Archive for December, 2014

Blue Rose Chariot

Blue Rose Tarot
Created by Paula Gibby
Published by Soul Guidance

The Book says: The Chariot symbolizes the active realization of those concepts by getting out there and participating in Life. And you begin with the basics; navigating through the world, getting to know the other players, learning how to fend for yourself, cloth yourself, educate yourself. Control yourself.

The Chariot card is all about mastery and control. And in most cases, when you first attempt to control a situation, you exert a lot of energy and concentration. It’s a kind of “brute force” attempt to navigate one’s way through a situation, issue, relationship, whatever. You rely upon great strength of will. You constantly employ the concept that every action results in an equal but opposite reaction.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: When I first looked at this card I didn’t see the monitor, I saw it as representing people heading to the “big city” to find success, money or themselves. It reminded me of the expression “all roads lead to Rome”; if you can make it there you can make it anywhere. All of which I though fit The Chariot card – the desire to steer your own course, follow your own destiny. The need to move beyond your starting point (home town) and move on to a bigger challenge. Then when I realized that it was representing the electronic age, the information superhighway – it added an additional layer to the meaning.

On the Internet there is a need to be focused on your goals and aims, to have an idea where you are heading and how to get there. Without this focus and aim you can find yourself spending hours doing absolutely nothing but roaming without direction. You may have a goal in front of you but it is very easy to get lost on a byway or side route. There is also, unfortunately, a serious need for cautious and taking steps to protect yourself. Some strange and dangerous people populate the Internet just waiting for someone to cross their path.

The Internet also demands a certain amount of self-control and discipline. Communicating with people online can be tricky. One misplaced word can lead to a flame war of immense proportions. So The Chariot can also represent the need for maturity and responsibility. It can be so easy to send off a letter shredding someone else’s opinion to bits without giving a second thought, something many of us would never do in person. But the anonymity of the Internet seems to release us from some of the controls we usually place on our tongues. The Blue Rose Chariot card is a reminder and a representation of all the potential and the lure of such freedom. The road lies gleaming ahead of us and it is up to us whether we steer through it following some of the basic rules of the road or being a road hog, leaving pockets of road rage in our wake.

Transformational Challenge

Transformational Tarot
Created by Arnell Ando
Published by Ink Well Publishing
ISBN #0-9649386-3-4

The Book says: A time of challenge. Victory over obstacles. The first cycle complete and a new confidence is born out of this coming full circle. A desire to balance the left and right brain, the creative and the logical, and/or the physical and spiritual forces within. This card stands for progress, strong will taking action, self-discipline and inner direction. It can also suggest a struggle with a conflict of interests (such as, moving on or staying with the present situation).

TarotBroad’s Buzz: To me this card represents being willing to take on authority, defying conventional wisdom to find your own path. It is about being willing to take risks in order to stay true to yourself. It does have a somewhat adolescent energy – that absolute conviction, which borders on arroagance, that you are always right and that you will live forever. The belief that danger is really only a transient thing and charging forward in search of new and more exciting experiences. In my former job, I worked with a lot of teenagers. Some could be quite rude about their infallibility while others were a bit more tolerant because how can a grown up understand what they are going through. And as I watched them I realized that I might be able to slow their chariot down for a brief moment but I couldn’t stop it or change its course. I could only try to help pad the chariot so that if they crash it won’t be too devastating. But this phase is definitely part of growing up.

I still occasionally cringe when I hear my adolescent voice in my mind. It reeks with the assurance that I am so much smarter than anyone else in my life and that I am always right. Whew! I give my mother credit – I would have sold me to a pack of vagabonds if I were her. But the Chariot reminds us that sometimes we need to just ahead and shake up the status quo – otherwise we miss opportunities for growth and learning.

I’ve been working with this deck on and off for several months now and thought it was about time to write a review. In the interests of transparency I will confess that I consider Ellen a friend however I don’t believe that will impact my impression of this deck.

I was privy to the fact that Ellen was working on a Dark Goddess themed tarot a few years ago. I remember chatting with her about the project and what goddesses might fit the energies of various cards (not that I’m in any way implying I influenced the creation of this deck). I thought it was a great idea and couldn’t wait to see how Ellen manifested this concept. It was worth the wait.

