Tarot of the Silicon Dawn – Getting to Know You

Yay!  I just got my Tarot of the Silicon Dawn in the mail yesterday.  (Created by Margaret  Trauth and published by Lo Scarabeo)  I spent a good half-hour looking through each of the cards, enjoying the varnish effect that LS added at the artist’s direction.  Very unique!  [This isn’t the first time that LS has done this; they also used varnish on the Quantum Tarot v2.0.]

Every time I get a new deck that I think I’m going to really use, I’ll do an interview spread that I’ve dubbed, “Getting to Know You.”  I usually use 3 cards, because that’s proven to be the “right” amount for me, and although the questions are not always the same, they usually center around the same ideas.

As I was shuffling the cards, I asked the following questions:

What can I expect from working with this deck? The Moon
What will this deck offer me that other cannot?The Tower
What kind of relationship will I have with this deck?Ace of Swords

Getting to Know my Tarot of the Silicon Dawn

The Moon shows us a female figure complete with a scorpion’s tail.  She sits on a crescent moon, which hovers over a great body of water, skimming her fingers over the surface of the water.  A jackal doggie-paddles right through the moon’s reflection in the water. 
It seems as if this deck will give me just enough light to shine in the dark, the dark being the unknown landscape of these new images.  The jackal could represent my subconscious that’s going to have to steer through the currents, and the woman on the moon could actually represent the energy of this deck, keeping her fingers entangled in the energy of the readings.  Should be interesting!

The Tower shows us a view of two tall buildings , each on fire, with the obligatory falling people.  However, I also see little white blotches, what looks like pieces of paper, making this image just a little too close to the 9/11 twin towers episode to be comfortable.  Of course, The Tower isn’t supposed to make us comfortable, so I guess this card is doing its job!
So what will this deck offer me that others cannot?  Hmmm… a feeling of great discomfort?  What’s interesting about this image making me uncomfortable is that it’s not that it’s The Tower, which never makes me happy when I see it in a reading, but the image itself, reminding me so viscerally of an event that had such a deep effect, not just to me but to the world.  It could be that this deck will challenge me with its images, and isn’t that the point with using different decks?  Why do I have so many?  Because I enjoy seeing how each artist illustrates their understanding of the cards.

The Ace of Swords shows us a woman hovering atop a group of gears, darkness underneath her, but her body illuminated from her feet upwards.  Her nude figure sports gears on her wrists and a gear over her solar plexus chakra.  But what’s most noticable is that in place of facial features is a blank space sporting one lone sword. 
My relationship with this deck will be a great source of new ideas, whether they be about how I see Tarot or the topics of my readings.

It seems working with my new Tarot of the Silicon Deck will be an interesting challenge, but one that will yield great benefits.  🙂


Patrick Valenza is Doing it Again!

Oooh… Patrick Valenza is doing it again!  He sent out a tweet the other day giving us a heads up on his upcoming 222 deck, and a link to watch its progress on his blog and Facebook page.

I absolutely love Patrick’s work!  There’s just something otherworldly about it that makes you sit up and take notice.  You can see my original review of the Deviant Moon Tarot on my website.  The art for his new deck seems to have more muted colors and a medieval feel.  Another unique masterpiece!

He also sent out an email mentioning Halloween decks being available 9/19, but I think those might be the Deviant Moon in his special packaging.  If you don’t have one of those, they are so worth it!  I have the original print run of the Deviant Moon that was printed in Italy, but I got a copy of the China printing directly from Patrick, which includes special packaging with one-of-a-kind drawings on the wrapping, inside box cover and inside the packaging, spread sheet, and title card.  I love the feeling that he drew those doodles just for me, and I’ve kept every part of the packaging.  😉  Yup.  Well worth it if you love his artwork.

What’s More Important?

As I was shuffling my Tod’s Creatures Tarot, I asked,
“What part of my day should I reflect upon?”

