Saturday, September 16, 2017

A Ramble Through The Sun Card - The Wonderland Tarot

Wonderland Tarot by Christopher & Morgana Abbey
Artwork by Morgana Abbey
Published by U.S. Games Systems Inc.
I first wrote this Ramble at a guest post on Tarot Notes in June 2012.  I thought it would be nice to share it once more.  You can find the post on Tarot Notes  HERE

When I first looked at this image of the Sun, I wondered what Humpty Dumpty and Alice's connection to the usual meaning could be. After all, Humpty's an Egg, not Sun like at all, unless of course you soft boiled him and cracked him open to reveal that sunny yolk inside, but I don't think he'd like that, do you?

The Sun card is in most decks, depicted as a feel good card.  It's considered the best card in the deck and in general means happiness and joy. It usually suggests energy, good health, optimism and a positive attitude towards life. Its more mundane meanings represent holidays, good news, birth of a baby, etc. In more traditional decks the Sun card is illustrated by a beaming sun radiating its warmth and energy outwards.

The Wonderland, with its depiction of Humpty Dumpty sitting on his wall and Alice about to shake his hand, does give you the impression that perhaps it's a cute and more frivolous deck than its more traditional counterparts. After all, how deep can an Egg be? Let's crack this card open. You'll see that what at first appears to be a superficial image does in fact touch upon the more psychological and self growth elements of this card.

Now indeed this card is about feeling good, but the Humpty Dumpty element does tend to border on the arrogant side. According to the LWB, the Egg is very pleased with himself, so much so, that he congratulates himself and allows Alice to shake his hand. He tells her that the King has promised to send all his horses and all his men, if he should fall from that high wall. Well, I've got news for you Humpty—you're scrambled egg if you do!

Humpty is so over-confident, that he has allowed his ego to place him in a position that could be a danger to himself, and maybe to others if they are standing under him when he topples – and topple he will - those with big egos fall the hardest, so they say.

Here in just that Humpty Dumpty symbolism, we have a positive and a negative aspect of the Sun card.

 1: There is that sense of well-being, confidence in who he is and the simple enjoyment of his situation. (Positive aspect)

 2: There is the arrogance, the element of showing off – confidence taken to the next step resulting in an inflated vision of himself. (Negative aspect)

Humpty offers his hand, not so much in friendship, but rather in acknowledgement of his own perceived achievement. So he thinks only he shines brightest, and in doing so, fails to see the light that others shine. This holds him back and stops him from reaching his real potential – it stunts his spiritual growth. I think Humpty teaches us a good lesson here, don't you?

Alice, on the other hand, is a different kettle of fish! She holds out her hand in true friendship. She, has a quiet confidence, one that doesn't need to prove to Humpty or anyone else, who she is. Alice is happy to be Alice. It is in this acceptance of the self that she is comfortable with who she is and what she knows, and can in turn allow others to be who they are.

This aspect of being comfortable with the self, so that one has no need to prove anything, which results in a flexible attitude towards others and life in general, is a fundamental part of the meaning of the Sun Card. When you experience the energy of the Sun, you can reach a clarity that enables you to gain an understanding about the self and others, that brings illumination, hope and optimism along with a renewed positive attitude.

This dear Wonderland's Sun card, shows us that we need to accept ourselves as we are and allow others to be who they are. It is this self confidence and understanding, that creates a positive future for us. It says it's okay to celebrate our success, but it also shows us that if we take self confidence too far, so that it turns into arrogance, we can make bad choices that delay our progress in self growth.

Humpty needs to remember that even if all the King's horses and all the King's men are called, they won't be able to put Humpty together again! Now that's no egg-zaggeration!



Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass (1872)

“I don't know what you mean by 'glory,'” said Alice
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don't—till I tell you. I mean there's a nice knock-down argument for you!”
“But 'glory' doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argument',” Alice objected.
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”


Sunday, September 10, 2017

A Weekly Plan - Tarot Spread


For those of you who like to do a weekly spread, I thought I'd share this one that I designed some years back, but it still proves to be a helpful spread.

