Joy is our wrangler. I just got to hug Joy’s neck this past Monday because I was in Denver. 😀 So I’m starting this out with a happy heart. She’s asked us to do another musical blog hop like last time. Well, sort of like last time. I didn’t get to do the last one as I was at Readers Studio. Seems like I’ve been traveling a lot.
Or as my husband says, “I’ve been everywhere, man. I’ve been everywhere.” He and I are prone to quoting songs off-the-cuff. He quotes them correctly. I am just as likely to say “I love industry” as “Islands in the Stream” so don’t quote me! Also, I think every rock song is by Bon Jovi. I am much better at pre-80’s music.
Our task was to choose from a long list of possibilities. I decided to match up some (not all) of the Court cards with songs. I’m not doing all because I’m hoping you will add your suggestions in the comments. Homework is a must since I am teaching summer school this year complete with candles, rituals, and spells. Oh, and Tarot too.
Driving home from Denver, I had my music on shuffle. It went from Loreena McKinnett to Trisha Yearwood to The Commodores to Annie Lennox. I had a lot of fun trying to decide which court card went to which song.
So the Knight of Cups was easiest for me. He’s got to be Take Me To The River (my version is Annie Lennox although I also have Forrest Sawyer’s version too.)
Washing me down, washing me
Hug me, squeeze me, love me, tease me
Till I can’t, till I can’t, till I can’t take no more of it
Take me to the water, drop me in the river
Push me in the water, drop me in the river
Washing me down, washing me down
I don’t know why I love you like I do
All the troubles you put me through
Sixteen candles there on my wall
And here am I the biggest fool of them all
Then I figured that the passionate Queen of Wands would be a perfect fit for Heaven, Heartache, and The Power Of Love by Trisha Yearwood.
They say up in Heaven the streets are gold
Once you get past the Pearly Gates
And the angels are singin’
At the top of a dove white staircase
And I say heartache can burn you down like hell
Leave you beggin’, “Baby, please don’t go”
‘Til you’re scrapin’ rock bottom
And cryin’ in a deep dark hole
Oh, and love can make you fly like a rocket
Put you on top of the world
I’m talkin’ ’bout
Heaven is where I hope I’m goin’
Heartache, that’s where I’ve been
Heaven, heartache and the power of love
Last, but certainly not least is the King of Coins who must be All The Gold In California by the Gatlin Brothers.
All the gold in California
Is in the bank in the middle of Beverly Hills
In somebody else’s name.
So if you’re dreamin’ about California,
It don’t matter at all where you’ve played before.
California’s a brand-new game.
Tryin’ to be a hero, winding up a zero,
Can scar a man forever right down to your soul.
Living on the spotlight can kill a man outright
‘Cause everything that glitters is not gold.
All the gold in California
Is in the bank in the middle of Beverly Hills
In somebody else’s name.
So if you’re dreamin’ about California,
It don’t matter at all where you’ve played before.
California’s a brand-new game.
So, what about you? What are your songs for court cards? Maybe Taylor Swift’s Love Story for the Page of Cups? Leave me a comment. Tell me what you think. And please, come check out summer school! I’d love to see you in class.
I collect and sell decks. These range from card decks to Tarot to Lenormand to Kipper to Oracle and more. If a deck is new in box, it will be marked NIB. I do my best not to undersell someone’s deck. By that I mean, if the deck is still available from the creator, I will do my best to price in line with their pricing.
I do mark things as 1st or 2nd edition (or whatever that might be.) On some I do not know. I will be uploading images as well for each deck. If you see a deck that you would like more pictures of, just let me know. I will NOT open NIB decks. Sealed is sealed.
75 Angel Cards
This deck can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/Angel-Cards-Dreams-Signs-Meditation-Traditional-Angels/dp/2923097602
Available Qty: 1
7. A. D. Kickstarter Limited Edition
I know very little about these. https://www.facebook.com/saintedlogo is the maker. They are Christian in nature. My research leads me to believe they are designed to teach children a Christian version of history. PICTURE SHOWN IS NOT THE CARDS THAT I HAVE. I used an image from his website.
