Category Archives: other

I think I’m back…

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My last post is almost a month old?! Wow. I certainly didn’t plan to drop out of blogging for that long…

But now that some things in my life that distracted me from blogging have been wrapped up for good, I want to get back into the swing of things here.

Here’s the plan.

I eventually want to catch up on the Pagan Blog Project letters I missed. That would be K, L, and M. I also want to continue with the PBP more or less on schedule, so the missed letter posts will appear among the new ones I write. I’m saying this even though I know that spirituality and tarot have moved from their front and center position in my mind a while ago, and I’m not sure when they will return there. But since I have a lot more time now, I hope to still be able to come up with a spirituality-related topic per week to think about in writing.

I’m also continuing the Deck of the Week project because there are still many tarot decks and some oracles in my collection that have never been used so far. I’ll be picking a new deck in my next post now…

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New Deck: Wheel of Change Tarot

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Okay, I have to confess that I didn’t even try to read with the Shaman’s Oracle this week. Since I only picked the deck on Monday and then went on to have a very busy week I probably shouldn’t be surprised…
Normally, I’d just wait for the weekend to catch up, but this isn’t possible this week since I’ll go away for an all-weekend class tomorrow. Unfortunately, the Shaman’s Oracle really doesn’t feel like the right deck to accompany me. One of the reasons is that it definitely doesn’t strike me as an all-purpose deck.

So I decided to put it back on the list for a later chance (sorry to everyone who was hoping to see the deck in action this week!) and pick a new deck for the weekend and next week (where I’ll be away from home again) tonight. These are my random number-generated suggestions:

Strangely enough, these three decks were on my alphabetical deck list right next to each other (I listed them here in the order they were suggested).

Hm… Wheel of Change Tarot it is.

I used the deck a few times so far and found it nicely readable. I like the artwork,although it looks rather busy at first. But with a little bit of focus on each card, that busyness becomes images with a lot of details to discover. I still debate if I like the way different races/ethnicities/cultures are depicted. My first impression is a good one, but sometimes a closer and more critical look brings up issues that didn’t jump at me at first glance (which I attribute mostly to being in a position of privilege in terms of race/ethnicity, which often acts as a default blinder unless it’s consciously reflected)…

Since the companion book is massive, I’m definitely not taking it with me on my travels. It does have some interesting background explanations of what we see on the cards, but I don’t particularly enjoy the preachy tone of “this is how you should live your life, these are the issues you should care about, this is the utopia you should dream of and strive for.” Not even in those places where I agree with the creator.

All in all, I’m looking forward to exploring the deck some more, and hopefully also a bit more in-depth.

(By the way, this weekend-class also means it will be Monday before I am realistically able to sit down to write something that requires more than a flicker of thought. Which means, the next installment of the Pagan Blog Project will happen then.)

New Deck: Shaman’s Oracle

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After a slightly extended week with Shelley, Bride of Frankendecken Tarot, it’s time to get back to the random number generator. Here are this week’s suggestions:

I think I’ll finally do the Shaman’s Oracle this week. It has been suggested a couple of times by now and it’s the one that seems most appealing from this list. My copy is trimmed so that only the card title remains.

I’ve only read a few times with this oracle, and always in a strictly “intuitive” way. Which is helped by my very, very limited knowledge about rock art. I hope I will find some time to learn a bit more about this topic, but I won’t get my hopes up too much for the work week ahead. (Especially since I didn’t even post a single “K” entry for the Pagan Blog Project in the past two weeks and definitely want to get back into the swing of things here with something interesting for “L” this week…)

Tarot spread for partners of transgender people

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A while ago, I found a tarot spread for transgender people (designed by nami) that dealt with their transition. I was immediately inspired to create a spread for partners of transgender people so they can check as well how any changes might impact them. Now I’m finally sitting down to do just that.

At first, I wanted to make one huge spread that included all potential steps and aspects of a transition. But that quickly seemed overwhelming and not very useful, especially since we’re talking about quite a long period of time here (let’s face it, transitioning is a rather drawn-out process, even if you’re lucky, and how we feel about things may well change during the process). So I decided to make a general spread that can be used for whatever is the next step someone’s transgendered partner is considering/going to take. You could still use it to read about the transition in general, though.

