Me and My Golden Frog



There’s that lovely Moon again, looking very peaceful and enjoying the beauty of the light. The “ingenue” in the 3 of Coins is being mentored by a golden frog. I think of this 3 as the master card and the 8 of coins as the apprentice card. In this deck the girl in the 3 is an apprentice which is a bit strange.

Focus on study and learning. I think it might be an ageing thing, but when I learn new techniques or try things out these days, it is also tinged with anxiety. Where before I would leap in with confidence, now it seems like too much. My abilities have not diminished but my confidence has taken a knock.

Therefore I feel like the girl in the picture, hesitant. I see the tracery behind her, which has to be carved and has tricky bits, but the way to do it is to plod away, chip away, chisel, refine, modify as you go.

Similarly, The Moon says not to play into your darkest fears and fantasies. We often do fantasize about the worst thing, instead of getting on, taking our time, learning gradually. Forget the inner doubt and negative shackles of the mind.





Bubbly Fish Victory

When I first saw this card it reminded me of Delirium in the Sandman comics, hence the bubble reference.



With the big fish on her head, the little fish hail her as Queen. An odd little painting which makes this archetype unusual. Who knows what goes on in the depths?

I do feel pleased and victorious after finally getting around to straightening out my blogs. I’ve got some new sketchbooks and art supplies that I was waiting for and I have several sewing projects on the go.

Slightly hampered by nerve pain in my arm, I am moving as slowly as someone does when immersed in water, but Queenie knows that eventually you can get where you are going. accompanied by lovely coloured fish and rays of the sun beaming through the surface.

Jay Squawking About Equilibrium

I felt good today, we had two walks yesterday. I also kick-started a project yesterday from a few months ago. One of my pen pals made me two white doilies in fine crochet cotton, and I was perking along appliquéing them to a background so I could make pillows out of them, and I could not find pillow forms for them. Fabricland does not sell the great pillow forms they used to carry. So during a sale, I ordered two forms via mail order from the States and now I can get going again.

With cooler weather I will soon have to switch to my heavy duvet and these pillows are to go with that.  Then I need to finish the winter nightie I embroidered and sew it together. I can’t seem to settle myself to sew on my quilt until I get these older projects done. I did however lay out the quilt blocks and got them in order and labelled ready to baste together for machine quilting individually.




I actually found a feather from a Stellar’s Jay in the garden two days ago, and here he is. We have four of these birds that hang around gobbling food and they are raucous and noisy but they bring so much life to the garden.

This reminds me of balance and equilibrium in day-to-day matters. I felt good, I was up at 5:30 bursting with energy and after some journalling I came down to do e-mail and what is there staring me in the face on the Internet: 50 people gunned down in Las Vegas and hundreds more injured.

It’s like those two swords are my health problems and world health problems, and I am caught between. Every day there is something horrible on the news or some horrible Twitter comment by Comb-over Caligula, another terror attack or a nuclear threat and poor leadership all around. Stewardship, leadership starts with one person, yourself.

One of the things about this card is avoidance, avoiding what’s in front of you to save yourself emotional pain. It never works, better to face it, face the reality of the world, take steps to heal what you can, look to the path ahead. Avoidance is no answer to life’s worries.

Doves in the Fire



I didn’t notice before that this deck does not number the Major Arcana. That doesn’t bother me since historically there is no documentation of the original order of these cards. I think that’s why I was never fussed about using numbers to relate cards together.

This Tower is really engulfed in flames, but the doves have fortunately escaped the fire. In reality, the extreme heat would burn them up this close but then we wouldn’t have the idea of overcoming or escaping disaster. I like it, like this card!

Well, I am thinking that this might refer to the danger of losing my temper or otherwise having words with the spouse. Either that or I’m going to die.

In case I die I am eating a fresh peach.

Happy Sunday!

Dinged Corners and All

Notice how well my scans are showing the dinged corners on these cards?



I tried her with a lime green swirl but she found that she couldn’t concentrate, so I switched to a mint colour. Minty fresh, that’s the best.

She is holding Persephone’s pomegranate and contemplating the approaching cold weather. I’m wondering if I’m ever going to stop feeling pain day and night. Her nod suggests I should look within for healing answers and stop eating frozen yogurt which causes my right knee to swell up.

“Take a hint Jude” she says. I am not trusting the Universe. Never mind the subconscious, look at the dinged corners of the soul, the ones that you keep bashing about, knocking into the same objects over and over.

If I don’t watch it, I’ll be staying in the Underworld permanently.

Happy Sunday!

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.



Ostara Tarot and More Palettes

I have been waiting for the Ostara Tarot mass market edition for some time. It was created by four Canadians so I felt obliged to support this creation, but also the animal depictions in the deck are exquisite. The Schiffer edition seems to have problems with missing or duplicate cards and the silver foil along the edges sticking, so I hope I can get a good copy that has no problems.


In the meantime, I am not fond of beige and brown or rust colours, but I feel I am missing them from my palettes. One of the reasons I was attracted to the Badgers Forest Tarot apart from the gorgeous paintings of animals, was because of the saturated rusts and browns, which are not my usual colours, so today I took some scans of favourite cards from that deck and made colour palettes to use in the Apple colour picker.




These are the desktop screenshots of them in the two apps I used to generate a 20-colour palette for each. They are very subtle and not my usual so I’ll try to break out of my comfort zone and use taupes and browns and russet colours for a while in draws.

This fellow on the Three of Wands in the Ostara seems to have things well in hand. Yup, he’s waving that magic colour wand and harnessing the power of wind and water, lassoing the elements and navigating the currents of colour palettes.


Hmmmm I notice he seems to have defaulted to the usual purples and greens in the background. What about the rust and brown palettes froglet, what happened to them?

You can’t teach an old frog new tricks.