I drew three cards with no set positions; I just wanted to see how the cards spoke to me.

King of Cups – Eight of Coins – Ten of Swords

The first thing I noticed was the Eight of Coins. It fits into my day because I’ve been working my butt off at work lately with lots of projects coming due and lots of late nights. In the card we see a mechanical figure (dragon?) surrounded by gears, working on some kind of gizmo in his hands. And the next thing I notice is that his back is to the King of Cups.

I kind of scratched my head over what the King of Cups represents but decided to go with my inner voice and forget about what the King is supposed to mean. First of all, I love the colors in this card; blues and purples are my favorite, and add a little green in there and you have a very beautiful, vibrant card. Seeing the Eight of Coins as me, I’ve had to turn my back on any tarot fun today because I’ve been so busy, so I kind of see the King of Cups as my ambassador to Tarot. I use tarot for self-improvement and spiritual empowerment, so I can see the King representing my desire to work with my cards. And thus my Eight of Coins is turning his back on my fun, saying “Sorry! No time for you right now!” And funny… I notice that the Eight of Coins is a pretty colorless card, which I would say is a fair representation of accounting work, especially when compared to the magic of Tarot! 🙂

And last I look to the Ten of Swords (do I have to??) and notice that if the Eight of Coins is facing away from the King of Cups, he’s staring right into the Ten of Swords! We see a squirrel-looking figure on the ground with ten swords stuck in his back, blood surrounding his body. All of this red is enhanced by the red in the sky. The figure is so small, there’s almost not enough room for all those swords! As much as I keep trying to fit my usual interpretation of the Ten of Swords as the ending of an intellectual belief system that I may have, all I can hear is my son saying, “I HATE your job!” when I had to tell him that I was working late again tonight.  😦

Hmmm… maybe the thing that needs to change is how I deal with the extra work I’ve had lately. I could try to start bringing it home and doing it after the kids go to sleep….

So, what’s more important? Well, if it’s a question between work and Tarot, of course work wins because that’s what pays the bills (gotta pay for those tarot decks!). But I don’t think that’s what the issue is. The problem is really all the extra work I’ve had lately and how to better manage my time so that I can come home and spend time with my kids before they go to sleep. If it means taking work home, fortunately I have the ability to connect to my work computer from home, so that is a possibility. It’ll just take more discipline to work from home while everyone else is sleeping. That’s usually why I stay at the office. It’s much easier to stay awake when I’m in my work atmosphere and no bed a few rooms away calling to me…. 😉

Should I or Shouldn’t I? Using the Tarot School’s Double-Edged Sword Spread

For many days now I’ve been debating whether or not I should attend the upcoming Tarot School’s Readers Studio in April 2012.  My husband is okay with me taking a “vacation” without the rest of the family, so it’s really all coming down to money.  After I mulled it over for 3 days, I finally remembered to pull out my cards.  (duh!  It’s funny how often I don’t think of using Tarot when making big decisions, like recently when we were trying to decide whether to trade in our older car for a newer one.)

Anyway, the first spread that came to me is by none other than Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone, the very people who host the Readers Studio.  It’s called the Double-Edged Sword, and it uses a columnar format with 5 cards in each column, and each column representing a different choice.  I don’t usually use reversals, but this spread is really set up for reversals.

I shuffled and laid out the cards; the left column represents going to the RS12 and the right column represents staying home during that week.

I drew the following cards:

Go to RS12:
Ace of Pentacles Rx
The World
Seven of Wands Rx
Knight of Wands
King of Pentacles Rx

Do Not Go to RS12:
Three of Swords
King of Swords
Nine of Cups
The Lovers
The Chariot Rx

At first glance, if you were just looking at reversals, this might seem an obvious call to stay home since there are 3 reversed cards in the “go” column and only one in the “stay” column, but if I really look at the cards, it’s definitely not a cut and dry decision for me.