I strongly suggest not mixing this spread with questions about how to best support your partner, but to do a separate reading on that after you’ve clarified where you stand yourself.

This is because I’m operating on the assumption (drawn from my own experience and observations) that partners of trans people are most often cast only in the combined roles of supporter, sounding board, caretaker, cheerleader, main gender identity confirmer, and general safe haven (if we are cast in a positive light, that is). There is often very little space for us to talk about our own issues with our partner’s transition, especially if we feel less than cheerful about certain aspects of it. In fact, if we voice the slightest question or criticism, we often find ourselves being accused of being transphobic and unsupportive.

Therefore I would like to acknowledge that trans partners often find ourselves in a position where we decide to stay with a partner through their transition (or at least start out the process with them) and then are subject to a whole list of unforeseen side effects of that decision, not all of which are fun and easy for us (even if they are a reason to celebrate for our partners). We may have doubts or fears or even plain old stupid prejudices, and we need to work through that in our own ways for the sake of our own health and sanity (and also occasionally for the sake of our relationships). Even if we are wholeheartedly supportive of the transition and the changes it’s bringing, we may still have things to say goodbye to and grieve about. I hope this tarot spread is one more resource that is useful for doing just this kind of work.

That said, I believe the spread can easily be adapted to be of use to a trans person themselves. Of course it could also be adapted for friends, family, or other people in the trans person’s environment who want to reflect on their own role in the process (in that case, you might want to change position 5 to something else or leave it out altogether). All it takes for either adaptation is a few changes to the wording of the spread positions.

So, here it finally is. The spread for dealing with your trans partner’s next transition step.

The layout is shaped like an arrow to emphasize that transitioning is a process, not a fixed state.

—–9—–
—7–8—
3–4–5–6
—–2—–
—–1—–

You could also lay it out sideways:

——-3——
——-4–7—
1–2———9
——-5–8—
——-6——

  1. This symbolizes the next step of your partner’s transition (e.g. dressing differently, name/pronoun change, taking hormones, having surgery) seen through your eyes.
  2. How you can best prepare for the next step.
  3. How this step affects your sense of identity/how you feel about yourself.
  4. How this step affects how you feel about your partner/your relationship.
  5. How this step affects your sexuality/desire (for your partner and/or generally).
  6. How this step affects your relation to the community (draw more than one card if there is more than one important community/family/group that is relevant here).
  7. What you can do to best take care of your own needs while this next step is happening.
  8. Where you will find support as you deal with the changes that the next step brings.
  9. Summary of where the next step is going to take you.

I’d love to hear what you think, even if you’re neither transgender yourself nor a partner or loved one of a trans person. Is this spread useful to do what I meant it to do? Is an important aspect lacking? Are there spread positions that could be renamed or removed? Is this applicable to a wide range of trans people’s partners (because a lesbian whose girlfriend transitions into a life as a man will find herself in a different situation with different concerns than a married woman whose husband transitions into life as a woman)? What do you think?

Dressing the Dirty Tarot

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If I don’t have time to read with the Dirty Tarot, let alone blog about it, I can at least show off the patchwork bag I made for it, right?

One of the nicest things about patchwork for me is that the pieces of fabric all come with their own context. Some are rather old fabric samples my father brought home when we were kids, others are scraps from other sewing projects or altered pieces of clothing, some have been bought specifically with tarot bags in mind, yet others have been rescued from the garbage can at a previous job. And all these backgrounds and stories come together to make something new.

I also remember that I listened to several of This American Life podcasts while I made the bag.

I originally planned to add hand stitching, but since I first have to learn how to do that in a way that looks nice, you have to imagine it for the time being.

I think the hippie-esque patchwork goes well with the deck, although the cards are a bit grittier than the bag suggests.

Here’s a picture of the spread-out deck with the closed bag next to it and the little pink book in the middle of the photo.

I much enjoy the handmade feel of both of them, including all imperfections and irregularities.

So maybe I don’t have to learn how to do pretty stitching after all and can just find out how this or that stitch works by applying it to this bag. I believe this would be much in the spirit of the Dirty Tarot.

And now I totally want to get out my sewing machine again and make more bags. Probably not patchwork ones, though, or at least not in this style.