Tarot Talk: It’s looking Swordsy

I did a little informal intention setting for the new year that I wanted to get serious aboutTarot Talk updated doing my daily card drawings and I’ve been doing pretty well.  I got myself another Fools Dog ap which helps because sometimes lately, digital is all I’ve got the energy for.  The two decks I use most in Ap form are the Ostara Tarot and the Tarot of the Hidden Realm.  I also have both of them in physical format as well.

And MAN, all this week SWORDS.  I use yellow in my tarot journal to indicate swords/air andScreenshot 2018-01-10 13.51.17 the whole week is yellow.

I had the seven of swords twice in a row this week, from different decks even.  And then this morning I drew the Ten of swords.  Yikes.  I’m pretty sure the ten came up expressing my frustration around an incident where an “Ally” acted like an uneducated person and I was pretty much on the spot to speak up for all queer people (which happens a lot).  I felt a little 10 of swordsy.  Literally wrote in my notebook:  “TFW when you gotta educate the “Allies”.  Fucking Tired.”  This was around trans issues and I’m a cis person.  I can’t even imagine how frustrated and tired my trans friends must feel around this crap.  Sending so much love.

Screenshot 2018-01-10 13.51.23In other, more fun news. I’ve been holing up in my studio and Quilting All The Things!  Tarot card mats have come off the machine recently.  Last year I took an online class in watercolor quilting and I’ve finally gotten around to trying out the new skill.

You can see the pretty watercolors in the background of today’s 10 of Swords draw.  You paint the fabric with this fabric paint/dye and after it dries you use free motion quilting to outline the color shapes.  I’m crazy into it right now.  I have a few more squares of fabric to paint up and then I’ll probably have a few more mats to show you.

IMG_5389I got inspired by another reader on IG and I made a simple three card layout mat as well.  I took a bunch of more ‘curated’ photos of it and then I decided to share this long shot with you.  Fighting that, everything must look perfect vibe.  I did light a pretty candle here, but in the background you can see my hexie paper punch, my wife is painting with water colors over on the left, and the leftovers from a D&D gaming session cover the far end of the table.  Is it Instagram Perfect Beautiful?  Nope, but does it work?  Sure does.  Sometimes you just have to work with what you’ve got.  And sometimes that’s a messy dining room table or a sink full of dishes because I spent more time at the sewing machine than I did with a sponge.  #RealLife 🙂

Love to you all in the new year.  May your 2018 be Beautiful and Creative.

Card of the Day: Six of Arrows


Today’s card is the Six of Arrows from the Wildwood Tarot.

img_0331Well, isn’t this a little on the nose today.  The six of arrows shows the keyword Transition.  On inauguration day.

The figure holding the tiller on the boat is shrouded in black robes and wraps.  A nose and some kind of facial hair can be seen and the expression and pose looks serious and focused.  They’re sailing away from the bright and sunny waters and into the dark of the unknown.

The hidden face reads defeat to me.  Returning from some confrontation that was lost.  Something is being left behind and the figure carries regret and an intense feeling of loss.  This is an uncertain and fear filled time.  But this six reminds you to harness the energy around you and use it to power yourself onwards.  The energies here are air, intellect, the mind.  It fills that sail and you can see from the water in front of the boat that it’s cutting quickly through the water.

That’s the message I’m taking away from today’s pull is that when you’re walking through hell, keep on walking.

Be safe, take care of yourselves, and give ’em hell this weekend and for the next two years when we can kick a lot of them out at the midterm elections.  ❤

Card of the Day: Ace of Swords


Today’s card is the Ace of Swords from the Prisma Visions Deck.

img_0705This Ace slices through all of the crap.  It represents a clean cutting away of brain fog and cluttered disorganization. You can think of this sword as a breath of fresh air slicing through a heavy smog leaving clean breathable air behind it.

The suit of swords, the suit of air, represents the mind, clean sharp intellect at work that can slice through any challenge.  The sword here looks like it fell from the heavens and embedded itself in the ground.  It shines with power, a glittering beacon in the winter cold.

Aces, as I’ve said before, are always a positive sign.  So if you’ve felt mired in a lot of disordered thoughts and your plans keep getting messed up this is just the sign you’ve been looking for.  This Ace tells you to be on the look out for a great idea, opportunity, or a chance for something.  It might take a little while to manifest, but if you seek it out, you’ll be rewarded.

Card of the Day: Eight of Arrows


Today’s Card is the Eight of Arrows from the Wildwood Tarot

img_1380 This card has the keyword Struggle printed on it and it corresponds to the Eight of Swords in the RWS deck.  The figure in the card seems lost in the bitter cold, treading through a mess of fired and broken arrows.  Perhaps they’ve just come to the sight of a battle that has been fought or perhaps they seek entry into the warmth of a camp where they have no kin.

