Monthly Archives: November 2011

Bling the Thoth!


Prompted by a current thread on AT I created another blinged card, this time of the Thoth Tower. Instead of adding a lot of crazy colors and images to it, I decided to just animate the scene for an even greater intensity. You do have to agree that the original image seems somewhat dull in comparison… →

I will now offer the interpretation for this vastly improved and enhanced version of the card.

As you may know, many people consider the Tower a scary card with a message of sudden doom and destruction (if you’re a turkey, that probably still applies…). But let’s focus on the two kitties here because they make all the difference and bring to light some aspects of the Tower card that are often overlooked.

Witch kitty (the one who leans so nonchalantly on the cozily warm fire-spitting pipe with teeth) remains calm within the chaos because she knows there will be roasted turkey for dinner today. That teaches us that one person’s disaster is another one’s delight. So this card could tell you to call the landlord about that nice apartment next door now that the grumpy old man who used to live there has left it feet-first. Or to ask your rich cousin for a good price on her motorcycle now that she can’t ride it anymore due to the loss of her left foot. Or maybe it just means you beat the competition and win that haunted tarot deck on eBay.

Dancing kitty (whom you may already know from the blinged Deviant Moon Hermit) is safe in her field of inflammable pink glitter flowers. That teaches us about how we are not at all affected by most of the catastrophes going on around us. We remain safely ignorant of most wars, floods, droughts, famines, car accidents, plane crashes, train wrecks, terminal cancer diagnoses, positive HIV tests, and stillbirths that take place all over the globe. And that’s a good thing.  Because none of us would actually be able to stand dealing with that much disaster and destruction. We need to turn our backs on a lot of horrible things so we can keep on living and stay sane. Therefore, escapism into the field of glitter flowers isn’t always a bad thing. Everyone needs a break from the bad news at some point. This will be harder if you are a turkey and not a kitten, of course. But after Thanksgiving and Christmas are over and the next summer holidays come along, the kittens may be the ones in trouble (because people suddenly realize that kitty can’t come on the holiday, or that the cute kitten they got for Christmas has turned into a disobedient teenage tomcat). So don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re safe forever if only you pad your world with enough romance novels, computer games, or pastel-colored angel oracle cards.

Finally, there’s the new slogan “Happy Fall” which reminds us that what seems like a catastrophe today will often look like a blessing tomorrow. It tells us to look for the parts of the unwanted, sudden change that we might even be able to enjoy while the disaster is still going on. Maybe it’s feeling completely awake in a sudden crisis, or an ability to keep a clear head when every other turkey flaps their wings in panic, or finding support/companionship where you didn’t expect it, or the opportunity to try out different roles or aspects of your personality, or a knack for black humor that offers some tension relief for everyone, or… Not to mention the unexpected positive consequences of a change you didn’t choose yourself. Maybe you never would have met this or that wonderful person if things had gone differently. Maybe you never would have discovered this new talent for finding exactly the help you need or for getting things done on your very own for the first time, or maybe you just wouldn’t know how stubbornly you can keep going.

I hope I’ve been able to demonstrate how the blingified version makes it much easier to see these aspects of the Tower card.

P.S. One final interpretation for this card: If your eyes itch and burn, and your eyeballs feel as if they’re about to pop out of your head, it may be because you got some glue from your fake eyelashes into your eye.

New Deck: Tarot Classic


By way of the randon number generator: the suggestions for next week.

This is the second time that the Elemental Tarot was suggested, and I still don’t want to use it – I have no time for diving into a completely new system next week. I rejected the New Orleans Voodoo Tarot for the same reason: it’s a deck that needs more time than I can offer the coming week. That leaves the Tarot Classic, one of two Marseille reproductions I own.

Yet again, it’s deck I never read with before, but at least I already took the time to shuffle it a bit at one point. I don’t really like the color palette (too cold for my taste – I’m more of a Hadar-Dodal-Noblet type), but I’m interested in exploring another deck with non-scenic pips. I hope I’ll be able to make time for some of the exercises suggested by Sherryl E. Smith on her great website! I may or may not sneak a peek into the historical forums of Aeclectic Tarot; I may get bitten by the research bug, or I may end up exploring the deck on my own for now and saving the research for later.

