Ennui and the 4 of Cups Across Decks

What to do when you feel…nothing? Examine the 4 of Cups in several decks, get a good look at it, eat an apple, wait for something to happen, try to muster up enthusiasm for the sixteen projects you have on-the-go, eat a strawberry, eat homemade potato and leek soup, look through a bunch of old art magazines that you bought ten years ago.

Wait. Slump in the chair, look out the window at cats passing by, go to the library, hang with insomnia for a bit, clench your teeth, read about the 14th century, read about old varieties of roses, vacuum out the fan on your laptop, clean the kitty litter, look at the wall, wonder if the guardian angel appears in the mirror of your dresser or leaps from behind the bathroom door, exiting with a graceful dance after bouncing in to perform various miracles for you.

Wait some more, do laundry and hang the clothes on the rack in the front hall, where you haven’t painted the beige wall a grey colour with a white tree yet, eat a slice of mango and contemplate re-heating jasmine tea in the microwave, sigh and look out at the little girl in the pink coat walking her dog as she skips by going downhill in front of your house and laughs.

Well, you get the drift, hence the 4 of Cups. There is a scent of self-flagellation or self-indulgence with this card. Be wary travellers in self-pity!

I have a large collection so only pulled a few decks at random. Strangely, this has rather cheered me up. Nothing like a good ramble through cards to perk me up. My favourite card (at least this time) was the one from the Infinite Tarot, a deck I don’t see used much but I like the artwork.


Natural forces have you trapped. Oh yeah, I knew it couldn’t be me (cough). Mention here is made of being fearful of death, poor diet, malnourishment, and a lot of negative self-talk. Your own thinking encourages this downfall. Improper choices in thought and deed—look there for rescue.


Here we all are turning away, closing our eyes, with our sad sack mouths, oblivious to that nice kestrel offering us a possibility. Sometimes it’s good to turn away, get a bit of rest, cure your weariness of life with a quiet spell, but not drunkenness. The danger is in never coming back to life and all the good, positive things in life.


The Experimental Tarot has a woman contemplating her ecstatic vision of life. The problem is she’s trapped in a moat. That big hand might be holding her up or holding her in place. Another dreamer with her eyes closed, drifting into a permanent state of bliss while missing the action of life. The German word graben on the card means past or to dig, dig in the past. We get our English expression “grub in the earth” from this word. Put your head in a hole in the earth, don’t ever look at what’s happening now. Oh, she’s in ecstasy, but the things she’s contemplating aren’t real. She’s floating in a moat, permanently wet, come back to reality missy.

In the Scapini deck it’s like all the visions are held in urns, unable to get out and she won’t play, won’t ride her dragon. Eyes covered again, we mustn’t look at the good things, the possibilities. Sad faces everyone.


Don’t you just love the grey and taupe tones she’s used in the Linestrider? It captures the feeling and her eyes are closed, her head is wrapped in a scarf, and she has a large fish on her chest. The fishy emotions have obscured her breasts, the bubbles coming from the fish pop and the sounds “Sad sack, wet blanket” envelop her.

The Aquarian picture is similar to the Fradella in the first group, the hand of God offers life and a big cup but he/she won’t look. The lady in the Heart Tarot is reading a letter, perhaps the final letter from a long-ago sweetheart, dreaming of joy and love, she sits slumped at the table barely holding her head up. The hermit crab in the Animal Wisdom contemplates the glory and protection of shells.

Wet blankets and sad sacks, steeped in wine, misery, and about to go over the falls, there must be better choices. Swim to shore, dry off and get out your pencils and draw a cartouche! Of course, the exact cure for sad sacks, drawing cartouches. Add a lizard, add a condor, get the wet sack off the condor and go. Start in small steps to drag yourself to shore, concentrating on the thorn-tailed rayadito in the tree. What do you mean you don’t see it, it’s bright yellow and black, it’s right there?

