Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mixing Fairy Cards and Tarot Cards, Part III

To continue my discussion on how the fairy cards can interact with tarot cards, based on results we got at the Sunday, May 2nd session: there are two more readings to look at, (as, aside from people who were dropping in or out, there was a core group of six persons beside myself).

One participant got “The Child” as her Heart of Faerie card. Aside from the fact that we can see fairy-like qualities in young, innocent children, faeries are, folklorically, very drawn to the pure and exuberant energy of children, and we also have J.M. Barrie’s charming story that fairies are born of children’s laughter. When mixed into her Botticelli tarot deck, the Child was flanked by the Eight of Swords and the 10 of Pentacles. The Child in question is gazing at a little ball of light toward the left, so she is also looking in the direction of the Swords. This makes for an odd pairing, as it is not easy to visualize the very young, light-hearted, winged being interacting with the bound man standing in the forest of swords that the Botticelli card portrays. At the time we discussed this, we considered different possibilities, including some family issues, (related to the “generations” that the Ten of Pentacles can denote, and the fact that this individual was in the process of renewing contact with another branch of her family). Thinking about how this can more specifically engage Fairy World energies, perhaps taking a child-like attitude of wonder, which includes “magical thinking,” could provide a way out of whatever complications the Eight of Swords may denote. Behind the Child in the Faerie card is the face of a tree-like entity, indicating the Child’s affinity with Living Nature and ability to feel protected in the dark forest. One could transmute the imagery in the Botticelli Eight of Swords by imagining the surroundings as more of a fairy forest, where the Swords stand for challenges that make the situation more of a game or adventure. The Ten of Pentacles off on the left, here pictured as a palatial house with a path of coins leading up to it, might indicate the protective solidarity of Family that makes it possible for the child to indulge in fairy frolics.

In our final example reading, the participant chose to mix her Faerie card, which was “The Dreaming,” into the “Fairy Circle” oracle, rather than a tarot deck, which provides the interesting opportunity to see how the Froud faeries may interact with the traditional Celtic fairy entities portrayed. The Dreaming portrays a beautiful woman, awake, but with eyes closed, surrounded by a diverse population of nature spirits and other elfin beings. From my own point of view, I tend to see this as expressing the idea of a universe that is intensely alive and in constant communication with us, and for Wendy Froud, this card is about creative imagination. The Fairy Circle cards that came up were the “Garconer” to the left of the Dreaming, and the Lhiannan Shee to the right. Both are cards which are about illusory romantic ideals, so the challenge for this person is to use her fantasies creatively, without being drained by them. To explain: the Garconer (also known as the Glanconner, and is called “the love talker”), is a spirit that appears to a woman as the man of her dreams, but then drains her energy, while the Lhiannan Shee, known as “the Fairy Sweetheart,” is a fairy woman who can be vampiric, but who also bestows poetic gifts and inspiration. We had discussed the need to be discerning in the types of dreams one pursues, and how one can take advantage of creative visions without being drained by them. As I think about this further, it seems that one way we can test the value of our fantasies is by determining whether they generate ideas for creative activities or other things that enrich the lives of our loved ones, and of other people in general. If one has an interest in fiction writing, this would be one application, (though there is still a need to avoid being too taken with your own fantasy world). Another way might be to create beautiful experiences for others—perhaps fairy fantasy themed parties or just the little extra touches that add a dimension of fairy elegance to daily living.

This is a bit of a digression, but I am reminded of Harriet Beecher Stowe, (author of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”), who incorporated so many creative ideas into her home that she impressed her niece, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, who then made women’s living spaces a theme in her articles on utopian housing. If I recall correctly, Stowe herself had been impressed by the inscription on her uncle’s sun dial, which said, “I count only the sunny hours,” and made that her motto for living. (By-the-by, Stowe and Gilman, like others of their family, exhibited Asperger’s symptoms; there were also clairvoyant and metaphysical interests in that family.)

We did a number of other things at the magical chat session, in addition to drawing the fairy friends and mixing them with tarot decks, we did the bibliomancy by pulling random books off the shelves, we did the Doreen Virtue “Messages from the Fairies,” and for some, I was also able to do a Beltane reading with the Fairy Circle cards. I neglected to write down the results of the bibliomancy and various of these others. Ideally, however, we could be examining the whole spectrum to see if certain ideas, images, and themes emerged for the different individuals. As my big theme for Beltane is Fairy World, it would be interesting to consider how even the bibliomancies might tie in with this. In June, I will bring back the different pop-up doll houses and medieval castle for the Dollhouse Oracle. Last time, I was concerned that I didn’t devote enough time to exploring and explaining the metaphors of the different tarot cards in the different rooms of peoples’ lives, so next time, I will still be doing it in the group teaching format where others can look on, but I will focus on one dollhouse reading at a time, so that we can all walk through the rooms together. We’ll also do the bibliomancy, and if time permits, some other types of readings. However, with the metaphor of the house as the day’s theme, we might think about how these diverse readings tie in with the house symbolism.

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