The deck is a traditional Tarot deck with 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 Minor Arcana cards divided into 4 suits – Fire, Water, Air and Earth. The court cards are Amazon, Siren, Witch and Hag. Ellen tapped into goddesses from a wide range of world cultures – Irish, Norse, Aztec, Inuit, Egyptian, Greco-Roman, Indian and more. In the companion book (which I highly recommend purchasing if you get this deck), Ellen writes about each individual goddess’ mythos as well as what it might mean if she appears in your reading and some ways to connect with her energies. Ellen’s art is classically simple with a palette that uses bright and neutral colors to create engaging images that are rather unexpected in a deck devoted to dark goddesses. It’s a refreshing break from the moody, gothic-inspired dark decks that are out there.

Dark Goddess Ace of Earth Dark Goddess 4 of AirDark Goddess Siren of Earth

One of the things I find intriguing about this deck is that many of the goddesses included are not traditionally thought of as “dark”. For example Gaia, Nut and Baubo come to mind as goddesses who might not be considered dark. However when one looks at the myths and legends connected to these goddesses it becomes clearer that even the brightest goddess has her dark side. This makes sense when you consider that even the sweetest, kindest humans have their dark sides too.

I’ve been working with this deck for several weeks now as part of a personal journey. Each day that I use it I come to appreciate its energies even more. I’ve always been drawn to dark goddesses, in fact I consider The Morrigan one of my matron deities. This deck has helped me grow more familiar with these dark goddesses as well as introduced me to some with whom I was totally unfamiliar. Would I make changes to this deck? Of course I would if I had created it – then again that’s true of most decks and in no way detracts from Ellen’s accomplishment. She has managed to bring the darkness into the light and allow us to explore and connect with its energies in ways that are not frightening or threatening. She has helped introduce these powerful, awesome goddesses to an audience that might never have learned about them otherwise and can now work with their energies to heal, grow and explore their own internal darkness as well as help guide others. If you have any interest at all in working with goddess energies then I strongly recommend adding this deck to your collection.

Simple Pleasures

The other day while working with the Dark Goddess Tarot I drew Tefnut/6 of Water. She is associated with dew and rain and simple pleasures. This got me to thinking about how long it’s been since I’ve allowed myself to enjoy simple pleasures.

Don’t get me wrong, I can find plenty of ways to waste my time on a daily basis such as sitting in front the television and staring mindlessly at the screen. However it’s been a while since I’ve really been able to lose myself in a book or spend time playing with my dolls. Tefnut reminded me that these are the things that make life enjoyable – small, everyday pleasures that bring joy and contentment into our lives. So today I thought I’d share some of my simple pleasures with anyone out there who might read this post and maybe encourage them to spend some time reconnecting with their own simple pleasures.

One of my earliest remembered simple pleasures is reading books. I can clearly remember how excited I was to receive a few Dr. Seuss books as a child. I’m sure I had Golden Books too but the Dr. Seuss ones were special because they came in the mail (thus beginning my life long love of online shopping ;D). My mother had signed me up for a Dr. Seuss book club and I remember how much I loved those books – Green Eggs & Ham, The Lorax, The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss’ ABC – all were beloved and read over and over again. As I got older I remember losing myself in my local library and bookstore for hours. I remember how S.E. Hinton’s books impacted me. I remember such bizarre titles as Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack and If I Love You Am I Trapped F

Forever. I remember discovering Lois Duncan’s tales of horror and suspense. Let us not forget Judy Blume’s amazing tomes for teens. I still remember the subtle subversive sense of rebellion the girls in my 7th grade class felt reading Forever and referring to “Ralph”, much to the confusion of our male classmates and teacher. Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself was my first remembered exposure to the Holocaust. Are You There God it’s Me, Margaret was the first time I grasped what puberty and menstruation were all about (thank you Sheila Mayberry for recommended this classic). I’ve recently determined to reread these books because I have such fond memories of them.

I’ve also found some new authors to love and treasure. I just finished Lynda Barry’s One Hundred Demons and I’m currently reading Cruddy. Her book What It Is reminds me of a darker, snarkier SARK, which is right up my alley. I’ve always had a fondness for historical romances (well-written ones anyway which is still somewhat hard to come by). Once I find an author whose works I enjoy I will stick with them until they’ve disappointed me over several books. One bad book isn’t enough to deter me. I love books that take me to another place and make me feel for the characters. I still remember crying my heart out at the end of Patricia Kennealy-Morrison’s Hedge of Mist, the final book in her trilogy about King Arthur. Judith McNaught’s and Elizabeth Lowell’s historical romances often bring to tears as their tortured heroes and feisty heroines battle with each other in search of love. Stephen King, Dean Koontz and H.P. Lovecraft all scare me and fill me with vague terror at what lies hidden beneath the veneer of civilization. There are many more books and authors I could mention but I think I’ve made my point.

