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.




Reaching for the Moon

Daily Draw June 3rd, 2010

I received the Bruegel Tarot yesterday which I love, and I have some discussion if it for later today, but right now I’m using The Da Vinci Enigma Tarot.


This is called The Moon in other decks. I like that she’s used Leda and the Swan for this. That is definitely a rather spooky story. Da Vinci has some beautiful head studies for the braided and coiled hair on Leda that I’ve always liked.

This is all about dreams as signposts. I rarely become attached to my dreams but I mentioned the one I had yesterday as being important is seeing the futility of the latest and greatest decks, which lately have been so disappointing in their lack of depth. The murky danger is that people such as me, voicing such comments, are perceived as being shameful and unenlightened. A sniff of paranoia to this card also. Here I am up early again, feeling tired and disjointed, another Moon sort of thing

How much nicer to dream of clear intentions and possibilities and create a life from that. Out of the murk comes Bruegel and his tower of Babel reaching for the Moon.

Irving Berlin wrote a very haunting tune called Reaching for the Moon.

“The moon and you appear to be
So near and yet so far from me
And here am I on a night in June
Reaching for the moon and you,

I wonder if we’ll ever meet
My song of love is incomplete
I’m just the words, looking for the tune
Reaching for the moon and you.

I’m just the words, looking for the tune
Reaching for the moon and you.”

Downe Derrie

I was up at dawn with a song going through my mind. It is from A History of Britain by Simon Schama, and was in the 7th episode on Mary Stuart. It’s a woman soloist singing “Down derry, derry down down,” and it’s very haunting and sad, Mary Stuart did not have a good life and this little song meandering in my mind reminds me of cold castles and being locked up. There was an audio CD released of the music from the series but it’s out-of-print. I’d love to get it for several selections. The soloist in this particular piece, The Three Ravens, was Sarah Leonard, but there is other early music on the CD, which is my favourite of classical genres.

Here it is on YouTube with Sarah Leonard’s magnificent performance:

I sat here weeping, is there anything more beautiful than finding a piece of music that has haunted your mind for days?

And to go with this reflection I choose a card from the old drawings in The Da Vinci Enigma Tarot:


Feet, hands, body, movement, capturing the repetition of movement in the human body.

The hope that underlies action brings you confidence in whatever you do, as the body manifests the soul’s intentions. Old losses are compensated for and you recover things you thought long vanished. Don’t agonize over personal mistakes and link to the past, live in the present. Have faith in your actions and stand firm.

Another card about my own body and health and the recovery of something I thought long vanished.

With a downe, derrie, derrie, derrie, downe, downe.


Da Vinci Discovers Synchronicity

Daily Draw May 5th, 2009

If ever two decks were meant to go together it is these two. The Da Vinci Enigma Tarot and the Synchro-Signs. The grey and red or burgundy and the sketchy quality of each superbly match. What a find these Synchro-Signs are, I am delighted with them.





The Eight of Fire is the 8 of Wands in other decks and often shows eight spears slicing through the sky. Energy and action like lightning and the wind, very similar to volcano energy. Things rushing and spilling out toward a goal or trajectory.

Seeds of tomorrow and a boat for a journey. There is a slightly menacing quality to this because of the suggestion of violence and uncontrolled destruction of the volcano and the catapult on the Eight of Fire. Perhaps a sign not to overdo it?

The Da Vinci book mentions “Where are you aiming your intentions.” Swift progress and energetic enthusiasm, but don’t waste your resources and don’t act hastily. “Demarcate your way by regarding the signs and synchronicities that come to you.” Now is that spooky? The Synchro-Signs are all about synchronicity.

So the signs that came to me with this one are Seeds, Boat, and Volcano. Most of my readings lately are about health and my energy and focus on that. Seeds are like all the other cards I’ve had lately, they’re about growth and potential, beginnings, rebirth, and Spring of course, which is the current season in the western hemisphere. Initiation of activity certainly fits as I struggle to exercise without pain. Careful tending and attention is needed though, be clear on whether you are prepared top put in the time and energy to bring budding creativity to fruition. Part of this refers to making art, which is going to be a big part of my healing and new life focus.

The boat is again about considering where you are going (a BIG thing in recent cards). The journey is for its own sake and sometimes full speed and sometimes calmer and even seemingly undirected. It’s a serious quest, but you need to be flexible and accept that there isn’t a predetermined end, and be confident to carry on.

The volcano worries me somewhat. Passion and energy can easily become destruction. Taken together with the other cards today, I think it just means a lot of energy and force, which isn’t destructive, but part of the journey, part of my intentions and enthusiasm.

Things are moving. Look at the man in the tarot card, raising that huge hammer to strike and send the stones whirling through the air. He has a plan, intention, and every muscle in his body is being used to throw himself into the action that is needed.

Be an Erminois Dweller

Ooooh, let’s go back to the lovely Da Vinci Enigma Tarot today.


This is rather a disturbing image that makes me think of the maxim “Can’t beat it with a stick.” It looks like a man hoeing and shovelling in his garden, spots a varmint like a weasel and is preparing to bash its head in. Oh, it’s actually an ermine; ermines are often associated with royalty.

The animal looks startled but is looking back, as if his curiosity is getting the better of him. The man looks enraged and hardly temperate. The legend of the ermine is that it would rather be killed than ruin the purity of its white coat.

Self-respect is being neither too arrogant or too humble, but a balance between. The reverse of this card is to hold yourself aloof, which is a problem for me lately. So a better balance for the day.

I also think this refers somewhat to balancing my chronic pain so I can make some new commissions. Don’t go at it too hard, but don’t avoid it either–balance. I always consider ermines to be good luck for me.


The Fire Under My Thumb

Daily Draw December 23rd, 2008

From the remarkably exciting and under-appreciated Da Vinci Engima Tarot:


This card is also known as the Six of Wands in some decks. . . it’s funny how certain card meanings become clear to you through certain decks. For me, this card will always be connected to dear old Bertie in the Victoria Regina Tarot, and that’s the artwork and deck that cemented the meaning in my mind.

This is quite similar to that card in showing a triumphant rider on a horse.

Well, perhaps the victory of things arriving that I’ve mailed to people. That would be nice. An energetic card in any case.

Here’s an interesting bit from the book: “You may be resisting the limelight or retiring from work earlier than you need.” Now that I understand.

I had to photograph this as I haven’t met victory over the clutter on the scanner today.


Flowers in the Air

Daily Draw December 11th, 2008

A friend of mine who also likes The Da Vinci Enigma Tarot was amazed to find two copies at a local store marked down to about $2 each. I think it’s a great deck and I hesitated to buy it because it gets panned in reviews and it was marked down all the time. I can’t believe how much I like it, and using it is a real pleasure.


Flowering thoughts going every which way.

“Decode which resources or attitudes still serve you, and take them with you.”

Part of flowering is escaping old attitudes, which definitely supports some recent decisions of mine regarding talking to people online. There is a burden of having your words misconstrued that continually rears up whether in work or personal situations online that is not worth the anxiety. Mention in the Enigma book of diverting into even narrower dead ends rings true; there is no need to do so. This was also highlighted by a financial worry that came up this morning. Time to change.

Violets are on this card, and I was discussing violets in a flower oracle this week. Violets are assumed to be shrinking violets and shy, hidden among the undergrowth, yet the violets in my garden rampantly self-seed in the grass and have a pleasant attractive smell, so are they really shrinking? Part of change is realizing the truth of this abstraction and not buying into what other people say about you.

Dale Carnegie has a wonderful notation about this in his book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living: “What other people think of me is none of my business.”

Take action and get busy doing things in your own life. That’s Flowering for me today.