The Queen of Coins in Black and White

Daily Draw March 22nd, 2013

I drew a card from the Tarot of the Absurd, and then I thought it might be an interesting study to pull the same card from other black and white decks, so this is a small study of the Queen of Coins or Queen of Pentacles.

The one that started it all:


Many people seem to attach the mothering gene to The Empress, but for me she is always this Queen. She stops to smell the flower, stops to nurture herself and others. There is something about the chair in this card, the cut-outs seem to allow for growth or change if not innovation, and the idea of movement and air circulating is here, like the openness this Queen has to others, like the tracery in the window, allowing and nurturing different paths.


Steve Bright has retitled the Queen “Nurturer of Pentacles”in his Fragments of an Illusion deck. In this case the queen is a Dad making sure he spends time with a young child even though he wants to fiddle on his computer.

In the Hermetic, she is associated with a goat for fertility. I like that he’s drawn a spiral on her helmet for snails and the fertility of the Earth too.

The Enigma makes mention of comfort not being for you alone, but something you give to others along with support. This drawing was a study for one of the angels in Da Vinci’s painting Madonna of the Rocks, so there is an angelic security or support hinted at here.

The Ship of Fools card displays the Queen with a mirror, an emblem of vanity and pride and it looks like a demon is going to roast her over a fire, an image the reminds me of several saints being tortured and grilled in history. The Queen seems unconcerned, a product of her grounded nature, although there is a hint that she might get carried away with material things and vanity.


Well, Queen Victoria had a lot of children herself and the stewardship of her people, which is a mothering concern. This is another very secure and dignified Queen and obviously fertile, generous too. There is that reciprocal idea of care and concern, also found in the Tarokado.

Ah the Ironwing, this is the Madrone of Bells, and the name madrone comes from the Arizona madrone tree which is a type of arbutus tree. My mother loved the Pacific arbutus. I was just copying out a poem for my Dad and I put an image of an arbutus with it. For me it is MOTHER and it’s so touching to see it referenced here. Proof that when you least expect it, a card will reach out to you. Collaboration and generosity, yet with productive work as crystals in a dark cave were transformed to provide the fruitful berries, and this Queen shares with animals too.

The Ravenswood deck shows the Queen with a necklace with a gold bull’s head. She has the freedom and wealth to share and seems very quiet and contained.

Le Tarokado is a French deck from Quebec. My French fell down on this one but it says something about everything being sacred and what returns is dedicated or consecrated. So in generosity and nurturing, the Queen has it returned to her and then she dedicates it to others again. Also in this card she looks very calm and contained, very grounded.


This card is so big I had to put it on its own. Again, you can see the goat association with fertility and also earthy impulses. I was interested that the dark and light aspect of the halves of the Queen is associated with versions of the Earth Mother from early cultures, and there is a suggestion of a third eye in the image. The darkness reminds me of the cave description in the Ironwing, where it is not dark and wet but fertile. Soil and growth and invention—I like the idea of invention as you grow things from your mind.


The Kaos shows another mother, nurturing a child. Comfortable and generous, secure productive and practical. She is really a great influence on people as well as taking care of them, she inspires us to be better, to work and be fruitful in many ways.

The Queen of Diamonds in the Diary deck also seems to have a third eye. The spider web on her face and the spider-like qualities of the jewel in her forehead remind me of the mythology of the Great Mother or Great Weaver, the creator of the world in several world mythologies. The web of life and mothering qualities are here, but there is also a watchfulness to this Queen, as a guardian to the Earth, a nurturing omniscience.

I don’t often get this card, but with my Dad going into a care home and his condominium being sold off, it does remind me of my Mom. She has been dead for twenty years but that was her home and as such it was an anchor or home base in the family and a reminder of her spirit.

The Madrone of Bells came to say “I am still here.” The other Queens say the same thing, and watch and comfort.




The Kundalini Gobbledygook Man

Daily Draw October 24th, 2009

From The Book of Kaos Tarot Deck:


Sadly, as terrific as the art is in this deck, the booklet is full of senseless bafflegab. Here, The Fool as the flipside of the Magus, supposedly takes Fate into his own hands, binding kundalini serpents to his caduceus for shakti power and assertion of his phallic, true will in accord with the flow of tao through the magickal operation of communion with the holy guardian angel etc. etc.