Another simple pleasure I’ve always enjoyed is coloring. I’ve never considered myself especially artistic but I still using my box of 64 Crayola crayons to color images in coloring books. I’ve always loved it. In fact I can think of fewer fragrances as enticing as a newly opened box of Crayola crayons (cheaper ones just don’t have the same aroma). It brings me right back to my childhood. I even still have some older Barbie coloring books that I occasionally pull out and lose myself in bringing color to the black and white pages. I used to have a fondness for color by number paint sets as well but even as a child I often found that the paint would dry up on me before I managed to finish painting.

Yet another simple pleasure I’ve always enjoyed is playing with fashion dolls – especially Barbie. She’s taken quite a hit over the years for her alleged negative impact on young girls’ self-esteem but as a child I saw Barbie as a gateway to possibilities. Barbie wasn’t married. She didn’t have kids. She was a free, independent female who could spend time with Ken if she chose or hang out with her buddies. She could be an executive, a doctor, an astronaut or a model and if she could be those things then so could I. I still remember my first Barbie – a Malibu Barbie I got when I was 6. Over the years I added a few others Barbies (Quick Curl and Superstar) as well as other dolls (does anyone else remember Tuesday Taylor?). I even got a Barbie dollhouse one year – it folded up into a cube shape and when opened became a 3 room house with very mod furniture. I eventually lost interest in Barbie as boys and friends took prominence. Then one day while working at a recreation center I was faced with a distraught young boy who had received a Barbie doll by mistake at the center’s Christmas party. I happened to have a brand new football in my office and offered it to the boy in exchange for the doll. He was thrilled with the trade. The doll was a 1995 Jeweled Hair Mermaid Midge and

 

I still have her. She slowly rekindled my interest in dolls. Every so often I would add another. Then Mattel released the Silkstone line and I was enthralled. They were lovely and felt so solid and substantial. They also had wonderful fashions. A few years later the Fashion Royalty dolls by Integrity were released and once again I fell in love. These ladies were gorgeous, poseable and had some great back stories. I eventually managed to accumulate quite a collection – over 200 Barbies and approximately the same number of Fashion Royalty dolls.

I’m no longer an active collector for a variety of reasons but I still have most of my dolls. I think Tefnut is telling me it’s time to play with them again. I used to love taking photographs of them and posting them to various doll-themed boards I frequented. Maybe it’s time to get back into the hobby. In fact I think I might find a way to combine my dolls habit with another simple pleasure – Tarot cards.

My Tarot card hobby started off slowly. I had known about Tarot for several years because I was reading about witchcraft, Wicca and Paganism and somehow they just seem to go together. I eventually bough myself a few decks – the Arcus Arcanum Tarot, The Hallowquest Tarot and the Norse Tarot.

I loved the imagery and would look at them quite often but I realized I really didn’t know much about their meaning. As is my tendency, I found a few books about working with and reading Tarot cards such as Eden Gray’s books and Mary Greer’s Tarot for Yourself. These offered some insights but it wasn’t until I discovered the Comparative Tarot group on Yahoo that I really began exploring the world of Tarot (and Tarot card collection). Thanks to this group I eventually became a decent Tarot reader and an insatiable Tarot deck collector. Each deck seemed to open the door to a new world, a new realm of knowledge to explore. It’s what still keeps me interesting and active with the Tarot.

Last but certainly not least on my list of simple pleasures are music and tea.  I still believe listening to Led Zeppelin is one of the most most-blowing, sensual experiences in which I can indulge.  I also have a fondness for AC/DC, Pink Floyd, Melissa Etheridge and P!nk but S.J Tucker, Incubus Succubus, Laura Powers, Enya and Loreena McKennit also have a place on my playlist.   I have to admit that I have even created my own playlist of stripper songs in my head.  I should probably make that playlist up one of these days and just dance around like no one is watching (and they probably aren’t).  If music can get me revved up then tea is what soothes me and calms me down.  Whether it’s a traditional blend like Earl Grey or Irish Breakfast or a seasonal blend like Pumpkin Spice or Gingerbread, I find making a cup or pot of tea grounds me and helps me focus on myself for a few precious minutes.  I have learned to love the exotic and varied blends available in the tea world.  My favorites will always be black teas but I’ve also come to appreciate oolongs, especially the stronger, darker blends.  There are also myriad flavored teas out there for every taste (mine tends towards chocolate blends).

