Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tarot Case!

I mentioned last week that I was working on a case for my cards. I've been wrapping them in a scarf for years, but I've always said I was going to knit myself a case for them. Last weekend, I had to make it right away! Interestingly enough, I'd been planning on making a drawstring bag, but I did a quick search for Tarot patterns on Ravelry (a knitting database/social network of awesomeness), and I found Mary Greer's Tarot Case.

I love it! It was an easy knit, it's well shaped, and my cards look lovely. Sophie-girl likes my new, pink case.

The Lovers

The Lovers card in the Arcus Arcanum deck is, without a doubt, a card about choice.  The image is of a man and a woman holding hands as they walk down a path.  In front of them the road is splitting in three directions.  One direction has a woman waiting, one direction has a man waiting, and one direction we don’t see anyone.  The couple has to make a decision about where they will go from here.  They need to choose between current securities and future unknowns.  This is a card about taking responsibilities for your own actions – after all, you have some decisions to make!
The Lovers do not have to be a couple (although it is possible that the card is about a relationship).  We all have other parts of to accept and combine with what we are currently expressing - the head and the hart, for example, or our masculine and feminine energies.
The Arcus Arcanum deck does show foliage – the path appears to be in the woods.  It’s a dirt path, there’s a tree and quite a bit of grass, but there’s also white roses which I find interesting because white roses are symbols of innocence – the flowers are behind the Lovers, though.  In some respect, some innocence has been left behind so they could move forward.
This card was my reason for buying this deck.  While I had heard many people say that the Lovers card was about choice, all I could ever see in my Morgan Greer deck was heat. The Morgan Greers Lovers card is much more sensual.  It always feels more like it involves a relationship with a sexual aspect, and I could never see the choices and responsibilities inherent in a relationship; nor could I see that this card can be about conflict within the self or the need to integrate your inner parts to create the whole.  The Morgan Greer deck shows a nude woman and man embracing surrounded by lush, green foliage.  
While the Lovers card involves choice, it only seemed to be about sex when I look at the Morgan Greer deck (that's still my immediate/gut reaction when looking at the Morgan Greer deck Lovers).  That kind of choice is often colored by horniness and proximity to the person.  Now, that sort of emotion can certainly affect your decision making processes!  Passion has a huge affect on your thinking.  The reason I prefer the Arcus Arcanum deck is that it doesn’t discount the sexual aspect of the decision making process, but it does allow me to see that the coming choices aren’t necessarily just about sexuality. Ohh, those upcoming decisions could very well be sensual, and no matter what, they will affect the sensuality of their relationship, but their decisions are shown more clearly while they’re dressed.
Maybe I just see sex in everything and that’s why I needed the Lovers to put their clothes on - so I could see there’s more to them then "just" sensuality.  Sometimes we need to get dressed before we can make up our minds about something (or someone)!  The Lovers card is a reminder that we should take a deep breath and step away for a moment to look around us at what’s happening in our lives. 
I wonder sometimes if this card would have such rich meanings for me if I had started with this deck and the decisions had just been there.  With the old Morgan Greer deck, I spent so much time trying to understand the card.  I just didn’t grasp the decisions involved in the Lovers.  All I saw was the love and the lust.  When I started looking for a new deck and stumbled across the Aeclectic Tarot website photo of this picture, I was electrified.  Suddenly this card was about so much more then sex!  
When I see this card, I don't immediately jump to "sex and relationships" anymore.  However, I still feel the sensual aspects, and my first question is usually about if we're integrating our sensuality into our lives and allowing our passions to be a part of our decision making process or if we're allowing them to overtake our decision making process.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Barbie Deck

I think I've mentioned before that I have picked up a variety of interesting decks at garage sales and thrift stores.  I don't do readings with these decks, but they're fun to have and play with.  The more unusual the deck is, the more fun that I have just looking at it and giggling over it.  Just because I giggle over it doesn't mean that I can't see someone else finding great use from it - it just means that I personally wouldn't be able to use that deck at this point in time.

One thing I am very curious about is if there's anyone out there using the Barbie Tarot Deck.  I do not have this deck, but I spent a good portion of my Sunday looking it over and just feeling the astonishment at it.  I have no idea why it would astonish me this much -  the idea of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Tarot Deck (canceled before it was released) didn't leave me absolutely giddy, and I am a serious Joss Whedon fan.

I love that the King cards include Barbie because, in the words of their creator, what is Ken without Barbie?  I also love that the creator discusses her feminist faith and reasoning behind using Barbie. She doesn't sound apologetic; she's just explaining why she chose this medium!

My favorite cards in this deck are the Major Arcana.  Specifically, the Chariot card.  Look at this.

She used Gay Ken in this card.  It's just a fun interpretation that he and that other Ken in the tux are out for their own wild adventures.  
Her interpretations of the Minor Arcana are quite interesting, too.   The Wands are, indeed, wands/staffs.  But the other Minor Arcana took an about face.  The Pentacles cards became the Purses cards because Barbie isn't generally shown with money, but she's got many purses!  The Swords are Hats since they represent Air, and Barbie is well known for her couture!  Interestingly enough, the Cups become Flowers.
This  deck is so much fun!  The creator has also made a Trek Tarot Deck.  Unfortunately, neither of these deck is available for sale, which is a shame.  Usually, unless I plan on regularly reading with a deck, I won't buy it brand new.  I would purchase a Star Trek deck brand new, at full price, without any second thoughts!  The Barbie Deck, I am not 100% sure that I'd purchase brand new, but I am fairly sure that I would do so.
I'm currently making a new Tarot bag, and interestingly enough, I started knitting it on Sunday morning just before I discovered the Barbie Tarot deck.  Why is that interesting?  Because it's Barbie-pink!  Now I am actually tempted to find a Barbie charm and to use this particular bag for a regular deck of cards and make myself a different bag for my other cards. It's a quick and easy knit using Morgan Greer's free Knitted Tarot Case pattern.  I planned to post a photo of my unfinished bag, but for some reason, the "insert a picture" link is not working.  Just trust me.  It's very, very pink!  When I'm done, I'll make sure that the picture posts.

