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.
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.
Today’s Tarot 20200502 – The Tower
Today’s Tarot 20200502
it’s no shock that The Tower came up today. Upheaval, chaos, confusion. Financial uncertainty, unexpected change. The symbolism of The Tower is stark, cold, and, well, scary.
The Tower in a reading
In a full reading, context is everything. Did The Tower come up in reference to something in the Seeker’s past? It could inspire the Reader to query further. It’s an indicator of past upheaval. Maybe the Seeker’s resolved it, perhaps the chaos continues. A Seeker with PTSD, for example, could point to The Tower right away.
In a future context, The Tarot brings a warning, a caution. The degree of chaos and upheaval depends on the cards around it.
While a full reading provides deep insight, a daily draw often reflects moods and feelings. The business my wife works for filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection recently. So, that subject consumes her work time. Since I’m working from home (as in, I don’t even go to the coffee shop now), the cards are picking that up.
It’s always prudent to take a daily draw of a Major Arcana seriously. It could be just a reflection of my concern, going to the suburban supermarket. We live in an area where people don’t take the novel coronavirus as seriously as they should. That gives me great concern, both for myself and my friends. The idea here is, I don’t hear alarm claxons in my head over Today’s Tarot 20200502. The Tower earns my respect, though.
Robin Wood Tarot
Today’s Tarot 20200502 draw was from The Robin Wood Tarot. While the Delta Enduring Tarot travels in my computer bag to the coffee shop, I chose this one today. I suggested to a friend this morning that they should consider getting their own Tarot deck. So, daily readings use different decks this week. We’ll see how that goes.
I’ll write something later on the process of choosing a deck as well.
Five of Moths is the thief!
Delta Enduring Tarot
Five of Moths is the thief!
The Moths in the Delta Enduring Tarot are the equivalent of the Swords in a typical Rider-Waite style deck. The Five of Swords usually depicts a young man who appears to have bested his competition, and now holds all of their swords. The competition sulks away. When I drew this particular card, the Five of Moths, I didn’t see that traditional meaning. My thoughts immediately went back to Robin Wood’s interpretation of the card: Thief!
The Five of Moths shows a young man with a look of contempt on his face. He hasn’t bested equals, though. He’s a contractor, wearing a hard hat, ready to start demolishing homes to build “Luxury Condos”. Even the words on the sign above the homes sneers contempt, with a fleur-de-lis, mocking the people this new development will displace.
This is a very New Orleans version of the thief. The contractor has bested the neighborhood, and now the residents are forced to load their belongings in a truck and move away.
After doing a daily Tarot draw for a while, I began to see that the cards which turn up do so for a wide range of reasons. I’d been working on an article about “ghost signs”, signs painted on the walls of buildings over a century ago. The buildings are still there, and the signs, albeit faded over time, are also still there. What’s changed is the purpose of many of the buildings. What were once businesses are now condos. In the case of the Warehouse District, what could be affordable housing now becomes condos for the privileged. The Thief in New Orleans.
Now, is this a call to personal action, or a card that’s simply telling me, this is how it is here? Well, that’s why it’s called a “reflection” moment.
Hurricane Season is stressful
Nine of Moths and Hurricane cards, Delta Enduring Tarot
Hurricane Season is stressful
Yesterday, I was shuffling my Delta Enduring Tarot deck, and these two cards jumped out at me. I didn’t want to go into detail on the combination at that moment, so put them back, re-shuffled, and did a second draw.
I do my best to do something with Tarot daily. Usually, it’s a single-card draw, combined with reflection on how that card fits with what’s going on in my head. It’s a good way for me to slow down for a moment, and I like to share the cards I draw with others on social media.
I usually do my card draw in a public place, like a coffee shop. I’ll shuffle the deck until I hit a point where the card on top “feels” right, or maybe another card sticks to my finger a bit. It follows a suggestion I read years ago, by Robin Wood. She said, if you’re shuffling and a card pops out of the deck, don’t just put it back. It’s trying to tell you something. So, that’s become my approach over the years.
Sometimes that single card sticking up is actually two cards. In those cases, I usually ignore them, pushing them back, and continuing the shuffle.
Delta Enduring Tarot
This deck is a bit different. Its focus is very much on Southeastern Louisiana, with a lot of cards focusing directly on life in New Orleans. It’s a traditional RW style deck, with 78 cards. The deck also has a few extra cards, beyond the standard 78.
There are two approaches to a deck like this. If you’re RW person who sees the cards as the same across the work of any artist, you’d likely remove the “extra” cards. I approach the decks I own as individual entities. The RW structure is there, but the variations the creator adds to their deck have merit. I’ll look at the notes that come with the cards, perhaps even buy the companion book.
The Delta Enduring Tarot has slightly different suits:
- Moths = Swords = Air
- Oaks = Wands = Fire
- Oysters = Cups = Water
- Cast Irons = Pentacles = Earth
They work for me. Moths aren’t sharp and stabby, but they’re annoying and get in your space. They have that edgy irritation of the swords. The Oysters as Cups is wonderful for someone who grew up in New Orleans. You get the idea.
Nine of Moths
The Nine of Moths follows the RW-style Nine of Swords. The moths are behind the figure in the card, as are the swords in the classic design. I like how they’re hung on the wall, that they’re more a permanent fixture in the seeker’s life. When considered with the Eight of Moths, they tell a story of someone trapped, then free. That freedom has a price, though. Nightmares, PTSD in our modern way of thinking. So, the seeker is released from whatever traps them with the Eight, only to have sleepless stress in the Nine.
Now, add this “extra” card in Delta Enduring Tarot, Hurricane. Many of us living along the Gulf Coast have harrowing hurricane stories. We were trapped by the storm(s), gained release, but the experience hasn’t left us. Hurricanes dredge up a lot of bad memories for many.
So, apply this to my draw yesterday. Two cards standing out? Usually I’d push them back down. I didn’t. The combination felt strong to me. Hurricane stress? Yeah, I’ve got stories. I was at a coffee shop in our Lakeview neighborhood. Is it possible someone near me was stressing more than I do?
As we approach the second half of August, we enter what is, historically, the worst part of hurricane season. The memory of 29-August-2005 is powerful. Twitter presented a memory of Katrina recovery, when Clint Smith, III, tweeted about his experience at Benjamin Franklin High, here in New Orleans. That let me to play “Hurricane Season” by Shorty.
We won’t be out of these woods until November, but if we get through August, it’s a bit of a victory.