Available Qty: 1
20th Century Tarot
20th Century Tarot by Kevin G. Burne. 1970. Skor-Mor Corp. Boxed Set with Instructions and Tarot Deck. The deck consists of 78 black and white cards (5 inches x 2 3/4 inches), with the minor arcana illustrated by the symbols only of the suit-- similar to a Marseille tarot deck. A 24 page booklet accompanies the deck, with instructions on how to lay the cards out, along with definitions of the cards.
This is my junk drawer category. Here you will find everything that doesn’t fit one of my other categories. Most of this will be things out of boxes I got at auction. I tend to want one or two things but get the whole box. So, if you see something you like, snag it. In this category I am very open to OBO’s (Or Best Offer.) Please email me at readings AT tarotbyarwen.com if you want to talk price.
A bunch of ceramic cows. There's two sets of Salt&Pepper shakers (I was so tempted to keep the one on the far right!). It is as you see it. Very shabby chic. OBO
NOTE: THERE IS SHIPPING! I will calculate it for you if you like. Email me.
Available Qty: 1
Set of Old Bottles (6)
Six old bottles got at an auction. These include (l-r) Wesson Oil (includes golf tees, lol), unknown, brown jug (screw-on lid), Falstaff 12 oz, Mountain Dew with screw-on cap, unknown. SHIPPING WILL BE FIGURED FOR YOU. THERE IS A SHIPPING COST. 😀 OBO
Available Qty: 1
I do not know what this is. Some guesses are oil filter tool, tire removing tool...those are the husband. My guesses are turning off/on thingy. I WIN. Do you know what it is? Clicking on images will open up HUGE image files. Huge, I tell you.
NOTE: I am guestimating shipping. I will have it weighed and either refund you the overpayment or invoice you for the remaining.
Available Qty: 1
This is a cute family of chihuahuas that came in an auction box. They are 2.5" (two and a half inches) tall. They are made out of resin. There is no maker mark on them. I believe them to be just some little tchotchke from a random gift store. Will you give them a good home? OBO
Here are my stones for sale. All stones are cleansed by me but not charged. If you would like them charged, please indicate that in the PayPal notes area. I do not charge extra for charging. When I charge, I am charging for the purpose of the stone’s energy to sync with your energy. You can see larger (okay, freaking HUGE) images by clicking on the thumbnail.
Chevron Amethyst Obelisk
Both of these are 3" in height. The coloration is stunning in both. Please allow me to pick for you. Each piece is cleansed and can be charged at your request. Amethyst is known as the drunkard's stone and is said to prevent alcohol addiction. It is also known to ward off nightmares.
Available Qty: 2
Rose Quartz Spheres
These rose quartz spheres come with stands. The spheres are about 1" in diameter. Some are very light in color. Please allow me to choose one for you. They are cleansed and can be charged.
Available Qty: 10
Labradorite Obelisks (Unpolished) Large
These are unpolished Labradorite obelisks. Each one is three inches high minimum. The Chihuahua statue is 2.5" high. You can see fire and flash in these when held in light but it is not as evident as it might be in a highly polished piece. Please allow me to choose one for you. Each is cleansed and can be charged by request.
Available Qty: 4
Eight Unakite Obelisk. For me, Unakite is a stone of the heart chakra (pink and green.) I use it for balancing heart energy so my emotions are kept in check. It is also called Orange Flower Stone. Please allow me to choose for you. The Chihuahua statue is about 2.5" tall. All stones are cleansed and can be charged upon request.
Available Qty: 8
Golden (Brown) Tiger's Eye Spheres
Six Tiger's Eye Spheres. These are really pretty in terms of OOOOH shiny! Please allow me to choose one for you. I will charge it if you request it. They are cleansed.
Available Qty: 5
Lapis Lazuli Spheres
Lapis Lazuli Spheres. All are cleansed. I will charge yours if you like. Just let me know when you purchase. Please allow me to choose for you.
Available Qty: 8
Red Tiger Eye Sphere
Three polished red tiger eye spheres. Please allow me to choose for you. These have been cleansed but not charged. If you have a specific charging request, just let me know in the notes. The largest is just under 1" (one inch) in diameter. They have a lovely chatoyancy to them.
