Posted tagged ‘tarot’

Unreadable Decks, Maybe

August 21, 2016

It’s strange about decks that are “unreadable”, I consider it a challenge to find a way to use them.

In looking at online comments about the The Lost Code of the Tarot, I am hearing a lot of stuff about cards not being identifiable and the book being a bit of a put-on, a story with no meanings for cards, and then there’s the controversy about the Kickstarter campaign for this deck and how Llewellyn released the mass market version before, which may or may not be exactly the same as the funded one.

I choose not to fund decks at Kickstarter, although I have bought decks elsewhere from artists that were originally funded on Gamecrafter or Kickstarter et al. It’s a bit like buying a house from a developer before anything has been built, which is not something I would do either.

I used to trade people for the “stinker” decks, the ones that weren’t readable. It’s fun to pull something out of chaos. Does everything have to be systematically readable to be enjoyable?

I have a good collection of cards, all listed in a visual database, so I rambled through the tarot entries and pulled a few out that I’ve had a great time with, although many are considered baffling or unreadable. It’s a random pick, subjective, and doesn’t include all the stinker oracles and weird oddities that I delight in keeping regardless of their readability.

I always feel that I should challenge myself more, find something quirky and delightful and completely unfathomable and find a way to use and delight in it. For me, the term “unreadable” conjures up a vision of a mind that can’t be bothered learning new things.

Unreadables

Oh my, the Giotto, Bosch, and Bruegel, the holy trinity of unreadability!! Does it get any better?

Not for me.

 

Don’t Get Your Feathers Ruffled

April 10, 2015

One of my favourite birds and quite striking and mysterious.

5 OF SPADES
Pesquet’s Parrot (Psittrichas fulgidus)

5Spades

In this system this card is about seething, burning anger, which actually goes with the colour of this bird.

It is an endangered species due to habitat loss and over-hunting for the feathers. It has a very specialized diet of specific figs so habitat loss would be serious. The birds are highly vocal and communicate with each other with loud, grating calls. They can be very loud when their territory or fig trees are approached by other birds. Holy man, get a load of this voice.

This information fits well with the meaning in the Personal Prophesy book.

For me, I would think it’s a caution about my temper. Fire clears the way for new growth but anger can get away from you so it’s best to control it.

I got a hankering for a tarot book. There aren’t too many I’m interested in, and I pretty much stick to the Power Tarot book and Pictures from the Heart if I want to research a card further than the booklet that comes with the deck. I frequently enjoy James Ricklef’s blog and after some browsing of reviews I bought his book The Soul’s Journey which has a spiritual depth and tie-in to texts and mindfulness that I like.

SoulsJourney_Ricklef

Update: It was on backorder for so long that I cancelled it, but it still looks interesting. I bought an art technique book instead on drawing and painting portraits. I’ll probably use that more in the end.

Riddles of the Absurd

January 5, 2013

Daily Draw January 5th, 2013

Well, I rocketed to the sky this morning when I saw this post on Jessica Shanahan’s blog about the Tarot of the Absurd Riddles.

Oooooh, a riddle, a puzzle, a chance to put cards in order and attach words to them and take a picture. The feel of the cards on the fingers, the snap of them when you lay them down, the spacing, the rows, the snipping and reordering of concepts, the details, the puzzle, the layout, the cards you had forgotten, the stars that you missed.

For me, this was a delightful meditative exercise, the entire concept of it appealed to me. This is a woman with ideas folk out there. She is writing a book, and I am looking forward to that moment, that exquisite moment when thought becomes concept, becomes words, becomes a book, becomes a thought to be read by others.

Plus I got to play with my scissors and lay cards out over the doll quilt I am pinning on my drafting board. I can actually see my drafting board, what better moment for meditation?

THE TAROT RIDDLES
by Jessica Rose Shanahan

AbsurdRiddles

There they be fellow riddlers on the path of life, and that’s today’s draw.

Update: Rats, I got 3 wrong. More assimilation of concepts needed….

 

 

The High Priestess Across Decks

August 17, 2011

Daily Draw August 17th, 2011

I recently entered my name in a giveaway for a new self-published deck, but I didn’t win so I have become shy of entering these things. However, they do give me inspiration for deck exploration, and that’s how I came to ponder The High Priestess card today, someone was asking people to enter the giveaway by talking about their favourite High Priestess card.

I rarely draw this card and the idea of spooky intuition or prescience doesn’t fit me so I rarely pay attention. I become uncomfortable when I’m reading cards and a knowing comes upon me, it seems too personal. I suppose most of us are pleased that we tune in, but it makes me uncomfortable.

So the old HP is someone I avoid. I avoid thinking about her qualities, I avoid tuning it to other people. Too close, too close.

While browsing through my collection I came upon a few HP cards that I like or studied. Some I thought “Wow, I don’t remember that one.”

I was going to save this for last but feel it fair to weed out the skimmers-of-blogs by telling you right away what my favourite HP is, or as close as I get to designating a favourite: the one from the Arthurian Tarot, the first edition with the gorgeous black borders, the Hallowquest Lady of the Lake.

