Posted tagged ‘The Sandman’

Okanagan Oracle Colour Study 1: Devotion

March 11, 2017

I was slightly disappointed that 12 of the 58 cards in the Okanagan Oracle deck were black and white photographs. I like black and white photography but I bought this to work with colour so it startled me at first. Wouldn’t you know that the first card I drew from the deck was a black and white one. The Universe laughs and says “Roll with it Judith.”

Cosmic Jude they call me, always ready to embrace universal humour.

I have several decks out for this. I wanted to avoid the obvious and not use my Secret Language of Colour Cards so I used other things to pick cards with matching colours. Suzy often shows crystals or gemstones in pictures of the cards and though I have a few stones I thought I’d use the Tarot of Gemstones and Crystals to augment this deck as well as random postcards from my collection and the Dreaming in Color Luman Deck.

I first did this exercise back in about 2005 with the Power card in the Dreaming in Color deck, which is a strong gold colour so I went through 20-odd decks and picked gold cards that matched the them and then wrote essays about them. This study will be a simplified version of that.

DEVOTION – Okanagan Oracle
DEPRESSION – Dreaming in Color Luman Deck
FOUR OF CUPS – MAGNETITE – Tarot of Gemstones and Crystals
DEATH – The Sandman Postcards
FLAMES OF JUDGMENT – American Radiance Postcards, Artist unidentified, 19th century, painted wood.


The root word(s) of Devotion mean “to vow completely” in Latin. So this is not just a gentle, little love, this is a deep, ardent, zealous sort of love. Much like the flames devouring the woman on the postcard.

The Four of Cups is the Ennui card as I call it, paired with Depression and Death, this montage speaks of getting too wrapped up in the darker things of the mind. I have had a struggle with that for several months but the Devotion card reminds me that we always have a choice about what we devote our thoughts to. The flames can envelop me or I can raise my arms to devotion of another type.

Magnetite is one of the oxides of iron, and being magnetic is used for many things including ancient compasses. If we have it in our brain, which apparently we do, does it allow us to navigate? Who knows but this also reminds me that you set a course with your choices about what you think about.





All the Little Foxes and Their Friends

June 7, 2012

Daily Draw June 7th, 2012

Today I am doing a comparison of foxes in my various decks due to the card and comments in this post. The obvious comparison is the foxes in the Lenormand decks but I found quite a few in other decks, both tarot and oracle.

Before I start on cards I wanted to mention one of my favourite graphic novels from The Sandman series, The Dream Hunters by Neil Gaiman with artwork by Yoshitaka Amano, I’ve mentioned it before on the blog but it illustrates a classic Asian myth about the fox lady. This comes up on some of my cards too, but the art in this book is so dreamy and evocative, perfect for the story. I recommend you buy it if you love foxes. The cover of my edition is reflective gold so hard to scan accurately.

The Shadowscapes Tarot had the most foxes, a whole suit of them plus a few extras.

I found a few on I Ching cards.

Several stories with foxes in the Fables of La Fontaine are illustrated in these playing cards.

And here are the wonderful Lenormand decks and their attractive foxes.

An assortment of foxes on various decks:

Lisa Hunt has painted foxes in several decks.

More foxes, looking bushy-tailed:


June 1, 2012

Daily Draw June 1st, 2012

I have been scrambling to get my house tidied up for a home visit from someone who is bringing their dog for us to possibly adopt, so although I am working on a Play Architecture card, I haven’t finished it yet. I can however, see my dining room table for the first time in several months. When you can see the table, you can sit down and finish projects that you found buried there. And I also found a plate hanger so can hang the plate printed with provincial wildflower paintings. “P” words, perfectly in a row.

From The Endless Gallery
by Bill Sienkiewicz

The Endless Gallery is a collection of various artists’ versions of Neil Gaiman’s characters from The Sandman comics. Today’s card is rather mysterious and dreamy. She is hidden in the wallpaper, peeking out at that tantalizing apple, and there is a flurry of what look like Black-Naped Terns.