Here are my current eCourses. These are all self-paced unless otherwise noted (by a start date and finish date.) You sign up as you like and do the work as you can. Many of my courses, if not all, have accompanying Facebook groups. You will receive a link to those when you subscribe.
Hey, y’all. Welcome to the TarotBlogHop for Imbolc 2018. Our intrepid wrangler is my friend, Aisling. She is an extraordinary woman. Aisling’s challenged us with a triple spread. Before we start, did you know that the Tarot Blog Hop’s first hop was Imbolc 2012? Yep, it’s been that long!
Here’s what Aisling says,
“We are calling this Hop “Brighid’s Blue Moon”. This festival is a “trifecta”, a combination of three significant events on a single date. February 1st is “Imbolc”, meaning “In the Belly”, the festival dedicated to Brighid of the Three Fires, who brings life back to Land, Sea, and Sky after winter’s doldrums have passed. But on Imbolc Eve, the day before the festival, we will see a Full Moon, which is also a Blue Moon, the second Full Moon in a calendar month. Therefore, we are celebrating a “Solilune”, a combination of a Solar and Lunar Festival, and it’s dedicated to a Deity who Herself is represented in Her Celtic realm by three Elemental locations, Land, Sea, and Sky, and three characteristics of the Inner Flame, Poesy, Smithcraft, and Healing, as well as shedding her beneficent influence on three areas of human life, Body, Mind, and Spirit . This day also represents a Secret Gift of Spirit, the Blue Moon, representing those things that are rare and precious–after all, they only happen “Once in a Blue Moon”. Therefore, we will be creating a pattern of triplicity in our draw and layout for this Hop. “
The spread itself is amazing in its depth. There are three parts with three cards each. I really didn’t think I had the time to do this spread. A nine-card layout means work for me. When I am doing my email readings, I’m going deep into the readings. I don’t generally have time/make time for this type of reading for myself. Still, it keeps nudging at me so I think I shall do all nine. I won’t share images of the cards (well of all the cards) but I will share what I draw. How much I share of my insights will be guided by what I pull. I am going to use
1) The Foundation: You will draw three cards, one representing Land (Body), one for Sky (Mind) and the third one for Sea (Spirit). These will indicate for you the physical, mental, and emotional/spiritual focus of your year-to-come. These cards honor the Solar Festival of Imbolc and the Three Fires of Brigid.
Land (Body) is the Eight of Earth. This is the card of the apprentice, the journeyman, and the master. I am working on some health-related things so this makes sense as a physical card. Learning about what I can and can’t do.
Sky (Mind) is the Seven of Fire. Interestingly this is the card I call Brighid at the Forge. A woman blacksmith hammers out the iron. Water waits to quench the hot iron while the forge glows hot for the next heating session. It is an endless cycle–this making. My mind understands that learning will take me from the fire to the anvil, to the water and back again.
Sea (Spirit) is the Nine of Earth. Here is Joanna herself (she is the creatrix of the Gaian Tarot) standing in a field of lavender. She is smiling as representative of the successful woman this card traditionally holds. My spiritual pursuits are blessed, I think.
2) The Construction: This Moon, according to the Celtic Tree Calendar, is the Full Rowan Moon. This tree is sacred to Brighid, and represents “Protection from Evil Enchantment”. It is considered a Guardian, a Guide, and a Gateway, so that we may be safely sheltered and receive direction as we walk down the new path of the year. So the three cards you draw for the second level, the Lunar energy of the year, will represent the answers to the following three questions: What is the energy of the new path that presents itself? From what will I need protection on this journey? What energies of my own or of spirit will guide and protect me?
What is the energy of the new path that presents itself? The Explorer of Water surfs in. In class today (I’m taking a class on two Adobe products) we worked on a project that featured a surfer. I was very confused as my program wasn’t set up right so I kept getting behind. I was so frustrated. But here is the surfer again, reminding me to ride the waves. The new path may be bumpy, but if I follow my heart and love the ride, I’ll be fine.
