Today’s Tarot 2020506 is a caution.
Today’s Tarot 20200506
I suppose we should say this is “Yesterday’s Tarot,” since I’m writing the post on Thursday. There’s a reason for that. I’m heeding the caution the 9 of Wands puts out.
9 of Wands
The traditional Smith-Waite image for the 9 of Wands is a seeker holding a wand, defending something guarded by a wall or fence of eight additional Wands. The seeker is weary, as if the struggle is only half over, with more to come. The card is a caution, that the seeker should rest and get ready for the upcoming struggles.
In the Silver Witchcraft deck, a group of witches sits around a fire. An Elder speaks to the group. He raises his left hand, a gesture of caution. A cat sits in his lap. His posture indicates caution, giving his friends (students?) a warning. The cat sits with him, bringing him rest and comfort.
Heeding the caution
For this specific draw, there are a number of possibilities. Being on guard during this time of pandemic is solid advice to anyone. An Elder speaking it to younger people is fitting. The Elder admonishes them, and encourages rest. There’s more to come.
I meant to write this last night. By the time I got back to the computer to do so, I was wiped out. While Getting Things Done is important, I heeded the warning and went to bed. In morning sunshine, that decision feels correct. Sometimes we know there are things ahead we must prepare for. Whether it’s the writing I want to accomplish in the next two days (since I’m not teaching), or the larger concerns of a “second wave” of the novel coronavirus, when the caution is raised, when the Elder issues a warning, it’s time to pause. Time to recharge. Summer approaches!
The Silver Witchcraft Tarot
Barbara Moore and Franco Rivolli created this deck for Lo Scarabeo. The images extend all the way to the edges. The edges simmer with a silver coating. So, the deck also comes with a matching bag. Lo Scarabeo knows how to market!
The images on the cards deviate from the classic Smith-Waite patterns, but the meaning of the individual cards still fits the traditions.I
I like the bling the silver edges offer. The witch-y replacement of the classic imagery resonates.
Today’s Tarot 20200505 reveals a Major Arcana
Today’s Tarot 20200505
After two days of the Ace of Swords, it was a bit of a relief to see a different card reveal itself. Today’s Tarot 20200505 is the High Priestess (II), from The Witches Tarot, by Ellen Dugan, illustrated by Mark Evans.
Dugan sees the Triple Goddess in three of the Smith-Waite’s Major Arcana. This card, the High Priestess, is the maiden aspect. The Empress, the mother, and The Moon, the crone.
The classic meaning ascribed to the High Priestess is mystery. Dugan has a different take, in that it’s less about something mysterious as this card indicates a period of learning and initiation. Finding the mysteries as opposed to being a mystery. The Waite description of the figure of the High Priestess says she’s wearing a “horned diadem.” Evans draws her as wearing a triple-moon, triple-goddess crown. Yes, the crescents appear to be “horns.” That’s a male perspective on a very-feminine figure. The black cat emphasizes the feminine side of the Craft.
Is she real?
When the High Priestess appears, my first question is, is she real? Does Today’s Tarot 20200505 represent a real person, or the the qualities embodied in the High Priestess? Both offer legitimate interpretations. Did the seeker encounter a woman who aligns with the High Priestess? Does the card indicate an encounter in the near future?
So, there’s the other possibility, that the draw indicates the qualities. A seeker focusing on study learning views the High Priestess as holding those attributes. I spent some time this afternoon working on thoughts for the Gumbo Wicca website. The High Priestess transitions from a woman in a position of authority, a maiden learning the craft, to the abstract. One seeking learning, possibly initiation, would turn to the High Priestess.
To sum that up simply, for a daily reflection, I’m going with the abstract.
The Witches Tarot
I bought this deck in the hopes it would jive with Ellen Cannon Reed’s deck of the same name. I lost my copy of Reed’s deck in Katrina. It’s been long out of print. My copy of Reed’s companion book, however, survived. So, as part of my shopping and looking around, I thought Dugan’s deck would be an acceptable replacement.
While Dugan’s deck works with much of Reed’s writing, I allow it to stand on its own. There may be times when I turn back to Reed’s book, but Dugan’s works just fine. In terms of the visuals, Evans is a wonderful artist. The cards are stunning. When I unwrapped this deck, it felt right from the first shuffle.
The bag is the companion for this deck. It features the image of the Crone aspect of the goddess on The Moon card.
Connecting websites to offer a wide Wicca experience
We’ve started laying out the foundation of the Gumbo Wicca Tradition on that website. Today begins building out what it means to be a “solitary” practitioner of Wicca. While I don’t want to repeat that article here, nor do I want to cross post it, I do want to explain the relationship between the sites.
This site, Mysticknyght’s Musings, is for me personally. It’s an extent of my journal and other writing. That’s why you see the daily Tarot draws here. Discussion of Tarot over on the other site involves how the cards work in general practice. Divination plays a prominent role in performing magick. We’ll go down that path and link it to the tradition over there.
Same with the first foundation plank we’ve laid down on Gumbo Wicca. I am defined as a Wicca by my solitary practice. How it works for me is something I’ll discuss here. How that applies to others and how they approach the Craft, that’s more suited for over there.
Topics for Gumbo Wicca
We’re beginning with Solitary Wicca. It’s the foundation for everything else. Next will be Wiccan Ethics. We’ll go into the Wheel of the Year as we approach Litha. Midsummer is a good place to jump on the wheel for Gumbo Wicca. This time of year, we should just call the tradition, “Swamp Ass Wicca.” Our climate and weather help define the tradition. They contribute to it’s distinctive character. So, we’ll go from there. Eventually, the topic list for the Wheel will present all the Sabbats, of course.
