Catalogue Consciousness in The World

In September I received a catalogue in the mail from the Maplelea doll company, forwarded from my old address. I had asked to be removed from their mailing list three years ago after being treated rudely by two of their staff when suggesting they offer sewing patterns for their dolls. It brought up some anger in me, and this marketing ploy of resurrecting old customers bothered me. I put it in the recycle bin and forgot about it.

Another catalogue rolled in several weeks later, and this time I browsed through it several times and then started making a list of things to buy. Shoes are $12 to $18 a pair, outfits are $26 to $50 each and with $9 shipping I couldn’t seem to buy anything for a reasonable amount of money. I let it sit for four days, thinking all the time how happy I had been not buying anything from them, and how I didn’t really want anything. Then I woke up, put the catalogue in the recycle bin and sent them an e-mail asking to be taken off their mailing list yet again.

This morning I scrounged for a book and picked up Hooked!: Buddhist Writings on Greed, Desire, and the Urge to Consume, and there was a relevant passage staring at me. It is from the first chapter and Joseph Goldstein says:

“Covetousness, the wanting mind, the feeling that we never have enough, is seen in Buddhism as unskillful action of the mind. In the framework of the Buddhist cosmology and the different realms of existence, this covetous mind state is most extreme in the hungry-ghost realm. Hungry ghosts are often depicted as having huge stomachs and pinhole mouths, showing how they are incapable of ever feeling satisfied. In our culture, we might call it ‘catalog consciousness,’ obsessively rifling through the pages to see what else we might want. This is ‘wanting to want,’ a disease our culture keeps nourishing. [Emphasis mine.]

Gaki zōshi (section of the Scroll of Hungry Ghosts) 12th century: You can see the ghosts preying on humans, hanging around, with their mouths constantly wanting, and distended bellies. The one on the left seems to be the particular one that plagues me.


I thought I’d draw cards from a deck to augment this awareness. I randomly plucked the Golden Tarot of the Tsar from a shelf and drew these two cards:



The four evangelists read and write, doing their work and study, feeding the world of cosmic ultramarine, safely bordered in gold. And Jesus in the Ace of Swords, surrounded by four corners, puts out his boundless arms and says “Reach for a better life, you have all you need.” Resolve the old problems, think differently.

The World gives you understanding of what’s important, so free yourself from restrictions, complete things, start others but apply yourself and become closer to who you really are, create your reality. You can consume the World endlessly or feed it.

I mention again one of my favourite songs, Hungry Ghost by Brad Mehldau and Mark Guiliana which you can see here.

Feel the gnawing, then contemplate The World.


I Sing from the Atoll for Llewellyn Worldwide

I just wanted to say that in a world of poor customer service, I had a terrific experience with Llewellyn Worldwide when trying to sort out problems with my Animal Totem Tarot. I didn’t expect anything but I was floored by the service I got, it was exceptional. It meant the world to me because I use my cards a lot and use them creatively. Bless you K. at Llewellyn, you really, really made my day.

In contrast, I wrote to several deck artists in the past year, simply to say I liked their work and not a reply did I get from any of them. I like a good natter with other artists about creating art, and in the past I’ve had some good conversations with some talented deck artists. Perhaps conversation has gone out of style in a world of Facebook pseudo-friends and endless tweeting nonsense? People could instead be writing about cards and art for God’s sake.

This week I’ve lost track of how many cartons I unpacked. We finally got the cabinet with the glass doors put together after about 11 hours and three days of work. “Oh sure,” the reviewers at Canadian Tire said, “it only took me 1.5 hours to assemble.” We thought the assembly would never end. However, here’s a picture of my dining room to show my passage. Hey, cat figurines are back in my life! All cleaned and shiny and in their new cabinet along with some other breakables.


I also took some old pictures in for reframing and bought three more houseplants and ceramic pots for them. As you can see I have some work to do to get the dining table cleared but I have a new quilted table runner planned for it when I do get it cleared.




This is an Atoll, which is described as a “complete, thriving World” in the book. It’s a pity that my association with the word “atoll” comes from nuclear bomb testing sites. Isn’t it a tragedy to kill a complete world?

To sustain a thriving ecosystem , things have to come together, the right things have to happen. I have been rereading some of my journals from earlier this year and it’s amazing how things fit together for us when we sold our old house and moved. So, something came to an end (our old life) and now the conditions exist to build a new world. All the conditions to make my world better are inside of me. I find that heartening.

Oh, and my cat figurines are out of boxes after 2.5 years. Gotta love that world builder.



Orbits of the Homeless

I completed the quilted laptop cover I made yesterday, so that’s the end of sewing until I reach my new home whenever that will be. I had hoped to start a block for the new appliqué pattern I bought called Lollypop Trees by Kim Mclean, but I won’t have room in the car due to transporting 2 dogs and a cat, so I can only take minimal stuff.

This homelessness has been playing on my mind, causing me to dream of motels and losing my keys, and being in a flap, ungrounded.