What will I need protection from on this journey? Ah, the Two of Air with the little birds chirping away in the background. Hello, little voices in my head telling me I can’t do this. Hello, little souls in my world trying to tell me I can’t do this. Whether it’s internal editors or external detractors, I must protect my heart from the naysayers.
What energies of my own or of spirit will guide and protect me? And the Seven of Water is a reminder to me to drink deeply from each dream. I have guides who will show me how to achieve all that I want to achieve…including the VBD.
3) The Surprise: Once in a Blue Moon, wonderful things come forth. Draw your final three cards connected with Body, Mind, and Spirit, in that order, to see what treasures the Universe has in store for you.
Body Treasures: Well that’s a bit dismaying to pull Lightning (Tower) for Body treasures. That sounds like a lesson that will teach me something very wonderful about my own body.
Mind Treasures: The Canoe (Chariot) is how to take charge of my own mind, how to direct my mind to create the tribe I want and need.
Spirit Treasures: Grin, hello Death. A transforming year it would seem with the Tower, the Canoe, and Death in my treasures realm. I fear I know what this might mean. I do hope I am wrong. But the Universe will show me the way as long as I keep my eyes open and my feet moving. It’s not just about staying on a path. It’s about forging one.
Thanks for hopping by. This ends our sixth year of the Tarot Blog Hop. Our wrangler for the 2017 Yule hop is Ania. She’s given us this for a topic:
Wishing on a Star
As we approach the final festival of the calendar year, we prepare for a time of feasting and drinking. Whether you are observing Yule, the winter solstice, Christmas, any other holiday, or just being able to down tools for a few days, it is a time for celebration and also for anticipation and wishes. With this in mind and before you fling yourself headlong into the spirit of seasonal over-indulgence, take a moment to reflect on what this year has brought you and what you wish for the next year to bring.
Which card(s) best represent or celebrate your past year and which best represent your wishes for the year ahead. You can either select the cards you think fit best, or draw them randomly and see what the Tarot thinks.
2017 has been a stellar (pun fully intended) year for me. I took some really big leaps of faith. One was moving to the Patreon platform. Another was buying The Cartomancer. Both were hella scary moves. For one choice I thought I would be vilified. For the other, I thought I would crash and burn. Of course, neither of those happened. This and other things were valuable lessons in how I have let fear take over my life in many areas. I’m a fearful person. I can point a finger at many reasons why, but when it comes down to it, the reason is staring back at me in the mirror. I allowed myself to think other people’s opinions were that important. Don’t get me wrong. I value (okay, crave) approval. But I put far too much weight on other people’s approval than on my own. I’ve made choices in my life based on how happy it would make someone else. Or how it might make them approve of me.
That bears repeating…I did things based on other people.
So the Patreon thing and the Cartomancer thing were terrifying. Both have approval ratings built-in. I’ve had some bumps with both but those have been minor. I think the person who has been hardest on me is, again, that face looking back at me in the mirror. She can be a really critical bitch. Still, she’s someone I know pretty well these days (talk therapy for the win.) So I know how to redirect her more easily. Because this year also saw me say yes to some pretty scary things like writing decks for USGames, putting my name in to present at NWTS, and publishing my first self-published book.
Taking it out of the micro and moving it into the macro, a whole lot went sideways in my world. Specifically, I developed a violent reaction to the number 45. This led me down a dark path where anytime anyone did anything to piss me off (traffic mostly), I muttered, “They voted for him.” I realized that was part of what the regime wanted. A Them vs. Us attitude. It lost me a few friends. I miss some of them. But it also led me to a very bright place full of activists, full of people who refused to be sucked into the quicksand of despair. People who held on to the idea of hope. That’s an ongoing good thing.
Now that’s some exposition for you, but what about the actual topic? What card or cards best represent the past year and which ones represent my desires for next year? Ania, I love this topic. It really made me dig into some things. I decided it would make a good combo spread where I draw a Tarot card then an Oracle card as the…I was going to say clarifier but here I think it will be the amplifier.
Reflections & Projections Spread
Past Year Card for reflection on the joy of the year
Past Year Card for amplifying that joy.
