Our Maiden, Our Mother, Our Mistress

Let me preface this with good news:
I was accepted into a Master’s in Social Work program in a great place. I’ve spent the last few months moving and getting into the swing of scholastics. I have just finished several presentations, and several papers (one a 25 pager). The semester’s winding down and I miss blogging!

I’ve been noticing alignment with the Moon and my life. The Moon is my ruling heavenly body. The full moon in Capricorn fell on my birthday, and Capricorn is the opposite sign of Luna. Then, on my first day of classes, there was a New Moon in Virgo, the sign of diligence and hard work in the Moon phase associated with beginnings. Finally, for one of my classes, I visited a Hindu Temple. The night I chose to visit just happened to be on the full moon in Taurus, a good time to mix intellectual duty, spiritual fulfillment, and fun. Therefore, I feel that it was time to talk about the Moon.

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The Moon, drawn by Mary Guinan for Julian DeBurgh’s Celtic Deck shows white stones surrounding a mysterious golden glow. A great pearl of a full moon gleams down on the scene. The Moon is a mystery. What are the secrets the questioner is in the process of uncovering? The Moon tells that there is more than meets the eye. The Moon casts her silver and pearl glow over rituals and meditation, protecting and illuminating.

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Here we have the Crab, naturally, and two wolves gracing Barbara G. Walker’s Moon card. The Crab is venturing into new territory from the mysterious, primordial pool, called by a full moon that’s pregnant with possibilities. The wolves sing to Luna as she rises above two pillars flanking a golden path that leads to darkness. It’s a little eerie. Where does that path lead? Is it safe? Is it safe to follow the moonlight? Will we find treasure, or…lunacy?
The Moon pulls our tides, and may also pull our blood, at least, I think so. Water is also full of treasures, but also threats, just like our subconscious.
By the way, the nine blood drops curving around the Moon there? They represent menstrual blood, and there’s nine of them to represent the nine months of pregnancy. Fun fact: the words moon, month, and menstrual all have the same root! The Moon is associated with the female, although in Japan, Tsukuyomi, is a Moon god, and the Germanic tribes had Mani, and the Mesopotamians had Sin.

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Kris Waldherr chose Diana/Artemis for her Moon card. Diana is the Huntress, and she is known for her harsh punishments (such as turning a guy into a stag and having his own dogs rip him apart, because he saw her bathing), and yet, she has a nurturing aspect to her as well. She helped her mother, Leto, deliver her twin brother, Apollo, right after she herself was born. She was also the protectoress of girls right until they were married. She healed Aeneus after his battle injury in the Trojan War. The Moon itself is associated with illusion and lunacy, but, it is also a source of healing and creativity.
Nature, and the Moon, are cyclical. Life is cyclical–waxing and waning with periods of activity and periods of rest. Diana, the Maiden, is the first aspect of the Goddess, followed by Selene, the Mother, and finally by Hecate, the Crone.

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In a more verdant landscape than Walker’s, Wood’s Moon features a little crustacean strolling out of a pond that is blue, not black, and the thin path winds between a small wolf and a very large beagle into a misty rolling field. The mystery we see in Walker’s card is still there, but it seems more nurturing somehow–perhaps because there’s some luminescence in the distant horizon, and there’s plant life. Instead of two pillars, there are two stone caves. The caves, as we’ve discussed before, symbolize the Earth Mother’s womb.
If you look at this card, it can be full or a crescent, waxing or waning. If you see the Moon as waxing, or growing bigger, it might be a fortuitous time for new beginnings. If it is waning, something may be coming to an end.
A wild wolf and a loyal dog have come together to serenade the Moon in a duet. The domesticated dog and the feral wolf unite their qualities in the Moon. The Moon is a loyal, loving mother, but may give you more than you bargained for. Case in point:

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Dorcha is Epona’s Wild Daughter. You can find her in The Faeries Oracle, by Brian Froud. She’s part of the group of Faery Challengers. She forces the reader to confront what Jung called the Shadow self, or the parts of the self we label bad. She accompanies us through depression, anxiety, and nightmares, like Hecate. Like Hecate, she may be misunderstood. Just because there is no light at night does not mean the Moon is not there, and just because somebody shows you frightening things doesn’t necessarily mean they are evil.

