Archive for April, 2012

My deck for this week is the Dark Grimoire by Lo Scarabeo. It has quite a dark feel so it will be interesting to see how it reads for everyday situations.

I thought I’d start the week with some dark proverbs to get a flavour of this deck.

Qualitiesย  – 9 of Pentacles: seclusion, lonely path, a defensive castle, a refuge.

Verbs – High Priestess: power, holding secrets,ย  keeping sacred words, guarding magic, challenging seekers.

Objects – Chariot: transport, wild horses, whip, frenzy, reins.

One lone figure on all these cards…

Putting them together gives me:

Holding secrets is a lonely path requiring reins.

Guarding magic is like finding a refuge for wild horses.

Seclusion keeps sacred words from being transported.

An interesting mix! My personal favourite is guarding magic is like finding refuge for wild horses. It hints at the power inherent in everything. It can be compared to trying to tame nature itself. There is only so much restraining which can be done. The power will eventually seep out.


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So, following all the recent advice from the cards, I’ve decided to bite the bullet and apply for a new job. This spread is designed to give me some guidance.

What on my application works in my favour? Apprentice of Spikes

This apprentice seems like a good sign – they are young, eager to learn and enthusiastic. There is a desire to prove their skills and learn from experience. The Apprentice of Spikes is able to create light and warmth and thus make a home for herself wherever she is. She can kindle the flame and encourage it to grow safely. With her bright light, she creates shadows and moths are drawn to the flames. There is a magnetism here and a willingness to confront fears. In all, they will be attracted to my enthusiasm and desire to kindle to the flame of learning in children.

What on my application may hold me back? Seven of Coils

A visitor from before. All that water spilling over the edge unable to be contained, makes me think that I have to be very careful not to let my own rollercoaster of emotions take over. It will be important not to let my fears and lack of confidence come seeping out. If I’m not careful, things could slip from my grasp.

How can I best overcome my weakness and draw on my strengths? Madrone of Coils

The Madrone represents a person who combines emotional depth and understanding. She is mature and empathetic and also acts like a mirror, reflecting back what other people want. She knows her own worth and that of her work. She has moved beyond the apprentice role and is at the stage where she is able to teach and guide others. This is the face I need to project at interview – confident, capable, compassionate.


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Healing and reintegration

Strength – Ten ofย  Spikes – Nine of Coils







Strength in the Ironwing is a card of initiation and healing. It is the transformation into a shaman – breaking through the limits of our endurance and discovering that we are much more. Shattered soul fragments are in the process of being recaptured and reintegrated leading to wholeness. The healed can then become the healer.

Ten of Spikes shows a beetle mounting a weary defense against the sharp pins which surround it. Those pins are another reminder of the way insects are pinned by collectors into glass cases. There is a tiring battle raging against being pinned down and trapped. It has been going on for a long time and is sapping strength and vitality. A world-weariness is setting in.

Nine of Coils shows a bronze shaman’s mirror hanging from an earlier offering. Pouring water over this mirror was said to clarify vision. The healing power of water is given as a gift to help restore the soul.

As a group, these cards speak of some deep healing which needs to be done. Currently, I’m rather like that beetle – weary, tired of the fight. It’s time to heal, clarify my vision and gain back my strength.

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The Ironwing will be my companion deck this week. It was created by Lorena Babcock Moore and is now sadly out of print and hard to find.

The Devil – Seven of Coils – Madrone of Blades








The Devil shows a girl who has found an incredible source of raw power. It is something mesmerizing but which could cause harm if not used wisely. A giant centipede crawls up her back signifying her rising power. Inner and outer power need to be met with courage and awareness or else they threaten to overwhelm.

Seven of Coils shows a vessel in the shape of a jellyfish. However, the vessel is too small for the liquid it is trying to contain. The water is spilling over the side giving a sense that things are slipping away. It cannot capture the free flowing, graceful movement of a jellyfish. It is a creature which is quite insubstantial and cannot be grasped easily.

Madrone of Blades stands with signs of her animal totem, the owl, around her. A piece of papyrus is nearby emphasizing her gift for communication. She has gathered great wisdom although it hasn’t been without sacrifice. Her emotions are deep but are kept tightly controlled, being used instead for intellectual and creative works.

The message seems to be find a way to direct powerful emotions. They cannot be contained in a vessel which is not shaped correctly. In fact, like the jellyfish, they cannot be grasped and contained at all. They will come spilling out regardless. Use those emotions to fuel a rich creative life.


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Truth and Justice

Another 2 card reading for today with the Mary-el.