Past Year Card for reflection on the lessons of the year
Past Year Card for amplifying those lessons.
Coming Year Card for desires and projections.
Coming Year Card for amplifying those desires and projections
Quintessence of the Reading (this is the Mary K. Greer tip: Add all the cards up. Add them down to a number that is 22 or less. That is the drill-down of the reading–the Major Arcana that corresponds to that number.
Joy of the Past Year Card: The Ten of Air is my card for reflecting on my joy. What an interesting card. Typically this is the Ten of Swords but here are geese flying. This is my own joy at achieving leadership but also at learning how to let others lead. It is not always necessary for me to do it all myself. By leaning on others this year, I’ve accomplished so much more.
What amplifies the joys of the Past Year Card: 14, Confidence. I love this card for its message of taking pride in myself. I can see how this plays in beautifully to the Ten of Air geese. I was able to be proud of what I’d accomplished where before I might have been falsely modest. But dammit, I bought a mother-effing magazine. I wrote three decks in one year. I rocked it.
Lessons of the Past Year Card: Whoooo boy does the Two of Earth ever hit home. I’ve always had choices. Often I’ve made the wrong one then beat myself up for that choice so much that I missed out on other things. I learned to make choices, reap the results, then move on. Pissed someone off? Okay. I apologized if necessary or cut ties otherwise (in cases where it wasn’t just a little tiff.) Choices.
What amplifies the lessons of Past Year Card: Ahhhh 2, Dreaming is a bit ouchy for me. Some of my dreams were upended by my choices. I needed to listen more closely to that voice in my head telling me what to say yes to and what to say no to. I hear you, Universe. Dreams need smart choices.
Desires for the Coming Year Card: I actually considered throwing this and the other two back in to start over. Surely 2018 would be better than the Ten of Fire, right? But it makes sense. I’m cutting back, cutting down, trimming away that which does not serve me. This card is about how a fire can destroy while at the same time create the potential for new growth. I’m down for that. I’ve already got my eye on some things that must go or must be redirected. Energy isn’t endless. I have to treat it as a renewable source and remember to renew it. That’s a desire for 2018. To be so creative that I have to let go of what doesn’t serve. Tenacity will play a major role in this.
What amplifies my desires for the coming Year Card: 9, Togetherness made me grin. Fellowship is HUGE on my list of things I need this year. One piece of that has already fallen into my lap courtesy of one of my Gaian sisters. This card features such a variety of animals–including another peacock. I am going to have to shake my tail but that’s okay. I will be gathering my tribe to me.
The quintessence of the Reading: Typically this is for Tarot numbering only, but since the Secrets of the Mystic Grove cards are numbered, I factored them in as well. I got 47 which is 4+7=11 so Justice is my Quintessence for this reading. Justice is my reminder to balance my inner with my outer, my desires with my husband’s, play and work, all those things we are told to balance. With Tenacity as my word of the year, I will add Balance. Because as much as I want to be dogged and fierce about my wants and needs, I must balance things as well.
I hope you have enjoyed this journey through my process. If you want to be notified about upcoming things like my expanded Journey to Joy class, please join my newsletter.
Now hop on to the next blog. Don’t forget to leave a comment so I know you were here.
We have the lovely Boglárka Kiss of Vadrózsa Tarot to thank for this hop’s theme. Her co-wrangler is Jay Cassell. Here is what she’s asked us to blog about today.
Choose a character – or two or three – from your favorite Tarot deck (it can be a Major or Minor Arcana character), and try to find out what they would cook at Harvest Home so as to give their best to others so that Light should become a blessing in all of us.
Share with us a special – sacred – method of cooking or preparing a dish – it can also be a cooking ritual –, or think of a recipe that contains sacred and consecrated elements so that they can give their best to us.
This theme made me very happy since I love to cook. Recently we had a sale at a local grocery for brisket at 1.87 a lb. which is super cheap. My husband and I both adore brisket. There was only one tiny little problem.