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Laiste is Dorcha’s sister. She believes in pulling pranks to wake people up, like when the Moon’s light makes things look like things they are not–turning water into solid ground, and trees into skeletons. She embodies the mystic Moon, and can be whimsical. However, just like Dorcha, she wants you to be open and go deep. She and Dorcha are adopted daughters of Hecate, the dark side of the Moon who can be fierce, but shows surprising flashes and glimpses of beauty. Hecate will then always become Artemis again, new and full of promise of new beginnings, and then become the gentle, loving Selene, and back to the Goddess of Magic.
I think that’s one of the reasons I’m so happy Luna is my ruling body. She’s everything–young, old, mother, maiden, wise woman, Queen of Witches. She guides and obscures. She’s also in a close, personal relationship with Water, element of dreams, love, and emotion. She is silver and pearl. She is Maiden, Mother, and Mistress.

One Foot in the Water, the Other on the Earth, and a Head in the Clouds: Temperance

When Temperance appears in a reading, it is a call not to just resist temptation, but to find one’s center.  It is about remaining calm and steady, and not indulging in rage, terror, or frustration.  I see it as a reminder to seek solutions, and not to make yourself suffer through inaction or feelings of helplessness. 

Barbara G. Walker’s Temperance shows an angel woman calmly pouring water from one red pitcher to another.  She is the Water Bearer, Aquarius, the sign of innovation, social change, and global concern. Aquarians, in balance pour out blessings on the world with their communication skills and passion for equality. Temperance may indicate an Aquarius in the questioner’s life.

The passionate red of the pitchers, and the deft way the water flows from one to the other, may symbolize our ability to channel our intensity in constructive ways. We can harness the emotions that could destroy us and use it to our advantage. For example, we can channel them into creative pursuits: we can write, paint, and make music, or we harness the energy to strengthen our bodies– we can learn a martial art, or lift weights. 

Note the clarity of the blue sky, and of the water.  The woman’s dress is pure white. The trees are in orderly rows.  Emotional clarity leads to better ability to solve problems, better creative prowess, and serenity.

Notice how she has one foot on land, and the other in the water? This means she is comfortable both in the intuitive and the practical realms.   The woman’s wings align her with the element of Air.  She is balanced, both mentally and emotionally. She is intellectual and reserved.

The shadow side of this is that Air will trample the Earth and Water side of the personality (that is, the sensual, emotional sides, respectively) underfoot.  This, of course, leads to a cold, over-rational personality that’s divorced from feelings, intuition, and even its own body.

 

Robin Wood’s Temperance shows an angel man with golden wings, standing with one foot in water, and one foot on land. The water and sky are also clear and clean, as is his white robe.  Depending on how you read this card, the sun can be either breaking, signifying a new day, and a fresh clean slate; or the setting sun, which implies mastery and gained wisdom. There is also a little path leading from the pool. With poise and composure, everyone can find the path to a goal.

Temperance can be a man or a woman. Like Aquarius, this quality is egalitarian and androgynous.  It’s interesting, the alignment of the elements with the masculine and feminine.  I’d like to take a moment to remind everyone that while elemental energies are associated with male and female energies, they are also androgynous in the sense that anyone can possess each element’s qualities, no matter what their gender.

To show balance, the Angel Man is juggling three balls–one crystal, one gold, and one silver.  The silver is for intuition, gold is for intellect in the real world, and the clear one is for possibility.  Robin Wood writes in her book The Robin Wood Tarot that the silver ball is for spiritual wealth and the present, gold is for material wealth and the past, and the crystal ball is for mystery.  Temperance is equally developed in all these realms, without preference for any one.  Temperance calls us to be able to efficiently and deftly juggle all our roles and talents.  

 

 

Mary Guinan and Julian De Burgh chose a wise looking woman with silver hair for their water bearer. The woman’s white hair shows wisdom and knowledge gained by experience. The softness of her face and of her surroundings tell us self-control and mastery can be used to carry out loving actions.  I also love how she looks like she has no feet.  She looks like she’s floating.  Self-control can be used to master skills that contribute to our own well being, like meditation and yoga, for example.  Temperance can indicate transcendence.

 

Interestingly, Kris Waldherr chose a goddess I associate with Pisces, Yemana, to stand for Temperance.

