Tag Archives: margarete petersen

Looking back on five months of “decks of the week”

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For my 100th public post on this blog I’m going to look back on the “deck of the week” project that was the reason I started blogging here again pretty much exactly five months ago. So far, I have used 21 decks in 22 weeks (17 of them have been tarots, the remaining four were oracles, one of which was a non-card oracle). I think this is totally worth a toast!

Those have been 22 very different weeks in terms of my tarot-related activities.

Sometimes, I did a lot of readings in one week, like with the Navigators Tarot of the Mystic SEA, Waking the Wild Spirit, or Deviant Moon (unfortunately, I can’t show you most of the readings here so you just have to believe me). The one thing I’ve stopped pretty soon is doing daily draws/readings. I just don’t have that many questions. As a result I currently don’t participate in exchanges all that much, and I also don’t read much for myself. I’m also doubting that readings are as interesting to the readers of this blog as they are for me (and hopefully my sitters). I may eventually go on to borrow the idea of Tarot Bonkers to read in second person or the one of Sharyn’s daily draws with more or less “impersonal” associations (and an interesting quote). Or I may try and read for fictional/historic characters that are somewhat well-known like Satu did a while ago (I especially liked the ones for Eve and Voldemort).

In other weeks I felt more like contemplating a certain aspect of the deck as a whole (e.g. gender in the Deviant Moon, flora and fauna in Waking the Wild Spirit, Hubble space telescope photos that have been used in the Quantum, the Classic suits, or relationships between men during the Renaissance inspired by the Da Vinci Enigma). That has always been fun, especially since all of these studies happened because I suddenly got curious about something…

In yet other weeks I’ve done experiments or exercises with the respective deck (e.g. rearrange furniture and write a Halloween story with the Margarete Petersen, read about Star Trek episodes with the Balbi, do a reverse tarot reading with the Songs for the Journey Home, try out unusual reading methods with the Da Vinci Enigma, chat away with the Silicon Dawn). I’ve also enjoyed those a lot, mainly because I like trying new things. I’ve come across several other great ideas for future experiments on other people’s tarot blogs, so I may use a few of them eventually.

Sometimes I read a lot of background material (like with the Discordian Deck and a little with the Da Vinci Enigma), and sometimes I read nothing but the cards. Often, I just explored individual cards and decks on the side while I was doing a reading (usually for myself). I’m aware that combined readings/card reflections aren’t the best way to present insights, so this is another aspect of this blog that may benefit from some changes.

And sometimes I just blinged the hell out of a card or two (Deviant Moon, Thoth [not a “deck of the week” yet], International Icon Tarot). I’m sure there will be other candidates for that approach.

I was surprised to discover that I wasn’t as happy as I thought when I had the chance to reconnect with old favorites (e.g. Housewives, Ironwing). This led me to the decision to focus mostly on my (nearly) unused decks in my selections for this project. I was also surprised – once again – how well I could read with non-scenic pips (Balbi, Classic, Oswald Wirth, and also the Discordian Deck), and how much I enjoyed that. Finally, I was surprised by how much I liked decks that I felt hesitant about at first (Balbi, Discordian), and how right I was about thinking I’d enjoy others (Key to the Kingdom cards, Silicon Dawn).

I once used two decks in one week (Discordian, Fantastic Menagerie) because I feared one of them (the Discordian) wouldn’t read well enough for me, but quickly noticed that not only had I erred in my assessment of this deck, I also didn’t have the time to look at two decks in just one little week. I also used one deck for three weeks (Silicon Dawn) because I had been looking forward to exploring it during my holidays and then extended the exploration for the entire duration of my time off work. I don’t plan to repeat this with another deck, but the Silicon Dawn was definitely worth it.

The main “trick” for me with this project was not to allow myself to use a different deck just because I don’t like the one I’ve picked for the week (exceptions were my short interlude with the Story Cubes, going back to the tarot deck of the previous week to fulfill an exchange agreement that I couldn’t do with an oracle, or one reading with an erotic deck for an exchange where only those decks were allowed). I found that I can get along with nearly every deck for a week (the Celtic Wisdom Sticks  were the disastrous exception, closely followed by the mess of the Northern Shadows – but I still stuck with each them until the week was over).