Today I am using the 2006 self-produced deck, Spiro Tarot, by Gail Kettleson. Someone traded this with me years ago, and I like it because it’s one of the decks reliant on amorphous symbolism, colour, and a free-flying approach to interpretation. Plus it was produced by hand and this is a number 5/100 in a limited first edition.

Gail is now selling her decks through The Game Crafter and she has a charming one with shelter dogs that I fancy.



I guess I’ve been told off. The World is mine no matter where I orbit, no matter how lost I feel. There are radiant points of light visible in the clouds, along with the Spirograph map superimposed on the world that will guide me.

Everything is possible without restrictions, and the horizon will expand.

I COULD think of it that way.




Viking Teeth in the World Eduardo

Daily Draw April 14, 2015

8 OF SPADES – protection from being led astray


I am taking the reversed meaning of The World today: dissatisfaction, regret, and isolation.

The 8 of Spades is about tears, so perhaps I need a good cry to get it out of my system and get on? I’m feeling overwhelmed by material burdens and waste and I do think the idea of completion and beginning a new stage with The World is true but I can’t seem to shake the rest of it.

The Viking ship on the 8 of Spades reminds me of being led astray to crush and destroy and acquire. Do we need so much? Not at all, it all seems to end up in landfill sites. There is simply too much, too much.

We tried to give away some good new books to a used book store and they only took a handful, overwhelmed with junk. All those trees and knowledge, discarded and unwanted. Regret, regret.

Well, perhaps he needs to recoup and rest before his emotions lead him astray?

Eduardo Galeano died on April 13th, and it reminded me that the Portable Fortitude deck was the one that gave me knowledge of him and his writing. All those books and knowledge, gone. That balance in the world, that thoughtful voice against waste and acquisition, gone.



Solitaire Nabs The World

Thank goodness for Tylenol. I was able to sleep as the Tylenol dissolves the nerve pain, or blocks it anyway so I can at least sleep. I had to take one during the day today as well. I don’t like to take it for a long time as it’s bad for the liver, but during a crisis I suppose it’s better than nothing, as I can then rest.



The character is called Solitaire, and she looks pretty feisty. She took my hand and said “Keep going, I am here.”

This is a good card, and we spent five hours yesterday cleaning bedrooms and moving furniture, washing walls and floors, and cleaning the bathroom, then had a meeting with a new contractor last night to do the bathroom. He should be able to do it in November. I hope the snow stays away long enough to get the venting pipe for the new fan through the roof.

As well, we had the car detailed today. First time ever, but after five years of commuting 1,000 kms per week it needed professional help. Cleaned and shampooed, it looks wonderful considering it is five years old. We have 235,000 kms on the engine but hopefully we can keep it going for a few years.

We went to the library and got some books we had on reserve, so a great day, as one might expect from Solitaire. I am still eating fruit and drinking lots of water. We are having salmon and steamed vegetables for dinner so that sounds good.

Good, good, chipping away at it…



Ursuline Enlightenment

I was rummaging looking for the perfect border fabric for a baby quilt I started in January. I had set it aside for a while because something was off. I realized yesterday that it needed a dark blue and not a red colour for the border and once I decided that, I appliquéd 3 blue circles onto patches within the quilt that needed toning down so I’m set to go again.

This often happens with my projects. I can tell something isn’t working, usually with the colour, and it takes a break to see it with a fresh eye. A good example of why rushing something is not always the best way.



I immediately think of the four evangelists with this card since their symbols are classically on here. The main character here is St. Ursula and the Holy Virgins. One absolutely delightful thing with this deck is that the booklet lists all the art references for each card. Kat Black has collaged the frame and gilt, the clouds, and each evangelistic symbol from different sources, in such a clever way.

This card seems fresh to me since I rarely draw The World. It seems auspicious that I do today. Something to think about when considering choice in the big, bad world:

“One person can make the world a better place.”

This includes surrounding yourself with enlightened people and attitudes.



First Move Through the Labyrinth

KING OF BOWS – ADDER (King of Wands)


I traced my pattern off and cut out my nightie two days ago, but I’m pretty sore, so had to take a break. Two more days until I get my x-ray results.

Yesterday a real estate agent put his card on our door. We had talked to him last year, but I think we need to redo the bathroom and clear out some rooms before even attempting to put the house up for sale.

The World Tree has a labyrinth you need to go through before you get to the door, the access to the new journey after the end of another. I can’t wait, only three months until my husband retires, but I am also nervous about getting by on less money and the upheaval of possibly moving and more renovations and packing decades of stuff, particularly many books. It’s hard to think ahead when I am in pain.

But the King of Bows takes these things in his stride. The male snakes are fighting for dominance, the King likes to lead, to be the one with the answers. Strength of resolve occurs to me, path and goals are direct, you take them because it is what you need to do.

Big changes can be frightening. We always thought we would leave it until next Spring, but if we did it this year we’d be away and on the new journey by the time Spring comes. The stress though would be unbelievable and I’m already having health problems.

Maybe the King is too tied up in snarls and knots, or perhaps he is overcomplicating it?