Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Cowardly lion?

Strength - Daniloff Tarot 
Today's card from Daniloff Tarot (2012) is 'La Forza' -- Strength. Interestingly, this deck offers you two versions of Strength and Justice. The Strength card is printed with an 8 and an 11, and so is the Justice card, so you can choose which ones you use in your deck. I have no real preference because I use a variety of decks, but as this deck is quite clearly RWS based, I have chosen to use 8 as Strength  because that is the RWS tradition.

So here we see a maiden riding a lion sidesaddle. The lion doesn't look too happy about it -- maybe she's heavier than she looks. He reminds me a bit of the Cowardly Lion from Wizard of Oz, actually, and that's curious, because it's the second time this deck has made me think of Wizard of Oz. I already think most faces look a lot like the Scarecrow. (Their noses all look 'attached' to the face.) I wonder if the artist, Alexander Daniloff, is a fan of Wizard of Oz. I bet he is!

I wonder in what way I will be called upon to use strength today.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Raise your banner high - Page of Wands

Page of Wands - Daniloff Tarot 
All the Pages in Daniloff Tarot (2012) hold a banner like this, containing an emblem of the suit. This banner on the Page of Wands features the blossoming wand, a flaming torch and a salamander -- perfect, if you ask me. (Though the leafy wand reminds me a bit of broccoli.) The colours of the card a suitably fiery, with oranges and reds, and touches of green to denote the sprouting of life that is associated with Wands. Pages are the earth element and so this chap is Earth of Fire.

You've surely by now become aware that I like to associate characters from books, movies or TVs to courts to aid in understanding. The Page of Wands is Bart Simpson. True, he's not as popular as he used to be, but it's still a handy association. The Page of Wands, like Bart, is:

*not inclined to consider consequences
*risk taker

You can see the pros and cons of these traits straightaway! The energy of the Page of Wands must be balanced a bit or else, like Bart, you may find yourself constantly writing lines on the blackboard and wondering where it all went wrong. But you can't keep a Page of Wands down -- at least you will bounce back instantly from the consequences of your actions, and your spirit will not be one bit dampened. (Though unfortunately, you still may not have learned your lesson and will probably repeat this pattern over and over.). Oh well, eventually the Page learns -- and then he becomes the Knight.

Personally, I think it's asking a lot to want Page of Wands energy from a Queen of Swords on a Monday morning, but I'll give it a go.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Share a Spread Sunday - Umbrae's Relationship Spread

This is an advanced and tricky spread created by Umbrae, of Aeclectic Tarot. Originally shared by Umbrae in 2002, this is a fascinating piece of spreadcrafting, and it deserves to be studied. I've used it for a client and it proves quite illuminating. (The cards in the illustration are from the Daniloff Tarot.)

The spread examines a relationship from the point of view of the sitter (or client), the other person in the relationship, and the relationship itself. The spread is broken down by row and column, and then looked at as a whole.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Order from chaos - the craftsman in Daniloff Tarot

Today's card is 3 of Pentacles from Daniloff Tarot, a self-published deck from Alexander Daniloff. This card shows off a few of the qualities of the minors in the deck. The colours are more limpid than in the majors, slightly washed-out hues. Another thing to notice is the curious faces in the deck. They seem 'put together', like rag dolls or puppets more than human beings. If you look closely, you can see that the man's nose looks 'attached' to his face. I find this style of art interesting. It's a sort of 'Wizard of Oz Scarecrow' look. It is pretty consistent throughout the deck. Human figures have faces that remind me of puppets.

The 3 of Pentacles (or Coins) here portrays the expected scene of a craftsman working on a cathedral. It has the usual configuration (from RWS) of three coins carved into an archway. In addition, there are three gold coins on his garments (shoulders and hat). Interestingly, the two observers (a priest and a nobleman) are missing from the scene, and so the interpretation of collaboration or team work is less obvious, though one could still read them in I suppose -- there has to be a patron of this project, and the building, presumably, is still a cathedral. The work being does seems a bit more shambolic, with that rather haphazard-looking scaffolding in the back and some sort of copper pot with liquid slopping over its side. Still, the theme of working to a plan, of crafting something carefully and diligently, remains.