This particular character seems to be Desire, who is beautiful and can be either male or female. Desire is supposed to blend into whatever environment it finds itself in and is very cruel. The tracery above the figure looks like an upside down heart and this character’s sigil is a heart of cut glass. Desire casts a sharp shadow and a wavering, translucent one which is suggested in the artwork here. It is the twin of Despair although they don’t look at all alike, Despair being characterized as an ugly, immensely fat woman, with heavy black circles under her eyes and a turned-down mouth of misery.

Desire is the dangerous one though, the epitome of cruelty. She will dangle that apple until you starve to death dreaming about it. She will cut your heart, and waver in and out of the shadows, never seen entirely but taking over your mind.


A caution today about desiring above all else. Not a good idea, lest you meet Despair.

Morpheus Recommends Decongestant

October 12, 2011

Daily Draw October 12th, 2011

I have a bad cold so don’t feel like talking. My knees are bad so coming down the stairs to the computer is harder too. It comes and goes, but I find with the onset of Fall I am getting quieter generally. One of those things, it’s like waves.

I’ve been busy trading things for yarn. When you have little money, and this is usually my situation, trade is a good thing. One nice woman in the States offered me a magazine I’d been trying to get for a pattern. It would have cost me $15 to buy the back issue and she had an extra copy, albeit damaged, so she offered to send it and I accepted.

Another friend of mine sent me some gorgeous postcards from Hawaii, which shall go into my collection. Some lovely photographs and several more illustrative cards which are unusual.

I am almost finished my second Malachite Sock. I’ve been devouring three Ian Rankin mysteries in the past two weeks.


If you are interested in knitting, (and who the heck isn’t, right?), here is a free pattern I am going to use. I always figure that when you make one little creature, it must have a sidekick. I have a thing for owls, along with another friend of mine, so this seemed auspicious. Here’s to all the creatures and sidekicks in my future.

Much like cards, there are endless combinations for these. I don’t have any stuffing or the safety eyes but I can try using odd bits of quilt batting and buttons for my first one. Or I could just wait. Too bad you can’t trade books or cards for massive bags of polyester fibrefill and sampler packs of black safety eyes.

Here is a card “just for pretty” today since I am a bit low with this virus.

Well, maybe “pretty” isn’t quite the right word. What do you think this highlights for the day? Perhaps a day of contrasts: Death and Dream, together at a theatre near you. For those who are not familiar with Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comics or graphic novels, this card is from a set of postcards featuring art related to the series. The art on this one is by Mike Dringenberg and Malcolm Jones III. The lord of dreams is also known as Morpheus and that is his sister Death.

Death is always delighted to see you as she claps her hands together and smiles. Morpheus looks a bit hesitant, realizing that you’re spewing out cold germs at 120 kilometers per hour, so he’s covered the lower part of his face with his cloak.

Cards, they always know.

Waiting in the Mind

April 23, 2010

Daily Draw April 23rd, 2010

TGIF as they say. The spouse is in a taciturn sulk because I dared to mention a book yesterday. I’m not buying it, but I mentioned seeing it and putting it on my wish list.

I don’t know, I could be an alcoholic or one of those women that shop online and buy 80 pairs of underwear or shoes. He works with a teacher who just spent $700 on a purse she didn’t need. I get the sulky attitude when I look at a $20 book. How terrible of me. I often tell people that books are my life, and they are, they are a consuming passion of mine and an immense gateway to my intellectual growth and development as a human. There are only so many you can borrow from the library, the rest you have to buy.

Make sure you shut me out and make me feel low honey, ’cause that’s what friends are for. Hahaha.

Today my card is from The Sandman collectible postcards.

The image is taken from Death : The Time of Your Life and is by Greg Spalenka.

Death is The Sandman’s sister and his favourite sibling. She is quite neat with her ankh and the identifying sigil under her eye. Neil Gaiman started a separate series featuring her adventures, and I managed to get the first trade paperback from the library, Death : The High Cost of Living, which was excellent, but I haven’t read this one. He’s got a collectible edition of all her story arcs in Absolute Death but it’s hugely expensive. I’d like it though, and it has two unpublished stories. Not in this lifetime I’m afraid, my days of buying fancy editions of books is gone. I’ve put it on my wish list, only $76.48 CAD!!!

The ankh symbol is a bit of a mystery, even Egyptologists don’t know exactly where it comes from or what it means. It could mean rebirth in the afterlife or be a simple fertility amulet or symbol of the Nile delta.