I welcome others along for the Gumbo Wicca ride! While it’s a tradition, not a coven, other perspectives are important. What makes me solitary in my practice is not always the same as what defines other solitaries. Additionally, what makes someone seek a coven defines them in our swamp-ass world. We welcome all perspectives.
Today’s Tarot 20200504 – Sword Hallow from the Arthurian Tarot
Today’s Tarot 20200504
The Ace of Swords, two days in a row, two different decks. That’s the draw for today. Oh, and by the way, May the Fourth be with You! Continuing with a different deck, until I run out of decks here at the house. I had a bunch more than I do now, before Hurricane Katrina. Alas, the “Tarot Drawer” in my desk was too low to the floor, and its contents drowned. The collection grew again, as we got back to normal, but nowhere what it was in 2005.
Today’s draw offers us a common mythos: Arthur. The Once and Future King and his mythos have many twists and turns. The classic, Christian, Arthur presents in most stories. The more-pagan (but still Christian) Arthur of MZB and others offers a more-nuanced aspect of the story.
The Arthurian Tarot, originally published in 1991, updated in 2016, presents a classic version of the Arthurian legends. While authors travel down different paths with Arthur, this deck is true to the basic story. Authors Caitlin and John Matthews, along with Illustrator Miranda Grey, stick to the Celtic/Roman roots. The deck follows the 78-card Smith-Waite format. It deviates from Smith’s drawings, presenting the legends.
Changes in Major Arcana
The Major Arcana remain in their usual positions, but the names change to Arthurian context. For example, the Arthur is the Emperor, and Taliesin is the Hierophant.
The deck follow the Smith-Waite structure, again, with illustration/symbol changes. The Arthurian Tarot refers to the Aces as “Hallows.” So, for Today’s Tarot 20200504, we have the Sword Hallow.
Ace of Swords
The Sword Hallow draw offers an interesting contrast to the Ace of Swords in the Celtic Dragon Tarot from yesterday. How does that fit into a daily draw? We’re presented with a choice of interpretations. The pattern of the same Ace, two days in a row, isn’t easily discarded. Still, it’s a daily draw, focusing on changes from yesterday to today are valid.
While both of these decks present the single sword, both do so differently from Smith. The original Ace of Swords depicts a hand holding the sword upright, as it pushes through a background of clouds. The Dragons change the focus of yesterday’s deck. For the Arthurian structure, a hand on a sword presents a complication.
A hand extending a sword is a significant and profound part of the Arthurian legend. These authors chose not to go there. While the Lady of the Lake becomes the High Priestess (2) for this deck, the Sword Hallow is not associated with Excalibur.
So, we’ve got a sword, coming forward from a nebulous background. We ascribe the same meanings to the card. In the larger context of a “Hallow Quest” (one of the original names for this deck), the cards take on a more defined Arthurian role. For just a daily, where-are-things-headed draw/reflection, we stick to the script. That means breakthrough, success. Things going well. I prefer tempering good news with a bit of caution. So, while things are looking up, the card prior to these two Ace of Swords pulls was The Tower. That gives me extra reason to proceed with a bit of caution.
Overall, though, it was a good day. My teaching went well, as did dinner. By the time I drew the card, things weren’t so bad, even for a pandemic.
Today’s Tarot 20200503 is a powerful card from the Celtic Dragon Tarot.
Ace of Swords, Celtic Dragon Tarot
Today’s Tarot 20200503
We’re using The Dragons Tarot today, as we present several different decks for folks considering buying a deck of their own. While this deck is structured in the traditional Smith-Waite style (also referred to as the Rider-Waite style), the details deviate a bit. Modern artists often go to pains to incorporate Pamela Colman Smith’s imagery into a deck. This deck doesn’t.
So, for Today’s Tarot 20200503, we should consider the standard meanings in the context of this artist’s vision. The classic Ace of Swords features a hand holding a single sword. The sword emerges from the clouds, a clear association with Air. The emergence from the clouds also indicates a breakthrough, a success.
The guards over baby dragons! They’re golden in color, which is also an allusion to Air. The volcano offers the eggs a warm place to grow and develop. When the babies are ready, breakthrough! success!
While the flames behind the hatching eggs suggest Fire rather than Air, the two Elements do have a symbiotic relationship. Fire needs Air, but too much, and Fire is extinguished. Air dragons need warmth, but too much Air and that warmth diminishes.
So, the flames protect and nurture. Fire forged the sword, even if it’s destined to manipulate Air.
Every time I look at those flames, I see a Phoenix. The Phoenix rises with the hatching eggs, its neck behind the sword, wings spreading out on either side. Rebirth through the hatchlings. So, the Smith-Waite meanings present strong.
Celtic Dragon Tarot
Celtic Dragon Tarot and “Draconis” bag.
Llewellyn Worldwide publishes the deck for Today’s Tarot 20200503. The writer for Celtic Dragon Tarot is DJ Conway and the artist is Lisa Hunt. Originally published in 1999, this deck comes either as a “kit” (cards plus companion book) or just the book. The bag in my photo is the “Draconis” bag from Lo Scarabeo. They’re a Spanish publisher, who sells coordinated bags for their decks. In this case, Amazon “suggested” the bag with the Llewellyn deck, and sucker I am, I bought it.
Yesterday’s card here.