The next set is very artsy I think. I often wonder why people insist that the Osho Zen deck is not tarot. It is one of my favourite decks, particularly when it comes to people or relationship matters. I think it sings and has terrific artwork, and I can’t see what all the fuss is about. Tarot is tarot, regardless of how you view themes or Osho himself.

These two are quite different. Nigel Jackson brings his own flavour to a conventional HP, but there is something about it or about the colours that makes it one of the better ones. The Via Tarot is always different and interesting.

Two of my favourites. If only U.S. Games still published interesting things like the Phantasmagoric deck, or like the Circle of Life by Lo Scarabeo. This is a good example of why I usually love Lo Scarabeo decks, they have such different takes on the archetypes and really good artwork.

The Silenus Tarot depicts the Oracle of Delphi, and the others are artsy. That Navigators Tarot of the Mystic SEA is a special deck because of its intense originality, poetry, and writing.

Like many others, I was immediately taken with The Seer from the Wildwood Tarot because of its fantastic art and concept. The Rumi has a great quote that is perfect for this card: “Mysteries are not communicable save to those who know.”

The Vacchetta has the classic look but I love the line art, and this is my own deck that I printed in olive green from one in the public domain. The Stella’s card is simply luscious in blue. I had a good study with this one.

The last set is just because they are neat in art and composition. I like them.

I find it hard to pin down one favourite either in a specific card or a deck. They are almost all interesting to me and have been favourites at some time. For me, if you have one true favourite it seems to exclude other possibilities, so I never really think of decks like that.

Tarot of the Saints Wrap-Up

April 1, 2010

April 1st, 2010

It’s a very human thing to want to wrap things nicely, so here are my observations:

It was never my intention to study the entire deck, I was merely curious about St. Helena, but then carried on. Originally I started this on a forum, which unfortunately jumped the shark to ultimate vacuity some years ago. So I took my study to this blog, and continued on, and on, and on. December 2006 to April Fool’s Day 2010.

Generally, I like to suspend disbelief when authors and artists create decks. They make an enormous effort to paint and write these things, so if they want to put someone startling on a card I figure I can learn from that. Most of the time Robert Place seems to have a very fresh vision of a subject that has been examined repeatedly. I disagreed a few times with him, but more with his historic conjecture than his system. The man is a superb artist and has my utmost respect for his skill in composition and illustration. I have seen people complain about the Minor cards in this deck, which are what are described as “semi-illustrated pips,” but I found their simplicity to be one of the best features of this deck, with some odd relationships there that caused me to think more deeply than the canned meanings of most tarot decks.

I would never undertake the commitment to study an entire 78 cards like this again unless I was writing a book myself on a deck. Which gives you an echo of how compelling I found Place’s work, and the history behind it. Kudos to Bob, I wish he would undertake a Dante deck.

I bought two large encyclopedias of Saints to use in this study, and a book depicting devotional cards of Saints, which have all become a valued part of my book collection, as has my paperback dictionary of Saints which was rescued from the garbage.

My writing is a personal study, and as such I wrote about how I reacted personally to the cards and the Saints themselves. I am haunted by some of the more horrific stories like St. Blandina and the martyrs of Lyons. My write-up for St. George was a bit tongue-in-cheek, but over years, some of these legends develop a humorous aspect that it is impossible not to see. Architecture comes into it a lot for me, and several of the images I used are from playing cards that depict art and statuary of the Saints. I also had a great time looking up some of the churches and reliquaries salient to each Saint. There was a rich, visual pleasure of Art with a capital “A” concomitant to studying the deck. I wrangled with The Sun card, perhaps offensively, but it offended my sensibility, so there it is.

I also feel sad, which was why I delayed finishing the study up in January. It’s hard when you make a commitment to something to let it go, but I have come to the end.

Update Shmupdate

February 4, 2009

I’ve got so many tags for this journal project I forget what I’ve got it listed under sometimes.

This is my final update on the making of the Towers Art Journal. I will occasionally post montages of pages and stuff and anything relevant like doodads, snoo-snicketies, froo-frums and the like.

So here it is with its companion journal for notes and preliminary poetry and sketching. I love the look of it–so feminine and with a Renaissance look too. My friend Steve’s superb floral prints grace the handmade paper beads on the ribbon closure, and there is also a small pewter dragonfly buzzing around the flowers. I have had such fun! I always have fun with my cards, there is nothing like working with them in some way to cheer up the day.

The endpapers have the 35 cards I am studying pasted down, but I have yet to label them. Henrietta is pleased with the way it turned out as well. She has vowed to faithfully guard my notes for the big journal and fight off Goo Globbity Gnashers from eating the paper.

All is right with the world.

towersartjournal

endpapersfront

endpapersback

Tarot Visual Journal Cover

January 30, 2009

I finally got this done. I haven’t quite decided on the beads, but there will be a few in black, grey and pale blue dangling somewhere. The flap is slightly scalloped and I thought the scrolling vine looked very feminine and picked up some subtle elements in the cover picture.

This was great fun to do. I haven’t seen many handmade journals with inked covers, but I like the clean look of it.

Next up is collaging reproductions on the endpapers of the 35 cards I have picked to study. I’m hoping to have room to ink the title of each deck below the card for clarification, and a reference when looking at the pages for that card.

towerscover2