Let’s take it for a symbol of rebirth. The way her hands are crossed is reminiscent of the way people are often laid out in death, but I also like the thought of her holding her secrets to herself, pressing her passions to her soul to keep them safe while she waits until they can burst out again. Repose is a peaceful thing. Waiting can be done quite easily if you put your mind to it.

Sneaky Ambiguity

January 16, 2010

Daily Draw January 16th, 2010

From the Fantastical Creatures Tarot:


The Sneak card. Someone might be trying to steal from you; sorting truth from lies and having the intuition to understand the true personality and motives of others is the message here. Don’t let other people control you with their actions is another side to this I like.

This card depicts a fox lady of Asia, the one I am most familiar with is from a graphic novel by Neil Gaiman called The Dream Hunters with graphics by Yoshitaka Amano. It is one of his books that is an addendum to The Sandman series of graphic novels, written for the tenth anniversary of the series.

In this one, the fox lady falls in love with a monk and tries to help him rather than trick him or kill him as is usual in these stories. It is from an old Japanese folk tale, some versions of which were close to Gaiman’s Sandman or King of Dreams ideas.

Which brings a faint suggestion of people not being what they seem, and also not being what you assume them to be, which is the classic ambiguity of the fox lady.

[Graphic by Yoshitaka Amano]

Orpheus, Cerberus, Dante, Gaiman, Indovina, and Offenbach Go To the Beach

August 31, 2009

Daily Draw August 31st, 2009

Today is a special birthday for someone close to me so I hope I get a good card! This is from the remarkably interesting Silenus Tarot:



Vigilance, be prepared to ward off adversity. Good old Orpheus and his lyre in hell with Cerberus. I’ve heard the overture from Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld many times. If you aren’t familiar with it there is a 9.5-minute audio version at YouTube. Catch the excitement:
In a comment someone says “Of course the part everyone loves and knows is at 7:36 . . .” so listen for that can-can bit. Yeah, we all know that bit.

Funny thing, I was thinking before I shuffled the cards that if I drew a card with Cerberus from the Silenus Tarot, I could copy depictions of Cerberus from William Blake, John Flaxman, Gustave Doré, and Sandro Botticelli and do a comparison of them. I was chuffed when I did draw Cerberus after hesitating over the backs of two other cards, so I have attached that comparison for interest’s sake. These images are illustrations from various editions of Dante’s Divine Comedy, specifically Inferno. Dante uses the three-headed dog Cerberus as the guardian/tormenter of the gluttons in the third circle of hell, Canto VI. Virgil feeds the dog heads with handfuls of dirt while Dante observes those condemned because of their gluttony.

The Botticelli drawing of Cerberus has been lost, alas, but my book reproduces the relevant section from Botticelli’s fully painted Chart of Hell. I’ve reduced it further but you can see the blobs of snow, rain and hail and Cerberus growling and being fed by Virgil. Blake is Blake and has his own vision but his friend Flaxman’s depiction seems to derive much of the style from Blake.


Orpheus (the son of Apollo), went to the Underworld to reclaim his bride Eurydice, who had died on their wedding day. The unfortunate fellow was told not to look back as he was leading Eurydice out of the Underworld, but he forgot, so he lost her forever.

I’ve mentioned before on this blog that my view of Orpheus is forever touched, or tainted as you will, by Neil Gaiman’s version of his story in the Sandman comics, Fables and Reflections collection, and also the Brief Lives collection. In those stories he was the son of the Sandman, and became headless and sang beautifully. I guess he couldn’t play his lyre without arms so he sang, thus Gaiman was able to perpetuate the myth of Orpheus’s lovely music. There is one illustration of Orpheus’s lone head in the sea while the Sandman, Morpheus, stands on the beach, that completely obliterates the Greek myth for me. Oh well, such is life and imagery. Neil Gaiman and Bullwinkle have done much to carry the torch of literature and history.


The lesson for today is not to be a glutton, don’t look back, and be vigilant going forward; beware of dogs.

I dread to admit how long this took me, but that’s what I like about waking up with a daily card, I can meander a bit with books and art. I knew when I ordered the Silenus Tarot that it was exactly the kind of deck I use and enjoy.