The first question that popped up when I just very quickly looked through the deck was this one: Why do the Chariot, the Knight of Swords and the King of Swords have faces as epaulets on their shoulders? My answer (or the attempt thereof) will have to wait until a later date, though. Right now, I need sleep…

Tarot Classic - Faces on shoulders

Any last words, sticks?


As I did with the Quantum Tarot, I decided to ask the Celtic Wisdom Sticks for some parting words…

I got Ruis (Elder) in North.

Now that’s a nice combination that by way of some odd chain of associations basically just says one word to me: Ancestors.

Frau HolleElder is Holunder in German, also called Holler. It’s said to be dedicated to the goddess (and Brothers Grimm fairy tale character) Frau Holle (Mother Hulda, read it here), and may in fact have gotten its name from her. There are also relations from Frau Holle to a general Earth goddess, and to other Germanic/Norse goddesses like Hel or Frigg (worthwhile sources for more information: German Wikipedia, English Wikipedia). Of course, Frau Holle is also an Elder in the sense that she is a wise (and slightly scary) old woman. Since Frau Holle is a German fairy tale/mythological figure/goddess, I’m making a connection to my own German ancestors here.

ElderberriesElder is a plant that also makes me think of growing up next to a small forest because I think it was the plant that had a very distinctive and not particularly pleasant smell when cut/broken off (I never actually checked later on if that memory is accurate). But a bit of elder didn’t spoil the forest for me. European mixed forests are in fact one kind “landscape” that nearly always feels like home to me.

I also associate North with Ancestors, foundations, and the element of Earth.
After these associations of my own, let’s see what the companion book offers.

First, I learn that Ruis comes from the word “to redden” and that the elder tree is related to blushing out of anger or shame. Then I’m told that elder is “believed to be unlucky for general use” and that it “is very much a tree of endings and completions.” I could interpret that to mean that the Celtic Wisdom Sticks don’t work for “fluffy” questions, and that my time with them is actually over. Finally my smell memory is confirmed because “elder blossom has a pungent, unpleasant smell” (so it’s not the wood but the flowers).

Here’s the actual quote for Ruis in North:

Give bounteously from your store of good things.
The goods, gifts, and resources that make you who you are need to be used. If they are kept for some mythical rainy day, their beauty fades, their savour sours. You may possess the very thing that is required at this moment — the lack of this thing or quality may make a great difference to the lives of many.
Question: In what ways is your innate bounty being called upon?

That ties in with another reading I got today, and with a project I have just started. I also believe it tells me that there’s no sense in keeping this oracle just in case I ever find myself in the situation of needing this and none other. Instead, I should pass it on — which fits well with my idea of gifting the set to someone else instead of selling or trading it.

At least we part on talking terms, so that’s a nice final note.

Celtic Fail Sticks


— I have no idea why this ended up in my drafts only but not on my blog… I’m sure I eventually clicked “publish”! Oh well. So I’m posting this a bit late (should have gone up on November 25 already).
Edited to add: I’ve changed back the posting date now, so the posts are in chronological order. –

Two days ago, I wrote this about the Celtic Wisdom Sticks:

Hmmm… So far, I’m not quite sure what to make of the Celtic Wisdom Sticks. To me, it’s not an oracle that works out of the box but one that requires at least the study of the companion book, if not ogham and Celtic tree lore as such.
Also, the application of the oracular text snippets seems rather limited. Or maybe the oracle just doesn’t deal with non-crucial matters. Or maybe I just can’t interpret it very well.
At any rate, I’d rather go for a straight-forward bibliomancy reading than for the somewhat complicated method of picking a stick, determining the direction to go with it, look up the oracular text bit, and then interpret that. Or, as is suggested in the book (haven’t tried that methods yet), picking a stick, reading the accompanying quatrain (four lines of rhyming text), and then entering that scene via guided meditation to arrive at the answer. I’m not patient enough for that kind of thing. Especially not when it comes to everyday questions/matters – and I wouldn’t use the Celtic Wisdom Sticks for any major issues anyway.
I don’t think I’ll be keeping this oracle after the week is over because I’m pretty sure I won’t be using it again.

