Tag Archives: metamorphosis

Concluding with the Metamorphosis


I just did my last reading for this week with the Tarot of Metamorphosis. This one is a definite keeper for all its delightful weirdness and shapeshifting. In some ways it reminded me of my early explorations with the Manara Tarot because that one also blew all the RWS standard imagery and interpretations right out of my mind and made room for some great experiments that yielded very valuable insights.

The readings this week felt noticeably longer and more detailed than the ones I did during my weeks with the Tarot Classic and the Oswald Wirth Tarot. I felt more compelled to explore the images in their entirety than I did with the equally busy Navigators Tarot. But it felt right, so there are no complaints.

I also played a bit in the Tarot Dominoes thread on AT this week, which made me at least glance at many more cards than came up in this week’s readings. I can heartily recommend that game as a way to get to know your deck in a lighthearted way. (I imagine it might also make a great party game for a bunch of tarot collectors who could then literally lay out the matching cards – maybe even leaving it to the next person to find something their card has in common with the previous one. But that’s another post. ;))

Speaking of reading, I downloaded Ovid’s Metamorphoses* onto my Kindle but didn’t read a single line of it. I still imagine it might be a fun project to actually read all the books and myths referenced within this deck. It could also make a great study deck.

But no matter how much potential there is left untapped, our week is over and we must say goodbye for now. I’m definitely looking forward to working with this deck again!

* There are several sources offering different translations of the text. There’s also a BBC Radio 4 podcast about Greek myths for those who’d rather listen than read.


Reading for astronautica (Metamorphosis)


This is another reading posted with permission from the person I read for. This was her question.

I would love a reading about my current work situation, and the longevity of my job.

After I cautioned her that I usually don’t do timing questions and therefore seriously lack practice in that area (so any advice in that department needed to be taken with a grain of salt), I did the reading with another spread-less pull of three cards.

Eight of Swords – Three of Wands – The Fool

The first card is obviously inspired by the cricket scene in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Alice is holding a flamingo with an overly long neck. Its head is caught between two branches of a small, possibly dead tree. Around them are melting clocks like in Salvador Dalí’s famous painting “The Persistence of Memory.” The White Rabbit is checking his pocket watch, and Alice’s legs are melting, too, which may expain her shocked expression.
I believe this captures the atmosphere at your current job. There’s a lot of time pressure, you feel you’re losing your footing, and there’s catch you may not even have noticed yet. It’s all pretty overwhelming and probably also rather confusing. You may feel as if there are rules to the whole “game” that nobody has bothered to explain to you or that simply don’t make any sense to you. Nevertheless, you keep going and doing the best you can because what else is there to do right now?

The next card has an elephant turning from a stine statue into a living animal. I read this as a well-established structure starting to change drastically. I’m also wondering if this is related to the elephant as a symbol of Republican (or more generally conservative) politics that may be influencing you situation?

There is a little yellow fire sprite in the card which feels like a cheerful source of inspiration, literally lighting fires in people’s heads and hearts.

The Fool card has a similar sprite, but this one is green. It comes zooming out of the Fool’s red heart, suggesting happiness and optimism to me. The Fool himself is a marionette with very loose strings perched on a wolf’s nose. Behind him is the Hindu Sri Yantra, a symbol of balanced energies. This Fool is about to jump forward and we don’t know if anything will catch his fall (are the strings attached to anything?). But he has made his choice, he’s following his heart and his head (both are glowing with light). To me, this feels like a surprisingly peaceful card.

Especially with the last two cards I would say your job situation is about to change again in the foreseeable future (which you may expect already if I correctly read between the lines of your question). It may be scary and disruptive at first; you may well feel both anger and fear about it. But it will also enable you to find a new kind of calm within you that will make all the difference. The moment you embrace and fully accept the change, you may just find yourself trusting yourself that you’ve made the right choices and trusting the Universe that all will go well. This could lead to exactly the kind of new beginning you need.

I’m not getting any strong impressions about timing here, so what follows is VERY tentative. That means, please don’t base any major decisions solely on what I say here. Going from the predominant colors and sparse landscape of the middle card, I’d say that the cause for the change may start to take effect while it’s still winter, but the actual change for you will happen in spring at the earliest (the Fool’s colors feel rather spring-like to me).

I hope this reading is useful for you in some way! Please let me know if I can clarify any aspects of it. :)

Calculating transformations


Today I came across these great math-inspired spreads by Kiki (Tarot Dame) again and decided to finally try out a few of them. No questions, no topic, just to see what stories come up.