Justice and 2 of Swords

Justice gazes dispassionately at the figure in the 2 of Swords. It reminds me of those insects which get pinioned by collectors and placed in display cases. There appear to be two creatures – one with dark wings and one dragonfly who appears to be free to move.

Justice holds her feather, ready to weigh and make a judgement. There is a black snake curled round her arm which she is covering with her hand. She is in control of it. The snake has many connotations – wisdom, kundalini or life force. Justice represents Truth and prompts me to examine whether my own heart ‘is as light as a feather’.

The 2 of Swords looks not only like those insects in cases, but the shape also reminds me of lungs (and breath) while the swords themselves bring to mind the Samurai. Thought and words can be weapons for attack or defense. Do we allow ourselves to fly free or do we pin ourselves down in the mistaken illusion that we cannot move? Do we allow our breath to flow freely or are we always holding our breath? Many people don’t take full, deep breaths but breathe shallowly.

Justice is not holding her sword in this card, unlike in other decks. Has her sword been passed to us to wield? Are we embodying universal Truth and Justice or following a very narrow definition – perhaps defined by our culture, time and place? It reminds me of how hard it can be to work out what the ‘right thing’ to do is. Ethics can be a real minefield but despite this, there are many people who have a very sure sense of what constitutes Truth and Justice. For me, there are too many shades of grey between those twin pillars.

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Lightning Strikes!

This week I will be using the Mary-El Tarot created by Marie White and published by Schiffer.

Today I am using a spread from the companion book which looks at the energies I will experience today.

Within (internal thoughts and feelings, my perspective) – Knight of Wands

When I first got the deck and flicked through all the cards, this was one which really stood out for me. In the dark lurks a huge carnivore – what it is we cannot see distinctly – a bear? A panther? We can only see the yellow of his eyes and the lightning flash on his outstretched hand (yes he has human hands!). This Knight is on a quest for Spirit. He is looking for the power of the light to be able to transform the darkness. The way the lightning is held in the palm of his hand makes me think that he more than capable of finding it. He is the bearer of this enormous power. His eyes meet us in a challenge – where do we want this lightning to strike? I can’t help but think of him as something that carries and transmutes the power inherent in the Tower card.ย  What light will come out of the darkness?

In terms of how this might relate to my inner feelings – the dark fits in with the interior self. My deep self is often visualised as a dark cave. Today might well mean reaching into that dark subconscious and pulling out the power that lies there. It feels like a card of initiation – a challenge to face the fear and bring back the power of the dark, transforming it into powerful light which strikes where it is needed.

Without (what is going on around me externally) – The Tower

Oh my! I hadn’t turned both cards over when I made the comment about the Knight of Wands carrying the energy of the Tower and here it is! This is the lightning strike which hits and forces us to accept the crumbling and loss of all that seems secure.

Today might well lead to a shattering revelation but the question is will I as the Knight of Wands be the initiating force? Will it be me who hurls the lightning bolt and allows it to shatter my cosy, safe world? Or will something external force me to go within, to draw deep on my own power and transform the power of the Tower into something else?

OK…first draw with this deck and it delivers a sucker punch. Dare I carry on for the rest of the week? ๐Ÿ™‚

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A trio…

Something to think about – Child of Painting

Do I want to go swimming with dolphins? ๐Ÿ™‚ There is a wonderful childlike exuberance in this card. The child is relishing its moment on the waves and doesn’t seem scared at all. It is a time of plunging into new experiences without thought to outcome but simply enjoying the process. Riding the wave and seeing where it takes you.

I definitely need to develop this approach – I used to throw myself into new experiences without worrying about outcomes when I was younger. I had a real zest for life and wanted to explore. With adult responsibilities, I’ve become much more cautious. Time to let the child out to play.

Something to do – Woman of Painting

Lots of creative processes going on in this card. We have a painter, someone drawing, a stonemason and someone who looks deep in thought. A figure stands at the front handing out olive wreaths. This is Athene. It is about valuing your talents, feeling secure in your self-worth and working to make your ideas tangible. There is a pleasure in the process of creation and a practical approach.

Something to love – 10 of Painting

๐Ÿ™‚ I did pull these cards completely randomly and have ended up with a triple whammy of Painting. Time to pay attention to this area.

This card’s subtitle is ‘Delight’ and it shows a group of people celebrating merrily. There is great joy and a sense of completion in this card. Earth and Heaven have come together. I can celebrate my good fortune and prosperity. Not only that, but the other two cards together with this one, strongly suggest that I can be the architect of my own prosperity. Keep a lighthearted, joyful outlook, combine it with a practical application to make those ideas a reality and prosperity is the result.


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