Okanagan Oracle Colour Study 6: Protection

If you bother me I’ll clobber you with my chestnut conkers.

PROTECTION – Okanagan Oracle
4 DRAGONFLY – MAGIC – SOUTH GUARDIAN – Wisdom of the Four Winds
II – The Mystic Rubaiyat by Penelope Cline
Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A flask of Wine, a Book of Verse – and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness –
And Wilderness is Paradise enow.
TALL TAIL – Charley Harper Birds Postcards


Oh no, another brown card. But wait shoppers, we have several shades of greens and golds, and chestnut, beige, and black so not just brown.

Wilderness is paradise with the planning power of squirrel and the swiftness of the road runner, the iridescence of dragonfly among reeds, a canopy of oh so many greens, and you picking up conkers for protection as you pull the sleeves of your black sweater down to keep your hands warm.

Storing energy for protection. I had a day yesterday when I pulled these cards where I sat around in my nightie and thick red sweater all day, needing a shower but wanting to snuggle under blankets and read and watch dog shows on television. A bit like Fall, the feeling of Autumn, but it’s Spring and I must go about today after my day of rest and protection, thinking green thoughts of growth and the shimmer of dragonflies in the heat.

Reeds make a good breathing tube, like a tall cactus in the desert reaches for sky.




Okanagan Oracle Colour Study 5: Wonder

I got a bit behind in posting this. Some days I feel like scanning, sometimes I don’t, so I have separate bundles of cards here and there waiting for the magic tour de force of image importing in Photoshop.

I thought when I pulled this “Oh no, not another brown card” with a sinking feeling. There ARE brown and gold shades, some green and reddish maple and wine barrels painted a red-violet turning to grey, and a vibrantly white skull, so plenty of scope outside earthy browns. Browns with panache, and a dash of fermenting wine and oak gold.

WONDER – Okanagan Oracle
TEN OF WANDS – TOURMALINE, RED/PINK (RUBELLITE) – Tarot of Gemstones and Crystals
STRENGTH – Graven Images Oracle
FOREBODING – Dreaming in Color Luman Deck
CROW – Animal Spirits Knowledge Cards
GOOSE: QUEST, TRAVEL – Spirit Animals Card Deck


The Wonder here is in all the colours of the earth, the process of fermentation, the chemical magic of nature. That looks like it might be a bear skull, but the spouse thought it might be an elk. Alas, no information is given on the subjects in these cards. I would appreciate a downloadable PDF file with citations for the location and contents of the photos; I always love things like that.

Skull and foreboding, the aged wine of death and Crow transforms like skull. The Goose travels from winter to spring, wine-ready for a new season of raising young and feeling the sun and wind, imagining summer. The masons rebuild, strength needed for the work, the transformation.

The rubellite colour of this tourmaline is very appealing. Another heart stone but also used for healing and blood circulation and blood vessels, a problem of mine. The suggestion is there of struggle, burden and responsibility with the Ten of Wands, but the wonder lies in doing it. Humans are amazing in what they can bear.

Wonder is an Old English, Dutch, German, Old Norse word. One of those earthy tricky things, it could be a noun, a verb, or an adjective. Do I wonder in amazement or do I wonder with feeling, why or what or how? Perhaps I wonder in amazement at this juxtaposition among the trees of bones and wine-dark rhythms of transformation?

“What a world of wonder” breathe goose and crow as they fly past marvelling at the scene.

Eagles Across Decks

I thought I had all my cards unboxed from our cross-country move but while searching for particular animal decks, I realized that some loose ones that I wrapped separately from their boxes were missing. Fortunately the spouse rounded them up for me. You would think with 394 decks I would forget but Judith never forgets a deck!

An overview with an attendant eagle figure, this one by Schleich.


And don’t forget those other four decks Jude. The eagle in the card with the yellow border has taken a fancy to my figure, he’s zooming toward him with some urgency. Figures inspire everyone I suppose.


The KING OF SWORDS  was the card I drew today from the Animal Totem Tarot that started the eagles flying. I had mentioned to someone recently how my deck collecting had gone down lately because I just want to buy art created by hand or at least created by hand in Adobe Illustrator. Upon taking these cards out my heart sang with the impact and beauty of the art and each artist’s expression and composition. It does not get better than this for me as a collector, this stuff makes me happy and inspires my own artwork.

The King, in his highly analytical way, enjoyed this comparison. In this card as you fly higher you strip away what isn’t important, your soaring height makes things clearer, shifts the focus, lets you drop nonessentials. Not a bad reflection of how I currently feel about card decks.


The Magical Menagerie was one deck I couldn’t find this morning so I knew I had another box somewhere. The Pathfinders deck holds up, it’s one of my favourites. Susan Seddon Boulet has been dead since 1997, but her Animal Spirits Knowledge Cards are still in print, and no wonder; what a legacy.


I think the Animal Messages deck is out of print now but I’m so glad I bought one when it was readily available, it’s a treasure, and Sue Lion’s Spirit Animals always looks so fresh and comes in a tin with a window so you can put your card of the day in view. The Animalis deck is also a fresh vision with lots of bones and unusual compositions.