Yemana is the Afro-Caribbean goddess of the oceans.  She exits the sea bearing treasures to benefit those on land; she is equally comfortable both in water and on earth. Temperance indicates harmony between the unconscious and the conscious, between the internal and the external, and the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Temperance is a picture of Jungian balance.  Temperance is equally introverted and extroverted, intuitive and sensing, feeling and thinking, judging and perceiving.

 

If Temperance shows in a reading, it indicates the person is well-balanced, or about to be successful in an undertaking if they remember to remain dedicated to harmony and clarity.

If reversed, it means that the questioner is either being too emotional, too intellectual, or too rigid in their thinking.  They may be feeling rage or terror.  They may be indulging in feelings of self-pity or paranoia, or they’re indulging in an addiction.

 

Would you care for more information about the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory? Do you want to know whether you are primarily an extrovert or introvert,  an intuitive or a sensor, a feeler or a thinker, a judger or a perceiver? Then click right here!

 

For more info on Yemana, click here! She’s one of my favorites 🙂

 

The Fire’s Child

First, I want to apologize for my extended absence.  I am excited to say I am starting a new career path, and have gone back to school. This is why the topic of this post is so apropos–I feel like I’ve got the Page of Wands on my side 🙂

 

The beautiful Page of Wands is the perfect companion for reaching goals.  Also known as the Princess of Wands, she is the youthful, feminine aspect of Fire energy.  This is an exuberant, friendly energy.  It makes me think of the sign of Leo–fun, playful, perhaps even flamboyant, but also very committed and motivated.

 

 

 

The bright red hair Mary Guinan gave the Princess of Wands for Julian De Burgh’s Celtic Deck is loose and flows to her shoulders, indicating passion and freedom.  She stares into the strong, steady flame of her torch, studying the living colors and kinetic energy.  Since this is the Page/Princess, and thus is a “youthful” energy, its appearance in a reading may indicate that the potential of a fledgling idea.

 

Like the Princess of Wands in the Celtic Deck, the Princess of Staves for Kris Waldherr’s Goddess Deck shows the goddess, Freyja, with long, free-flowing red hair. Instead of a torch, she carries a thick staff with sprouting leaves. This symbolizes the fertility of the imagination, and Freyja is a creative fertility goddess.  The Fire energy I feel from this card is warm and encouraging, like the sunshine on growing plants. Freyja, a member of the Norse Vanir, may be the goddess of fertility and beauty, but she is also a warrior goddess.  This reminds us of the dualistic nature of fire itself; this necessary, beautiful element is dangerous and destructive. Nowhere is this duality more evident than in the case of certain forest seeds. These seeds can only sprout after a forest fire, as they need intense heat.

Creativity is a messy process. It involves destroying ideas that don’t work, destroying first drafts, and raging frustration.  The Page of Wands joyful demeanor reminds us that keeping the process play keeps these fires banked and working for us, not out of control.

 

Robin Wood’s Page of Wands is a little girl with long, flowing hair and a row of firecrackers hanging from her belt.  When the Page of Wands indicates a person, this person will usually be a young, energetic, fun-loving little girl.  Alternately, the person may be a youthful, exuberant adult.  This energy is rather androgynous.  Whoever this person is, they have tons of potential and are very bright.  The little girl on this card has so much enthusiasm and inner glow that the wand she is holding becomes a blazing beacon. The light is strong and pure. The girl is inspired, but she is also a conduit, channeling enthusiasm and inspiration to others. She is a risk-taker, a path-maker, and a leader.

 In some readings, it may seem like she is holding a lightning rod, instead of a beacon. The person the card represents attracts luck and abundance through their joie de vivre, their optimism, and their risk-taking. The person this card represents may be a fount of ideas and encouragement.  Like all court cards, the Page of Wands may also represent an aspect of the questioner herself.

 

Okay, this next one is kind of unexpected and esoteric, like many of Barbara G. Walker’s cards.

Atargatis is an ancient Canaanite goddess.  Here, she represents the woman as a fearful devourer/castrator of men, with her vagina dentata. At the same time, she is offering her breasts for sustenance. I read this as a metaphor for the dangers and rewards of risk-taking, a specialty of Wands. It could also be read as a metaphor for dysfunctional obsession, sexual or otherwise.  

