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Venus and the Child of Fire

I got up this morning, very early, and decided I’d start preparing for my Tarot Study Group coming up in mid-October. There was clearly an autumn chill in the air. Seeing summer now clearly in the seasonal rearview mirror, I bit the bullet and fired up the gas fireplace to help alleviate the fresh early morning bite. I find the flickering flame has the same soothing effect as running water, even if it’s gas-generated. (Note to self – New house discovery: check and see if the chimney is an insert or if it has the ability to burn wood.) I notice movement out of the corner of my eye. Our cat, Venus, is slowly approaching the fireplace.

She’s moving in predatorily, circling as if she’s going to attack. If it’s fire she perceives as her prey, she may have her work cut out for her. She circles to the side and approaches from outside of the flame’s direct line of sight. She moves to within a few feet and then withdraws. She circles to the side, walks up the glass insert and then runs away, at full speed, up the stairs.

Gaian Tarot - Child of Fire
Gaian Tarot - Child of Fire

I have witnessed my very own Child of Fire this morning.

A New Deck – Aquarian Tarot

Did I really need another Tarot deck?  Since I needed to head in to T.O. anyways, I figured a little drive to the Occult Shop on Vaughn was warranted. I found David Palladini’s Aquarian Tarot for under $20. The last time I found a little Tarot bargain, I was wandering the streets of Orangeville and came across an as-yet-unidentified version of the Rider-Waite at a garage sale for one dollar. I’m nothing if not a sucker for a deck deal.

David Palladini’s deck intrigued me not because of its influence on the Tarot community (Tarosophist International v.5 has a great interview with David Palladini) but because of his artistry on Stephen King’s The Eyes of the Dragon. I read this book when it first came out in 1987. I am a huge Stephen King fan. In my early 20s at the time, it was the first Stephen King book that I could remember that was illustrated. It wasn’t until much later that I discovered that the artist and creator or the Aquarian Tarot and the illustrator of my Stephen King book were one and the same.

Although the images don’t ‘grab me’ in the same way the Gaian, RWS or the Gilded Tarot do or inspire me in the way the Osho Zen Tarot does, I am nonetheless thrilled to add one more deck to my growing collection.

Full Moon in Aries – Priestess + Emperor = Empress

At almost the same moment I began creating this post (and wondering WTH I’m doing up at this hour), the Moon became full. This occured only moments after it transitioned from Pisces to Aries. This Full Moon occurs only hours after the autumnal equinox (a term I used yesterday in my school-wide writing prompt and which sent most young writers scrambling for a reference of some kind). My previous post explored the Sun’s movement into Libra from a ‘Tarot perspective’.

My favourite astrologer Kelly Surtees  stated that the Moon moving into Aries was a prime time to fight for fairness for the underdog.  This seems also to apply when we look at this through our Tarot lens. Very few cards better represent the underdog then our Priestess, the Tarot card associated with the Moon. Champion of feminine strength and wisdom, intuitive healer, mysterious master of the dark, her worth is often unjustly underrated by patriarchal structure. She  frequently lives in the shadows. With her full Moon in Aries, she dons the garments of the emperor, which the Sun wore just six months ago.  If the Sun represents our ‘best-self’, the Moon best represents our shadow self, the part of us Jung would associate with our instincts and our perceived flaws.

When cloaked in the Emperor’s robes, the Sun in Aries allowed us to focus on our ability to lead, increased our confidence and our level of assertiveness. Our Priestess, when  the Moon is in Aries, benefits from this imperial influence. This is indeed a time for us to stand up and be counted in whatever area of our life we feel disadvantaged. It is a time to shine the bright light of the Full Moon onto our shadow and celebrate our shortcomings.

The RWS Empress

What will you do to celebrate your imperfections? How will you recognize you’re ‘perfectly you’ just the way you are?

Interesting that when we delve a little deeper into the Full Moon (Priestess) in Aries (Emperor) we seem to find the Empress, card sometimes associated with the full phase of the Moon 🙂

Death and the Child of Water

Last weekend, I decided to stray slightly from my usual practice of drawing a single card and drew two. I had no real intention or focus. I took three breaths. I kept my mind as blank as possible. And, in order of their appearance, I turned over the following two cards:

Death and the Child of Water from The Gaian Tarot. This two card combo left me somewhat perplexed. These two cards stayed, face up, on our home altar.

