Ace of Pentacles/Coins Across Decks

I saw in my statistics page that someone had come to my site searching for images of the Ace of Coins. I thought to myself that this might make an excellent study.

Danger, danger, hours later after searching through dozens of decks and scanning, adjusting, rotating and labelling in Photoshop, I’m a bit punchy. When you’re in a funk, nothing helps like a bit of sorting, categorization, and organization. This was more than a bit, but hey it made for a keenly interesting day.

Dealing mostly with the Rider-Waite model (here used in the Universal Waite deck) I decided that there were three kinds of imagery with this card: the classic “hand of God” approach; the figurative approach related to the theme like in the Golden Tarot; and the pattern and shape decorated or changed similar to a pip in transformation playing cards, like in this marvelous Ace of Pentacles in the Sun and Moon.

In this study I am ignoring the figurative approach, and looking more at the other two.






I don’t see too many people using the Fradella deck but it’s one of my favourites.

















I’ve talked about that Universal Fantasy card before, it reminds me so much of an old brooch.

So that’s it, about 8 hours of work and 39 decks!




The Smell of Pines and Cedars in the Dew

Daily Draw May 12th, 2013

I OF CUPS (Ace of Clubs, Ace of Hearts)


I laughed when I read the description of the Ace because irises are a Japanese symbol for a warrior and grow in abundance, and I was just talking about being a warrior in my last draw. I like the dragonfly too, they mean summer and heat and growth and the buzz and light of the garden to me.

In general this card means happiness and joy, all the good emotions; abundance, like the abundant irises. I love irises and we have several beautiful varieties in our garden.

The chariot is a palanquin, and the person being carried is somewhat hidden from view. This made me laugh too, as if I was moving forward and being helped but was hiding. Perhaps a bit of trepidation there?

The actual story involves Japanese warriors (!!!!) disguising their armour in the robes of pilgrim priests, defeating some demons and rescuing the women the demons were stealing. There is the suggestion that trickery and cunning can augment your physical prowess for success.

The meaning in the Ukiyoe Tarot is not exactly as I think of The Chariot, it’s about overcoming adversity or escaping from something, maybe urgently gaining control of your emotions. I think the inner strength of a person can be something not visible to the world, yet it’s there, sitting behind the screen of the palanquin and waiting to be used.

Focus on goals, don’t be discouraged by apparent obstacles. Purposeful action, but the sense of protection or hiding stays in my mind. I think I have to protect my energy and physical strength while painting and cleaning the house up. I have been frazzled by emotions lately, notably fear and worry, and it gets tiresome, wears me down, hence the urgency of setting limits and gaining control over emotions. Getting rid of these demons would be nice.

I notice that while feeling tender from painting, I am still getting it done, and it takes the focus away from pain. I drew this card back in February with the Tarot of the Absurd, and a similar suggestion came up of being too busy to obsess about chronic health problems. I really like this idea.

It’s funny, an Internet fellow way back in late 2001 pulled The Chariot card for me from the Thoth deck, and that’s what got me to buy my first tarot deck, the Zerner Farber with its lovely fabric collages. It was a start to something different in my life and creative opportunities, so when I pull The Chariot I think of things opening up and new opportunities, places to go, the fresh air of the dawn and setting off, the smell of pines and cedars in the dew.


The High Priestess Across Decks

Daily Draw August 17th, 2011

I recently entered my name in a giveaway for a new self-published deck, but I didn’t win so I have become shy of entering these things. However, they do give me inspiration for deck exploration, and that’s how I came to ponder The High Priestess card today, someone was asking people to enter the giveaway by talking about their favourite High Priestess card.

I rarely draw this card and the idea of spooky intuition or prescience doesn’t fit me so I rarely pay attention. I become uncomfortable when I’m reading cards and a knowing comes upon me, it seems too personal. I suppose most of us are pleased that we tune in, but it makes me uncomfortable.

So the old HP is someone I avoid. I avoid thinking about her qualities, I avoid tuning it to other people. Too close, too close.

While browsing through my collection I came upon a few HP cards that I like or studied. Some I thought “Wow, I don’t remember that one.”

I was going to save this for last but feel it fair to weed out the skimmers-of-blogs by telling you right away what my favourite HP is, or as close as I get to designating a favourite: the one from the Arthurian Tarot, the first edition with the gorgeous black borders, the Hallowquest Lady of the Lake.

The next set is very artsy I think. I often wonder why people insist that the Osho Zen deck is not tarot. It is one of my favourite decks, particularly when it comes to people or relationship matters. I think it sings and has terrific artwork, and I can’t see what all the fuss is about. Tarot is tarot, regardless of how you view themes or Osho himself.

These two are quite different. Nigel Jackson brings his own flavour to a conventional HP, but there is something about it or about the colours that makes it one of the better ones. The Via Tarot is always different and interesting.

Two of my favourites. If only U.S. Games still published interesting things like the Phantasmagoric deck, or like the Circle of Life by Lo Scarabeo. This is a good example of why I usually love Lo Scarabeo decks, they have such different takes on the archetypes and really good artwork.

The Silenus Tarot depicts the Oracle of Delphi, and the others are artsy. That Navigators Tarot of the Mystic SEA is a special deck because of its intense originality, poetry, and writing.

Like many others, I was immediately taken with The Seer from the Wildwood Tarot because of its fantastic art and concept. The Rumi has a great quote that is perfect for this card: “Mysteries are not communicable save to those who know.”

The Vacchetta has the classic look but I love the line art, and this is my own deck that I printed in olive green from one in the public domain. The Stella’s card is simply luscious in blue. I had a good study with this one.

The last set is just because they are neat in art and composition. I like them.

I find it hard to pin down one favourite either in a specific card or a deck. They are almost all interesting to me and have been favourites at some time. For me, if you have one true favourite it seems to exclude other possibilities, so I never really think of decks like that.

The Empress of Hina

Daily Draw June 25th, 2008

Yesterday I was looking for paper crafts and found some folded Hina dolls of an Empress and Emperor to print. I did that and then got sidetracked by the Adventures of the Black Pig, so today I went back to the Hina dolls and picked a card from the Ukiyoe Tarot to go with them.


A perfect match for the dolls and it reminded me of a book my sister had in childhood. Funnily enough I was speaking to someone about childhood books recently and remembering them fondly.

One book I remember is The Children Came Running from 1960, that featured stories about different countries and cultures along with artwork originally printed on UNICEF cards. One of the most fascinating stories for me was the annual Japanese Doll Festival (Hina Matsuri) and the picture in the book of an altar with many beautiful Hina dolls and the little girl who proudly displayed them for this festival. I was browsing a few years ago and nearly bought a used copy of this book and didn’t, so today I resolved to bring it back into my life and found a clean, tight copy with a slightly ripped cover for $3 and bought it.

Most people think of the Empress as a mother figure, but I think of her as a ruler and one who cares for her subjects’ well-being. I thought she was telling me today to look after myself and reconnect to the things that molded me when young. Stories, literature, openness to world culture and learning, and a love of artwork came to me through that lovely book, and I want it back. I cannot wait to feel the old thrill and the stories ripple through my mind.