I didn’t know how to make brisket. I knew how to eat it–hells to the yeah, did I know how to eat it. I actually once asked someone to marry me because of their brisket. They shook their head no but did give me more meat. But cook it? Yikes! I knew there was something about slow temps and long cooking times, but that was the extent of it.
So I did what any self-respecting cook would do. I asked my friends. Man, did they put out. I used one my sister sent me but I misread it so I ended up marinating it for two days instead of one. It came out really nicely.
Then, as I usually do, I decided to go off-book for the next one. I bought this based on the name alone. Covered the brisket in it along with some extra garlic. Then I marinated it in one bottle of Worcestershire sauce, one bottle of liquid smoke, and a bottle of Angry Apple Cider. This was a ten-pound brisket by the way. Then I covered it in foil.
That went in the fridge for 24 hours. Yes, 24 hours. 😀 Pulled it out and drained that first marinade. Added more rub, then put in the same marinade. This time I put it in the oven at 275 degrees for 40 minutes. 40 minutes per pound that is. Which is about 6.66 hours.
And that brings me to the Tarot part of this post. Now I’ll bet you are thinking that I’m going to call this the Devil’s brisket, but you would be wrong. The Devil already has a recipe speaking of marriage proposals. I actually have a lot of cards and recipes already done. You can see the full index here. No, for this meal I kicked around a few cards with the two front runners being the Emperor (I mean c’mon…10 lbs of meat?) and the Queen of Pentacles.
As I read about the different ways to cook brisket, one thing came up over and over. Many of my friends with Jewish heritage (or Jewish friends) mentioned brisket as a Jewish tradition. And, for me, the Queen of Pentacles is a perfect Jewish mom. She’s caring. She’s traditional. She wants the best for her family and is not afraid to do what it takes to raise them to the standards she thinks necessary. Please note–I’m not Jewish. But the Jewish moms I’ve met have all had this amazingly deep sense of family. So I may be stereotyping but I hope I’m doing it a good way.
The Queen of Pentacle’s Brisket
10-12lb brisket (if you have to have it cut down, do it lengthwise so you get the full brisket from thick to thin)
2 bottles of Worcestershire Sauce
2 bottles of Liquid Smoke (I recommend Stubb’s if you can find it)
2 bottles of hard apple cider
Fiesta Dry Brisket Rub (Or a good mix of cayenne, garlic, salt, pepper and I don’t know what else)
Place in large pan (I use aluminum foil roasters) fat-side up. Cover in dry rub (and extra garlic) and rub it in. Pour 1 bottle of Worcestershire, Liquid Smoke and cider over your brisket making sure it gets on all sides. Cover with foil. Put in fridge for 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit (135 Celsius)
Pull out of fridge. DO NOT DISCARD FOIL. Pour off marinade (down the sink, don’t reuse.) Marinade with same three ingredients. Add more rub and garlic.
Cover with foil making sure to tent it.
Place in oven. Set timer for 40 minutes per pound (you do the math.) DO NOT OVERCOOK.
When it is ready, let it sit for a good 15 minutes at least. This allows the juice to spread through the meat. Nothing worse than dried-out brisket.
Serve with love and compassion, just like the lovely Queen of Pentacles.
P.to the S. I am saving this at 12:59pm MST 9/22/17. LOL I’ll come back and add pictures!
Morgan, our intrepid wrangler for this hop has tasked us with this subject.
So your mission this Tarot Blog Hop is to discuss how you show respect to the Tarot (remember it is called the “Tarot Blog Hop”) and things that you have learned not to do. It can range from smudging the deck periodically to elaborate rituals like the Golden Dawn uses, from not using the cards until the dinner table is clean to well, whatever it is that you do.
For me, this topic brought up a lot of things. My first was that Tarot is a tool. How do I show respect for a tool? Then I realized that tools deserve respect. If you don’t wipe your saw blade clean, it will dull. If you just toss a hammer down, it may rust or be kicked aside. If you don’t actively work to engage your brain, your wits grow dull. If you don’t feed your Muse, your creativity gets sluggish. So, absolutely, Tarot deserves respect. Like Aretha says, “show a little R.E.S.P.E.C.T.”