A + B = C

Eight of Wands
+ Three of Wands
= King of Pentacles

A field of erupting volcanoes and a raging stone elephant coming alive atop yet another surface about to crack with heat, both of which are accompanied with flying fire sprites, result in a starship castle that looks like a huge war machine. I’m thinking of the idiom “fighting fire with fire” here, of escalating violence and destruction (will Earth be ultimately unsuitable for housing human beings?). The first two cards seem very similar to me, with the third as a much multiplied version of it, so I take the sequence to mean “more of the same will result in more of the same.”

A – B = C

The Chariot
– Queen of Pentacles
= Two of Swords

A centaur-like creature with two female torsos and heads carries a male human figure. He’s pulling the hair of one of the heads as well as fondling the butt of the creature, which results in resistance and protest. The other head is looking away, looking almost disassociated. If we take away the female (physical and mental) strength/power from this scene, we are left with a maleness that is outdated, narcissistic, and way too self-referential. I’m surprised – is the Tarot of Metamorphosis a feminist? Or is that just me, reading it?

Okay, one more.

(A-B) + C = D

(Four of Wands – Queen of Wands) + Ten of Pentacles = The Magician

An angel enclosed in a narrow space made by four trees whose branches intertwine. Remove a big splash of water and the humanoid energy from this rather sunny card. I suppose that leaves us with mostly dry wood and loose feathers. What once was a cage or prison is now empty and could be a source of energy (firewood?). Now add fiery energy that is bursting from an egg-like steel shell resting on angular branches. And we get – hallucinations? Or maybe not… I’m most struck by the way the Magician’s right hand is bound by a piece of heavy metal machinery. What responsibility or code of honor holds him down? At the same time, landscapes are created from his mind and body, which tells me his powers influence or even make his surroundings. So, if we stop feeding what limits us, and add a spurt of “fire,” we may just end up with everything we need to change our world.

Interesting! Using the cards like this seems mostly like a mental exercise or a creativity device to me, to come up with ways that make our calculations make sense. I imagine it could be a great way to become more familiar with all the different relationships between certain cards. Since the result is also given in a card, the focus lies on making the story come together (not on finding the result).

A variation of this exercise could be to draw just two (or three) cards to add to each other or subtract one from the other, and then look through the deck to find a card that makes sense to us as a result of this calculation.

Reading for Wendy (Metamorphosis)


I was granted permission to post this reading I did for a friend yesterday. I’ve exchanged a few readings with her over the years we’ve known each other. This was her question:

Can you (one more time …..) read about my exceptionally troubled relationship with my sister? I don’t think I can develop a proper relationship between us (we’ve had over 50 years and still haven’t managed it), but I’d like to learn how to live with the pain that her absence causes, and how I cope with seeing her train wreck of a life without stressing myself silly about it?

Let me start by saying that I don’t remember any details of the last reading I did for you on the relationship with your sister (which must have been quite a while ago), so this is practically a “new” question for me in terms of this reading (I tend to forget readings very quickly independent of who got them – which probably helps me to avoid inserting my own opinions, even though it may sound a bit harsh at first).

I decided to just draw three cards and see what they tell me. No spread, no LWB, no previous reading with the deck this week.

Three of Wands – Nine of Swords – Ten of Wands

The predominant color is blue, with some purple/pink. The other colors are brown, gray, and little bits of yellow. But there is fire underneath the gray rock of the left card, and a light yellow spirit rises from it. I see that as your warm emotions for your sister, your desire for a better relationship, even if you believe there’s no hope for actually achieving it. But no matter how destructively the elephant bull stomps around, he can’t extinguish that fire. The idea(l) of a better relationship keeps popping up like a dandelion between concrete blocks.

At the same time, the warmth coming up from the fire may be what enrages the elephant further because it’s not helping with his wish to be stone, to not feel it. I associate this with your sister because your question has me believe you’re the one whose wish for a better relationship is the greater one (or you just took more steps trying to make that happen). Is it possible that she finds your attempts at turning warmly towards her disrupting of whatever story she is telling herself about the world in general and your family in particular?

Also, they say that elephants don’t forget, so we’re dealing with some old, old stuff here. Since it’s an elephant bull, could your father (or other male authority figure in your family constellation) be part of what lies at the bottom of your conflict?

Let’s look at the right card now. Interestingly, it also shows an animal that looks like animated rocks moving towards the middle card. This time it’s a huge fish-island with trees on its back. Three little figures sit on top of it, and one of them is holding the reins to direct the fish. I’m thinking of Finnish or Norwegian lakesides here, and I’ve also seen rocks like that in Canada – I associate peace and happiness with them. The figures seem like gnomes/elves/pixies (not sure of the right term) to me. I’m wondering if there is another sibling except the two of you because the middle figure looks so “half-baked,” not quite as present as the other two? I’m also associating this with your childhood, which emphasizes what I said earlier about this being really old stuff.

