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!




Carl Contained in the Watchtower

I was watching a series about the ancient Frankincense Trail, a trade route that is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In episode one they first gathered frankincense in Oman and then travelled with it through Oman, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and then into Israel in subsequent episodes.

In the last episode I was struck by some of the crumbling stone watchtowers, high in the desert near the ancient stone city of Petra in Jordan. The watchtowers reminded me of a card in the Rohrig Tarot, so I pulled it out.



My scanner is not catching the reddish glow to this card, it is more attractive in the real world.

What struck me today was the idea of retained energy. Yes, it can feel oppressive but containing your energy is not always a bad thing. Self-containment in fact can nurture energy because you aren’t throwing it out, wasting it in chatter or mindless pursuits.

I have found the Internet a burden lately. It seems everywhere I go people are buying and buying and then buying some more. Perhaps it is the onset of winter, but I feel more contemplative, so in that sense “oppression” and “suppression” with this card feels right.

I am still waiting for a store to phone me about a sketchbook I have been trying to find since May or June. The store apparently has them in their warehouse but as yet they aren’t available. I’m waiting for that. The figure in the card is glowing, head bowed, contemplating action, but not quite ready.

Retained energy glows, it feels vibrant, it feels vital, it makes the body hum.


It’s the Law: This Card Attracts That Card

Now we come to my usual little visual ramble through a new deck. I didn’t feel like doing this at first because I’ve just done a few convoluted comparisons that required a lot of effort, but once I started going through the deck for about the fourth time, I couldn’t resist.

I’m going to be lazy and not chatter a lot about these, apart from saying that I love the Law of Attraction Tarot and I’m pleased I bought it with birthday money.

That Karl is a busy guy.

And I now come to my favourite card in the deck. I tend to like this sort of card with depictions of everyday objects, and a lot of the Wheel of Change Minors are objects arranged attractively. The chairs here remind me of art class where we used to do exercises drawing chairs and the negative space of chairs.

The Queen of Swords is my personal card. Whew, someone had too much sun before doing this one.

This Card Reminds Me of That Pre-Raphaelite

Daily Draw June 25th, 2010

Instead of a daily draw, I like to meander through a new deck occasionally to see what attracts me or what reminds me of cards in other decks. It’s a nice way of familiarizing myself with something new.

Today’s noodling is with the Nature Spirits Oracle Cards. Normally, I don’t have money for new cards, but this was $15.26 with free shipping so I dipped into next month’s budget. I haven’t told the spouse I spent this money yet because I knew he’d be upset. Sometimes you just need a little pick-me-up; alas for me I’m going to get in trouble.

For now though, I have pushed that from my mind to glory in the art and colour. I was surprised as I went through the cards, how many reminded me of other things and I had quite a happy exploration sorting it all out as you will see.

A couple of cards struck me right away. One called New Beginnings looks like a fenced cemetery with a headstone figuring prominently, and some lovely purple effects springing out, like a soul escaping perhaps. I have a great fondness for cemeteries and monuments and history so this was card had definite sparkle for me. I also happened to use the same engraving on the right for a background in the Coffin card of my Illustrative Lenormand Oracle which gave me a tickle.

The other card I liked is called Planetary Healing and the symmetry of it reminded me of Art Nouveau designs. The fairy looks like she is wearing a cloak, perhaps embroidered by Jane Morris while contemplating nature in the garden at Kelmscott Manor? Yes, I think that’s the story here and a suitable Art Nouveau tile will help in the display of this beauty.

I have decided to call this lady Quadra.

The Follow Your Path card immediately reminded me of the computer game Riven, which we sadly loaned out and never got back. It has the most haunting graphics and music, and I often think of it. The rickety boardwalks and ladders on this card are so reminiscent of the village in Riven.

I liked this card because of the balance and the complementary colour scheme. Sometimes you like stuff just because you like it. Pink and green are my favourite colours and that path is pink and green: we are all on the pink and green path of life. The colours also remind me of how the roles of parent and child often change as parents get older, much like complementary colours on a colour wheel.

My first deck was the Zerner Farber Tarot and it is still one of my favourites. This Nature Spirits card delighted me in its similarity to the Empress in that Tarot. They go beautifully together, both in colour and in the way the figure is sitting, truly Magic.

The Leap of Faith card is very archetypal and I had some lovely comparators in the Osho Zen Tarot (upper left) and the Rohrig Tarot (right).