They have wandered a long time in the ice cold wastes.  It brings to mind the Old English poem “The Wanderer“.  In this poem the Wanderer has lost his liege lord and all his kinsfolk and so he wanders the frozen land alone in search of somewhere the belong.  But with no family to speak of and no lord to vouch for him, he finds himself turned away, unable to find shelter or warmth.

Since long years ago
I hid my lord
in the darkness of the earth,
and I, wretched, from there
travelled most sorrowfully
over the frozen waves,
sought, sad at the lack of a hall,
a giver of treasure,
where I, far or near,
might find
one in the meadhall who
knew my people

In the RWS card the woman depicted is blindfolded and bound.  She does not exert her own agency.  In this depiction the person in the card is reaching out.  Making their way into an unfamiliar camp.  She carries her own light out in front of her, the lantern can represent a lot of things, but here it feels to me like an offering, the strangers can see that she brings something with her, despite her weary countenance and tattered clothing.  Perhaps she was a mighty warrior in her past and she is seeking to serve again, to be a part of something.  She is struggling through deep snow and biting wind.  The snowy background looks bleak, but she knows she must keep moving, keep trying to find a new place where she will be welcomed.

The message here is that although you may be slogging through the deep snow and you want to give up, you must keep going.  You never know what the next camp may bring.  You must rely on yourself to keep moving forward.

Card of the Day: Four of Swords


Today’s card is the Four of Swords from the Universal Goddess Tarot

This is such a sad card.  It depicts Kaguya hime, a celestial being from Japanese folklore.  IMG_0567She is adopted by a human couple after they find her in a field.  She is raised on Earth as their own child but eventually must return to the moon leaving her loved ones behind forever.

The four of swords is normally a card of rest, a well earned one, but this one reads differently.  This card talks about taking some time away from a painful situation, sitting with your thoughts and taking time to reflect.

In some of the old folk tales Kaguya forgets her human family the minute she re-dons her celestial cloak and the only people who remember her on Earth feel that sadness, but I think this figure remembers and misses them.

This four of swords is telling you to take some time with the swords you’re wrestling with, step back so you can gain some new perspective on the situation.

On this card Kaguya is bounded by swords above and below her, if she tries to move forward or backwards she’ll get cut.  She doesn’t have much of a choice but to sit with her thoughts.

The appearance of a rabbit is no coincidence either, there is a lot of mythology about rabbits on the moon.  Including a popular Japanese story about the rabbit pounding mochi on the moon.  Rabbits very often represent fertility as well, so the inclusion of the rabbit signals that this period of rest and introspection will be a fertile one.  Whatever you’re trying to figure out will come to you if you can ‘hermit’ just a little bit.

A little personal advice that didn’t come from the card itself is that if you’re hurting, make sure to take care of yourself.  There’s been a lot of grief and heartbreak in the world lately and if you need help during your four of swords rest, please please do reach out for it.  There are hotlines you can call anytime if you need help.  The Trevor Project is another specifically for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) persons.

It’s perfectly okay to take time to yourself to process things, but don’t feel like you have to shoulder your burden alone.

Card of the Day: Four of Swords


Today’s card is the Four of Swords from the Manga Tarot

IMG_0633Just seeing this card made me smile.  The four of swords is a card of rest.  And I could really use some rest right about now.  Reading this card also gives me the impression of this rest being a very well deserved and hard earned rest.

The stack of rolled up mats in the background make me think that this is a dojo of some kind.  Although, the woman in the picture is sleeping peacefully, you can see from the four swords within arm’s reach that peace hasn’t always come easy.  The swords suit is the suit of the mind, intellect, academia, and the element of air.  These swords could represent some difficult choices that she’s been wrestling with, or some challenging mental puzzles.

Because they’re still right there with her, it indicates that the problems still exist, she hasn’t solved them all yet, but she’s able to take a break from them before they wear her out completely.

The old adage of ‘sleep on it’ might be the advice this card is offering.  When we’re completely worn out and over exhausted even small problems can seem like looming giants.

It also means to take a break.  Things might seem hard and you may feel like you can’t stop or else you’ll be overcome, but this card is telling you that’s not true.  You can and should rest so that you can keep going.

Card of the Day: Two of Swords


Today’s card is the Two of Swords from the Happy Tarot.

This is one of the least ‘happy’ cards in the Happy Tarot at first glance.  The card depicts a IMG_0454blindfolded woman in a chair, carrying two crossed swords.  It’s the middle of the night and only a crescent moon casts a dim and hazy light over the scene.  She sits with her back to a rushing river.

Her entire posture seems to be one of a stubborn refusal to acknowledge or accept something.  It could be that she’s trying to keep out of a deeply emotional situation that she’s feeling overwhelmed by (which could be what the river represents).

She holds those swords closely over her chest, almost like she’s struggling to balance them or brandishing them at unseen enemies.  Cats look on with curiosity and perhaps a little wariness.