So maybe I wasn’t particularly open from the get-go. In addition to that, I managed to do only one reading for someone else this week. Which was a total fail on my part (I’m just glad the reading wasn’t about something major for the sitter!).

At first, I had to make up my mind about how to actually read this oracle for someone else, since I have this rule that I can’t go off Wikipedia-ing the night away when I read for others. I finally decided on this method: I pulled one stick each for the two spread positions from the bag and then used the indicator stick to get a direction associated with each one. Then I consulted the companion book for the bit of text associated with the draw and interpreted that. I found that the little text snippets didn’t seem to fit the question (which was rather light hearted and about “fun”) very well. But since I don’t know any other method of reading with this oracle (outside of seriously studying up on ogham and Celtic tree lore – which may just be what’s required to be able to leave the companion book aside), I just winged it.

Well, that sealed the fate of the Celtic Wisdom Sticks for me – I don’t think I’ve been THAT off ever before with any kind of divination. Even if the sticks merely refuse to reply to such light-hearted questions and would read great on a deeper issue, they’re just not a good match for me and my reading style.

Which is why I’m choosing the next deck(?) early this week…

First reading with the Celtic Wisdom Sticks


I pulled one of the Celtic Wisdom Sticks to see what this oracle has to offer me for this week.

I drew Saille (Willow) and got East on the indicator stick. Before I go and read the text in the companion book, here are a few words about my associations with both the tree and the direction.

Willow is a feminine tree to me, and it makes me think of the moon although I couldn’t say why exactly. It may be something I picked up somewhere. I’m also thinking of weeping willows and the Whomping Willow from the Harry Potter novels which I find a nice twist on the concept. We actually have a willow tree in front of our house. It is a favorite spot for the squirrels that live around here. I also know that willow bark contains some substance that is similar to aspirin. Wikipedia tells me (among other interesting things) it’s effective against fever and aches and that it’s called “salicylic acid,” from the plant genus Salix. Apparently, there are also members of the same tree family called sallows. All these terms seem linguistically related to the word saille. Then there’s a Bach flower essence from willow which seems to be related to feelings of self-pity for a perceived lack of success and the treatment thereof.

East as a direction symbolizes new beginnings to me, and is associated with the element of air.

Together, these two could be about a new start in some or all of these areas.

The book confirms some of the above information and reminds me that willows grow best in wet areas. For Saille in East it gives me this bit of oracular text.

It is time to conclude some plans and to let other things go.

The availability of time together with the opportunity to finalize a project is often lacking because energies are stretched. In order to reach completion, non-essentials often have to be dropped. Regardless of a sense of things unfinished, now is not a time to complicate matters, but an opportunity to focus on conclusions.

Question: What essential factors can be finalized?

Interesting how this focuses on conclusions rather than the beginnings I thought of! There are a couple of things I have been putting off (not concluding), mostly because I wanted to do them right, not just do them any old way. I can see how that kind of perfectionism may stand in the way of finishing things.

I’m a bit disappointed that the book offers so little in terms of tree lore, especially when it comes to any traditional associations. Then again, there still seems to be some debate as to whether ogham has traditionally been used as an oracle at all, so that could explain the lack. I really need to read the introductory chapters of the book and find out more about ogham…

I’m not yet sure what to make of this as an oracle. It doesn’t seem to offer instant “aha” moment like many illustrated things. I believe I need to gain some more experience with a question that makes it easier to check meaningfulness. I also may need to get used to this particular kind of non-visual and highly symbolic oracle. The whole reading procedure reminds me of a simplified I Ching reading, so that could be an interesting comparison (not that I have much experience with the I Ching, mind you).