Now, I want to say that I myself believe very strongly in women’s empowerment. While I admire Walker’s work, I feel that this card alienates male questioners.  While it is successful at portraying the negative, Shadow, reversed Princess/Page of Wands, how does this image illustrate the dynamic, joyful, friendly energy of the Page/Princess of Wands? 

I do have to give kudos for the marriage of the phallus (seen on the top of Atargatis’ head) and the yoni. 

 

Reversed, the Page/Princess of Wands is a person who is impulsive, reckless, manic, and emotionally exhausting, consuming those around them.  If appearing in regards to a question about an event, Page of Wands indicates that either the event will not “ignite” or it will burn out of control.  Look to the other cards for clues, and trust your intuition. 

Ace of Swords: Inspiration and Expiration

Before we discuss the Ace of Swords, let’s first review Aces and Swords.  Aces are the cards that indicate new beginnings, and Swords correspond to the element of Air.  Swords are symbolic of intellect, rationality, reason, wit, problem solving, and challenges.  They can also signify medical care, ill health, betrayal, and sadness.
Because I like to get bad news out of the way first,  let’s begin with Barbara G. Walker’s Ace of Swords, titled, as you can see, “Doom.”

Clutching a sword, a sorceress stares at the reader impassively, sizing them up. Behind her swirl the spirits who float in the ghostly ether.  A crowned skull is at her feet, not only to remind us of death and doom, but to proclaim that in the world of Air, intellect is king. 
Interestingly, I notice, right now, that the swirling spirits look like sperm fertilizing an egg! This, to me, symbolizes that sorrow and strife can be used to create something new. 
Since Ace of Swords signifies new beginnings, if it appears in a negative reading or if you feel a warning vibe from it, take it as something that may be preventable.  After all, the sorceress isn’t stabbing at the viewer; she’s simply eyeing him warily.  The questioner might be able to use his problem solving skills to nip this in the bud. 

Beginning the cycle of Ace of Swords cards that depict a lone sword standing point-down, I should like to present the Ace of Swords from Kris Waldherr’s Goddess Deck.  The sword stands in the arid desert, the pyramids in the background. The culture of ancient Egypt (Isis is the goddess chosen to represent the Swords in the Goddess deck) is rich in invention, story, art,  theology, medicine, and government.  This intellectual fertility belies the seemingly lifeless desert.  Air people are gifted in these realms, and seem to be good at everything they try.  The Ace of Swords could thus be a signpost to a new interest for the questioner, one they will be particularly sharp at (sorry for the pun).
In an interpersonal reading, the Ace of Swords may indicate that the person the questioner is curious about is very intellectual and competent.  It may also be a little heads-up that this person may be more comfortable in her head than she is anywhere else in her body. This person may be emotionally cold. On the other hand, this person might be witty, well-traveled, and fascinating.
The ankh and a bull’s head glyph are etched into the sword’s handle.  The ankh is a symbol of life, luck, and love, something we cannot have without intelligence.  The Bull’s Head symbolizes the bulls of Egypt who represented Ptah, the god of crafts and inventor of the Word. Word is thought made visible, which is a fitting paradigm for Air!

The beautiful Mary Guinan art used to illustrate Julian De Burgh’s Celtic Ace of Swords shows the sword softly glowing, and vines growing out of and around the stone of the window. The brightness of a passionate intellect shines, and sometimes bursts, forth from the brow of its owner.  Athena, an intellectual, Air-y goddess (Raven Kaldera chose her as the patron goddess of the Sun in Aquarius), was born from the brow of Zeus, the ultimate idea. Her birth came with pain for Zeus–the worst migraine times 100–reminding us that Air is the element of pain and discomfort.  Some ideas are breech  births, or involve a difficult gestation. Like the ivy on the card, sometimes ideas must push through a layers of difficulty to shine forth. 
Here, the sword is in a block of stone, an altar.  Remember The Sword In the Stone, and Arthur having to pull the sword out of the stone to prove himself worthy to be king? The Ace of Swords may present a challenge that calls for the questioner to prove herself, either to the world or to herself.  Perhaps there is a job interview or the questioner is returning to school.  The open window behind the altar shows the road to adventure, and perhaps success. 