Compared to the angry elephant who rages against being woken up from his numbness/rigor, the fish seems happy to have come alive and to be moving. The energy here is curious, maybe a bit adventurous, cheerful, and optimistic. I believe this card represents your own attitude/personality. You’d rather move an entire mountain than getting stuck in a place that doesn’t feel right to you. I also believe you have kept your optimism and hope for better times, even if things are developing very slowly.

The middle card shows a portrait of a young man, which is dissolving at the bottom and turning into a demonic face. This makes me think that much of the conflict is about images you two have of each other. Have you been required to keep up a facade (maybe of the family when you were growing up?) when things were “melting down” on the inside? I also see disappointment and maybe also fear because the nice young man is turning into a demon here – could that be how you perceive your sister? The portrait is facing the right card, so I believe this is mostly about your perception rather than hers.

Someone is shining a spotlight onto the melting portrait, which I take to mean that it’s illuminating (exposing?) things that have stayed hidden before. Your sister clearly isn’t liking that much, but for you have a need to see what’s actually there, as opposed to what you want to see.
At the same time, I’m not sure the demon is even real. Meaning, I’m not sure your sister really is what she appears to be these days (the “trainwreck life” you mentioned). Could this be just a distortion of her “true” personality, perhaps as an attempt to protect herself from further pain? I’m not saying she’s not lashing out and being destructive. Just that her personality may be different from her actions. Can you tell if she still means well, even if she goes about it completely ass-backwards?

But you were asking about how to cope better with the situation. Parts of the answer may be in what I said earlier about separating the person and her actions (I’m reminded how a friend used that image recently when she spoke about forgiveness). Maybe it might be a good time to examine your own idea(l)s of what exactly makes “a proper relationship” between sisters. Where do your ideals come from? Does your sister even agree with them? Are there parts of them that are painful to either/both of you?
For me, the foundation of this whole conflict seems buried in your family’s past (at least as far as your own childhood/youth, maybe much further back to ancestors of yours). It’s something to do with image and imagination, putting up fronts and what’s behind them, secrets leaking out – stuff like that.

I believe you may benefit from understanding more about why it’s (currently?) so impossible for the two of you to have the relationship you wish you had. I also believe that you may have to go back into the past to find the “lever” to move your own “world.” If things are moving, however, they are going to do so very slowly. At least on your side.

And finally, you may find that the best thing you can do for both of you is to keep a safe distance. You don’t want the elephant go ripping out the trees from the fish’s back. Are there any good times the two of you had together? If so, can you focus on having had them instead of not having them now? If not, who else could give you the feeling of sisterhood you miss so much?

Sheesh, that was a big stream of words! Quite a change from the rather curt and to-the-point readings I got from the last two decks with non-scenic pips… I also admit I was surprised how much went into what to me felt like analysis of the status quo and some of its possible causes rather than into perspectives for the future. I also can’t quite shake the feeling that there’s more but I wasn’t able to see it clearly enough to put it into words.
I hope there’s still something useful in here for you! I’m happy to clarify or re-do the reading if this isn’t helpful. :)

New Deck: Tarot of Metamorphosis


These are the suggestions for next week’s deck, as always determined by using a random number generator:

After the first two I wondered if this would be a choice between three Lo Scarabeo decks… I quickly ruled out the Druid Plant Oracle because I feel like using a tarot this week. I’m a little more familiar with the Fey Tarot, so I picked the Tarot of Metamorphosis to use. That seems to fit well with the ongoing period of change I’m in.

First impressions:

There are quite a few art (René Magritte, Salvador Dalí, Hieronymus Bosch), myth (the Minotaur, Icarus, Narcissus, Sisyphus, King Midas, the Golem), and literature (Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Pinocchio, Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray) references I recognize. I’m sure there are a lot more. After looking at the LWB I now know that there is a Greek/Roman myth for each Cups card and a book/art reference for all Swords cards. The LWB also offers a small reading list which could be fodder for at least a month. As small as it is, the LWB seems to offer some very interesting starting points for interpretations.

The color range is a bit too much on the pastel and blue/violet/green side of things for my taste, but I generally like the art styles used in the deck.

All in all it seems like a deck that could inspire some interesting explorations into art, myth, and literature on the theme of transformation/metamorphosis. I’m sure it can be approached in a rather cerebral way to be more of a study. I’m equally sure it can be read completely intuitively by just looking at the pictures. I’m curious to find out how my own balance between the two will look like at the end of the week.

Finally, I’m convinced this deck could inspire creative works itself. Some of the scenes really call for making up the story around them!