As I said, it’s all going to come down to money, which the “go” column definitely emphasizes.  I mean, what more do you need to see?  We start with the Ace of Pents reversed, and end the column with the King of Pents reversed.  The whole column is bracketed by the beginning and end of the Pentacles suit, and both cards are reversed.  (And I actually confirmed this tonight when I took three hours to reconcile my bank account and try to rework my budget. <sigh>   And I’m in this position now because we did decide to buy that new car less than 15 days ago.)

The middle card, the Seven of Wands, is also reversed, and it says to me that I might spend the next 6 months defending my position to attend RS12, whether it be it to my husband or to myself.

However, on the plus side, these reversed cards surround The World. Because this is a trump card, I want to give it more weight than the other cards.  The reversed Pents, while discomfiting, are transitory problems (provided I have my current job) and there are things I can do before the RS to earn a little money (like sell some of the 300+ decks I own).  But the effects of The World card could very well change the very way I see the world (no pun intended!); it could mean that attending the Readers Studio could help to fill a part of my life that has been missing for a long time.

In the right column, there is only one reversed card, but it’s interesting to see what the other cards are.  First of all, the first card I drew, the Three of Swords, was just a big, “Don’t I know it!”  If I don’t go, it’s going to just break my heart.  And not just emotionally.  This is Swords after all.  Before I had the bright idea to use my Tarot deck ;), I journaled my feelings about my motivations for wanting to go when I know that money is tight.  It all came down to reconnecting with something that used to be very important in my life but went into hibernation after I lost Robyn.  Not only did I stop playing with Tarot and enjoying it, but I lost my connection to Spirit.  I’ll admit it… I have felt dead inside for two years now, and it makes me sad and lonely.  I think that going to the RS will help bring me back to something that matters to me.  Yes, I can do it through all of my online connections, but it’s not the same.  And if you’ve ever been to the Readers Studio, you know that nothing is quite like it!  🙂

The middle card is the Nine of Cups, which most people look at as a positive card.  And I suppose it is for the most part.  But when I look at this card, I see me surrounded by my wish (going to RS12) but not actually going anywhere.  There I am, just sitting in the middle of all those cups, not partaking at all.  It feels like total inaction to me.  And that kind of fits with the Chariot reversed.  That guy isn’t going anywhere either.  Normally he’s buried in cement anyway, so his movement could be interpreted to be spiritual.  But to have this card reversed tells me that not only am I not going anywhere physically, but I won’t be gaining any spiritual enlightenment either.

On a personal level, I tie The Lovers and the King of Swords together.  I usually associate my husband with the King of Cups because his Scorpio rising sign is prevalent.  However, he is a Gemini, and I believe in the case of his feelings about me attending or not attending the Readers Studio, he would be looking at it from a more unattached viewpoint and would be totally happy with me not going, thus The Lovers.  Not going would please him on more than one level and might strengthen our relationship, at least in his eyes.  (I’m sure I’m missing some significant points of this trump card, but that’s my first reaction to this card.  Plus The Lovers is one of his birth cards.)

So, like I said, this spread is not cut and dry, no matter that one side has more reversals than the other.  (Of course, because I have a definite preference for going, I’m going to try to see the brightest side of the cards on the left!)  Not going would mean that I continue to live my life as I have been, with lots of inaction and no spiritual connection, albeit a lack of financial struggle as Pents are absent in the “stay” column.  Should I choose to go, I may have some hardship attached to the actual getting there, but once there will gain far more to add to my life and overall well-being.

Knowing that my biggest hurdle is financial, I can do things now to help myself achieve my goal.  Whereas I might have gone ahead and purchased an airline ticket this week and had Wald and Ruth Ann start the payment plan for me, I still have time.  The smart thing to do would be to list my books and decks on the trading board at Aeclectic and try to raise money and see where I end up in a few weeks.  I do have a few collector decks that might help.  Plus, my birthday and Christmas are coming up and I’ve already told my sister that I want money toward my trip. 🙂

So what do you think?  Did I miss anything? 🙂

In Memoriam

I’ve spent much of the last week watching all the 9/11 specials on cable, shedding tears for the thousands that perished that day.  And here it is, the end of day on the 10th anniversary of a day I’ll never forget, and I feel as if I should post something profound.  But I’m afraid that words are failing me tonight.