Robin Wood’s Ace of Swords is, like all her cards, rich with symbolism. What stands out to me is the location of the Sword–instead of planted, it is floating in its element, surrounded by a “brain storm” of clouds.  Or, perhaps the clouds, which form a tunnel around a flash of light, are muddled, everyday thoughts, and the light is inspiration. Inspiration means, literally, breathing in, as well as messages from the Muses.  Again, very fitting thought for Air.  The Ace of Swords can tell the questioner of coming “divine inspiration, total disillusion”  just as KMFDM sang of in their song “Light.” 
The blue stone at the center of the hilt is deep blue of clarity and calm.  It is hard to tell whether the sun is glinting off the blade, or if the light comes from within the blade itself.  Either way, the intellect is anointed–it is even crowned with laurel and white roses. The twining plants are similar to the Greek caduceus, the symbol of healing and medicine.  The element of Air heals through invention, through finding cures. 
The sword, while it inflicts pain, and can kill, also slices through illusion, like Kali’s knife.  It hacks through the brambles that form a barrier around the Edens of our dreams.  It cuts a clear, clean swath, and lets in the sunlight and fresh air.  It may bleed us, but, as Rumi says,  “The Wound is the place where the Light comes in,” where we learn love and gratitude, the greatest knowledge there is.

I thought, since Yemaja is the goddess depicted on Kris Waldherr’s Temperance (called Balance) card, that it would be good to offer more information about this beautiful and fascinating goddess (I can’t help it. I love everything watery and lunar :)) This entry from Journeying to the Goddess is fantastic! I also recommend Moon in Pisces entry in Raven Kaldera’s MythAstrology, and the “Yemanja” chapter in Kris Waldherr’s The Book of Goddesses. Both are excellent books and you should purchase them.

Journeying to the Goddess

“Yemaja’s themes are providence, blessing, luck and fertility.  Her symbols are fish, the color blue and the crescent moon.  Yemaja, the Nigerian Goddess of flowering water, bears a name that literally means ‘fish mother!’ As such, Yemaja generates providence and fertility, especially on the physical plane. In legends She gave birth to eleven deities, the sun, the moon, and two streams of water that formed a lake. In art she’s often shown as a mermaid or a crescent moon, and Her favorite color is blue.

The name for the day is definitely fishy. Not surprisingly, new year festivities in Nigeria mark the beginning of the fishing season. Having a teeming net today portends prosperity for the rest of the season. So, what is it that you hope to catch today? Cast out your spiritual line to Yemaja for help in meeting or exceeding any goal.

To bite into a little…

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Good News!

For quite a while now, I wanted to take what I love to do and become a professional at it.  After much hemming and hawing, I finally decided to open Turtlephoenix for business! I can now give you readings in person, over the phone, on facebook chat, or Skype.

 

Here is the official website: turtlephoenix.com

 

And the facebook page. I would be honored if you stopped on by and “Liked!” http://www.facebook.com/Turtlephoenix?fref=ts

 

In other news, my two day jobs has also given me more hours and responsibility. This is an honor, but I am still getting the hang of how to manage the time in between teaching, giving readings to my new clients, and writing a novel. These problems are a dream come true, but I assure you, new posts are coming!

 

Please come visit and give me a call! I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

Archetypes

Archetypes

Before I get into any in-depth discussion about the cards or astrological signs, I want to talk a little bit about archetypes.Carl Jung, a contemporary of Freud, was the psychiatrist who first explained archetypes. Archetypes are manifestations of the collective unconscious, or, they are certain tropes (metaphoric symbols) we, as human beings, all can identify and share in.

Because that explanation was a tad convoluted, let me use examples.  Let’s say you’re reading a book of fairy tales (and you should!) and you notice that the Wicked Stepmother is a popular villain. In fact, you take for granted that if a stepmother appears in a fairy tale, she is wicked. All your friends do, as well. That is because the Wicked Stepmother is an archetype. We have subconsciously agreed, as a culture, that the Wicked Stepmother can reappear in various forms in our literature, and we have integrated her into our psychology.

On the other hand, let’s think about the Wise Grandmother. What does the Wise Grandmother look like? What does she do? Ask your friends about this. Chances are, there may be slight variations, but your Wise Grandmothers will be very similar.