As far as cleansing a deck, I do have some things I like to do. Now, I don’t buy into the idea that a used deck must be cleansed. That, to me, is a tiny bit paranoid. It also means I’m always thinking that the world can’t be trusted. It’s not in my nature to live that way. Gives me a headache just thinking about it. In fact, I have a whole list of things I think are myths about Tarot.
I do think you need to periodically clean your decks. Not cleanse, but clean. There is a difference between cleaning and cleansing. Cleaning is exactly that. Making a dirty deck less dirty. One Tarot professional (I can’t remember whom) mentioned that they like to clean dirty decks with wax paper. I have had some success doing that. Since these are of paper, I’m not inclined to use anything moist on my cards.
When a deck has been taken out of commission because of a mishap (can you say “no one is ever allowed to have a drink at my table again” lesson learned?), I will put that deck into my “giveaway” stash. I have some decks that are incomplete, had Diet Coke spilled on them (that one’s on me), wine, jam…yeah…ruined because one or more cards have been rendered not usable. I put the remaining cards in a zip lock baggie. Then when I send out things (decks or books or Patreon gifts), I can pull cards at random to share. It brings me joy to be able to do this mini-reading for folks.
But cleansing is a whole ‘nother matter. That takes on a spiritual aspect. Cleansing is about clearing the deck of negative energies. It is about putting things back in sync with my energy and the Gods. There are a few ways I do that. One is time-consuming involving crystals, moon phases, herbs, chants and more. And it is intensely personal.
A way that I can share is ordering. This is something so easy to do that I wonder why it’s not more popular. Just putting the cards back in order clears energy for me. Ace through King, Fool through World–when my cards are in their right spots, I just feel calmer. I often reorder my deck before sitting down to do a session where I know the energy will be heavier. If I’m going out to do a reading gig, all the decks I take are in order first. Generally speaking, I take a minimum of three decks and no more than five. This is something I can do in between clients or on my break. I’m hardcore about my breaks because pee must happen, right?
So for me, cleaning and/or cleansing my deck is one way of showing respect. I also have a habit of choosing the bag to match the deck. I love Baba Studios’ bags. I watch for sales. Right now I actually have unopened bags waiting to be paired with their deck. I will move decks in and out of bags as well. I am a bit like the Ottoman sultans who had their favorites moved to special rooms. HA! Just call me Suleimarwen Sultan.
This could also be called “getting back to things I used to love to do.” When I was editor of the American Tarot Association Quarterly Journal, I developed an interview for those who had created decks. The twist on the normal interview was that I requested it be answered by pulling cards from their creation, Tarot deck, itself. So, in essence, their creation of the artist/author became their voice.
Recently I saw a deck on Kickstarter (I blame many people for telling me about this deck but Siobhan gets first dibs…lol. Check out her Gemini ‘Scopes while you are there.) This deck was by two women in Austin, Texas which was an immediate plus since I used to live in ATX. But what really grabbed me was the clean lines and subdued color pallette. Typically I like brighter colors and am really drawn to the art of the likes of Tarot visionary Lisa Hunt. But I do enjoy black and white decks and less vivid decks as well. So I backed this deck. (FULL DISCLOSURE: This deck is fully funded already.)
The name of the deck made me grin. If you’ve been to Texas, you have probably seen mesquite. It’s a popular tree for using in fires and barbeques. It’s also a tenacious tree that can grow in some pretty harsh condition. I decided to interview the creators, Aleisha and Bronwyn about their Mesquite Tarot. Please note that some of the cards pictured here may be prototypes meaning there could be some changes in the final product.
What card describes you as a writer or artist? If you are both, please choose a card for each one.
Aleisha as a writer: The Fool
Very appropriate. In writing and in life, I am definitely figuring it all out as I go along, just like everybody else. I’ve approached writing this book with a lot of playfulness and curiosity: watching where it leads, feeling open to possibility, having fun. It’s easy to feel a lot of fear when it comes to creating; it’s been an intention to energize more of the imagination and childlike wonder of key 0.