The layout is supposed to represent a candle and the light around the flame (a little imagination needed here.)






Card 1: This is what I need to be aware of in preparation for the coming week.

Card 2: This is what my emotions tell me.

Card 3: This is what my thoughts tell me.

Card 4: This is how I combine my emotions and thoughts to assist me through the week.

Time to take this spread for a run for you. Shuffling up the Lo Scarabeo Tarot  these are the cards I pulled.







Card 1: The World - This card indicates to me that something is reaching the end of its cycle and that it is time to begin a new one. This will give me a sense of completion and indicates success.

Card 2: The Moon - Shows me that my emotions hang on the uncertainty of  change, and definitely like the comfort of what I already know. It's the unexpected that rattles me.
Card 3: Death. Well, my logic or thoughts tell me that what is finished with is finished with and that one needs in order to move forward embrace the transition that will take place. The card indicates that I am aware of the new beginning and the possibilities it may hold.
Card 4: 6 of Swords. The best way to combine my emotions and my thoughts into a position of help rather than hinderance, is to understand what I may fear about change. Once understood I can leave those thoughts behind me and move to a new space in which to begin again.
Well, I have an idea what this may be about, and the insights the cards have given me will definitely help me stay on track.
If you use this spread I do hope it will be of assistance to you.


Card Credit:
Lo Scarabeo Tarot - Torino Italy

Friday, September 1, 2017

Learn Tarot With Me - The High Priestess


Original Rider Waite -By A E Waite & Pamela Colman-Smith
Published by  U.S. Games Systems, Inc.


KEYWORDS
Intuition
Psychic Abilities
Inner Wisdom

The Esoteric Title for this card is The Princess of the Silver Star

Astrological Attribution: Moon  I believe the moon is the largest planet to orbit the Earth and with its waxing and waning  qualities can represent the pull on one's emotions and feelings.

Elemental Attribution is Water: Elemental Water is cold and wet and its nature is union.

Positive Meanings: Wisdom, enlightenment, intuition, psychic ability.

Negative Meanings: Ignorance, shortsightedness, insecurity.


The High Priestess represents the need to turn inwards and release our logical mind in order to engage our inner senses. She urges one to reach into those inner depths of knowledge and let our intuition come to the fore and guide us.

What she stands for is the secret knowledge within us all. She is a number 2 card in the tarot sequence, and that is a number that symbolises duality, balance and union - the union between our subconscious and conscious mind. The High Priestess recognises this duality that exists within. 

When she turns up in a reading she could be suggesting that you may need to turn inwards and engage your higher self in order to find the right answers. Therefore, she indicates that one should listen to the voice within  so that you can gain a better perspective  to deal with any problems that you may face.

However, like all cards she has a negative side and this could indicate that one has become withdrawn or that secrets are being withheld. Perhaps also she suggest that one is emotionally insecure.

On a lighter note she could be suggesting that one is finally coming out of theirselves.

Let's look at the symbolism of the card.

* Dark Hair - I have read this may well symbolise she has a mind full of secrets.

* Dark and Light Pillars - 
Black Pillar of Severity, with the letter B for Boaz - Strength
White Pillar of Mercy,  with the letter J for Jachim - Establishes
Apparently these are said to be the pillars of Solomon's Temple. The pillars also being opposite colours could represent masculine/feminine and dark/light.

* White Robe could be said to represent purity, pure spirit and illumination. Also as white comprises of all the colours of the spectrum it could represent light.

*Cloak that flows down from her shoulders like water, because it resembles the flow of water it could suggest the unconscious process along with reflection and intuition.

* The Veil at the back of her.  A veil usually conceals something and therefore could represent for us here the difference between the known and the unknown. In HP's case maybe the conscious versus the unconscious.

* Pomegranates and Palms These decorate the veil and both may well be a symbol of fertility.  The pomegranates could also represent abundance while the palms represent suffering.

* Cross On Chest  I have read that this can be described as the equal armed cross of equanimity, maybe referring to her tranquil pose and calmness.