There’s also the Evil Sorcerer, the Wicked Witch, the Good Witch, the Vagabond, the Thief with a Heart of Gold, the Trickster, and the Big Bad Wolf. We could brainstorm for a long time.

A good writer is able to take archetypes and make them fresh, and yet still identifiable to our psyches. One of reasons fairy tales, myths, and legends are so popular and enduring is because of these archetypes. They are such a part of us and our personalities, yet they are flexible enough to be reinterpreted. They are very adaptable to different cultures and epochs.

The reason I bring this up is because Tarot cards, as well as the astrological signs, are shaped, I believe, from these archetypes. These archetypes are a part of us. We know them. For example, one Wicked Stepmother in my life is a former co-worker who was a bully. My Knight is my fiance, J.

Taking over from Jung’s legacy are two very cool women, Clarissa Pinkola Estes and Caroline Myss. Caroline Myss has greatly shaped my world view. Here is a brief rundown of some of her concepts, from Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential, published in 2002 by Three Rivers Press.
Caroline Myss postulated that our personalities are composed of archetypes such as the Knight in Shining Armor, the Damsel in Distress, etc. In fact, we all have the archetypes of the Child (and it’s various forms), the Prostitute, the Victim, and the Saboteur.  All of these archetypes seem quite negative, but we all have them. Think of the times you may have been a Prostitute. Did you have sex to feel better about yourself? Did you stay in a job you hated because of the money? The Prostitute governs our physical security (Myss 118). As for the Victim, have you ever used any personal pain, knowingly, to get people to react a certain way? Have you held on to anger you feel toward people who hurt you, even though the slight took place years ago? The Victim has an important role. It is a protector. It also measures how much you are willing to give up personal responsibility and independence, which are scary things (116).

The Saboteur is evident when you turn down an opportunity out of fear of loss of security (Myss 122). I myself had my Saboteur step in recently. It is quite frustrating.

We all have heard the term “Inner Child,” the reflection of our pasts and our attitudes about love and safety (Myss 112).  The Child has several manifestations: the Wounded Child, the Abandoned/Orphan Child, the Nature Child, the Innocent Child, and the Divine Child (112).

There is one last archetype we should discuss: The Shadow. The Shadow came about with Jung. It is the “negative,” dark side of all the Archetypes. It is the reversed, or upside down, Tarot card, and the astrological sign out of balance.
As we go through the cards, the astrological signs, and our dreams, we will be confronting archetypes and identifying them.

Recommended Resources:
Jung, Carl Gustav. The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious 
—Symbols of Transformation 
—Man and his Symbols 
Jung is where it all began. He is the king.

Myss, Caroline.  Anatomy of the Spirit. 
Sacred Contracts 
—Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can 
All of Myss’ books are absolutely incredible. They are fascinating reads and anyone interested in archetypes, as well as healing through the chakras, the Catholic Sacraments, and the Jewish Tree of Life, should definitely read them. I’ve used her work as resources in my paper about the archetypes in Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis.

Pinkola-Estes, Clarissa. Women Who Run with the Wolves.
Oh, this book rocks. It’s all about fairy tales and how women can use them to heal. Pinkola-Estes is a top Jungian analyst, but her work is extremely accessible.

See you soon! Next time we will begin our journey, and learn about Virgo, the sign we are in now 🙂

My Decks, and what I use them for

My Decks, and What I Use Them For

There are many, many decks out there. These are my decks. They are the decks you will see on the Turtlephoenix blog.
The first deck is the Robin Wood deck. Oh, how I love this deck. The artwork is gorgeous, and every tiny detail carries symbolic significance. It is extremely user friendly, and good for both novices and experts alike.