I have decided to let go of four of the decks I’ve used (Waking the Wild Spirit, Quantum, Celtic Wisdom Sticks, Tarot of Northern Shadows). I most regret not clicking at all with the Northern Shadows, but pretty pictures really don’t make up for incredibly sloppy research and egomania. I’m actually really glad that I managed to pick some decks for the trade/sale list since I don’t consider myself a collector for collecting’s sake. My idea still is to have a library of working decks, and I’d rather have a small one of tried and tested ones than an ever-extending one of decks I barely get out in a year. I have also acquired seven new tarots/oracles (most of them from fellow Aeclectic members) since I started the project, three of which I’ve already used.

The most-clicked post (excluding the Pagan Blog Project ones) was Bling the Deviant Moon! and the least-clicked one was Why “Deck of the Week”?. The Deviant Moon is one of the most searched-for decks, closely followed by the Margarete Petersen. Most people come here by way of a Google image search, but I hope that some of them also stay around for some of the text.

So far, the project has been totally worthwhile. It kept me using my decks and it made me explore new ones that I hadn’t used before. A week seems a good time to get at least a basic idea of a deck and its compatibility with me, so I’ll stick to that schedule. Anything less would be stressful, and anything more would make me procrastinate because there’d always be next week… Since I’m easily bored, a good deal of variety is key to sticking with something for an extended period of time. I’ve found a lot of interesting things to do with a tarot (or oracle) deck, and I’m sure I won’t run out of ideas anytime soon.

I also have a question or two for you readers (feel free to answer any or all of them):

  • What kinds of tarot/oracle posts on this blog do you like best? Why? (Excluding the ones for the Pagan Blog Project, because those are a completely different category of writing for me.)
  • How do you feel about the posts from the “reading” category, especially the ones that aren’t also “experiments”? Do you like them? Why (not)?
  • Would you like to see some other kind of tarot or oracle-related posts that I haven’t written so far? (I’m not saying I’ll fulfill any wishes but you may just inspire me!)

Please feel free to add any other comments you’d like to make about this project and my way of blogging about it. I’m very curious! I’d also like to get a better idea of your interests and preferences so I can better judge what of my writing is of public interest and what is better kept behind the scenes. After all, I don’t want to bore you!

And now all I have to say for today is: Good night!

Revisiting the new deck interview: Margarete Petersen

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Before I choose my next deck, let’s look back on this week’s first reading.

Margarete Petersen - Daughter of Feathers + Magic + Six of CoinsWhat do I need to learn from you during this week? – Daughter of Feathers (Knight of Swords)

I can’t say I found much more self-discipline this week, but I clearly recognize the need for it. A small success was taking care of three difficult phone calls without too much procrastination (the Universe made it really easy for me and had two of the people call me…).

I have also realized a few things about me and my needs in this week that I can relate to the mental clarity I can see in the martial arts picture.

How can I learn best from you?Magic (The Magician)

Interestingly, the process of reading this card mirrored my issues with this deck perfectly. I learned that I first need to go with what I see, no matter if it fits with Margarete Petersen herself writes about the card or what anyone on AT says about it. After that, however, reading what other people wrote can indeed enrich my understanding of a card.

I also believe that — like magic — this deck requires my full attention to be able to read with it best. There’s very little space for half-hearted, half-focused, or half-interested readings here. I guess that’s a good thing, although it rules out the deck for any kind of quickie readings.

Our future relationship? – Six of Coins

Give and take indeed. If I don’t give my attention, I won’t get much in the way of readings.

After this week, I can say the Margarete Petersen Tarot is a keeper for me. I can see myself using it for 1-3 card readings on issues that need more of a mirror of moods than practical, everyday world advice.

Maybe this deck needs to be discovered (nearly) as slowly as it has been created?At any rate, I’m looking forward to more explorations of these cards later on.

Rearranging furniture with the tarot

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I’m currently rearranging the furniture in my room, which also comes with a lot of sorting through, sorting out, and doing away with many accumulations of dust. In the beginning I wasn’t sure where to place two of the main elements of the room: my bed and my desk. I have a paper version of my room with all pieces of furniture I own so I don’t have to measure everything again and again when I want to move things around again (I initially made it about seven years or so and have added to it and used it plenty of times since). Visual thinkers like me need things like that. So I tried out all sorts of placements on paper but still couldn’t decide. This is when I  reached for the Margarete Petersen deck and pulled a card for the bed, one for the desk, and another one for the general rearrangement.

The Four of Cups for the desk clearly showed a window with a piece of visible sky. So the desk now goes back to the window, since that is the only place where I can directly see more than a tiny glimpse of sky (I’m on the ground floor with bushes and trees surrounding a small terrace).

