Thursday, February 26, 2009

PDR: Burnout

I haven't posted here for two weeks, although I've been working with the Tarot Nova daily, and with the Anna K almost as frequently. At some point I succumbed to burnout. The readings have been for the most part interesting and thought-provoking, but my desire to write about them has dwindled away. In other words, fun has become drudgery.

Is this a familiar pattern in my life? Why, yes it is... 

I told myself to just draw a couple of cards, write up a brief post, and let that be enough for now. Here's what I got:

I love this Knight of Cups -- going with the flow, free & easy, ridin' the wave. And there's the 7 of Pentacles, signifying taking a breather from work, standing back, reassessing, letting things progress for a while on their own. The message?

"Dude, give it a rest."

Sounds good to me.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Deck Interview with the Nova

I interviewed my Tarot Nova two weeks ago, when I first got it. A deck that gets right to the point, it's pithy, frank and quirky.

1. What is your most important characteristic? Page of Cups
Taps right into my intuitive mind, expresses itself in playful and poetic ways, enables deep communication, isn't afraid to look silly.

2. What are your strengths as a deck? 13 Death
Cuts right to the point. Will help me let go of old ways of doing things, including reliance on external sources.

3. What are your limits as a deck? 6 of Wands
Limits? Ha! I spit on your "limits"! :) Hmm... maybe it will make other decks look like losers in comparison.

4. What are you here to teach me? 20 Judgment
How to hone my own judgment, and to trust it. To show me that I myself hold the key...

I have to say that so far, it's delivering on all of this.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Goodbye Elemental, hello Tarot Nova

I feel fickle, but I'm going to put the Elemental aside for now, and take up a different deck for the PDR. I still love the Elemental, and would like to return to it later in the year. However, in the last few weeks I've acquired two new decks that I can read with like I've never been able to read tarot before. One is the Anna K, the other is the Tarot Nova. A fellow PDR participant, firefrost, is going to be blogging with the Anna K over at Tarot for the Soul, so for now at least I'm going to use the Nova.

Here's what the Aeclectic Tarot website has to say about the Nova: It's a cute gift shop tarot, and the cards are appropriate for children. Oh, the pain! The humiliation! I think the Nova is a work of inspired minimalism, full of humor and joie de vivre. Above and beyond all that, it reads like -- like -- well, like a thing that reads very well. A book. That's it -- it reads like a book.

Here's what I got today when I asked it, How's this PDR thing going to go for us, deck?
Yes, but...
Yes: 6 of Wands. Ha! It won out over the Elemental and the Anna K! Tough competition, indeed. This collaboration is going to be a success.
But: The Fool. Only a fool would have made this choice! No, seriously: Leave behind your expectations and climb aboard the giant kitty-cat -- it is going to be a fun ride.

Monday, February 2, 2009

PDR: A reading for Wally

Thanks to fellow PDR participant souljourney, I can no longer say I’ve never read tarot for strangers. Now I have read tarot for a stranger’s... cats. After seeing my “Meow!” post below, souljourney offered me the opportunity to read for some of her seven cats. Having had seven cats myself at one time, I know how complicated all those feline lives and interactions can become. So, I took her up on the offer... but not without some agonizing.

It felt like a huge, intimidating leap to take. What if I got it wrong? Finally I figured out that if I got it wrong, souljourney would tell me so, and I’d learn from the experience, and no one would be harmed by it, and somehow life would go on. Given that, why all the drama?

So I did readings for three cats, using a different deck for each. For Wally, I chose the Elemental, my PDR deck.

Here’s the info souljourney sent me about Wally:
16 y/o. He sometimes urinates where he isn't supposed to... like on the side of the tub.

Here’s Wally’s reading:

Tell me something about Wally:
6 of Fire (6 of Wands)

Status matters to him. As he gets older and physically less able, his place in the pecking order may be slipping. Maybe he’s used to being confident and an “alpha,” or maybe he’s been comfortable just being in the middle of the pack -- either way, it’s important to him to be respected and taken seriously.

The situation (inappropriate urination) from his point of view:
Daughter of Fire (Page of Wands)

Message! Message! (The dove carries a letter, the girl carries a piece of paper, the symbols in the lower left are of a mouth and an ear.) Marking his territory is part and parcel of the pecking order issue above. He’s posting reminders to the other cats of his presence and his importance. There’s a chance the message could be for you, not for the other cats -- has he been getting less attention & respect from you lately? If not, then it’s likely about the other cats.

The one thing he'd like you to know:
4 of Air (4 of Swords)

He’s feeling his age, even if it’s not showing yet. He doesn’t have the energy he used to have. Sleep is good. But it’s hard to rest well if you’ve got to keep protecting your status. Also, there’s a mental rigidity: He’s set in his ways. He likes his way of doing things, & he doesn’t want to have to change.

What you can do to help your relationship w/ Wally:

3 of Water (3 of Cups)

The Elemental's book says it so nicely: The power of sympathetic understanding. The healing power of true unselfish love.

I’m thinking that it looks like it will be hard for you to win the battle against his inappropriate urination: he’s getting old, he doesn’t want to change, and he just wants you to love him for who he is.

Souljourney gave me positive feedback on all three readings, and confirmed that Wally is indeed the alpha. Maybe she’ll say more in the Comments if she gets the chance.

Now I think maybe I’m ready to read for people. Faunabay, I hope you’re feeling brave!