I have to say that, despite my knowledge of the Tarot, I was unnerved at having the Death card stare me in the face. I can’t think of the last time I drew ‘Death’. Clients often take a little breath inward when they see this card during a session.  I now have a better sense of why that might be.  I have always said that the Death card is amongst my personal faves.  Kelly might say that might be directly related to the propensity of Scorpio in my birth chart :).  But I believe it is because the Death card begs action. We can stare at the end of anything forever and come to the same realization; it’s over. But if we look at death closely, it allows us to grieve but then forces us to move.  The death of a relationship must  transition into a new phase of life. The death of a loved one must transition from one existence to the next – the first that included their earthly presence; the second that does not. The death of a season must transition into the next.   Death signals an end but it also signals a transition.

So, with ‘Death’ figured out :), I focused on card number two: the Child of Water.

You must realize one thing about me. Drawing a Tarot card is often a simple act; like drawing air. Although, at times, I often study the Tarot in depth, this simple act of drawing allows me a brief moment of groundedness. I draw, I examine, I pause and I reflect.  But these two cards intrigued me. It might have been the Tarot’s way of shaking me from my position of complacency and saying: “Hey, student, you still have lots to learn from me.” With the cards propped on the altar, each time I passed this sacred space, I thought briefly about this combination. Then, as Archimedes did as he stepped his foot into the bath, I found my ‘Eureka’ moment.

According to Joanna Powell Colbert, creator of the Gaian Tarot, the children cards can refer to “the quality of being child-like and having a ‘beginner’s mind’.” What a way to explore this transition but with the wondrous eyes of a child! The Child of Water explores instinctually. Her imagination is newly developed. There are no limits to the possibilities this child sees before her.

The Child of Water stands ankle-deep on the shore and looks around. She points at a starfish. She watches a hermit crab. She’s not worried that one day, both will die, perhaps someday soon.  She might instead be amazed that the crab’s home is carried on its back or that the starfish has an odd yet beautifully symmetrical shape.  She is living in the moment and will cheerfully move on to the next one.

Imagine if we approached each transition, regardless of how difficult, with childish wonder. Instead of staying in the moment of grief, we would move into the marvelous moment that the unknown will bring. I imagine my upcoming ‘deaths’: the death of my vacation time; the purchase of our new home that signals the death of my transitory existence;  the soon-to-be arrival of the divorce certificate that signals the official ‘death’ of my previous marriage and the burial of my father’s remaining ashes and thus the final ‘death’ of his earthly remains. Tarot’s Death ‘permits’ the grieving that is the natural process for all of these losses. But the Child of Water reminds us that what comes after needs to be explored and enjoyed with wonder, innocence and awe. Imagine the difference if we looked at death from the perspective of the Child of Water.

There is a quote by Richard Bach, from his novel Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah that sums up the juxtaposition of these two cards beautifully,  “What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a butterfly.”

Take pleasure in the breaking cocoon.

Horoscope Spread workshop and ‘Major’ Free Talk

horoscope chart blank
horoscope chart blank

On Saturday, October 2nd, from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Astrologer Kelly Surtees (www.kellysurtees.com) and I will be co-presenting a workshop in Orangeville, Ontario, entitled “The Horoscope Spread: Using tarot cards and the astrological houses to combine two ancient methods for insight and exploration”. This hands-on workshop will give you the opportunity to learn about and explore the 12-card Horoscope Tarot Spread using an astrologer and tarotist as guides. The cost of this 6-hour workshop is only $70. Please forward this information on to anyone you think might be interested. Contact me at whitesagetarot@gmail.com or Kelly at info@kellysurtees.com to book. Spaces are limited and early booking is recommended.

 
On Thursday, August 19th, I hosted a Free Tarot Talk in my space in Orangeville. Thank you to those of you who were in attendance. We had a wonderful time exploring the powerful “I see… / I am…” card method and spent almost an hour exploring some of my new decks. They all generated some great questions and discussion and each person seem to gravitate towards a favourite. The next talk will take place on Thursday, September 23rd’s Full Moon from 7:00 – 8:30, in my space in Orangeville. What a wonderful time to focus on “The Power of the Major Arcana”. We will look at a variety of divisions and groupings of these 22 cards. Please RSVP by September 16th so that I can plan accordingly. I will also provide you with more detailed location information. As always, any small donation to help cover the cost of coffee, tea and snacks is most welcome.
 
Interested in a Tarot reading? Book now and receive a FREE COPY of “The Fated Sky: Astrology in History” by Benson Bobrick, while supplies last. My rates for readings are currently $70 for a 1-hour reading and $100 for a 90-minute reading. Readings are available in person in Orangeville (easily accessible by car from anywhere in the GTA) or via phone or SKYPE. Please contact me at whitesagetarot@gmail.com or 519-217-SAGE (7243) for more details.