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.



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!



Dragon Words

Daily Draw November 19th, 2012

My friend and I are exchanging words to write poetry with. I happened to mention my word tickets and she said “Let’s exchange ten words.” I drew actual word tickets for her. The point of the exercise is to do this quickly, in 10 to 15 minutes without an agony of re-writes and over-thinking.

I used to do this with random passages from books, song lyrics, words from the dictionary etc. but once I made my word tickets in 2004, I started using those.

These are my words: green, smell, touch, memory, falling, clouded, muddy, bristle, remembrance, tear (either version).

I like to have a visual so I drew a card after scrounging around for a deck.This is from one of my favourite decks, the Universal Fantasy Tarot. This one is about not recognizing good luck because it sometimes arrives when we are unable to appreciate it.



I can smell the green remembrance,
Stomped to muddy good luck,
At the touch of my claw on memory.
Tear the stopper from the clouded bottle;
I bristle to decant time,
Screaming in anguish,



Snooty Old Feller

Daily Draw October 6th, 2011


No, I think they’re mistaken, this is the Snooty Old Feller, not the King of Wands.

Oh WELL, isn’t he regal and majestic in this deck? Really in command, a risk taker supreme and farsighted as you can see from the visionary scene outside his window.

Lots of energy, lots of intellect.

I shall keep that in mind, it’s a Supreme Salamander type of day.

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.

Sour Girl Rides

Daily Draw August 17th, 2010

I had another nightmare about work and had to get up early. Just when I thought they’d gone away after five years. So I went to YouTube and found a song that reminds me of someone. My favourite line: “I was a Superman, but looks are deceiving.” Am I ever going to get over that either?

The mind is a stupid thing some days.

Today from the Universal Fantasy Tarot:


I have a fondness for The Chariot because someone drew this card for me on a long-ago list and that started my interest in the cards. I think it took about five months after that before I actually bought my first deck. So thanks to Roodles, Thoth Chariot picker, wherever you are.

The Chariot is the movement card. Get along now. The LWB says “Even after achieving success, our mind must not be distracted from the goal for which we fought.”

We fought for ethics and ideals and truth against liars. The goal still shines in my mind. After achieving success I must not be distracted. I’m starting a book I bought years ago–I found someone to read it with, and she’s already started, so I must get going on that today. It’s called Medieval Dress and Fashion, and is illustrated with wonderful illuminated manuscripts.

Don’t be distracted. Get along now. Ctrl + J, put it on another layer. Or rather, Command + J. Hahahahaha.

The Dip of the Big Chalice of the Mind

Daily Draw August 9th, 2010

I’m a bit late posting. Let’s see if my cards are being as cynical as I am.


What is this? Sort of a winged snail with wings and stork-length amphibian legs, carrying people who are fishing for prawns or fish with a chalice bucket.

It’s the lucky dip of pulling up what snail-slimy memory your mind finds while it’s roaming. Is it going to be the endless replay of all the bad stuff you did when you were a teenager, or will it be the memorybank movie of your endlessly spiralling health problems?

I’m betting on the health problems today, all that stuff about nerves and fibre screaming in pain and never getting better so that your life is an endless hell of on and off days of living and brooding and wondering what the hell you’re staying alive for.

Nostalgia is a grand thing when you bring up a fond remembrance of getting your first aquarium one Christmas, but not so much fun when it pulls up the garbage-y carp of “If only I’d looked after myself in 1998 I wouldn’t be feeling like this…”

Fate is what it is: choices, wrong turns, right things, inevitable things, personal responsibility, and hope battered down over and over. The origin of the word fate is in the Latin for “decision” or to speak something like a decree. It seems to me that Fate with a capital is what you say it is, so if you say “I wish I had done this…” and time has moved on and you can’t do this thing, then you are trapped in a sort of fantastical mirage.

If you make a decision for something else, you’ll bring something different up in the bucket as you fish. It’s always good to ponder the control of the mind and what you decide to do and speak.

I’m off to link myself with better feelings and times; like the now times.