Friday, 8 December 2017


Today's Draw: Five of Pentacles, Pam's Vintage Tarot

The lame figure may suggest a problem from the past that a person cannot shake off. Perhaps they use alcohol or other substances as a crutch to make the situation more bearable. From a rational perspective this never solves the problem. Yet I can understand why people do it. Most likely because they do not yet have the inner or outer resources to cope. 

It is easy to tell people to face their problems head on when we know nothing of their actual circumstances. I'm reminded of something a blind and mentally disabled woman said to me at an art workshop 'some things cannot be fixed so they are just left broken'. I knew exactly what she meant. The fixer in me still fights it. 

Thursday, 7 December 2017


Today's draw: Ten of Cups, Pam's Vintage Tarot

I'm often guilty of glancing this 'happy home' card which usually triggers eager thoughts of living in a cottage by the sea. 

On closer inspection I'm not sure the couple in this card own the little cottage to the right. The man's body seems to be oriented in a different direction (the east) although the woman does seem to tilt her head and point her finger towards the cottage. May be they have different aspirations. Maybe I'm making too much of things. 

I read this week that, according to census records, Pamela Coleman Smith lived in Didsbury, Manchester for a while as a child. If true it would be nice to visit. Verifying this will be my weekend project. 

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

slow and steady

Today's Draw: Nine of Pentacles, Pam's Vintage Tarot

According to Katz and Goodwin this card depicts Rosalind in As You Like It. In Act 4 scene 1 she admonishes her suitor Orlando for his tardiness: 'I had as lief be wooed of a snail'. adding 'because even though he's slow he carries his house on his head'. 

The lady's dress and the vines signify affluence but as this is a nine card I guess her 'fortune' wasn't just handed on a plate. The snail is a good reminder of the value of self-sufficiency and steady progress on the road to financial independence. 

Sunday, 3 December 2017


Today's Draw: Pam's Vintage Tarot, The Hermit

I have never quite bonded with my 'Original Rider Waite'. Maybe as I'm of the generation that has been quite spoilt by the plethora of decks available. Or something to do with the production of old images on very new looking card stock. I felt this a pity as the RWS contains colours and symbols with very specific meanings that modern decks often overlook. 

So treated myself to this limited edition based on scans of a first edition and including an extra ten cards with illustrations by Pamela Colman Smith. This bridge sized version feels far more mysterious and magical with muted colours on semi-matte linen stock. I can imagine finding it in a dusty corner of an antiquarian bookstore down a cobbled alley. A happy form of pretence which fits with the curious original meaning attributed to the card. 

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Mind and matter

Today's Draw: The Goddess Tarot, Magic/The Magician

Here the Goddess Isis appears without the usual ceremonial tools suggesting hers is a very simple yet extremely powerful practice. The headdress and hawk hint at mind magic. Using intellect to bring about a change. 

Yet there is also creativity here - the magic she works with her left hand. The wall paintings and the Goddess's golden gown (illumination) signal there is more than just words making up the world, things matter too. 

The hawk and hieroglyphics tell me that to have magical day I need to work with a balance of visual and textual sources. Although, like the card, my study room is warm and cosy it will be good to go for a walk this crisp November day. 

Wishing all a magical Saturday! 

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Happiness is a verb

Today's Draw The Goddess Tarot, Nine of Cups

This card has a more relaxed inviting feel than the traditional RWS (a guy sitting arms crossed as if defending his trophies). The cups have been laid out to nourish other bodies and souls and the woman's gaze falls upon the beautiful moons and stars that she embroidered on the tablecloth.

This reminds me happiness is not something we own, certainly not as a sole property. It is something we do - whether making an ordinary cloth special, sharing a meal with others or simply sitting in nature. 

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Good cheer

Today's Draw: The Goddess Tarot, Three of Cups

Well this is a merry card. Pumpkin spiced lattes all round?