Looking more closely at the card you can see that she isn’t tied to her spot, she could at any point, set down the swords and remove her own blindfold.  This card isn’t one about being held down by external forces.  It’s talking about being in a situation and choosing not to deal with what’s going on.

The other thing to consider is the way she’s got the swords crossed over her heart.  Literally protecting it with weapons.  I think it’s important to recognize that this card isn’t saying that the woman has made a bad or unreasonable choice here.  Sometimes situations force you to cut yourself off from things or people that are harmful to you, and it’s always okay to take steps to take care of yourself.  The message here is to be careful of closing yourself off completely to everything.  The more we close off from everyone and everything around us, the further away we get from those things that can help us.  It’s kind of (pardon the semi-pun) a double-edged sword (get it, two of swords? Okay, I’m done, I promise).

Ignoring a problem isn’t going to solve it in most cases.  It’s okay to take a break and gather yourself before you try to face down a giant beast, but try not to let it get the best of you so you don’t end up blindfolded on a chair.

Card of the Day: Six of Swords


Today’s card is the Six of Swords from the Prisma Visions Tarot

This is a beautiful depiction of the Six of Swords.  It shows a bridge of swords, spanning an endless dark IMG_0706chasm.  The bridge is crafted from the blades of swords.  It’s midwinter and everything is covered in snow, the wind is blowing hard, and it’s deep in the middle of a moonless and cloudy night.  The only light comes from the stars.  Crossing a bridge of swords under these conditions would be extremely dangerous.

This card represents a difficult journey, a transition from something bad enough to make you prepared to flee even when the travelling is through such bad conditions.

This card traditionally represents a listless and depressed person or period of life.  In the RWS card a man struggles to propel a boatful of swords along.  Here we’re missing the boat, but a long difficult trek can be imagined through the snow.

The butterflies give us hope though.  Not only are they completely out of place in the dead of winter, indicating that the warmth of summer (and thereby a relief from the depressing winter) must be somewhere near, they also symbolize transformation.

There are few more potent and powerful examples of transformation that that of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly.  They wrap themselves up, dissolve into goo, and then become an entirely new creature!

Another interesting note for this card, the bending tree on the right side of the card almost looks like it has the face of an old man.  He looks tired and grumpy as he looks back into the past.  The butterflies are looking to the future, towards summer, and towards a way out of this slump.

When you see the Six of Swords take hold of hope.  It’s showing you that the end is in sight.  You can find a way out, but you do have some hard travelling to get there.

Card of the Day: Three of Swords


Today’s card is the Three of Swords, and this particular representation is from the Welcome to Night Vale Tarot deck by Hannah Holloway.  I’m a huge WTNV fan so when I heard they were coming out with a tarot deck, I jumped at it.  I bought it literally the moment I knew it existed.  I hadn’t even seen the card designs and I didn’t know the artists.  I just HAD to have it.

I haven’t actually done any readings with it yet, because although it is visually lovely, it didn’t come with ANY interpretation at all.  And even though I love a deck that forces me to rely on my intuition, there are more than a few cards that depict scenes and characters I can’t immediately recognize, which is a challenge.  My initial thought was that I would just try to work with it and it would tell me more about itself.  But, I’m a librarian, and I couldn’t leave well enough alone.  I did some searching and found that Hannah posted a ‘Little White Book’ to accompany the cards on her tumblr.

img_0543So then, we come to the Three of Swords, represented here by the Trophy that Cecil wanted to give to Carlos in the ending episodes of season one.  The three of swords is a tough card to see: it stands for heartbreak, loneliness, and betrayal.  And the Trophy represents that so well here.  Carlos doesn’t show up in that episode because he’s busy trying to save Night Vale, which is a recurring theme for Carlos and Cecil.  Cecil’s emotions really run the gamut of those three aspects of this card during the episode.  He is lonely and so he invites Carlos to be on the show, then he feels betrayed that Carlos has gone off to do something else, and finally he feels heartbreak when he hears about what has become of his beloved scientist.  Adding one more layer to this card is the fact that the trophy is also a cup, the suit of water and of emotions.  These three are pretty powerful emotions.

Cecil’s three-fold experience is a fantastic way to look at this card.  There’s no getting around that this is a painful card.  The more traditional Rider-Waite-Smith interpretation shows a heart being literally stabbed by three swords.  Sounds pretty bleak, doesn’t it?  One thing to consider, especially with the Night Vale Three of Swords, was that everything turned out all right, even when it seemed so very dire.  So when you see the Three of Swords, ask yourself if it’s just the way you’re looking at the situation.  Is there a different way to approach the situation?  Perhaps by stepping outside of yourself and getting a fresh pair of eyes on it, you might be able to see a way through the pain of the situation.

Maybe you too can end up watching the lights above the Arby’s with your favorite scientist.  Apologies for anyone not familiar with WTNV.  If you’ve not heard this wonderfully quirky, racially diverse, queer-affirming podcast, I urge you to go and give it a try.  It’s terrifyingly delightful.