Open your eyes.



Amphoras of Evergreen Ennui

Daily Draw August 11th, 2011

Gosh, I just had the most fun at 3 a.m. for an hour with Windows Update. It locked up, I had to remove the battery on my laptop and boot up in safe mode, then it locked up again but fortunately Windows eventually fixed the problem.

I woke up and originally came down to the computer to calm myself back to sleep with a daily draw. Surprise, Windows had other ideas. It is now 4:30 and I am wired.


See, this is what I mean about this deck, Scapini has packed so much symbolism into these semi-illustrated pips that the deck is fascinating.

In this card there are two sea serpents: one old serpent has a weeping mermaid on its back and the other young serpent has a rather jolly boy angel waving a banner and saying “Where do you want to go today?” I nearly, nearly, nearly had the money once for a Mac, but I just couldn’t scrape up the money and it didn’t run software I needed to take courses for the job from hell.

But hey, that was years ago. I like the amphoras on this. In the top left, the lady has been scared by a snake, spider and Microsoft mouse. She tried to climb on a stool to escape, but the spider nested in her brain and she couldn’t get down and go back to bed.

Then to the right, Eros is blindfolded. Yes true love can’t see where it’s going. The next one has Silenus, drunk and passed out as usual; I bet that guy never has trouble sleeping. On the bottom right, there is a man crawling in the desert toward a mirage, the mirage of the happy PC shop in his home, a rainbow of Windows logos.

Weariness and stasis, Eros can’t see me, nor can Silenus. I’m in the desert feeling old and weepy, wishing I drank wine so I could pass out indefinitely.

Come on, I have to pull out something better. I’m machine quilting a bit today, maybe that kid waving the banner wants me to use lime green thread. Or maybe I’ll have so much pain that I’ll feel green and throw up.

Oh now stop it.

The Bloody Huns Have Overtaken Us

Daily Draw August 10th, 2011

Now here’s a nice snap of Wands-like energy—this is an image of our new eavestroughs laid out on the lawn waiting for the rain to stop so they can be installed. Speak softly and carry a long eavestrough.

We rocketed up at 7:30 getting showered and dressed on a blue sky and clouds day, ready for the contractor, and a big grey cloud moved in but now the sun is out again. Hopefully the weather will hold, it’s alarming to be at the mercy of weather patterns when you just want the work to get done so you don’t have to be tense.

Today I am using The Medieval Scapini Tarot, which despite a preponderance of gold and brown, colours that I don’t care for, is a good deck because I like Scapini’s humour and semi-illustrated pips. I also bought Ronald Decker’s book Art and Arcana to go with it, although I haven’t found the book as wonderful as others because the individual card meanings are not that comprehensive, only a smidge more information than the LWB that comes with the deck.


A much different take on things, this card shows a Hun warrior standing by while refugees from a walled town the Huns have conquered and burned, stream out to escape.

It reminds me of the terrible burning and looting in London. The world is aghast that the army wasn’t sent in for more protection, as the police were overwhelmed. I just read a news story of a store that was burned to the ground, it wasn’t even looted, that had been in business since the 19th century and was a real landmark in Croydon. The loss, the pain to the family, the hurt, and all for nothing. They are just a bunch of civil terrorists pretending they were protesting. Is this treason? I wonder.

In this deck Scapini has used the meaning of a journey or departure, flight etc. This too reminds me of all the people displaced in London, fleeing and wondering if they will ever see their homes and possessions again. It’s not the kitchen table or the fridge, it’s the books and photographs, the reminders of family and home and relatives now dead that are the loss. Communities destroyed, connections gone, services gone, history gone, everything gone.

Fire can be the most wonderful energy in the world, or the most destructive. Yes, people are on the move, and the Knight, who could have changed the world for good, is beating the big drum of war, ready to gouge and maim with his big club, shoulders erect as if he had pride of purpose.

Not so, there is no purpose in such things.