I found out on Thursday I have been shortlisted for Area Librarian and my assessment is next week. I need to begin work today on my 10-minute presentation. Right now I feel about as shambolic and mournful as this guy looks. But he'll make order out of the mess (as soon as he realises he's got the plans upside down) and so will I. :)

Friday, 12 September 2014

Say hello to the Daniloff Tarot

I just got the Daniloff Tarot and thought I'd show you my favourite cards from each section of the deck.  Here are my favourite majors - Magician, Chariot, Moon and World: 

I always like to look at the aces together when I am examining a new deck, and these do not disappoint: 

And here are my favourite small cards (or pips, or minors) -- 4 of Wands, 6 of Coins, 8 of Cups, 10 of Swords (startling):

And a sample of each of the four courts -- Page of Wands, Knight of Cups, Queen of Swords (she makes me laugh) and King of Coins: 

Click here to order Daniloff. :D

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Share a Spread Sunday: Harvest Moon in Pisces

The full moon is in Pisces this week (Tuesday, 9 September). It falls in Pisces Decan 2, a decan which makes us easily susceptible to the energies around us. Because this is a watery sign, we're going to be feeling emotional anyway, so it's going to be important in these days leading up to the full moon and then from then to the new moon to protect ourselves from negativity and shield ourselves with positive energy. 

This is also the last Super Moon of 2014 (when the moon comes very close to earth in its elliptical orbit) as well as the Harvest Moon (the full moon nearest to Autumn Equinox -- it beats out the full moon on 8 October by only 16 hours!) 

Here's a spread for the Harvest Moon in Pisces: 

1. How can I protect myself from negativity? 
2. How can I increase my own positivity?
3. How can I increase positivity around me?
4. What am I harvesting in this full moon? 

My reading for myself is on my other blog: Blackbirds and Rowanberries. :) 

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Deck Review: Conscious Spirit Oracle

Conscious Spirit Oracle by Kim Dreyer ( US Games 2013)

What's included
You get a 44-card deck in a tuck box with a Little White Book (LWB). The deck measures 5.25 x 3.5 x .5 inches. The LWB is 43 pages. 

The cards 
Measuring 5.25 x 3.5 inches (13 x 8.5 cm), the cards are a nice size for seeing the details of the appealing artwork. The cards have very little lamination and are silky and pleasant to the touch. They riffle and bridge beautifully and, like all US Games decks, feel hardy and durable. The card backs are beautiful, depicting chakra colours, the world tree, the moon phases, and all sorts! 

The art
The art has been compared to Crystal Visions Tarot. I can see the similarities, but I think the images are more varied and the technique seems a bit more accomplished in Conscious Spirit Oracle. It is a very feminine deck in style, and every card features a youthful, nymph-like female figure in various attitudes of devotion, usually with closed eyes. Your attraction to/patience for this sort of thing may vary. I have a low tolerance of glowing nymphs, and yet I like this deck very much. 

The structure
Unlike many oracle decks of this type, the Conscious Spirit Oracle is not just a set of nice affirmations. Kim Dreyer has included deeper esoterica which I appreciate. The elementals are represented in the Fire, Water, Earth and Air cards. There is a Sun goddess and a Moon goddess (I would have liked a sun god but you can't have everything). The 7 chakras are represented. There is a Maid card, a Mother card, and a Crone card. The archangels are there, too (Raphael and Michael, though quite androgynous, seem to be male, which is nice!) I would have liked to see more representation of masculine energy, but this is all too often too much to ask. I have no idea why. The remaining cards are typical oracle cards - Transformation, Balance, Celebrate Life, Gratitude, etc. 

The affirmations
The affirmations include a sort of call to action, which I quite like:

'I celebrate and honour my physical body through dance and movement.' 

'I respect all of nature's elemental beings and help preserve life on Earth.' 

'I speak my truth and encourage others to speak theirs.' 

'I celebrate each sunrise and recognise the healing energies of the sun.' 

Each card gets roughly 3/4 a page of text expanding upon the meaning of the affirmation. Here is an example:

Card: Crystal Ascension
Affirmation: 'I am attuned to the universal wisdom and energy of the crystal kingdom.'
LWB (excerpt): 'You are being asked to bring crystals and minerals into your personal environment. Your current environment contains too much artificial energy from material possessions, cell phones, computers and microwaves which causes imbalance in your body's energy as well as the energy within and around your home and workspace.' 

The verdict
I have been using this deck quite a bit over the last few weeks and I find it quite enjoyable to work with. I'm keeping it. If you like affirmations, crystals and chakra healing and have no aversion to frolicking nymphet artwork, try this deck!