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.
Eight of Pentacles, Steampunk Tarot by Barbara Moore
The Steampunk Tarot by Barbara More is still in my around-town computer bag. Today’s single-card reflection draw was the Eight of Pentacles.
The eights represent work. The Eight of Pentacles specifically indicates pride of work, pride of ownership. For me, that pride of ownership often is reflected by worry. I regularly worry that I’m going to screw up in the writing. As I approach a publication deadline (like right now), getting it right weighs on my mind.
Pride of Ownership
Taking pride in the work and making sure it’s the best it can be isn’t a bad thing, but waking up in the middle of the night means I need more coffee to get through the day. There is a good side to this, however. When the work is done, and you sit back to admire the finished product, beaming with pride is allowed.
The Steampunk Tarot presents the Eight of Pentacles in a factory/assembly line environment. The artisan is surrounded by steam. She’s got a conveyor of Pentacles moving past her, yet she still takes pride in the work and gets them right. It’s not just churning out something manufactured. She gives the items a personal touch. There’s a bit of the artisan in each one. When those Pentacles go out, to shops, or hung in homes, the final owners may not know the artisan, but they feel her influence.
Legacies are important to humans. We like the knowledge that we’re making an impact. Hopefully a positive one, at that. When you go to work, consider that for a moment. You may be in a job where not everyone sees your influence. Still, maybe it’s a note you leave in work papers, or perhaps an email reply for a group project. It doesn’t take much, but the artisan knows that even the little things help.
Two-card draw, Silver Witchcraft deck
#TodaysTarot – Follow the Cards
Today’s draw brought me back to Robin Wood’s book on Tarot. One of the things that stood out to me was her thoughts on shuffling. Robin’s advice was, if you’re shuffling, and a card sticks out, you want to have a look at it. While sitting here at the coffee shop, shuffling the cards, TWO cards fell out of the deck. OK, let’s take Robin’s suggestion and take them as a pair and see what they’re telling me today.
Page of Wands
Good news! An encounter with a young person, who is passionate. New beginnings, new directions. Adventure! All sounds good and positive.
An interesting aspect of the Page of Wands in the Silver Witchcraft deck, and there’s no wand in the illustration. The focus in the card is on the fire, which is, in many ways, more powerful than the wand that controls it. The Golden Dawn “flashing colors”, red and green for Fire/Wands/South, are strong. No wand, though. The image is much more powerful, and that’s important. The pages represent young people. There are a LOT of younger people who are strong and powerful!
In terms of importance, I should have considered The Tower first, since it’s a Major Arcana. For #TodaysTarot, however, it was the second card, so let’s stick with Robin’s lesson of “falling cards”.
The Tower — Destruction, a catastrophe, a negative/destructive influence. Where the Page of Wands offers good news and power, The Tower tempers that good news, foreshadowing potential catastrophe. The seeker should guard against going full-on into the adventure offered by the Page of Wands, lest it not merely be a failure, but a full-on disaster.
The takeaway for #TodaysTarot – I’ll be on the lookout for the younger person, or the interesting project or adventure, but cautious that following this path will be catastrophic.
Seven of Chalices, Silver Witchcraft Deck #TodaysTarot
#TodaysTarot is the Seven of Chalices from the Silver Witchcraft Tarot. This is a fun deck, with nice imagery. So many options! When I’m not teaching, it’s a challenge for me to focus. My dreams go all over the place, and while that generates a lot of interesting ideas, it’s tough to pin them down. This card is a good caution–hey, dude, you want to pause for a few minutes and organize!
And organize I shall! I’ve been making some changes to the three computers I use, office, home laptop, and travel laptop (the one I’m on now). Think of it as a midsummer cleaning and re-org. The other big thing is to keep focused on projects. Book proposal for the history book, work on the two novels, all needs to keep going forward. Moving the blogs back to a Linux server from the Windows environment is also a thing. With the slow, sluggish server, I was reluctant to put anything on the blogs, lest people get frustrated that the links didn’t work. Now, the floodgates of posting ideas are open again.
Seven of Chalices is a warning! Don’t go off in so many directions you lose track of what’s important! Even this morning, listening to the BBC’s report on the Juno probe arriving at Jupiter, my muses hit me with a story idea. So, now I need to write that down before I forget, but then I want to do it in the NOLA Writer’s group as a writing prompt. See? One thing leads to another and another. Focus!
That’s why I’m a big believer in writing at the coffee shop, fewer distractions, and the music’s good.
Making sense of confusing decisions isn’t one of my strong suits. I tend to let things go to autopilot when I’m traveling. Teaching is quite structured, so it reins in my mental wanderlust. With the caution from the Seven of Chalices, I’ll do my best to stay on track.
Tarot shopping! I was browsing Lo Scarabeo’s website for a fiction project, as I wanted a character to purchase a “first deck” from a Pagan/Wiccan/Metaphysical shop. It’s the Silver Witchcraft Tarot, a boxed set.
The Silver Witchcraft Tarot (boxed set), from Lo Scarabeo
This deck spoke to me, not only as the right deck for the story, but it appealed to my tarot-ho gene! 🙂
The boxed set includes the lovely box itself (top left, open), a companion book, (top center), and the deck (bottom). The matching bag is a separate item, but I’ve bought them for other Lo Scarabeo decks I own.
The deck is gorgeous. The images are full-size, with no border at all on the cards.
The High Priestess
Here’s the first three cards off the top: The Fool, The Magician, and The High Priestess. I like that the image for The Magician is female; good vibe for a witchy deck.
One of the coolest things about this particular deck is also, alas, its Achilles’ Heel. The “Silver” in the Silver Witchcraft Tarot is on the edges of the cards. As a deck, it looks great, but it looks like the process is to dip/spray/touch the cards to the silver paint after the deck is assembled and pressed down for packaging. This made opening the deck a pain, because many of the cards were stuck together at the edges. It was a bit of a process to bend the stuck pairs of cards back and forth a bit, without ruining them, to separate them. Had to employ a modeling knife to one pair, even. Still, I like the look.