Goals are a big thing with me so I loved the Focus on Your goals card with its very archetypal stairway. The best comparison for me was the lovely Eternity card from the William Blake Tarot of the Imagination (far right). Another of my favourite decks is the I Ching of Love by Lo Scarabeo, and the colourful stairs in The Initial Difficulty card (middle) came to mind when I saw the Nature Spirits card, as the colours and stairs have the same bright colours. These three cards go together in their sensibility as well which I liked.

Fairies on toadstools, there could be no other comparator but Brian Froud from his Faeries’ Oracle.

Lastly, the Higher Self went to the Fire Wand Circus and made some new friends who bore a canny resemblance in twindom. From the beautiful, irrepressible, fantastically creative and inspiring, Phantasmagoric Theater Tarot come the comparators of the day.

Quadra now wants a cup of tea. It has to be in an Art Nouveau cup.


This Card Reminds Me of That Goddess

It’s time for new deck comparison with the Mythical Goddess Tarot. A bit of a tour today but that’s what you get when something neat comes in through the door.

Before I get going here’s one that seemed familiar but I cannot find the comparison card. I’m sure I’ve got one with a person on puppet strings. If anyone knows of one tell me in an e-mail through my web site, I’d appreciate it.

I found one last night from The Love Pack, but it isn’t the one I was thinking of. Somewhere out there is another puppet on a string.

Still searching, I found four more and now I’ve seen so many cards I can’t remember if any of these is the one I remember. Oh well, as you can see, it’s a popular archetype.

There is an old song called Puppet on a String by Sandie Shaw. It’s from the sixties, but it stayed in my mind.

A couple of these cards struck me right away. There are probably several examples that are similar to this, but these are the two comparators that I immediately thought of.

This imagery of a face with a mask or a face morphing into another person or animal is very archetypal. There might be more examples in card decks but these were the ones I had in my collection.

I was amazed at how many comparators I thought of in the Rohrig Tarot, which is one of my all-time favorite decks.

I love these trees, and again there are probably several more examples that I didn’t think of. The Prudence card in the Rohrig is one of my favourite cards in any deck. It reminds me of jazz pianist Brad Mehldau’s version of the Beatles song Dear Prudence, which is one of the better things I’ve heard in the last few years.

This was another good one, I’d forgotten about the one in the Songs for the Journey Home deck until I opened it looking for something else.

Welcome to the flowing world of love and Waterfallia.

Some quickies that simply struck me as I went along. I like realistic crows on cards. I probably have more in decks but this was enough for me. It reminds me of Diana Krall’s version of a Joni Mitchell song called Black Crow.

The face of Fear made me laugh and I showed it to my husband and he laughed because this is the face I make when something happens in our lives to make me anxious. I go up to him with this face and do a silent scream, just like this picture. How delightful that this is an archetype and not just me!

I love the strong impasto techniques in the bottom two. The Tarots Suzan M. is an oracle deck that I trimmed.

Blue mermaids and the white buffalo.

This has been a real pleasure to work with. I’m not into the whole Sacred Feminine thing, but the art in this deck is so good and refreshing, as are the ideas, that I’m glad I found it.

Make sure you play Dear Prudence at least five times.

I feel like that black crow flying, in a blue sky. . . .

Naiad Renewal, Yon Slumb’ring Emanation

Daily Draw December 18th, 2008

Oh my paws and whiskers, we can’t be having nudity in a deck. Watch out for your soul.


Carl Rohrig seems to take a lot of flak for this particular card. I’ve always found it kind of interesting: the silk fabric like water and the plants like grasses growing in a stream. She looks pregnant but not quite, it’s more of a suggestion of pregnancy or an egg sac, the spotted fabric like the markings on a frog or snakeskin, flowing around a stone in the river. Her mask is made of grass, and the whole thing is very. . . like something incubating in the mud of a river.

Flow and growth and the riverbed. She is like a naiad from classical mythology, not the exploitive nudie she is made out to be. Giving birth to a new beginning, the fertile riverbed of life and ideas. Renewal: if you look closely Rohrig has written that in English in the background.

A naiad is a type of nymph, an emanation of the female reproductive power of the universe, and a guardian spirit of springs, lakes, and fountains. Water, water, the water in the womb gushing forth. All this talk of emanations will have me reaching for Blake soon.

This ain’t some floozy showing her breasts gratuitously to sell card decks.

If people bothered they’d see something else. . .