The Four of Coins for the bed felt very withdrawn (in a nice way), so now the bed in back in the furthest corner of the room, with a shelf placed next to it so that a cozy little corner is created. This corner now conveniently blocks much of what I could focus on instead of sleeping. The card image also has a snake coiled around the squares in the middle of the card, which emphasizes the importance of this. The companion booklet says:

Occupy your space, establish boundaries, structure yourself, and come to rest.

The Seven of Coins for the general project has a plant, humans, bones, and lots of space, so I’m aiming for as much empty space as possible, so I can grow new things (ideas, projects, crafts…) in this room. It also feels like a spiritual card to me (maybe it’s the cave paintings?), so that’s another element that plays a big role in my rearrangements. From the companion booklet:

Growth is possible because of decay. Decay is inevitable because of growth. […] Don’t interfere; commit yourself to the process of growth.

That reminds me of how sorting through old stuff always also means looking at my own past and deciding which parts get to come with me into the future and which parts I will let go of so they can be recycled into something else, by whatever means seems appropriate.

I’m not finished with the process of the rearrangements, yet, but I have a good feeling about this. My first two night in the newly placed bed were definitely a change for the better!

A Halloween story

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Pandora MoonRaven had the brilliant idea to open a Halloween story contest on AT. Here’s what she wrote:

You can use any deck of your choice. Pull 3-5 cards randomly after shuffling. Write a Halloween story for us based off these cards. It can be spooky and full of chills and thrills or fun. Your choice.[…]
Word limit – 1500 little more wiggle room!
Submit to me by the 25th
On the 25th I will post all of the stories I have received anonymously and open it up to voting. The stories will be numbered so you will be voting on Story 1 or Story 2 etc.
Please include deck and which cards. I do think this will help because this is supposed to be fun and a learning experience for us all so if we can know what cards and the images that would be awesome.
On the 31st I will post the winners.

I decided to publish this post here now two days before the voting deadline ends because I assume it’s pretty obvious that my story was the one inspired by the Margarete Petersen deck (since I usually put my deck of the week into my AT signature).  So, hey, if you like my story best and have access to AT, feel free to give me your vote!

My story is not exactly a complete story in and of itself, but more of a scene from a larger story. It’s exactly (and absolutely coincidentally!) 666 words, though! *evil grin*

Cards on which the story is based: Five of Flames, Son of Coins, Three of Coins


The kids were fighting. Simon shoved his brother Tim out of the way. Their sister Sheila wiggled past them to the front. Everyone yelled and screamed, grabbed and pushed. Their mother Karen clasped her hands to her head in desperation. It was the same every year. All of them wanted the best spot in front of the mirror to put on their Halloween make-up, in a bathroom that was small to begin with.

As every year, after many a  “Get out of the way, moron!” and “Ouch! Keep your pointy elbows to yourself, will you?!” and “Mooo-oom! He’s using up all the black!” eventually everyone was ready to go trick-or-treating.
“Bye, Mom!”
“Have fun and don’t be mean to Mr. Snyder again! Respect that he’s not into Halloween, okay?”
“Yeah, yeah. He’s no fun anyway. Hey, Sheila, what do you think? Will the Helmerson’s have that spooky labyrinth in their house again?”
“See you later, Mom!”
And off they went.

Karen closed the door behind them. Maybe it was a good idea that the kids spent some of their boundless energy at home already. Who knew what they’d come up with otherwise once they were finally on the loose? They had been getting more and more excited with every day. Yesterday night, the three of them had all carved pumpkins together, making a big mess out of the kitchen. Especially after Sheila had thrown a piece of pumpkin at her younger brother. At least that was what she was told by an indignant Simon. Judging from the appearance of the kitchen when Karen had come home from the late shift, that had quickly developed into flying handfuls of pumpkin goo and a hurried attempt at cleaning up the worst of it before she came home. She hadn’t had the energy to do a more thorough cleaning that night, so she had just flicked off the light again.

Karen sank into her favorite old armchair with a deep sigh. How nice and quiet it was, now that the kids were gone! With three kids, the times when she had the house to herself were few and far between, so she used every opportunity to make the most of them. She put on some of her favorite meditative music and started to relax. After a few minutes, she could feel the tension trickle off her shoulders like rivulets of water. She pulled up her naked feet under her cozy blanket and snuggled deeper into the armchair, slowly drifting off into no-thinking land. Aaahhh.