Seriously cute: the Tarot Nova

In the last two weeks I’ve acquired three more tarot decks and one more oracle deck. One of the new tarot decks is the Tarot Nova. I’m in goofy love with this deck -- it's small and cleverly illustrated and eminently readable. It is seriously cute: adorable to look at, but no-nonsense to read with.

Today I found myself wondering, at noon, where the morning had gone, whether I was going to get anything accomplished, and what I should focus on for the remainder for the day. I shuffled the Nova, intending to draw 2 cards, wanting a “Yes, but...” reading from them. Two cards flew from the deck and landed on the floor. I flipped them over to find:
Yes, but...

I laughed out loud at the Knight of Pentacles. Look at him riding the turtle! He’s getting somewhere, yes, but at a modest pace. Slow and steady wins the day. I see his message as: “Keep plodding along. You’re doing fine.”

The second card is the 6 of Pentacles, a loaf of bread baked in a pan. Another Pentacle, probably work-related, let's think about it, but -- bread? What does that have to do with anything? I puzzled for a moment, and then my jaw dropped. I remembered I’d promised to bake Irish Soda Bread today, to go with tonight’s leftover lamb stew.

Yes, you’re doing fine, but... don’t forget to bake the bread.

Is this deck cute, or what?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

PDR: Meow!

I’ve never done a tarot reading for a stranger, only for myself and for a few family members. Oh, and for my mother’s cats.

I know -- I need to get out more, right? But the readings I’ve done for those cats, at my mother’s request, have been fun and funny for both my mom and me. And she swears I’ve been credible and helpful. I did another reading today, about her aging Oriental Shorthair who is, for the first time in her life, an only cat.

My mother wanted insight into why Lacey has become so vocal. A quiet, timid, neurotic, fearful cat when she shared the house with other cats, in her solitude she has transformed into quite the chatterbox. She appears happy, not lonely, but Mom wanted to know what the cards had to say about the situation. I advised her to have Lacey checked for hyperthyroidism (incessant meowing is one of the symptoms), but in the meantime, I pulled three cards to answer the question, “Why is Lacey meowing so much?”

You’re all holding your breath awaiting the answer, I know... but I swear this is good reading practice. One of these days I’m going to take the leap and read for strangers, but not today. Today is Lacey’s day. Here’s what I got:

(Click to enlarge)
In the middle I see the space Lacey is occupying now: an uncrowded vista of land and sky. It’s the 1 of Air, aka the Ace of Swords, signaling a new beginning, a new way of thinking about life. Or, according to the Elemental's book, Saying what one thinks immediately. “Breath” is the keyword. Room to breathe! Breath to meow with!

To the right is the Tower: the enormous change in her life effected when she went from one of three (and at the bottom of the pecking order) to one and only. She landed, as cats do, on her feet -- her confidence and sociability have increased dramatically since then. But still, it’s a strange landscape -- it’s possible she may not be entirely as ease in it yet.

Now read the text along the left side of the Tower card. It says: Hear me - Learn from my word - You who know me. My mother broke out laughing when I read that to her. “Oh, I hear her alright,” she assured me.

On the left is 6 of Earth/Pentacles. Here there is sharing, giving, generosity. The book says, Celebration of one’s good fortune. Lucky cat, to be the sole recipient of human time and affection. Perhaps she meows to share what’s in her heart.

I interpret the reading to mean that Lacey is indeed happy and adjusting well to the dramatic change in her life, and that her vocalizations are part of the process of bonding more closely with my mother.

Being able to get a coherent reading on this question is further evidence to me that the Elemental is useful not just for serious issues, but for (please, please, forgive the pun) “fluffy” ones as well.

Comments and alternative interpretations are always welcome.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

PDR: Ace of Cups

I spent some enjoyable time flipping through the Elemental deck trying to identify my favorite card. Just one favorite? Not do-able. I did manage to whittle it down to three. My third-most favorite is the 1 of Water: Fountain, or in more conventional terms, the Ace of Cups.

I think the colors are a huge part of the appeal for me. Lavender and various shades of aqua... it’s a very soothing color scheme. I love the elegant simplicity of the shapes, too. (The word “Sin” below the image refers to the Babylonian moon god, not moral transgression.)

I have to admit that I’m often a bit uncomfortable when an Ace comes up in a reading. I think of an Ace as “Potential for _______” <-- fill in the blank according to the suit. There’s not much depth in that. When I try to push harder for meaning, I usually come up with stuff that seems equally applicable to the Page or Knight of that suit. But what does the Ace, and the Ace alone, communicate? I’m still feeling my way into that.

Here’s what the Elemental’s book says about this card: Excitement at the sudden birth of new feelings. Love awakening. A great release of emotional energy after a period of control. Overwhelming desire to express deep feelings. Love at first sight. Negatively: gullibility, one-sided love.

I often use the Elemental in comparative readings, so I went looking for other Aces of Cups that I’ve found attractive. Here’s the Anna K Ace of Cups: a serene woman draws an overflowing cup from a stream.

I’ve only had this deck for two days, so I don’t know if this card will remain a lasting favorite; but what appeals to me now is the novelty of having a person in the scene. I find it makes the card somehow more accessible. All the Anna K Aces have a person in the picture; it's possible that this may be the deck that helps me "get" the Aces at last.

My all-time favorite Ace of Cups is without a doubt the Ironwing:

Ahhh. Just look at that. I can feel the flow and release and unending abundance. I love it.

I'd be curious to hear if anyone else has a favorite Ace of Cups.