I can tell you exactly where I was and what I was doing that morning.  I also remember reading on the Tarot boards around the internet of how many people had drawn the Tower card that day, before anything had happened.  The Universe already had that energy flowing through It, I suppose.

Myself, I was walking into work.  I remember that it was a gorgeous day because I was singing the song from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day in the neighborhood….”  And after I found out what had happened, and had spent the whole morning watching various news coverage, I felt so guilty for singing that song.   So many people suffering, so much loss, and I had been singing a happy song.   And even though I know that the two things really had nothing to do with one another, I’ve never been able to sing that song again.  It just hurts too much.

May God and Goddess bless the survivors and help bring them peace.  May we never forget the heroic efforts of the firemen and policemen that gave their lives saving others.  I will never forget.

Change is All Around

Robin Wood Tarot

Change is everywhere you look.  You see it when someone gets married, buys a home, or begins a new job.  It’s the beginning of a new way of life for that person, whether the change was expected or not.  Sometimes the changes are small, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t still affect that person in a meaningful way.

Just a couple of days ago I found out that my favorite tarot forum, Tarot for Life, will be closing on Sept. 30.  I understand why the owner is doing it (been there before!), but it doesn’t make it less difficult.  Even though I didn’t post a lot, I always knew it was there, just waiting for when I was ready and had time to post.

This change is significant for me, in my life of the same-ol’, same-ol’.  Many years ago tarot was a part of my daily life.  I managed a discussion group, posted a card of the day every day, and basically lived and breathed tarot.  It was wonderful.  Then, as some of you know, I lost my best friend and tarot buddy to cancer, and my tarot practice (and my life) really hasn’t been the same.  I want to begin again and enjoy the cards as much as I used to, but it just hasn’t happened for me yet.

Well, maybe this ending of an era, the closing of TFL, is the spur that will get me moving.  My intentions are always good, but it’s usually something outside of myself that will motivate me to do what I plan.

I have a new deck that I found mentioned at Aeclectic, Tod’s Creatures Tarot, by Tod Wills, and I thought I would do a three-card spread about the situation.  I don’t usually do Past, Present, Future spreads, but it seemed appropriate.  I asked, what has tarot been to me in the past, and where will it be for me in the near future?

I drew:  Past – Ten of Wands / Present – Six of Cups / Future – Knight of Swords

Past/Present/Future Spread with Tod's Creatures Tarot

This is interesting.  The first card, The Past – Ten of Wands, shows where I was when I decided to not make tarot front-and-center in my life.  The responsibilities of my discussion group had gotten to be too stressful, never leaving me time for anything else in my life, and I decided to take a big step back.  It was much needed at the time.

The second card, The Present – Six of Cups, tells me that I’m at the stage where I’m looking back very fondly to what I used to have and would like to recreate that again.  Or at least, I want to bring tarot back as a more active part of my life.  I love this particular card, because I think it showcases how we can look back in time with rose-colored glasses, not really choosing to see what was NOT working.  The little kitty is really enjoying that lollypop and is surrounded by all that candy.  But after she’s gone through a couple of pumpkins of candy, she’s going to be feeling rather sick to her tummy!  🙂

The third card, The Future – Knight of Swords, shows us a dragon crouched on top of a cloud, holding a sword in his paw/claw.  When I see this card, I see a goal that I want to meet, and I see myself moving toward it with clear purpose, but more from an intellectual point-of-view than an emotional one.

A very interesting draw with a great little deck.  I’ll be interested to see how this deck communicates as I use it more.

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