After a while, she decided to get up and make herself a cup of tea. She padded into the kitchen, reached for the water cooker, turned to the sink for water, reached over to the box of tea bags on the shelf, … damn! Empty again! She stepped over to the cupboard where they kept the spare ones, and stretched to get at the box that was nearly out of her reach, having to stand on tiptoes on one leg. Who had put the box on the top shelf anyway? There, she had it. Her foot came back down, landed in something cold, wet, and mushy, she slipped, lost balance and landed on her butt. Ouch! Great. So much for cleaning up the pumpkin mess. Something cold and squishy called her attention towards her upper leg. Yuck, and it now she sat in it, too!

She got up, sighing loudly, dropped the pair of sweat pants she was wearing, and wiped off the pumpkin goo from her foot with it. That thing had to go into the laundry anyway. Looking down on herself in the harsh kitchen light, she had to admit that she really needed to go and buy some new underwear to replace the old, discolored but oh-so-comfy ones she was wearing. Maybe next weekend. She threw the bunched-up pants down the stairs towards the laundry room in the basement and bent down to pick up the box of teabags.

The doorbell rang.

New Deck Interview: Margarete Petersen

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My new deck interview this week is a bit late since I was busy all weekend.

Margarete Petersen - Daughter of Feathers + Magic + Six of Coins

What do I need to learn from you during this week? – Daughter of Feathers (Knight of Swords)

A blue woman jumping up in a karate-like kick, a blue Chinese dragon, a light blue feather.

This is a dynamic, powerful image. The martial arts references make me think of discipline in the sense of doing something over and over again until you don’t have to think about it anymore, until it has become a habit. Also in the sense of doing it regardless of your mood, doing it when you’re happy, sad, angry, bored, frustrated. Doesn’t matter, just doing it. And finding that it helps with centering, grounding, balancing yourself. (It also makes me think that I really want to see Karate Kid with a girl in the leading role.)

Discipline makes sense to me. In terms of the deck I’d say I need to read with it to learn how to read it. But a little more self-discipline wouldn’t hurt me more generally, either.

From the companion booklet comes this quote for the card, which describes what I would indeed like to be able to do at will:

Weightlessly focusing my thoughts, effortlessly reaching my goal.

How can I learn best from you?Magic (The Magician)

A face, bracing itself against the storm of colors going on around it. Harlequin checkers, bricks, snake skin, cursive writing. A moon-knife.

Brace yourself to stay centered within the storm. Look for details. Cut through to the core.

Audible breath.

Since I didn’t know what to make of this card, I decided to see if the Aeclectic study group for the deck offered something useful. I found a thread where Firemaiden said the face was supposed to be a sitar and a mask, and then went on to bring all of them together in a great insightful post. This helped me understand a lot better how the artist may have meant the card to be read, and it’s also very interesting in itself.

Then again, I myself did not see a mask, I saw a face. I did not see a sitar, and only found the bird after I read about it. I am bothered by the oppressive flat, golden square pressing down onto the head. The face looks crossed out to me by the white paint. The feeling is highly uncomfortable.

I’m not sure what to make of this for this reading, so I’ll leave this card with a question mark for now…

Our future relationship? – Six of Coins

Two hand prints, two feet prints, warm ochre, symmetry. No, make that four hand prints.

It looks as if I will try to feel myself into the deck but will remain slightly off (but still close enough). The prints could be long-term like hand printings in cave art, or short-term like footprints in the sand at the beach. So it’s not yet determined how lasting the imprint of this deck will be for me.

The two hands could be touching someone, palm-to-palm. Or they could be fending off something. It’s all very ambiguous. But maybe that is how my relationship with this deck will be? Drawn towards it and repelled at the same time? And didn’t I say the same about a certain kind of feminist spirituality in my initial post about this deck? Interesting!

Giving and taking. […] An exchange without blockages.

——-

Some of the cards are immediately readable to me, others remain incomprehensible (unless I let someone else tell me what they mean). This could be a deck that needs a lot more time than a week. After all, it was 22 years in the making, with another nine years for the companion book “Narrensprünge” which was only published last year. Frankly, that seems a ridiculously long time for any one project, an opinion which is of course informed by the fact that I myself move on from things a lot sooner (then again, 78 different cards plus a book could also be considered 79 different projects, and anyhow, who am I to judge another’s creative process?)…

I think this will be an interesting week.