So how about you? Are there some simple pleasures you once enjoyed that you’ve lost touch with over the years? Why not try reconnecting with them and see if they bring some joy and happiness into your life.  I’m going to listen to some music and make a pot of tea.

Mansions of the Moon Chariot

Mansions of the Moon
ZADOK (dahogue@nctc.net)
Self-Published

The LWP says: The rise to higher realms.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: While not the traditional Charioteer guiding (or being guided by) horses, this image shows a lovely woman riding a pair of wings. She seems to be at one with the environment around her and comfortable with where she is going. As she rises up on the wings, there is no fear or worry on her face. She appears to be calm and enjoying the experience. This card suggests that she is in control of the situation and knows where the journey will take her, or is just not concerned with the destination. She does not need to physically control the situation or impose her will. She will allow the wings to take her where she needs to go, secure in the knowledge that she is as one with her surroundings. She moves along her spiritual path with a sense of calmness and serenity. There is no need to force things to her will. She understands that her connection to the Universe and to the Divine will carry her to the correct destination.

There is a sense of giving oneself up to the journey and trusting that you are heading in the right direction. It is almost like surrendering to fate but without any sense of fatalism. This card symbolizes the need to let go of the need to control the situation and trusting in our connection to the Divine to raise us up. It reminds me of the Steve Miller song “Fly Like an Eagle” – “I want to fly like an eagle, let my spirit carry me”. The wings are her spirit carrying her to the next level of her journey. And she trusts in herself and her spirit enough to give up control and allow it to guide her.

Celtic Wisdom Mover

Celtic Wisdom Tarot
Text by Caitlin Matthews, art by Olivia Raynor
Destiny Books, 1999
ISBN 0-89281-720-8

The Book says: This is Epona, the pan-Celtic Goddess who is matron not only of horses but of passing over and through obstacles; she is also known as the one who opens the gates of the Underworld to the dead.
Keywords: Triumph; success due to initiative and self-discipline; obstacles overcome; self-mastery; being in control of one’s ccircumstances prominence; fame or greatness; travel; speed.
Reversed: Defeat or failure; ruthlessness; success at others’ expense; loss of self-control; addictive behavior; egocentricity; things careering out of control.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: I really love this card (well to be honest I really love this deck). It is one of the gentlest expressions of the Chariot energy which I have seen. Epona is able to gentle the horses, she is connected to them on a deep, spiritual level. One gets the feeling that the relationship is not one of owner and pet but it is one of kindred spirits. Epona and her mares can gently trot around the area or they can race across the field at full gallop, manes flaring out behind them. This card is about self-control and self-expression; knowing when you need to trot and when it is time to gallop ahead.

The Chariot – Wheel of Change Tarot

Wheel of Change Chariot

Wheel of Change Tarot
created by Alexandra Gennetti
Published by Destiny Books, 1997

The Book says: This card reminds us of the underlying patterns of our lives and how these patterns will affect the pursuit of goals. The Chariot is a card of fortune in relationships. Its appearance generally suggests that you are attaining your goals through discipline and active participation but that you may need to examine more carefully the effect of your power on others. Or perhaps you have made achievements that were in the common good and you are experiencing a collective victory. The Chariot card impels us to discover the power within ourselves not by steamrolling those around us but by using our vital energy towards solutions that are inclusive, productive, and sustainable.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: This card shows the connection between all existence and the cosmic energies that wind their way through our lives. To some extent the imagery on this card reminds more more the Wheel of Fortune than of the Chariot. Its imagery speaks of wheels and cycles. But the silhouette seems to be dancing the cosmos into existence – this certainly suggests mastery and control. But rather than it being “power over” (as Starhawk calls it) this symbolizes “power within”.

The silhouette has a twelve-spoked circle over her abdomen. And it’s lines go beyond her and connect to the other circles and other planets shining in the cosmic sky. She seems about ready to step into the stone circle and dance. Something about this card reminds me of the song “Lord of the Dance”. The figure’s exuberance and energy comes across and she exemplifies how if we are able to master and control our own energies, we can create amazing and beautiful things in our lives. At the same time we are aware of our impact on the lives and the world around us and try not to charge blindly ahead, and damn the consequences. It is balanced and controlled, while still allowing the creative energy to manifest itself in our lives.

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