Ace of Rods - Morgan Greer Deck

My last post was about the Ace of Wands using the Arcus Arcanum deck. Now here's the deal - I am only doing readings with the Arcus Arcanum deck right now, but I did use the Morgan Greer deck for a while. I had to stop using it because, as my Tarot teacher put it, it was my Pollyanna deck. No matter what was going on in my life or the life of the person I was reading for, everything was hunky dory in the reading!

For a while, I used two decks (if someone wanted to hear the good stuff, I'd pull out the Morgan Greer deck), but at this point, I've been away from Tarot for a while and am working to reconnect with my Arcus Arcanum deck.

That being said, I still love my Morgan Greer deck, and I feel like doing a bit of a comparison between these two aces.

This is the Ace of Rods from the Morgan Greer deck.

And here's the Ace of Wands from the Arcus Arcanum deck.

Some of the differences are obvious. The Morgan Greer deck feels (to me) very 1960s. This is interesting since it was published in 1979. I'm not sure when the Arcus Arcanum deck first came out, but it was illustrated by a comic book artist, and the pictures really do have a class comic book feel to them.

Some of the differences are in my interpretation of the cards. Both are fire aces (wood). Aces are about beginings of a cycle, they are the person alone, they are individual cards. Both as fire signs are about passion and However, the Ace of Rods in the Morgan Greer deck has a more ethereal feel to it. The Arcus Arcanum Ace of Wands has a much stronger, more passionate feel to it.

In the Morgan Greer Ace of Rods, the hand is wielding the stick, prepared for the change to come. In the Arcus Arcanum Ace of Wands, the hand that is wielding the stick is the passion, and it's being attacked by a lion! That's not just a card about the start of a new cycle, that's a pretty explicit statement about a coming onslaught! When I first looked at the Ace of Wands in the Arcus Arcanum deck, this is one of the differences that really slapped me in the face. The other card whose difference in meaning really shocked me is the Lovers card (and I'm sure that I'll be posting information on that card here in the future).

I wish that I could properly emphasize how what I'm saying isn't good or bad per say. Each card has its own interpretation, and while one card gives me a more forceful feel with the idea of outside influences pushing in on the individual, that's not necessarily bad (or necessarily good). I'm still ambivalent about my decision to post this blog with my interpretations of cards because of what a personal thing each interpretation is. This is how I personally feel about the cards. Looking over my notes about how I felt about the cards a few years ago, it's interesting seeing how my interpretations have changed. I wonder how different (or not different) my interpretations of the same cards will be in another five years!

It goes without saying that everything I'm writing is my own interpretation of the cards (of course). Someone else might look at this and think I'm nuts ;-) Of course, someone would actually need to be reading my blog for them to think that what I'm saying is nuts, and since there's no one reading this, I guess that's something I don't have to worry about!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ace of Wands

I've been a bit slow on getting around to working on this blog, but here it is!

Today's card is The Ace of Wands from the Arcus Arcanum deck, and this is a bit about what this card means to me.

Wands represent fire and passion. They represent strength, competition and growth.

Aces represent new beginnings. They are about the individual, one, alone, the start of a cycle.

The Ace of Wands is about your inner fire lighting your way; it’s your guiding light. Note that the hand contains the fire not the wand itself. This is true with all the Aces in the Arcus Arcanum deck - the hand is made of the element.

This shows that the growth and change is being forced upon you by strong outside forces (the lion's rushing at you), the impetus for growth and change is within you; the burning passion is within you.

The lizard is your inner hopes and dreams. It’s standing with you against the onslaught. The lizard represents both sides of your dreams (hopes as well as fears). Hold onto all aspects of your hopes and dreams, you can use both sides, but don’t let the fears overpower you. You should also be careful not to let your own passion consume you completely and burn up your defenses.

The lion rushing at you can be unpredictable as well as strong. That saying about “with great strength comes great responsibility” refers to a human and a spider – it doesn’t refer to the King of Beasts. He doesn’t restrain himself all the time, and it’s possible that the change will be mighty!

While it may seem like it’s more then you can handle, that isn't the case. These changes are all within your abilities. Just because the changes coming at you are a dominant force doesn’t mean that your strength can’t stand up to it. Hold firm to your goals. This is a challenge that you have the strength for. He’s straight at your dreams and aspirations (lizard), and you might not understand why, but hold onto your goals.

The Ace card represents new challenges and new goals – hold firmly to what your inner passions are guiding you towards. The change appears to be coming from outside of you; it appears to be forced upon you, but it’s your inner passions that are going to light your way. Don’t let outside influences pull you off track! Use your inner strengths to guide you forward through these changes.

REMEMBER: The change is being forced from outside of you, but your inner passions and dreams are what will light your way through this change.