Bronwyn as an artist: Three of Wands
A huge part of what I do as a visual artist is constantly attempt to view things from as many different angles as possible. I’m always working to put aside what I may think I know, and take a new approach- one that comes more from within. A lot of that work includes taking risks, being confident, and accepting the role of a leader, which always comes along with uncharted territory. My eyes stay open to new opportunities, new projects, and new ways to push myself as a creator.
If I were to ask your deck to describe you, what card would it use?
The World: Wow, how lovely.
We’re of the thought that the world is a living being, that our connectedness with nature and each other is an essential part of ourselves and is necessary to experiencing the fullness of being alive. We are doing our best to promote clarity and kindness on the planet and we think tarot is a pretty great tool for that.
What card would your deck use to describe itself?
Ten of Wands: We relate to the element of balance in the ten of wands, the focus and determination that this card encompasses. Being present step by step, even in challenge.
What card describes your favorite piece of creating this deck?
Nine of Cups: Overflow and abundance. This card hints at the material– we’re often airy, in the world of ideas. Connecting to the tangible has been a really special aspect of the creative process.
What card describes what your favorite questions to answer are?
Page of Cups: Mesquite does gravitate toward the idealistic, dreamy, the poetic.
What card describes what you think are the most valuable lessons you learned while creating this deck?
Knight of Wands: From the onset, we’ve approached the deck creation with a lot of action and momentum. Part of our motivation in running a Kickstarter campaign was to create externalized energy that would help us get through some of the challenges in bringing it to fruition. I think we were able to harness some of the knight’s boldness, and like him, we were able to move forward in action and ambition. Even in imperfection, the fearlessness and boldness is something we’re grateful to be learning.
What card describes your best use as a tarot deck?
Knight of Pentacles: Though Mesquite has a gentle sensibility, its use is rooted and active.
What card describes your greatest weakness?
Eight of Pentacles: It’s a bit like a classic job interview, haha– indeed our weakness is often in perfectionism. Like many creators, we are prone to being hyper-critical of our own work.
What card describes your greatest strength?
Five of Cups: We are good at being resourceful, working with what we have even when it’s not as much as we’d like.
What card is your most favorite? Why?
Eight of Cups: This is actually one of the first cards in the tarot I ever made contact with. It appeared years ago and was a strong message that I needed to turn away and do some searching. A reminder that leaving things behind isn’t always an easy path, but often a necessary one.
What card is your least favorite? Why?
Queen of Arrows: Hmm, this is a tricky one because we actually really love this card. The queen’s clarity and connection to truth has been feeling like an especially helpful energy to harness.
Which card do you think needs to be studied the most?
The Chariot: When the energy of the Chariot is in balance, it’s such a powerful and directed card. There’s definitely lots of Chariot energy in the world right now, but it’s not always used in a clear and balanced way. Definitely plenty of study we can all do w/r/t the Chariot.
What card describes your personal creativity?
Two of Pentacles: Again, the theme of balance and playfulness emerges!
Who or what inspired you to create a deck and why?
Five of Cups: A great lens to understand inspiration. As we progressed in our personal tarot practice and began creating our own deck, we noticed our relationship with tarot evolving into a space where we could access clarity and optimism. Rather than being focused on the things that are broken, we wanted to look at what was full. We wanted to provide a tool for seeing solution when so much of the world seems to be staring and what’s been overturned.
What upcoming projects can you tell us about?
Nine of Pentacles We’re in a stage of planting more seeds, nurturing and growing as artists and creators. At this stage, we want to honor Mesquite and keep our energy directed towards making it the best it can be. We feel a lot of momentum building and are also excited to continue creative collaboration. Beginning to gestate more ideas for expansive projects that foster kindness and compassion.
Draw one card. Tell us what secret habit this card reveals about you.
The Hermit: The two of us met as housemates, and one of the secret habits we share is creative hermitude. There’s a fertile buzz in the house when we are both working, sometimes collaborating in the kitchen or in the breakfast nook, sometimes alone in our respective bedrooms. The homebody tendencies have made our house a hive of productivity and generative vibes. We are able to be hermits in community.
Do back this one, y’all. I predict it will be a keeper.