Robin Wood Fool. Artwork owned by Robin Wood www.robinwood.com
I cannot recommend the Robin Wood deck enough. It is available at The Next Millennium, the best metaphysical store in the world ever.
The next deck I have is my Celtic deck.  This deck is designed by Julian De Burgh, and comes with a book explaining the images. Each person on the cards is actually a Celtic historical or mythological figure, which makes it very fun and valuable for a Celtic-phile like me.
The pencil drawings by Mary Guinan are beautiful and match the theme. It reminds me fairy tale books.
The next deck is the Barbara G. Walker deck. This deck is more of an acquired taste. It’s like the red wine and dark chocolate of tarot decks. The images can be sometimes menacing. However, it is that mystery that surrounds the images that make it appealing, at least to me.  Plus, it’s very educational–Barbara G. Walker is an expert on ancient goddess religions. I recommend her books: The Women’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, and The Women’s Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects. I’ve put both of my copies to good use writing papers for English courses.
Artwork by Barbara G. Walker
My newest deck is The Goddess Tarot by Kris Waldherr.  I’ve been wanting this deck for a long time, because the colors are beautiful, and each card is represented by a goddess. For example, The Fool, called Beginnings, is represented by the Tibetan Goddess Tara.
Artwork by Kris Waldherr
Anyway, these are the decks I will be using, and the decks I recommend.
Now, a little about the Tarot. A Tarot deck is composed of the Major Arcana–cards 0 through 21–and the Minor Arcana, consisting of four suits of 14 cards each. Four of those cards are “royalty”–a King, a Queen, a Knight (or a Prince, in some decks), and a Page (or Princess).  I will go through these cards on the blog.  I will discuss the card, and then ask some questions that will hopefully help you connect to the cards.
I use the cards as a psychological tool as much as a prognostic one. In the details of the cards are clues to how you’re feeling, and offers insights to your life–past, present, and future.

Welcome to the blog!

I want to give a shout out to everybody reading this first post. Howdy to friends from Facebook. Salutations to Tarot Scholars, Zodiac Freaks, and Spelunkers of the Subconscious.  

 
Since I was little, I have been fascinated with the concept of precognition and, indeed, anything paranormal. As a child, I wanted to learn as much as I could about telekinesis, psychic abilities, and Berserkers (and demonic possession, but that’s for another time).  When I was 15, I bought my first deck of Tarot cards, and I fell in love. I see Tarot as a psychological tool, as useful as a Rorschach test (if not more so).  There are many facets and uses for Tarot cards, and I hope to talk about them in this blog. 
 
Around the same age I got into Tarot cards, I began to seriously study the Zodiac. The three sentence horoscope in the daily paper, I believe, does not do astrology much justice. I see the Zodiac as a system of archetypes (I will discuss that too, don’t worry!),  and, as such, it can be useful for self-knowledge and healing. As a side note, I will refer to the Zodiac sign formerly known as Cancer, and the people who dwell in it, as Luna, Moon Children (Moonies), as well as Cancer. This is not to be arrogant, as I know Cancer is the name this sign has been called for millennia. It’s just that I feel we poor Cancers have enough to deal with, what with having the reputations of being emotional and soggy and clingy, and having an animal associated with pubic lice as our mascot, without having to deal with the stigma of having the same name as a terrible disease.  That’s just me. It’ll be hard to break the habit, but I will try. 
 
Of course, everyone dreams, even if we don’t remember it in the morning. I believe science should invent a device that records dreams, but until then, we’ll just have to keep those notebooks and pens by our pillows! Dreams are universal, and what makes them so wonderful is that they connect us (as we all dream) while at the same time underscoring our individuality.  Let’s discuss dreams here, shall we? 
 
Now, I know the question on your minds, which is, “Kathy, what thehell is a Turtlephoenix?” Well, a Turtlephoenix is simply a chimera of my two of my favorite animals (I have others, but these two resonate with me the most).  Turtles I associate with wisdom and the sign of Luna, as it carries its shell on its back, and thus is always nice and snug at home. They are associated with both water and earth, which are feminine elements.  According to the Ojibwe of Michigan, a turtle was responsible for carrying the newborn earth on its back. It is a nurturing creature. Plus, they’re very cute, what with their little smiles, and their funky back patterns. 
The Phoenix is very personal for me as a healing symbol. Phoenixes (Phoeni?) show the cycle of life–you have cold, ashen times, and blazing, healthy, happy times, and both are necessary. They are beautiful and their tears heal wounds. They balance turtles because they symbolize the elements of air and fire. They are adventurous, at least to me, and they symbolize nobility and bravery. 
 
So, there we are. Next updates, I will be taking about the Tarot and what to use it for, my different decks (they come in different flavors), and archetypes (which are necessary to understand many things).