Entries in tarot (48)
We were sitting around a magic portal, cards out, going in a circle. Six of us reading for each other with different perspectives for the same questions. It was a swirl of energy, straight answers and intoxicating ones as well. My coven and I started this practice years ago as we got together for Full and New Moons or whenever our schedules permitted. Cards repeated, mysteries solved, clarity and sometimes confusion in the poetry of divination. Every one of our readings came to fruition even if later than imagined. The spirits have a different definition of time than we do.
Time moved slowly, then quickly, readings went deeper, and I saw the familiar time shift, the opening of worlds from color to black and white where the phonograph plays along with the iphone light. In between sessions we fueled up on sparkling water and chocolates. It was decadent and mysterious. I asked them to come closer and revealed to them what I have just revealed to you. My own tarot deck, which will include all of these wonderful people is underway. I've been in hermit mode researching and writing for the deck to be perfect. Tarot, like spirits have their own time frame. This one in particular.
You see I was given seven large keys and seven roads to take. Some may call them royal roads but each road has a key and within those keys are smaller keys. Twenty-Two keys into the psyche, down a path the Fool knows well. Within those keys small portals, twists in the roads, four to be exact, leading you to Kingdoms. These keys will bring you anywhere you ask. They may tell you secrets or things you already know and just need a little confirmation. On this path we may meet up. But soon my friends those keys will be released and I will give one to you, and you, and you.
For all my lovely friends in Chicago, I will be teaching a class on the Tarot March 17th at Madame Zuzu's in Highland Park. Click here for the facebook invite or the image for Zuzu's calendar. I'll have some prints with me as well, so join me on Sunday for a little tarot and tea.
x to the o,
I didn't know what would happen when I started painting Strength. I knew it would be difficult. The strength card never brings easy situations, it just reminds you that you can handle the difficulties. The original card was a completely different set up, softer, more pink. There was a story in it but that's not mine to tell.
But it didn't feel right. I kept painting but telling people that I felt the card would need to be painted over. It took days, it felt like weeks, but I knew this was all happening for a reason. Shahriar Shadab was staying with me, fresh in from Australia and we had been talking a lot about cycles. With the Scorpio full moon ahead of us and the Venus retrograde coming up we knew something big was happening. Both ruled by Venus we understood that we should take this time to observe, assess, and cleanse. In a heightened state of sensitivity and cycle breaking I was glad to painting dear friend Kai Altair.
The Strength card is about breaking cycles, addictions, and habits. She teaches us about willpower and taming the beast within. She harnesses raw passion and connects to the higher power. Kai has amazing cat energy as they are one of her main totems. Her incredible calming but inspiring energy became the perfect basis for the card including the turbulent times that were about to happen.
Being a former addict, I have an addictive personality. If it's not drugs, it's food, internet, work etc. There's always something that becomes a fixation. Sometimes it's people, relationships, or a certain pattern. I began to notice patterns in my own life. I was worried that I was repeating them. Shahriar assured me that I was doing a good job of not revisiting old patterns. I wasn't so sure.
And one night after a major cleanse I decided that even if something felt slightly familiar it didn't mean I was falling into a pattern. As long as we acknowledge our past and our cycles we can learn to not only break them but shift that energy into positive actions. The most important lesson we must learn from Strength is that by pushing or forcing we will never get what we truly desire. Strength has tamed the lion simply because she was patient, understood the situation, and asked. This isn't an easy or fast process but with determination and patience you can harness your passions and that direct energy to the universe and create a beautiful partnership.
The original name for this card is lust. Lust in passion in it's raw primal form. By understanding this energy, perhaps even getting burned by it or scratched by it a few times we can come to balance it, harness it and use it for positive action.
As I began to understand this about my own life, the card began to shift as well, allowing me to paint the passion involved. I posted it a few days later. Kai sent me this image in return. My Strength card had manifested itself into reality and one of the most passionate and talented souls I know was representing it.
Strange things happened when painting Justice. I was supposed to be working on Strength and yet something strange was in the air. There was another card that needed to be made.
I had become completely obsessed with pictures of Kate Black. This is something I do when I'm about to paint someone, but the odd thing was I was supposed to be painting another card. But still, I was obsessed. I liked her profile picture on that odd little social network we all seem to be obsessed with. I also became obsessed with skittles commercials which was not like me at all. I don't watch commercials or eat candy.
The next day I was modeling and thinking and meditating and all of a sudden I was hit with thoughts and feelings about Trayvon Martin. I knew this because they were not my own, fear, anger, sadness. Saying things that I wouldn't normally say. Then I got hit with images of James Byrd who was dragged to death years ago in Texas by white supremacists. While the two cases were not related, there was a common theme. The emotions came flooding in. For me it's a portal, a message telling me what I'm supposed to be doing.
I couldn't understand why all this was coming to me, the skittles and obsessively looking at my friends images, the visions, and emotions and then it occurred to me. I was supposed to paint the Justice card. Sometimes the cards come at you like that. The energy is right and it needs to be delivered. I started to feel feverish. I was getting images for the card, how it was supposed to look, Kate Black, black hoodie, I kept getting the message to check Kate's pictures again. That the one I needed was there. I started to walk fast, almost running to the subway. It's something that happens from time to time when i know I have to do something. My body gets feverish, my face gets flushed and I have walk, run, just to get my heart to stop pounding and my stomach to stop swirling. I got on the subway, waiting for the train I saw an empty bench. I sat down. A black hoodie was hanging off of it. I said, "Okay I get it." I couldn't figure out why I kept getting the message about the picture. When I got home I found out. Kate's was wearing a black hoodie in her profile picture. The next day would mark "Wear your hoodie to work day".
Sometimes the cards smack you in the head and beat you down until you paint them. Justice calls on us to bring balance to our lives, physically, spiritually, and mentally. She is objective about her decisions and treats each case fairly balancing them on her scale. Justice is ruled by Libra her sword is double-edged signifying impartiality. The blade is in the ground signifying the logical thinking used to dispense justice. Her hands are bandaged showing that justice sometimes gives a good fight. She balances the scales in her hand showing the balance of logic and intuition.
The crow indicates law and truth. For years crows have been the secret law keepers. Where there is question you will find crow. In order to find Justice you must find truth. I always believed Kate would make a great Justice card. She has been right in the front lines of Occupy Wall Street as well at the Million Hoodie March, Sex Workers Rights, Human Rights, and on and on and on. Justice couldn't have found a better
As usual this beautiful specimen was taken by Jim Shirey. Who has a new website by the way. Take a look, you'll spend hours in the magic.