In essence, creative power, control, and assertion of will, which actually my day was today. I got a lot done, was very organized, moved further along in a bookbinding project, and took steps to finish a miniature kit I bought ten years ago. I do think I found a little magic when I was photographing another 1:144 scale kit I’d finished ten years ago, and then a book fell against it and it went flying off my drafting board onto the floor and did not get damaged. Whew. Bob and Mary live on in their log cabin, although Bob had to be reglued to the base as he went for a bit of a fly. Take the train from now on Bob.


The Magician was in pure form today, without all his trickster nonsense, just intense intellectual focus. No hocus-pocus here, just work and organization and communication, but it all came together like the smooth operator Magus was calculating the functions of the Universe. On a good day, he is the guy you want beside you!


Leaping Salmon and Al

Daily Draw October 19th, 2009

I got the notion to take a random snippet from my big anthology of Al Purdy poems. Today’s stanza comes from Vancouver:

A state of mind of course this city
some geographic quirk
can sparkle in the sauntering eye
or glimmer grey in sullen heart
reflect the moods of trees
– on certain mornings of such clarity
mountains are seen to have moved
stumped on stone legs to Granville Street
– at the traffic light’s first green
rose-red spring salmon migrate
the intersection at Hastings & Main

Today’s card is from the Kaos Tarot.

10 of Staves

The man’s dreadlocks morph into a burden of sticks and staves, much like those salmon migrating in the mind’s eye when walking in a large city in the early morning.

The burdens we carry are styled by us, like our hair, we are overwhelmed by our own creativity. Persevere, persevere, we shall make it through that intersection to spawn where we have gone for centuries to create.

We are rose-red ready under our commitment
oppressed, we leap regardless, eyes to the green
the past and future intersecting
in this glimmer of clarity


The Human Web

Daily Draw September 11th, 2008

Back to the silk of Islam today. “The Maghreb comprises the countries of North Africa, which are not generally noted for silk production, although Kairawan in Tunisia was a capital city of early Islam and possessed a tiraz workshop.”

There is a great mosque in Kairawan, and mosques were opened to non-Muslims during the French occupation of Tunisia in 1881. It is apparently the only town in Tunisia where this is allowed. It is still under protection from France although Tunisia has its own native dynasty. Garden and olive groves were prevalent in ancient times, and the town was also famous for carpets and oil of roses. “After Mecca and Medina, Kairawan is the most sacred city in the eyes of the Mohammedans of Africa, and constant pilgrimages are made to its shrines.”

It’s unfortunate that current events in the world have caused great fear of anything Islamic, and the sacred temples have become a frightening symbol of a few people who are sacrilegious. I feel we have roared back to the 11th or 12th century, still fighting the old fight that still doesn’t make sense.

Today’s card is XIX from the Book of Kaos Tarot–Aeon or The Sun

While I love to see different systems and artwork in Tarot, I am disappointed with the gobbledygook in the deck booklet. Most of it is unintelligible. One of my objections to esoterica is that people “study” it and then decide they see things that fit together, and magick associations and tie-ins, and it all spills out in a soup of leftovers that loses its flavour amid muddy overboiling.

Interesting symbolism here from the fire of the sun to stars to a spider weaving a web. That spider reminds me of the China Mieville book Perdido Street Station and its spider goddess, the Weaver. I think some cultures in the world include mythology of the spider mother or something close to that. So, I really liked that aspect on this card. It seemed to say to me that things are larger than we might think. The sun is a big ball of fire, but here we have several mythologies including Horus, and smaller balls of fire in the stars at the top.

It’s one of those worlds within worlds cards, similar to a Mosque, or the countries of the Maghreb. This card is not noted for the spinning spider and her silken web, but she’s there nonetheless, connecting us all in the dance, under the watchful eye of Horus.

I just noticed the date as I typed this, so it’s a fitting draw for today, a reflection in the fire of the old hatreds churned up like a dragon, and the underlying web that holds us together as humans.