for the crowds. I’ve been a bit frazzled so came to the conclusion that I’d been juggling too many balls in the air for too long. I have thus been reading and having afternoon naps but not much else. The gentle art of balance comes to mind, of keeping composure.

She has a notation in the book about the reversed aspect of this which impressed me. Are you feeling crushed by the feeling of having to stay on top of everything, and the doubt that you can? Well, maybe you don’t have to—neglecting parts of your life is not a good thing.

So this idea of balancing by neglecting one part and being uber-attentive to another, and then rushing back to the first part and concentrating on it for a while and then scrabbling back the other way is NOT the way to go. You need to encompass the whole, give equal attention to things during the day. A more practical routine of attention makes sense while juggling in life.

This guy seems to find it doable.

The Brilliant Red of Understatement



Man, this is a gorgeous card. Mr. Harum Scarum (as I call this knight) often seems to look a bit silly dashing off hither-thither, completely irrational. Here he has dignity. His horse is firing up and ready to go but Mr. Harum Scarum is thinking about it, measuring in his mind what he should do. Rather out of character but I like the fresh stability he is exhibiting. It’s not that he isn’t going to dash off but he’s not doing it right away.

I’ve got a few projects on the go and was feeling a bit scattered, which is when this fellow usually turns up for me. We have a laugh about doing too many things at once, but we have learned to hang back a bit, maybe finish the first two things we started before starting the third.

He has that tremendous intellect and energy which is inspiring, but I like that the intensity of his focus seems directed well in this card, rather than all over the place.

There are some interesting notes in the book about his lack of tact and poor ability in interpersonal relations. Oh yes, we share that too, no wonder he often comes up for me. The other thing she mentions is that you can channel his energy when you don’t feel heard. he has no patience with that and will speak up, so think of him if you don’t feel heard by others. I liked that. Like the picture, he turns the red on, turns the heat up, so people hear him.