*Headress Is it triple moons or is it the sun with moons either side?
If it is triple moons, does it allude to life's cyclic nature, or if Sun and two moons, to the mysteries in life?  You'll have to decide that one for yourselves.

* Crescent Moon at her feet links her to the Astrological attribution The Moon.

* Water as in the  cloak flowing like water, suggests the depths of the unconscious.


Waite's High Priestess shows us that we not only need to begin but will need to continue our research into human, earthly and esoteric laws. She then represents for us our attempt to come to terms with them. She brings to our attention the duality in nature and in ourselves and the choices we may make in response to those dualities.


Don't forget to write a Tarot Wisdom  or two for this card and I'll see you next time with The Empress.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Spirit Guide Reading - Revisited

Back in 2012 I shared this reading on  Zanna Starr's Tarot Notes blog, you can find the reading HERE  

I thought it would be fun to share this simple reading of two cards  once more, asking the questions:
1. "What message does my spirit guide/s really want to get across to me right now? And 
2. How do they want me to use this message in my life?

I hope if you try out this spread that you get the answers you need right now.

Lay the Cards side by side. Ask the first question of card No. 1 and the second question of card No. 2.  Notice how the cards interact and how that influences the message. 

I'm using the Alchemical Tarot - Renewed.
Alchemical Tarot Renewed by Robert M. Place
Published by Hermes Publications



The first thing I notice is that my two cards are minor arcana and therefore really applies to my everyday life. That's good because at least I know there is not major life changing things they want to tell me. Another interesting thing about these two is they both depict a change of positions; the boat coming in  and the pots rearranging themselves.


So what's my message.  It seems pretty clear to me that my Spirit guide wants me to know right now that the time to bring about change and replenish myself is here. The boat indicates an arrival and with it will come something new, something I can use to widen my future activities.  So how do they expect me to use this knowledge, well just look at those pots moving from their static position. Unlike traditional decks where the 5 cups depicts concentrating on ones loss rather than on what one has, the Alchemical Tarot's five of Vessels depicts a sudden change. My guide's instructions of how to use his message is to be open to new possibilities and be ready to try something new.

There you have it a very clear message, that change is in the air. To widen my view of my horizon and be prepared to be open to the possibilities that offer themselves to me.

Makes perfect sense, especially in the direction I am travelling at the moment. I hope you find the right answers for yourselves using this simple spread.


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Poetry Inspired by Tarot - Progress


Alchemical Renewed
By Robert M. Place 
Hermes Publications
This poem was inspired by the Alchemical Renewed Tarot's 5 of Wands (Burning Hand - creative energy)


Progress 

Are we learning to make fire,
with every breath we take?
As we grasp those sticks so firmly,
for all humanities sake.

Will we keep rubbing them together,
until we gain a spark?
And know that our endeavours.
will only be the start.

It may take us some effort,
but from a spark comes flame.
It's flickering light's potential, 
will that be our gain?

But flame begets flame,
it spreads both far and wide.
And if our efforts go overboard
do we then run and hide?

Making fire should be our aim
but there's a lesson to learn.
It's flames may dance, inspire our minds,
just be careful, who we burn.

© Helen A. Howell

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Learn Tarot With Me - The Magician



THE MAGICIAN

Original Rider Waite -By A E Waite & Pamela Colman-Smith
Published by  U.S. Games Systems, Inc.



KEYWORDS:

These are my own, try to make up one's that you can remember.

Make things happen
Conscious Awareness
Creative Initiative

The Esoteric Title for this card is: The Magus of Power (Book T)

Astrological Attribution:  Mercury - Again you must forgive my lack of astrology, but I do believe that Mercury is the closest planet to the sun and apparently has the fastest orbit of nine know planets.  Therefore Mercury is quick. 

Elementally Attribution: Air  Elemental air is hot and wet and its nature is separation.

Positive Meanings: Action - Power - Creativity - Confidence - Willpower - Potential.

Negative Meanings: Manipulation - Trickery - Lack of Confidence - Misuse of Power.

The Magician indicates for us that we have the willpower and the initiative to succeed. The four elements on his table tell you that you have all you need to create. If he was to speak to you he would say "you have the power to create."