More decks that hold up for me: the Tarot of Reincarnation is one you have to hunt for the species and some of the names have changed. I have a fuller discussion and small review of it here. It has nothing to do with reincarnation, unless you figure the original illustrations (long out of copyright) have been reincarnated.


I absolutely love both these bird decks, they are definitely treasures both for the art and the variety of images. I rarely use the Medicine Cards but they are neat in their own way. At the time they were published I don’t think there were many animal decks in existence, so it was important.

Ah, the satisfaction of a card comparison after a long break from my cards. It’s like coming out of a desert to drink a glass of ice water. Cool baby.

Happy Sunday!







Flow and Art and Fear and Flow Again

I am up at 2:30 a.m. and just browsing through my card database. I was talking to someone about animal art yesterday so thought I’d post a couple of samples from my database.

This is Sue Lion’s lovely Spirit Animals card deck (click to enlarge.)



This bit of eye candy is from the ever-nice Pathfinders deck (click to enlarge.)


I’ve got a 5 x 7 piece of art planned. I am hoping I can flow a bit since I’ve been stuck lately with art, completely frozen up. I was reading a book called Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears by Pema Chodron and that has some deeply resonant thoughts on being stuck in various destructive patterns.

I still don’t quite understand what it is about art for me. I desperately need to draw and paint but can’t do it. It reminds me of the sort of blockages of flow in general in my physical body. I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say creativity gets blocked with physical blockages in circulation.

So, I’m hoping some of the ideas from this book sift in. It’s a library book and I can renew it and reread it several times. In fact, I’ll go have a quiet read now at 3:48 a.m. and see if it flows me to sleep.



Green Turtle Forges the Sword in Earthen Song

While I was preparing to write this up, my husband discovered that the grass trimmer we bought him yesterday is missing a part. He bought the floor model after I didn’t want to because I was worried about it missing something. He’ll return it tomorrow for credit and try to get another one from a different store. It brings a bit of anxiety today just when I was hoping to relax.



I thought I’d mix it up with draws from different decks.

The Rumi Ace is about inner purification of a person, the way the sword needs to be forged, tempered, and polished is similar to how humans improve. The Sufis call this prolonged interior work the “Greater Struggle.” You polish yourself progressively; everyone is a work in progress.

Lady’s Mantle is about healing and dew, the connection to the Earth, groundedness. You can’t love the Earth if you don’t love yourself. I felt this morning that I was in need of some mothering and comfort. We were out shopping yesterday and it often leaves me frazzled and riding in the car bothers my body.

I like the turtle in this, it reminds me of a free pattern I recently saw for a pincushion which I might have a go at one day.


And the Meadowlark is singing cheerfully, the joy of song bubbling up in his chest in early summer. Stay close to the Earth today is his message as he uses his imagination to sing the new moon journey of self-discovery.

Self-discovery, inner contemplation and the mothering of the Earth feels good for today. There’s an answer to anxiety: birdsong and sweet blossoms of early summer.

Happy Sunday!!



Watch Those Stairs

Daily Draw April 12th, 2013



I smiled when I pulled this because late last night I was coming down the stairs to the basement and fell at the second last step, crashing into the concrete floor and wall. I managed to pick myself up, due in part to my increased flexibility on the vegan diet.

I also managed to do some preparatory work on the kitchen walls, after my husband stripped more of the wallpaper border, as we try to get things ready for the contractor and then painting the room when he’s done. So I am truly focused on the future and trying to be flexible.

I was saying to one of my sisters that getting this kitchen done is the best thing, it has given us hope that we will be able to sell the house in a year and move. A surefooted escape would be welcome.

Yeah baby, let’s blow this pop stand!


Tenacious Swimmer

Daily Draw March 13, 2013

My husband is on a different shift this week and neither one of us is sleeping well. I have different back pain this week so switched to acetaminophen for a few days which often softens the nerve pain when aspirin doesn’t. I don’t use it too often as I don’t want to kill my liver but any help is good.



I love the way this illustration just leaps out, I like Sue Lion’s artwork. Come wolf, come swimmer.

Hmmm…let my pilgrimage transform me. I have a friend in South Africa who has friends that train to walk the Camino. She doesn’t fancy going, but it was one of my dreams to do that, and I fear I will never walk again, let alone be able to hike 22 kms per day on the Camino. Still, wouldn’t it be lovely to start all the way in France and walk down into Spain? I who never travel anywhere and can’t sleep when other people are in the room and wake at every noise. I take my playing cards out with the photographs of churches and statuary and maps of this pilgrimage route and dream, dream of being the person who could walk this.

Healing is a discouraging thing. I truly believe we can heal, we can flip the switch in the brain, we can access something we have no understanding of and heal fully. Believing something and practicing it in the way you think and make your way through the day are definitely two different things. Still, I think we can inspire each other. When you are in pain and have little energy, sometimes it’s a bit of colour or art or cheer on someone’s blog that can help.

I observe many people past middle age with health problems and worries overtaking them, feeling that life is over. I think to myself “These are the golden years?” What happened to the feisty people of the world who rode their bikes, and loved to swim, and hiked and zoomed around learning new things, making things with confidence and opening businesses?

They are on pharmaceuticals, dreaming of walking the Camino and swimming upstream to home.