When The Magician turns up in a reading he indicates that this is the time for action and energy. He is a number 1 card and that represents potential and new beginnings. When he appears he urges you to recognise that you have what it takes to make things happen. He points the way for you to transform one situation into another. He stands for being aware of the power in your life. 

The negative aspects of this card indicate that you may well lack will power or the confidence needed to transform a situation. He also stands for trickery, think con-artist. Or he could indicate one that misuses power and manipulates others to his own end. 

Notice the position of the arms, one points to the heavens and one to the earth, 'as above, so below.' This translates to mean that if one allows their higher self to work with their consciousness, then you will have a better understanding of what you possess in order to create the reality you desire.  I think his fundamental element of his message is awareness, intention and willpower in order to see things through.  The Magician indicates that you have to do things for yourself.

Lets look at the symbolism of the card:

1. Lemniscate, the Magician has above his head the sign of the mystical lemniscate which looks like a number 8 on its side.  It is also the mathematical symbol for infinity and therefore connects the Magician to timelessness.

2. Ouroboros, around his waist is a belt which resembles a snake eating its tail. This becomes a circular symbol of time and reinforces the message of the lemniscate.

3. Roses and Lilies, Red roses could symbolise desire and action while the White lilies could stand for truth.

4. Table/Alter, could the table itself stand for the potential in one's life? It is, where the Magician stands his tools.

5. Magical tools, on his table are four magical tools and these have come to represent the 4 elements, Air, (sword) Fire, (wand) Water, (cup) Earth (pentacle.)

6. Position of his hands, the Magician stands holding his own wand pointing to the heavens, while his other hand points to the earth. As stated above this symbolises 'as above, so below,' meaning our spiritual self should be manifested in our reality.

7. Yellow background,  taking what yellow appears to symbolise in tarot, it's an indication of mental activity, solar, energy, willpower and awareness and intention, which is what our Magician is all about.

I think what the Magician says to us is "you have the power to create," and what he does is point the way in which further development can take place. He is able to expand his energies on his vision and ideals to which he is committed.

The Magician indicates our intuitive ability and can highlight for us those experiences we have chosen to manifest as well as indicating those areas that tend to limit us, thus giving us a better understanding of how we should deal with these aspects of life. 

I really think what the Magician is saying in plain words to us is that the power is within one's own hands to not just create one's reality but to understand how we should approach this. 

The Magician tells us that we have to be more aware that we are more than just physical beings and this realisation is what gives us the power to create.

Exercise for this week:

Don't forget to write out a couple of Tarot Wisdom statements for the Magician. I'll give you an example of this.
May you today envisage those new beginnings you desire and display the will power to create them for yourself.

Original Rider Waite -By A E Waite & Pamela Colman-Smith
Published by  U.S. Games Systems, Inc.



Now you have two cards under your belt, I would like you to lay these two cards down together. Magician as card no.1 and The Fool as card no.2 Notice how The Fool is walking towards the Magician. What do you think the message of these two cards combined might be?
If you would like to leave your answers in the comments I will come back and look and comment on them. 

See you next week with  The High Priestess.

Credit for Cards show:

Original Rider Waite By A.E. Waite & Pamela Colman-Smith
Published by U.S. Games Systems Inc.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Poetry Inspired by Tarot - Dreaming


Wonderland Tarot
Published by U.S.Games Systems Inc.

This poem was inspired by the 4 of Flamingos (Swords) in one of my favourite decks The Wonderland Tarot - now out of print.

Dreaming

It's time to sleep, close my eyes,
and rest my weary head.
To dream of things yet to come,
and things yet to be said.


No thoughts to torment me,
my mind has been set free.
To delve much deeper in the dark,
 while searching for the key.

I'll dream of roses, soft and red,
that lay around my feet.
Of Knights so bold in armour bright.
and sweet, sweet treats to eat.

And while I dream of things untrue,
my mind sends me a clue,
Of what I really need to know,
and what I should next do.

As I slumber through the night,
my visions keep on spinning.
And like the young moon in the sky,
I'll wake, to a new beginning.


© Helen A. Howell